W1265 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his friend Annie L. Cantrell
Jul 7 1877 1
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten,
From: Valley House Franconia N.H.
I am shivering with the cold although wrapped up in a shawl. Somewhat different from the warm evenings of New York city where this time a few evenings ago, May & I were leaning out of the back windows, gazing at the stars & trying to catch every little whiff of air. The Sunday after you left the city I used the sponge for the first time. If I had known where to direct a letter to you & the day had been some other I should have seated myself immediately, pen in hand, to write you an Eulogy [sic] on the use of the sponge & the delights of a big sponge. My arms ached somewhat after the exercise, but that was only an additional benefit, strengthening of them. I still have my doubts as to whether the removal of the dirt will be as complete as in the use of a rough wash cloth, but that is of slight importance. You said nothing about your health, whether it had been improved by the sojourn among these grand old mountains. I felt somewhat provoked at you for not doing so, as I felt a little anxious as to the consequences of that Trip to Hoboken. I do hope you will have senses enough never to take a trip of that kind again. I enjoyed a headache for the rest of the night: did not take me long to get a bath & then get to bed, where I was unconscious of anything except a head which seemed to be swelling, swelling &c. However the next morning, I found it the usual size.
In some ways the last weeks dragged slowly, but in others they sped along all too quickly [.] I took to sewing & accomplished so much, that I commence to think that if I should set my mind to the learning of the accomplishment in all probability, I have capacity sufficient to become quite a fair seamstress. It is not well to be too brilliant though so [now?] I am intending to be as lazy as I can. I am not in the humor for writing & probably shall not be during the whole [summer?] but it is so stupid no to receive letters & then is such a nice little excitement watching for the mails that I intend to make myself send off something no matter how great a scrawl. Perhaps you think that if I can not take the trouble to send a respectably written epistle, that it is not worth while to send an answer. I brought some dozen copy books with me, to see if practice would improve my chirography.
I hope that you are enjoying much better health than when in the city & that you will think this worth a reply.
A. [Annie] L. Cantrell
P.S. Must have a postscript or I would not be a woman. [How goes Bier & sigars?]?
1 There is no year indicated in this letter. It is likely 1877. There are several letters to Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten from Annie Cantrell dating from 1875 to 1877. In W1463, which dates from 1877, she is writing about a trip she undertook.