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No hurry for money, but when rent comes in think you had better send $60. Chisholm is coming up but think I could not wait so long, but you could send me $25 bal with Lizzie.1

W6805 TO THOMAS BAKER MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jul 30 1914
To: Thomas Baker McQuesten Whitehern Hamilton Ontario
From: St. Mary's

My dearest Tom,

We have been having some pleasant cool days. I am alone this evening H.and E. were invited out to play croquet and Cal as usual is playing bowls.1 It would do you good to see how well E. is, she is so happy and in such good health. This afternoon we had a call from Mrs. [?], Lorne's mother, she is a very pleasant person Lorne and his wife have been away on some newspaper excursion up the lakes, so have not seen them yet.

Affairs in Europe and indeed all over seem in a desperate condition, indeed the newspaper is full of horrors. I do hope Britain will keep out of it, war is too serious a matter, but I pity the Servians [sic].2 Am glad Mary had left Austria, she is in Florence and will be in house by Saturday, if all is well.3 Am very sorry about Aleck Logie, his unfortunate parents.4 Edna appreciates very much your kindness in sending Punch. A good take-off that of the hat. By the way Stevenson is not to lift the carpet in Mary's room to put in heater. If he can would like it placed in corner opposite the door, where blue chair is. H. thinks it would warm room better. How are you getting on by yourself? Saw the instantaneous heater in Mrs. Copeland's bath-room.5 It would be very convenient in the summer.

I noticed poor Mrs Taylor is dead, the poor old husband will be very lonely.6 Mrs. [?] said if ever you wished to come, up, there would be a room for you there, but Mr. Hunter next door has a room. There really is nothing for me to relate. E. was particularly with the people at the country cottage wearing their fancy dress costumes. No wonder the country man was "struck of a heap."

Take care of yourself Tomity dear. Over in the Anglican church lawn is a summer hyacinth, which we are waiting to see in bloom. All one end of church covered with trumpet creeper. A great many of them here and fine climates. Well I must close.

Your loving mother

M. B. McQuesten


1 See W8756, March 17, 1914. In December 1914 Calvin took a position as co-presbyter at Buckingham, Quebec which he held until August 1916 when he came home exhausted and discouraged.


2 WWI was declared by Britain on August 5, 1914. In Mary's letter of August 5, 1914 to Tom, she wrote:

The war trouble is so terrible, it makes me quite ill, and we are powerless to do any thing. One cannot see why these things are permitted. It doesn't seem possible that Mr. Chisholm should have to go. It is to be hoped something will have happened to stop it, before they reach the front. I am thankful you did not belong to the regiment. I would not live through it (W6809).

For more on Mary's opposition to Tom's desire to enlist, see W6975n.


3 Mary's daughter, Mary, was on a European tour and narrowly missed the trouble in Europe.


4 For Logie family, see W4759. William Alexander (Leander) Logie was a law partner with James Chisholm and Thomas McQuesten in 1909. He was a captain in the 13th Regiment and enlisted for service in WWI. This letter suggests that he may have been killed; however, the letter of April 30, 1915 (W6836) reveals that he had been wounded (W6828).


5 For Copeland family, see W5172.


6 For Sir Thomas Taylor family, see W5382.




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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.


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