W2428 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his brother Isaac Baldwin McQuesten
Oct 21 1873
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten, New York
From: Hamilton, Ontario
My dear Brother,
I should have answered your letter sooner, but have not got in funds that I expected, and can now only send you $40., supposing you would like it at once, as you referred to going to Hartford on hearing from me. And the balance of $20., making up the $60. (I think that was what I agreed to send. If more than that tell me & will send it too). I can mail to you on Saturday so that you will get it by Monday or Tuesday.
I wrote Tom Ormiston last week returning the $15 sent by him. I hope he received the letter & money all right but have had no answer. Will send their apples this week. The pears are all ripened & gone. Father said to send a bbl. of Northern Spies with the Dr.'s apples to you. Will do so, & you had better not use them till [Xmas?] or later. They will be fine then, but not at an earlier date.
Father had scarcely got the matter settled when Mrs. McQ. made another onslaught about the will. It was last week. Last Sunday was communion. She declared if he did not do as she wished she would lay the matter before the Church minister & not go to Communion herself. The last threat she carried out; but not the former. She & Mrs. Cobourn spent the greater part of their days in close communion but it amounted to nothing, except perhaps a refreshing of their caged American Eagle spirits. To tell the truth, I would not now so much object if she did make the matter public; for I am not without hopes that in that case father would separate from her.1
Ah Ha, I found the revolver where you said. Had no recollection of putting it there. So I must have been in a mood of complete abstraction.2 Rover has been anointed--and soon to be carbolicated, after bequeathing a flea to Mary.3 We found the small animal glutted with blood lying on the coverlid of the bed yesterday, & ended his fleeting existence here. Many thanks for the papers you have sent us all. I did not shew father the one with the account of the Free Religions Association, as it would only disgust & make him gloomy for a day after meditating on the evil of this present wicked world. Drop me a line whenever you have time. I will do the same. Mary went to Toronto this morning to visit her parents, therefore she is not here to send her love. With much love.
Yours as ever
I.B. McQuesten [Isaac Baldwin McQuesten]
1 Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten was was Dr. Calvin McQuesten's third wife and stepmother to both Isaac and his half-brother Calvin Brooks. She had a temper and could be very manipulative, often trying to coerce her husband into giving her money and bequeathing her most of his estate in his will. See W-MCP5-6.351 for more details.
2 In W2423, Isaac wrote his brother about having misplaced his revolver, stating that "I don't design making it a present to Mrs. McQ. [Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten] if it is at the house." He also worried that Elizabeth might try to poison his father to get her inheritance, see W2413.
3 Likely referring to carbolic itself or carbolic soap, a type of cleanser sometimes
still recommended for flea bites and other open sores related to dermatitis in dogs. Carbolic, however, is unsafe for cats.
May 12, 2004