W2308 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his brother Isaac B. McQuesten
Dec 5 1872
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten
From: Hamilton, Ontario
My dear Brother
I intended answering your last letter some time ago. In the first place I return the mining scrip.1 The company was amalgamated with the present Copper mining Co. many years ago. A dividend was paid; but as H.B. Willson is an Insolvent; & Broadgent dead, there would be no use going to expense in the matter. You might have the satisfaction of knowing who the defaulter was. But I fancy any solution would require securities to be given before he would take any steps in the matter. One thing is certain: you would get nothing for the scrip.
Did you see Mrs. McQ. when she was in N.Y.? I have done what so far has operated very well--at least as a temporary thing. When she was away I sent her usual allowance enclosing it in an ordinary business letter "My dear Madam, I herewith &c. According to father's a/c [account] she felt awfully cut at this, & since her return we have had nothing to do with one another except the most distant politeness at table. Another good: she finds at last her only chance is to treat father with decency, & he says himself she has behaved better towards him than she has ever done before in years.2 I am not atall [sic] afraid of her ever getting any influence on him; but have urged him if she continues this way to try & not say anything to irritate her. My only fear is it may not last long on her part. I should like very well if you talked the matter over with Dr. O [Ormiston]. She undoubtedly went to N.Y. to see him about her matters mainly--only staid [sic] one night there. Whether he would mention what passed between them I do not know.
I feel half played out with reading. I have read during the past six weeks till I am even more than normally stupid; & will be glad when I am in business & mingling more with men. I tell you what--if a man were cooped up in a room alone with the devil himself, it would not be much worse than being limited to his own company--at least with my disposition. It has taught me a lesson never to put myself in such a position as father has been in for the past ten years--if I have health to work. I have neglected sending you the Saturdays for a couple of weeks but will do so today. Have not time to look into them myself. Your stamps are exhausted. How did it work. Did it save you paying on delivery? If so send some more, it is very little trouble for me. Let me hear from you soon. As soon as I feel in train for writing a letter, I will do so.
As ever your brother
1 A preliminary certificate of stock or shares subscribed or allotted (Chambers's Etymological English Dictionary).
2 Although the relationship started out amiably enough, Dr. Calvin McQuesten's marriage to Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten soon deteriorated as Elizabeth became more temperamental and demanding. She would demand money and tried to coerce her husband to change his will in her favour, sometimes making threats to induce compliance. For more on Elizabeth and her rocky relationships with her husband and stepsons, see W-MCP5-6.351.