PROUDFOOT, JONES & McQUESTEN
Solicitors in Chancery, &C.,
OFFICE, No. 11 Main Street East
WILLIAM PROUDFOOT, Q.C., JOHN W. JONES
I.B. McQUESTEN, M.A.
W2348 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his brother Isaac B. McQuesten
Mar 15 1873
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten
From: 11 Main Street East, Hamilton, Ontario
My dear Brother
Your letter arrived on Monday morning; as you spoke of writing again during the week I thought it better to wait a few days before answering. We had another visitor this morning in the shape of James McQuesten of Plymouth. He looked glorious in a pair of Red overstockings reaching above his knee, & a plug hat wrapped up in newspaper. Says Mary is to married [sic] next month, & they sail for Europe 1st of May next.
Father was quite unwell with a fever, cold and influenza. John Young's rather sudden death too had no slight effect on him. He remained in bed several days; but is around and feeling pretty well now.
I am sure I feel very grateful to you for being so ready and willing to oblige me in any way in your power. And I shall try & return it as far as I am able. You must "count the cost," Calvin, before coming home. I tell you it will be an unpleasant life to lead.
You are right however in what you say: that it is better, nay a necessity, that one of us should be there.1 I had thought that possibly Mrs. McQ. might be brought so far to her senses as not to make it a matter of necessity that one of us should be in the house. But I am decided that you are right, & I was wrong. Her present idea seems to be to force Lizzie McKeand's family in some measure on father; notwithstanding that she sees how unpalatable it is to him to have them before him.2 The most disagreeable feature will be that you cannot with any degree of pleasure ask any friend to the house, to be at the table atall [sic]. However, you will in that respect be in a better position than I am now, for your best course will be to bring them always to my shebang, and you must never feel the slightest delicacy in adopting that plan. Your only trouble will be inside the house. Outside in the grounds, stable &c, you can have things just as you wish. Father I think will just want to be left alone & not be bothered with his beloved spouse. She'll kick hard against this, for I fancy she's been laying her calculations to have things just as she wants them after I leave the house. And whatever idea you may have of her now, I fancy that idea will be ten times stronger after being a short time in the same house with her. I can't say yet when my affair will come off.3 It will depend in some measure when I can find a house:--a very difficult matter now in Hamilton. Let me hear from you when you have a spare moment.
If I can send you a razor, I had better take you your old one that I have been using. Father thinks it the best one he has ever seen or used. I would not be likely to find as good a one.
Yours as ever
1 Isaac brings up the possibility of having Calvin Brooks move to Hamilton to help out their father on several occasions. Calvin Brooks did not attend his brother's wedding on June 18 1873, and it is possible, though far from certain, that he did not come to avoid being pressured into staying. See W1380, W2328.
2 The McKeands were related to Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten and according to a later epistle from Isaac to his brother he remarks that Elizabeth has been trying to coerce her husband into buying land and building a house for them. This and many of Elizabeth's demands for Dr. McQuesten to change his will in her favour were denied and after Dr. McQuesten died on October 20, 1885, Elizabeth was bequeathed an annuity while her stepsons received all of their father's property and investments. See W-MCP5-6.351 for more details.
3 The "affair" to which Isaac is referring is his wedding to Mary Jane Baker, which occurred on June 18, 1873. Calvin Brooks did not attend despite numerous invitations, see W2408.