W4582 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Mar 12 1902
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal Quebec
My dear dear Cal,
Well, I am glad to be able to write you once more, I intend to go about glasses some day, but must wait a little. In one of my letters to you, I suggested you might take a trip to the Homestead for your holidays and asked you to inquire about the railway fare. It cannot be very far from Montreal to Manchester N.H. So I told you to carefully save up your money for that and for clothes, but you took no notice. Your letter came a little late, for we could do nothing about Jack's present on Saturday afternoon, but H. went out as early as possible on Monday. We enclosed card in small envelope to Mrs. John Rioch.1
On Sabbath went to church as it was communion, but felt somewhat shaky but am continuing to go out everyday, but find I can only go a short distance at a time, my heel is so very weak, it is not my ankle at all.
[I] Had a long letter from Miss Fisher from Rome, she is having a fine time. Was wishing you could be sent to report to Coronation,2 but when I hear of the small-pox [sic] in London, would rather not. Was it not alarming to hear of the Varsity students? Tom is very thankful his vaccination took.3 He sent me such an encouraging appreciative letter written on the 7th, the day of his father's death, that it cheered me very much. I was so pleased he remembered and he always has, it seems to be fixed on his mind.4 He has applied to Dr. Bell5 for position on Geological Survey and I have written Mr. Malloch6 and Mr. Gibson.7
Hope he will get it but of course it is very doubtful. He says you get $45. a month for five months and there is nothing else to be heard of. Suppose you never hear of anything down there.8
Poor Charlie Bell is in a sad fix, it was understood that a year ago Mr. Bell gave Mr. Pringle notice and Charlie was this year to have the place, now it turns out he never said a word to Pringle and Charlie is wild between his father and prospective mother-in-law, thinks his only hope is in these miserable plays he keeps writing. To do which he sits up through the night and drinks coffee to keep himself awake and of course in the most miserable health & his poor mother dragging herself downstairs to cook something he can eat.9
It is very satisfactory to me to think that you are in such comfortable quarters if you are ill and have a friend or two to look after you. Has Sandwell been getting any advance yet?10 Little Mr. Burns was inquiring for you, and wished to be most kindly remembered to you. Mary had a letter from Nellie Mullin this morning and she inquired for you & the widow.11 She likes it very much at Johns Hopkins, but for the first six months they do cook & housing aids work to test their physical strength.12 Mrs. MacKay writes that Leila leaves for Rome to-day (Thursday) and invites me down but will not go till after Easter.13 By the way is Ruby coming to you there, where will you put her? Should think it not very good time of the year to visit Montreal. Well, dear, I hope you are well & get encouragement sometimes in your work. Everything gets very monotonous sometimes.
Tom writes that my paper was considered the best. Read at Conference but from member of our own board not a word, only have asked me to write another for annual meeting in London which I declined.14 With love from all and very much from,
Your loving Mother
1 John (Jack) MacKenzie Rioch and Frances "Fanny" Pierson were married on March 19, 1902 and the McQuestens sent a gift. Jack had been Calvin's classmate, lived with his mother and sister, Grace, at 118 East Ave. S. His father died in 1900 (W7280). He studied agriculture at Guelph and, in 1902, began to operate a very successful poultry farm in the Adirondacks, New York. Mary stated that she wished she "might get some of the juicy meated fowls he knows how to grow" (W4562). They had a son, Stephen Pierson Rioch, on June 11, 1903 and Jack wrote glowingly about his marriage, wife, son and farm, and was "Ein tickled to death" [sic] (W5008). He also complimented Calvin on his writing: "I feel especially interested in 'The Tatler' because of course it gives a fellow an inkling of what is now engaging your attention from time to time and Canadian papers are always interesting" (W4562, W4698, W4994, W5008, W7280, W7284, W7320, W7324, W7343, W7671).
2 The Coronation of King Edward VII (1841-1910) was set for June 26, 1902, but was postponed because of his illness (Globe June 25, 1902) (see W4588).
Calvin wrote several articles about the King in his column "The Tatler" at about this time: On February 22, he wrote of Edward VII's accession to the throne at the "venerable" age of sixty, and the "universal respect" that he had won (Box 13-002). On April 12, in "The Coronation," Calvin quoted excerpts from Samuel Pepys' Diary of April 23, 1661 which described King Charles II's "ceremonies of the coronacon" [sic] "with the King in his robes, and bearheaded which was very fine," followed by "the sermon," "the quire" and "the crowne" [sic]. In a second article: "An Old-Time Banquet" Calvin gave Pepys' "exceedingly quaint" description of the Heralds and Knights in armour, and the Lords and Dukes "coming on horseback and staying so all dinner time," and the "Lord of Albermarle going to the kitchin and eatin a bit of the first dish that was to go on the King's table" [sic] (The Montreal Herald, February 22, April 12, 1902).
3 In January 1902, Mary reported that Tom's vaccination did not take. The context of that letter suggests that he may have had a vaccination against diphtheria (W4521). This letter deals with smallpox and might refer to a second vaccination that Tom may have had in March, 1902.
Smallpox immunization had occurred as early as 1848 when, in response to an epidemic, a free vaccination program for the poor was instituted at Hamilton City Hall (HPL, Pamphlet File Weaver. Harris, Catherine: "The Health of Hamilton 1880-1905").
In Calvin's column "The Tatler," March 29, 1902 (see Box 13-007), he attributed "The Smallpox Epidemic" in Canada and England for the past year to "a set of cranks [who] arose and began to agitate against vaccinations. . . . They wrote pamphlets and formed societies and waged a vigorous warfare against the only safeguard we have against the most loathsome of all diseases and the most contagious." Also, in "The Scourge of Europe" Calvin gave an historical account of Lady Mary Wortley Montague [1689-1762], who had "traveled in the East, [and] introduced into Europe the practice of inoculation," which was used until "Jenner's great discovery of vaccination" (The Montreal Herald June 29, 1902).
See also Box 13-068 & W4521 for accounts of the vaccination parties that were taking place at the time.
[Rev.] Calvin's "Certificate of
Vaccination" can be found at W7940
4 An example of Tom's annual letter to his mother on the anniversary of his father's death appears as an epigraph to the "Introduction" of this work (W5440, W-MCP2-4.037a).
5 I have found no relationship between Dr. Bell, Geological Survey, and the Bell family of Hamilton (W4531).
6 Likely, Dr. Archibald Edward Malloch (1844-1919) son of George Malloch, a Brockville, Ont, judge. Mrs. J.G. (Margaret) Malloch, possibly his mother, was president of the Hamilton Board of Foreign Missions, 1878-83 (Wee Kirks 194), so wouod have been known to Mary Baker McQuesten. He was physician to Mary's family (the Bakers) in Hamilton in 1880 (W4002) and a medical/surgical pioneer in Canada introducing the Germ theory to Hamilton and thence to North America. He was a trustee for Queen's University, member of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church and lived at 124 James St. S. (DHB1.147-8; DHB3.75). He had three sons and three daughters. Two other Malloch families are listed in Tyrell p. 149: Mrs. Frank S. and Mr. and Mrs. S.E. both residing at 301 Bay St. S. (see also W2311, W3248, W4002, W4436, W4988, W5122, W5398, W5630, W5657, W5709, W6975, W6196, W7040, W8422, Box 12-303 in which Mrs. Mullin dines with the Dr. Mallochs to meet Dr. Osler, W-MCP1-3a.020, W-MCP2-4.014, W-MCP3-5.004, W-MCP3-5.015, and search on "Malloch").
Also see Internet article from the Canadian Medical Association Journal, March 23, 1999 by James Kirk Houston, MD, CM.
ABSTRACT: Dr. Archibald Edward Malloch was a surgeon whose life and work were greatly influenced by Joseph Lister and his revolutionary system of antiseptic surgery, or "germ theory." This article describes how a young Canadian medical man came to introduce Lister's ["germ theory"] system to North America in 1869 and it studies his career in the light of Lister's surgical epoch. He introduced the "germ theory" first in Hamilton with some resistance from other medical doctors and then the theory spread to all of North American. [The article also mentions Dr. Osler].
See also the article by Mary Anderson in First Here: What happened when in Hamilton, Edited by Margaret Houghton (2008).
Mac Swackhammer curator of the Museum of Steam and Technology offers the following on the history of the "Germ Theory" in Hamilton:
Dr. John Snow was a physician in London. Already famous for his administration of chlorophorm to Queen Victoria on the birth of one of her many children, Snow was in a constant struggle with other physicians like Edwin Chadwick, head of the General Board of Health, a miasmist, who believed all disease was caused by bad smells, an idea which came from the ancient Greeks through Aristotle. Snow believed in the contagion theory of disease.
He was living in Soho, around the corner from Broad Street, and in mid august 1854, people began to die of cholera. Snow drew a map of where people lived, and correlated the deaths to where the victims got their water. When the handle of the Broad Street pump was removed, people stopped dying, and so after about 10 years of struggle, Snow finally had irrefutible proof that clean water meant good health, and that flushing the toilets into the River Thames, while cleaning up the neighbourhoods, only made matters worse.
Take a look at Steven Johnson The Ghost Map, River Head Books, 2006.
Swackhammer continues: I suspect Dundas physician Dr Craigie, Lady McNab's physician, was also a contagion-theory doctor. Craigie did some study on water from Burlington Bay when Keefer was investigating the water works proposals, and was more famous for collecting medicinal plants. I don't know if he left any diaries or letters on contagion or disease. Thanks to Mac Swackhammer for this information.
7 For Sir John Morison Gibson and Gibson/Malloch family connection, see W4436.
8 Tom had also considered surveying in 1901 but his mother did not approve. He did not go surveying in the summer of 1902 but joined the militia and "ended up in uniform as a member of the 4th Field Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery" (Best 8; W4436, W4651).
9 For the Bell family, see W4531. Charles William Bell (1876-1938) was one of the three children of William Bell, attorney, and Emily (Rogers) Bell. In March 1902 he was engaged to Beatrice Emmeline Gates and Mrs. Gates was pressing for the wedding. The date was set for April 5, 1903, however Charles had been delaying for financial reasons. In August 1903, Mary wrote: "Charlie is simply worried to death by his future mother-in-law who is always pressing the marriage and Charlie is in no position to do so" (W5059, W-MCP3-5.011, W-MCP2-3b.041). They were married September 21, 1904.
Charles Bell became a brilliant criminal lawyer, writer and politician, lived at 17 Homewood Ave, and attended All Saints Anglican Church. He was also a gifted playwright. "Combining theatre and law came naturally to Charles Bell" and he wrote at least eight successful plays, one of which, Parlour Bedroom and Bath (1917) ran on Broadway in 1931 and was produced in Toronto in 1980 as The Invented Lover. He also wrote Who Said Murder? (1936) a collection of his legal cases. Bell suffered from severe stress, collapsed after an impassioned two-hour address to a jury, was confined to his bed and died in 1938. "The accused was acquitted" (DHB3.10; Best 70,72).
Mary reported on one of Bell's plays in March 1909: "Nellie Mullin saw Charlie Bell's play last night at the Savoy. It had been greatly written up by manager and talked up by Mrs. Gates, there was a full house and considerable press made, flowers presented to his wife. Nell said it was quite good, and a good many smart bits" (W6383b).
For Herbert Bell, see W5199.
10 For B.K. Sandwell, see W4521.
11 Likely a humourous reference to Mary's warning to Calvin about marrying the widow landlady (W4535).
12 For Mullin family, see W4521. Nellie Mullin was in nursing at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
13 For MacKay family, see W4297.
14 The Conference was likely held in Toronto, but Mary's injured foot prevented her from attending. She mentioned writing this paper in W4521. A few of her conference papers and addresses are collected here in "Appendix One."