W1064 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his aunt Mary [Lerned] Flanders
Apr 8 1875
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten, [New York]
From: Hopkinton [Likely New Hampshire]
Dr. C.B. McQuesten
My dear nephew, I received your letter in due season, and am very sorry to learn of your recent sicknefs [sic] hope by this time you are well again--The disease has been prevalent here in a greater of lefs [sic] degree, very few have escaped--Your reply to my last in regard to businefs [sic] matters was satisfactory to my mind--and just as I expected you would say. But I felt it my duty to inform you of the fact, you bring the only representative of my sister Margarette. If I did any thing wrong in so writing please excuse me--and I beg of you to consider it perfectly confidential.
You may sometime receive letters from the other aunts and may be asked if I have written to you on the subject please do not on any consideration betray my confidence. It was only to do what I considered my duty--Rec. letters from McAllaster cousins living in Chicago. They do not wish to do any injustice to their aunts still if there was to be a division among the heirs they would consider it a Godsend to Louisa Jane and her sister Lucy,1 and wish of me to act for them as I did for myself--We that here, being the next door neighbors the sisters or Administrator ought to have talked with us on the subject before advertising for a settlement, but as they did not We (or Mr. Flanders) appeared at the Probate Court according to the advertisement to demonstrate our knowledge of the affair--I have no wish to keep one dollar from them, but felt that it would be a privilege to return to them what I could claim by law and intend to do so--Hope it will be amicably settled at the next probate--I have told you the facts and here we will let the matter rest within ourselves.
We will always be glad to hear from you but will not urge you to write often, as you are not fond of letter writing--But please write occasionally that I may know how you are--Will be glad to see you at any time in Hopkinton--All send love--
Truly your aunt Mary
1 Elizabeth (Lissy) Lerned, the sister of Lucy, Catharine, Hannah and Edward Lerned and half-sister of Louisa (Lerned) McAllaster, Margarette (Lerned) McQuesten and Mary (Lerned) Flanders had died suddenly and without a will. On April 5th 1875, Lucy had written to her brother-in-law, Dr. Calvin McQuesten, about the Flanders' efforts to take what they could of Elizabeth's meager property (see W1058). On April 9th, Dr. McQuesten wrote his son, Calvin Brooks, stating "I do think it is very mean in your Aunt Mary Flanders to put in a claim for a share in her half sister's estate" (W1067). See also W1054, W1069, W1073, W1075, W1081, W1091.
The "McAllaster cousins" refers to Alfred, Howard, Lucy and Louisa Jane McAllaster, the children of Hugh and Louisa (Lerned) McAllaster. Beginning in the 1830's, Hugh began making many bad business decisions and had not been able to provide much for his family. In 1833 his store failed and several years later he lost $20 000 on a land speculation scheme in Maine. After that, he moved the family several times in hopes of lucrative employment but was continually disappointed and the family often struggled against poverty. For more details, see W0889.