W2434 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his brother Isaac Baldwin McQuesten
Feb 9 1874
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten, New York
From: Hamilton, Ontario
My dear Brother,
I don't know whether you have occasionally enough to do; but a feeling that there are so many things that you scarcely know what to go at first. I am not often troubled with such a state of things, but just now that is my special grief. When I wrote you last Wednesday I wanted to say a good deal more, & should have delayed, had it not been for some remarks Proudfoot made: that, on learning you were not a total abstainer, but used a little lager occasionally, that that would suit him as well as anything. Hence I felt I ought to put you thoroughly on your guard. Of course there was not much danger of his wanting that after thoroughly regaining his usual health; but even though the danger were remote, I feared there might still be a danger, and that alone justified the precaution. Now, Calvin, if you can by studying his nature & constitution prescribe or obtain such information from others as will enable you to prescribe any course by which he may recover from this fearful sleeplessness, I am sure the time will come when you will in no way regret it. Mr. Proudfoot has always been a kind friend to father, our family, most particularly to me. What the man suffers from this want of rest and all is incidental. I suppose no man knows as he does himself. And I'm sure if any regime, rather than an active medicine, or the latter or both would to any extent relieve him. You might rely upon it he would faithfully adhere to the course. Only one thing, anything in which alcohol is a constituent so that either the taste or the direct effects could be perceived ought to be avoided. Another thing, while I know you will not give him an inkling of what I have informed you of; still go to the very farthest to shew him kindness; for the poor man feels that he has degraded himself, and has a sort of dread lest people may shun him; and assurances that this is not so appear to have only a little effect.
The really good thing about it is that it has quite changed Annie & made a thorough woman of her. Take her around to see the sights. I promised her that she should not be deprived of the opera because of staying at Dr. O's. Hope you have your smoking material all safe. Would have sent more tobacco, but I was afraid that with the segars [sic] it would look rather suspicious. Drop me a line as soon as you can & let me know how matters are going. If you are put to expense on Annie's a/c let me know it; father said to send you some more if necessary on that leave. Our numerous family is well. Little Kate has been probing Mary to the utmost as to her liking for babies, expressing at the same time her most unbounded delight in them, and her readiness to nurse them at all times & under all circumstances.
Yours as ever
I.B. McQuesten [Isaac B. McQuesten]