W1174 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister-in-law Mrs. Louisa [Lerned] McAllaster
Jan 23 1854
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten, Hamilton, Ontario, [Canada]
From: Cleveland, [Ohio, U.S.A.]
My Dear Friend and Brother,
Last week Wednesday I mailed a paper to you containing the sad intelligence of my dear Mary's death. I had long intended to write you, especially since our arrival in this our new home but the illness of my child and the multiplicity of cares prevented me--Now my cares, my anxieties, my watching for the patient sufferer are at an end and I feel that I am a stricken one.
[Written along the side of this page:] I have not heard from sister Mary since November. We received a letter from Mr. Parker, our dear minister and expected another this week. Do excuse this hasty note and ever remember us at the [?]
We left Concord for Cleveland in Oct. hoping the change would prove beneficial, we had a very rough passage on Lake Ontario, two nights and one day tossed on the rough lake and deadly sick, we thought of crossing over from Lewiston to Hamilton but Mary was so fatigued she dared not make the attempt. After our arrival here she grew worn and diarrhea reduced her very low, we called upon your old friend Dr. Dalemarten but he gave us no encouragement, afterwards she [?] in strength and able to walk out [?] a few weeks before her decease. Dr. how hard it is to see her daily wasting away so patient and so submissive.
Our nearest neighbour is the Baptist clergyman and he has been a kind friend
to us and a faithful one to Mary, often calling and pointing her the way to Heaven. While dying or apparently going to sleep he was with her and she gave him comfortable appearance that she was going to sleep in Jesus. God grant that we may all be prepared to meet her in heaven. You know the sadness and desolation made in our dwelling by Death! You know the loss of a dear one from the family, for you have suffered, keenly suffered and I know your kind heart will sympathize with us, your bereaved friends.
After mailing you a paper the next day I received one from Alfred "The Yankee [?]" with your marriage to Miss E. Fuller in it. Dr. I rejoice with you I heartily congratulate you on your choice. I am not much acquainted with her, but I have ever considered her as a perfect specimen of a true Christian as could be found. She is amiable talented, pious, mild and lovely in disposition as in her looks and deportment. Most happy am I to call her sister. May she long live to be a blessing to you, a mother to your children.1 Remember me most affectionately to her and your children. Do write and tell me all about your family and who introduced you to the great prize you have so lately found.
Husband is still out of employment, business dull and clerks are all engaged. Hope as Spring opens he may find something to do.2 Our journey here and our losses by the way, with our great expenses since our arrival, together with our affliction has made great inroads in our purse and our anticipated advantages, which we thought might accrue to us through the change. As we are so far from all our old acquaintances, and friends I hope you will take your better half and visit next summer this [?] city our home.
We are obliged to take Louise from the Grange and she is now out of business, would she find a place in your midst as a teacher of Painting?
[Louisa (Lerned) McAllaster]
1 Dr. Calvin McQuesten married Elizabeth Fuller on December 22, 1853 (Leona Bean McQuiston 88, Minnes 6). They had no children, but in 1853 Dr. Calvin McQuesten had three living children from his first and second marriages: [Dr.] Calvin Brooks (age 16), Isaac Baldwin (age 6) and David (age 4); however, David died in a fire in 1854 (age 5). Dr. Calvin's first wife Margarette Barker Lerned died July 13, 1841; and his second wife, Estimate R.E. Baldwin died April 27, 1851.
Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten later proved to be anything but a blessing to the family. She fought with her husband over his will and the fact that he didn't like her relatives, the McKeand's, and that he wouldn't buy them a house in Hamilton (W2348, W2368). She did not get along well with her stepsons, particularly Isaac who saw himself as defending their father against his wicked wife and would intervene as a son and as a lawyer, drawing up documents to make it difficult for Elizabeth to take control of her husband's estate. See W-MCP5-6.351 for details and links.
2 For a comment on the McAllaster family, see W0889, footnote 1.