W2472 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his brother Isaac McQuesten
Feb 25 1876
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten [New York]
From: Hamilton, Ontario
My dear Brother,
Yours received. As from the nature of it, I think you can wait a little while for the $200. I'll let you do it. I suppose I could raise the amount today if I told the Sheriff to do it. But where it is secure & bearing interest, it is hard in such terribly squeezing times as the present to make men thoroughly honest, suffer. However you may depend upon it in a few weeks. Had you required to go to Moodies' wedding, I calculated to discount a note for the amt at a short date.
Another matter makes me write in a hurry. I want you to think it over before you answer. For a short time I have it in my power to obtain that lot & white house at S.W. corner of the garden. The time will probably come when the orchard must be sold for building purposes, as it may become too expensive a luxury. Unless my reckoning is incorrect, in six years from this time the estate would be such as would (assuming that father was taken away, which I earnestly hope may not be case) justify us both (did you not marry, but we all live together) in repairing and living in the old place, i.e. there would be an estate of $150,000 bearing interest now at less than 8%, independent of the $30,000 set aside for Mrs. McQ's income, the value of the home-stead, orchard & my house. And there would also be about $10,000 more that could be used for repairing, &c aside from the income that would be during such time be accruing on the $150,000. Considering for living only 5% int. on this, & allowing excess to accumulate would give $7,500 per annum. And if I can't by that time make from $3000 to $4000 in my profession I had better leave it. Then you see what I am basing opinion upon.1
Now Payson Sawyer will do anything to accommodate us. At the same time owing to certain business arrangements of his, a decision must be come to shortly. Alluding to the matter to father some time ago, he expressed himself as not caring one way or the other about it; that we could do as we liked. At the same time I do not like bringing the matter before him again, as it seems too much like counting upon standing in a dead man's shoes. Nor yet do I think it is improper considering the matter carefully now. It can be had for $2100; & I suppose would rent for 8% & taxes on that amount. I am taking it for granted you recollect our conversation about it & that it would be a desirable place to remove the stable &c to & thus have all the present place clear of all except house. Now, please don't, should you happen to be in such humour sit down & write that you don't care a snap, do as you like, nothing to me &c. It is something to both of us & you must so look at it. Take a week & then write. I'm in a hurry as some persons are waiting on me & I want this to go by this mail. So if contents rather jumbled, excuse, & believe me as ever,
I.B. McQ. [Isaac B. McQuesten]
1 This financial account is significant since by 1888, when he died, Isaac was bankrupt.