Advanced Search 

Home - introductions to the site
Search - a searchable database of letters/essays/etc.
Genealogy - short biographical information of each family member
Photographs - various images pertaining to the McQuesten family
Thesis - essays on the McQuestens and lifewriting by Mary Anderson
Timelines - a chronological list of events in the McQuesten family and corresponding historical events

Search Results

Barristers Attorneys-at-Law,
Solicitors in Chancery, &c.
11 Main St. East, Hamilton, Ontario
William Proudfoot, Q.C., John W. Jones
I. B. McQuesten
April 8, 1873

Mary and Isaac on their wedding day, June 18, 1873.W2380 TO MARY J. BAKER [MCQUESTEN] from her fiance, Isaac Baldwin McQuesten
Apr 8 1873
To: Mary J. Baker, Toronto, Ontario
From: 11 Main Street, East, Hamilton, Ontario

My own beloved,

Yesterday you were very nearly on the point of receiving a hasty note from one asking if your father would like to take the house I had rented, or if I should give it up. But on second thoughts the spirit moved me to stay where I am. The facts are that I could have got a nice looking and more commodious house than the one at present taken, but with the possible contingency which I found afterwards amounted to a probability that possession could not be obtained till August, perhaps later. And of more importance, that it is thinly built and would be roasting hot in summer and almost impossible to keep warm in winter.

My paternal--[?]--will scarcely talk with me about our all important affair--and when I complained to him that he seemed unwilling to talk with any freedom, said he didn't want to speak about it at all. So you see, I am in a worse state even than you for catching the blues. But he advised me to keep the one I have, and in a couple of years we can find just what we want, & will then enjoy it all the more. Besides on looking over it carefully, I like better the house I have & even if it is a little contracted, I flatter ourselves that we can make it look quite as neat & pretty as if it were more commodious. And some way I think there is a certain amount of coziness in small rooms. However, I'm determined to be contented and pleased with it, & equally determined to make you satisfied. Do you think I'll succeed, pet? It will most likely be advisable for us to be "very fashionable" (to use your words of the article in question) and get an upright piano.1

I'm sorry, my darling, I used the words I did about Paulson. Indeed there is no necessity of my comparing him with McDonald. Each is sui generis. I'm equally sorry you didn't hear the latter here. Rev. Mr. Burson told me today that the lecture wasn't at all in Toronto what it was here according to his brother's account. He is a man all sympathies. He had here an audience nearly entirely Scotch. The entire assembly rivetted upon him. He felt it, and when he returned a few weeks later to the vote of thanks, he burst out, "I have not lectured to such an assemblage in America. You all listened to me, and I couldn't help lecturing well." It was said so simply & earnestly that not the most cynical would take it for vanity or self-sufficiency.

What a pity you cannot find a frame for that most gorgeous of views. Oh, for caps, when we go on our little bender in June we may be able to come across one. You see I want to keep this horrible fantasy, constantly before you.

Well, jewel, I don't think you'll feel as bad when the last word that makes it irrevocable is said as you do now. It's this state of uncertainty and being so unsettled that annoys. We will be very, very happy, my own one, for being able to feel that you are all my own ought to & I trust will make me a fonder lover than I have even been yet. It's got to come some time. And I think my darling is as thoroughly satisfied with the duration of our engagement as I am myself, and would not much care to have it prolonged. Oh we'll have some happy times this summer dearest. We can take a moonlight drive to the beach without being limited to one single evening for it. My sweetest, you need not write me any oftener than you have been or feel inclined, and if it is any source of satisfaction to you I'll attempt to write often. But if you're as disgusted with receiving as methinks we both are with writing letters, tell me so without any hesitation. You are the dearest and best girl God ever made; and I would that I were half as worthy of you as you are of the noblest man that ever lived. Good-bye my own one. As ever, yours.2
I. B. McQuesten

1 Isaac had arranged for a house for his bride on James St. (W2364). However he then found an attached house at No. 1 & 3 Bold Street, and Mary's parents eventually moved into the other part of the house.

2 Isaac and Mary were married on June 18, 1873. Other courtship letters on this site at present are: W2259, W2336, W2337, W2339, W2343, W2344, W2351, W2361, W2364, W2368, W2377, W2380, W2392.

Home | Search | Thesis | Family | Timelines
Photographs | Whitehern | Sitemap | Credits

Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

Hamilton Public Library This site was created in partnership with and is hosted by the Hamilton Public Library. Canada's Digital Collections This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections initiative, Industry Canada.