W0812 TO MRS. CATHARINE LERNED from son-in-law Dr. Calvin McQuesten and from daughter Margarette
Sep 22 1835
To: Mrs. Catharine Lerned, Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Hopkinton, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
We recieved [sic] Cath. letter this afternoon and having a few moments leisure will answer it. It would be quite as agreeable to me to have Mr. Dustin keep all the funds in his hands and remit from time to time sufficient to defray Edwards necessary expences [sic].1 Board will be from $1.75 to $2.00 per week (washing & lodging not included) the latter meaning washing & lodging both we will give him if he will sleep in my office when there is not a spare bed room in the house where we board. The only reason why I proposed taking $1000 of your money was for Ed. sole benefit. I proposed that for one year I would pay board and furnish him necessary clothing for the use of the money and after that I would allow to him all I could get for the use of the money giving it an equal chance with my own. This is the manner in which I shall settle with Ed. at the close of each year. At the commencement of the year we shall take an account of all my cash rates and cash on hand if any there be then keep an exact account of all the interest we recieve [sic]. Close up with every one at the end of the year then see what our average per cent is and whatever it is I will allow to Ed. on his part of the principle.
One thing more about it. If there are any losses on the above included paper said loss must come out of the extra interest and what remains divided as above. But if said loss exceeds said ex. interest the remainder of said loss will fall on my shoulders. The above proposal I freely and cheerfully make but I wish you to understand that I have no other kind of desire that you should accept than that kind of desire that I feel to assist a friend when I can without actual loss to my own interest. I think there is no way that I can assist Ed. so much and feel it so little as the way I have proposed. As far as myself is concerned would prefer the money should remain with Mr. Dustin.
The aforementioned agreement [?] is only between Ed & me not between Dustin and me, for if it should be so considered it would contaminate the note if he should send me the money. What I wish you to say to Mr. Dustin about money is if he will send me one thousand dollars I will give him my note payable at Hopkinton in one year from date with interest annually and tell him I will get as good endorsers as our place affords, and he can instruct his soninlaw [sic] Mr. Noyes, to see that the paper is made good and to hold the same in his hands till a good opportunity presents to send it to him. If he send it I want it along about 1st of January for about three months after that is the best time to use it and let him send by Ed. enough to last him till that time for I do not want to breake [sic] upon that sum a dollar.
One word to sister L. [Louisa] who is become the joyful mother of a fine son--one more strong expression of your Heavenly Father's love. Forget not that it is not your son but only put into your hands to nurture and train up for Him whose it is. Dear Sister, hold it not with too strong a grasp, or it will go from you on wings. Call it not your own. Give it up to Him who took little children in his arms and blessed them and said of such is the kingdom of heaven. Oh, I can rejoice with you, and if you should be called to weep over that tender lovely plant early transplanted to that pure and holy atmosphere where no chilly, damp, pestilential breezes blow, then Dear Sister I can weep with you. I know what it is to give up an only son. But my cup is full of blessing I will not indulge in weeping. Kiss the dear boy for me, I would if I was there. Much love to yourself hus. and all the children. C. [Calvin] McQuesten
I want to say one word to Sister Cath. But tis midnight. What shall I say my thoughts run upon a gloomy strain. Perhaps they will touch on a heart that has never felt the force of redeeming love one that is in darkness, gross darkness, on which the bright rays of the eternal Son never shone with healing in his beams--one that never melted at the story of a Saviour's death--one that never bowed down before the meek Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, and has my dear sister C. such a heart as this? Oh Catharine remember this same Lamb is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah; and can you stand before him in that awful day when he is seated on his throne of judgment and millions will be crying to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from his fierce anger. Will your hands be strong, and your heart endure such a scene as that? Oh no! Dear Sister, fly to his arms now while they are extended to receive you, and in that day, He will present you to his Father, a pure holy and spotless being the purchase of his own blood. Midnight. Wife gone.
[Letter from Margarette to her sister Louisa]
P.M. 4 o'cl. Beloved Sister. Your letter came yesterday in my absence. I have just returned from a visit at the city of Rochester. Went down [with] Mrs. Allen in a carriage Monday. Had a fine visit with a good family but as ever am happy in returning to my dear husband. I did some shopping bought a double merino shawl 18 dollars for I lost my two good square red merino 4 weeks since while on a journey. I purchased also a pair of bl. ribbed silk stockings which are very nice, and cost money (I am quite economical) but had the misfortune to lose a 15$ shawl.
My health is quite good, am glad to hear so good report from br. Edward by Br. Hugh. I also "rejoice in the goodness of God in prospering my dear sister in that she is a Mother of a living son, but should the same kind Being withdraw the blessing given, may each heart with resignation say thy will O God [sic] be done! A kiss to all the dear children! Love to dear Mother, Brothers & Sisters.
Edward must be very careful about paying stage fare over twice & remember not to pay far a head as the lines change & he must ask for a good boat & a good captain. If he gets in a line [?] at Troy he will have to go through more than 20 locks and it takes 18 hours, but I suppose there will be less danger than to have him go to Albany & take the Rail [?] however you must decide. We came by Troy as my health was so poor. I could not ride from fatigue. I believe however a stage goes that same distance--but he had better not change any oftener than he can help & keep a boat when he gets it if it is not filled with foreigners & be careful of every thing, for they will hook anything they can get hold of--should E. come hope he will find some one who will be with him all the way & look out for rogues.
Jonas has gone for his wife and they will board with us, likewise another young couple just married--Mrs. McC. is quite low with consumption.
As respects husband's taking the guardianship of E. he says it must be an after consideration--he is not now prepared to say any thing definite about it and rather thinks it will not be best at present. Catharine was mistaken about the Fishers' marriage. It is Samuel & John Fisher that are married but Jam. has lost his wife, they are older than P. & James. I saw James & Caleb when I was South. J. is at Geneva and Phin. at Western Reserve Col. & Caleb studying at home. The weather is quite cold & healthy. I have been drying the yellow cling stone peach in sugar.
I can make no farther arrangements for E. as I know all I can say is we shall have a cordial welcome. The day before he starts put a paper in the office--if none of you can write--a letter would be agreeable or letters by E. Sarah Smith of Ill. you have probably seen before now, she dined with me a week since on Sunday, in good health & spirits--was going to N.H.
We don't leave a whole page blank tell C.--Love to M. & L. Tell Mother she will miss her son, but we hope, if his life is prolonged, he will return a man.
I should like to see you all together.
Should you like a citron to preserve or some seeds to plant.
You will not see me this fall. I have been visiting around so much I must now stay at home.
Mr. [Patter?] I regret that the necessary engagements attendant on my station as [???], should [?] me the happiness of complying with your polite invitation. You must have an answer for [?] P.
I have found husband for C. if I could make the match--Mr. Hunter of Rochester. I told him I had a sister but how to get any farther I don't know--he is a fine man and as big as Burns. I know he is likely too & rich--I am very intimate with his sister. He lives part of the time in Buffalo and I was very much pleased with him indeed.
Give much love to sister Mary and hus. and children. Tell them before I forget how I mean to make them a little letter.
Dear Sisters Now I should like to see you. [??] & F. going to do--& where to go? E. & I shall have good times this winter you may depend [?] if all goes well.
[Margarette Lerned McQuesten]
[To] Mrs. Catharine S. Lerned,
1 Much of the following letter is dedicated to Dr. McQuesten's arrangements, financial and otherwise, for keeping Margarette's half-brother Edward and for supervising his education in medicine. The situation went horribly awry and in 1838, Edward's legal guardian, Mr. (Elim?) Dustin wrote to Dr. McQuesten about settling a dispute over money that was supposed to have been owed to Edward (W-MCP4-6.233).
2 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.