W4288 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his sister-in-law Mary Baker McQuesten
May 25 1877
To: Calvin Brooks McQuesten New York
From: Hamilton Ontario
My dear Calvin,
Ever since last March I have intended to write you and send you Tiny's photograph to show you the result of your successful treatment,1 for I fancy you will be rather surprised to see the changes in her appearance since you last saw her. She is taken in her winter costume as it was winter at the time, and if you show it to any of your New York friends they of course will think it quite suitable in such a dreadful climate as ours though not quite so cold as Greenland. You must not think, my dear brother, that because I write so seldom I forget you, but letter-writing is my great bugbear and it is only when I think a very great deal of a person that I ever write to them at all, so you will not think anything of my long silences. I hope we shall be able to accomplish our long talked of trip to the East, and you must be sure and be ready to come with us, because if you are not ready you will just be taken unready; because I expect to have lots of fun with you when we see the regular Yankee in his native state. And then can't you arrange to come right on home with us and stay till fruit-time anyway. What is the use of your wasting your etc.[sic] on those New Yorkers they don't appreciate you half as much and we do here at home, and you don't know what a reputation your sister here has established for you. So I think you had just better come home with us. We are quite busy preparing to go up on the Mountain to Mr. Proudfoot's house for the summer, and what is still more difficult trying to persuade Mama and Papa to go up too, for we want particularly to get them up there to look after the youngsters when we are away.
Calvin Junr. is also very well, except one thing and I am waiting for you to see if he does not use his left hand as he ought and I feel rather uneasy about it, though Isaac makes little of it.2
I think I'll send you a photograph of myself which is not bad except saddest of all my poor nose which requires to be taken just at a certain angle to make it at all passable was taken from the worst point of view, which Isaac thinks is a very good joke--it comforts him a little you know.
And now I must close, I trust you are feeling very well and that we shall soon meet you and find you ready and well.
With kindest love in which all here join, I remain, Your loving sister,
Mary B. McQuesten
1 It is not known what treatment the baby Mary received from her uncle or for what condition.
2 Calvin was born with some disability in his left hand and some weakness on his left side, and this continued throughout his life. Calvin did go to stay with his uncle for treatment for a time in 1882. See W4297, W4301, W4305, W4309.
Calvin also suffered from the family's mental illness or nervous disease and had frequent breakdowns when under stress. See W5317, W8734.