W2467 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his half-brother, Isaac
Dec 1 1875
To: New York City
From: Hamilton, Ontario
My dear Brother,
Enclosed please find draft for $75 endorsed this time. The reason it is originally in my name is that when in a hurry I send my clerk for them and I remember once your saying you did not care to have people know about monies going to you so when any one else is to see the drafts, by taking them in my name. None but ourselves & the banker who cashes them is any the wiser.
I may write you to get me some stockings for Mary--some fancy striped or figured woolen ones. She is rather fond of them & cannot get them here her size as her foot is long but narrow. However will see tomorrow if I can get them at Toronto, & if not will write you for half a dozen pair to give her at Xmas.
All is quiet here. You must have divulged to Cobourn; for though he did not care much for the O.L. before,1 he seemed to have a special antipathy to her when he came back from New York.
Monday set in here with thermometer far below zero and has kept the same ever since. I enjoy it myself. But it is hard on the poor people.
Am going to have this year some of the finest wine you ever tasted. Believe if I bottled our kind it would be equal to a very tine champagne. None of the heavy, cloggy taste of most of the rest.2
Did you mean by your reference in a former letter to Dr. Moody's having "made it all right" on his visit East--that he intended getting married again?
Will write again in the course of a couple of weeks. All well & flourishing. Let's hear from you.
As ever yours
1 Isaac and Calvin frequently speak of their step-mother, Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten, as the "Old Lady." For more about Dr. Calvin and his third wife, Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten, and her relationship with his children, see W-MCP5-6.351.
2 The McQuesten's appear to make a distinction between wine, hard cider and actual 'liquor,' and they fought very hard for the Temperance referendum on liquor in 1902. Wine and cider appear to be acceptable to them but alcohol or liquor is not, and there are several instances in the letters in which wine or cider is mentioned as either being made by them or is being drunk by them.
Mary had broken off her engagement to Isaac at least twice because of his dependency on alcohol, yet she drank two glasses of wine on the day just before whe went into labour with her first child, Mary, W2440. Isaac died partly as a result of his alcoholism and the use of other stimulants. See W2511, W2520.