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W2389 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his brother Isaac B. McQuesten
May 2 1873
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten, [New York, New York, U.S.A.]
From: Hamilton, Ontario

Barristers, Attorneys-at-Law,
Solicitors in Chancery, &c.,
OFFICE, No. 11 Main Street East, Hamilton, Ont.

My dear Brother,

On receiving your letter and reading it over I felt strongly inclined to answer it pretty savagely; but concluded to reflect, and you are such a queer fellow that one scarcely knows what you mean at times. You say: "and from it," (my letter), "I am still more strengthened that you are still at your old game--whether it is innate and uncontrollable--of telling half and keeping half back." In other words--and after a week's consideration I can draw out no other meaning--you believe me to be playing the liar & hypocrite with you; the hypocrite because I have professed to deal honestly with you, and yet in your belief have not; the liar, because I have told you plainly that I was acting in full good faith with you, which you do not believe I am doing. I have never yet got down on my knees and asked any man to believe my word, and what's more I never intend to. You & father are the only man relatives I have in the world, & I shall never fight with either of you. Should either of you not have confidence in me, the only course is for me to seek no intimacy or trust. God knows, I've had a hard place to fill; and that this appearance of affairs and the course I have suggested at different times may have seemed quite different and inconsistent too, I don't doubt. But as different [sets?] of facts have developed themselves, I've had to act accordingly. And if you believe that my course has been of falsehoods, either by stating what was untrue or "keeping half back" of what was true, I see no use of wasting time or paper on writing. I have felt that there was one friend to whom I could write without reserve & tell everything, and if that friend does not believe me, I can only go on my solitary way as best I can. Certainly I have never for a moment doubted your word. There was none in whom I would place more reliance. You may have faults. You may be lazy and lack any noble purpose in life. I would that I could feel any less reproachable myself in those two respects. But I had felt that if there was an unfortunate brotherhood between us in these things, that still there was the mutual trust of brothers. Has Dr. O. [Ormiston] told you whether & when he is coming over in June? I wrote him last week. You will come, will you not? I should like if you could be here a little while before the affair takes place.1 Father is keeping well; and I know of nothing of a note-worthy nature that has taken place. Let me know that you have received the draft all right.

I.B. McQuesten

1 The "affair" is Isaac's forthcoming marriage to Mary Baker, June 18, 1873, and neither Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten nor Dr. Ormiston attended. Although the half-brothers were estranged at this time they became reconciled (W2395) and collaborated together against their step-mother Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten when she began to make demands on her husband, Dr. Calvin McQuesten, and his estate, when he became increasingly senile. When he died, in 1885, she was granted an annuity and returned to the United States. See W-MCP5-6.351 for other letters and documents providing a history of the marriage and the legal machinations in the disposition of the estate.

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The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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