W1616 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his cousin John. K. McQuesten
Oct 9 1886
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten [New York City]
My dear Calvin
Yours of Sept. 3th [sic] came duly. My letter found you at Good Grounds a place I never heard of before. Hope you feel younger than when you wrote before. I do. There is no trouble about my feelings. if I don't do too much work.--the heat, long days and hard lines of summer always demoralize me. O! I'm agin work [sic]--Soon after receiving your letter we had a visit of two days from Mrs. Dr. McQuesten.1 She seemed quite well but aged and as cheerful as a person would be likely to be under the circumstances. I have known from Isaac for some time past that his business matters were far from prosperous. but was not prepared to hear to how great an extent misfortune had overtaken him.2 Of course I know her story is exparty [sic] and alowance [sic] must be made for that. People are in the habit of having a great deal of sympathy for a family of children in straightened circumstances but to my mind some other things are more to be deplored. Most people who amount to any thing in this country (or any other) do so by reason of effort and how few see the need of effort when there is no necesity [sic] for it. I hope the in the end Isaac will pull through and get upon his feet and then let manufacturing alone. Give my kindest regards to him and his when you write to him.
I enjoy going about the woods with a gun better than when a boy. It is medicine for me and occasionly [sic] pills for a partridge. I got two with the gun a few days ago and one in another way not according to law. We had Dr. & Mrs. Walker to help eat them. About Tuesday will try them again.
Harvesting is pretty well along. Apples (a small crop). and corn are yet to harvest. That used to be the end of farming but now there is no end to it. It takes all winter to prepare wood enough to keep the women of this house employed. You have heard about the wood used to keep an open fire going. That was nothing to what our women can do with their four fires.
You may see by the papers that we are to have an election next month. the Democrats mean to capture the State. I shall not help them do so, but shall not cry much if they do. It is natural to want to "lick" the Democrats but there is nothing at stake so what is the use in being anxious. When you write again, say right out what it is about Isaac McQ. of Litchfield. I dont [sic] like his style and dont think him capable of writing the history of anything. We are all as well as usual and all write in love to you.
John K. McQuesten
1 Likely Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten, the widow of Dr. Calvin McQuesten and the stepmother of Calvin Brooks and his half brother Isaac Baldwin McQuesten.
2 In the 1880's Isaac was heavily involved in a wool and cotton mill which went bankrupt sometime in 1887 with liabilities amounting to $900 000. See W2652 for information about the Hespeler mill.