W1069 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his aunt Catharine C.P. Lerned
Apr 17 1875
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten, No. 313 East 55th St., New York City, N.Y.
My dear friend Calvin,
Your brief communication of Apr. 16th has been read with pleasure, this evening, 17th and demands a prompt acknowledgement in the absence of Sister Lucy, who left home for Concord 8th and is probably in Boston at this time.
Since the death of our sister Lizzie, we have all found our great sorrow still increasing; and at present, business matters add to our cares, anxieties and trials.
Sister Lucy, addressed Dr. McQuesten, Understanding that Mrs. Flanders had previously written you. We did not once suppose, or ever imagine you would be "an applicant for rights or emoluments"; but as the son of our loved Sister Margarette, you, as half-heir, have legal rights, with ourselves. Having quit claims from all the half-heirs, also from our own brother, we did not know that a Will was necessary to secure our respective estates, to each other. What little property we have, has been acquired by teaching--the house excepted. Mrs. Flanders refused to sign a quit-claim to dear Lissy's sacred earnings, twice--once to the administrator & once to Sister Lucy. We felt assured of sympathy from all who knew facts in the case, and thus, wrote to Dr. McQuesten, lest you should be influenced by others.1 The steps taken by Mrs. F. [Flanders] in employing counsel, to evidence her being in earnest. The appearance of Mr. F. at Probate Court astonished the Administrator, who knew the family needed no money and felt that the little property of our sister was ours only, by equity, and justice. As to making "all friends here below," you speak well; but persistent-long-continued annoyance, (if not torture, as in present case) will compel us to coldness, distrust and aversion but I trust not, to a spirit of retaliation, or relentless enmity. When Sister Lucy returns, she will again thank [sic] for your letter, and write more fully as to the matter under consideration, should you wish to hear further. My memories of "little Calvin," are very pleasant; and I hope we may yet welcome you to our quiet home and at no distant date. Please consider what I have written as confidential. We were very grateful for a most kind letter from Mrs. McQuesten, on 13th. With love from Sister Hannah & self, I remain,
Very sincerely yours
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. Mary Flanders had in fact written to Calvin Brooks to persuade him to take her side regarding her claims on Elizabeth's estate (W1054, W1064) although his father, Dr. Calvin McQuesten, had also written to him stating that he did not believe Mary's claims to Elizabeth Lerned's property to be just (W1067). He states "if any of the children of the half sisters do claim (and can by law) hold a share of said estate then I think they had better put in a claim for us" and suggests that they relinquish anything they may be rewarded to Lucy, Hannah and Catherine. It appears from this letter that Calvin Brooks did put in a claim, but later signed a quit claim deed (W1073, W1081, W1091).