W7633 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from Gertrude Arnold
Jan 27 1907
To: Calvin McQuesten Knox College, Toronto, Ontario
From: 425 Mount Pleasant, Montreal, Quebec
My dear Mr. McQuesten,
Certainly your letter, received some few weeks ago, was a surprise, & we were all very glad to hear from you again -- but I cannot plead guilty to the valentine -- you must sit down, & begin & think again, for most assuredly I had no finger in the pie. As it arrived as opportunely as you say. I would have been very glad to have been the administrator of the nerve tonic, but some other hand did the deed.
Well, I had heard your name mentioned in the Missionary Meeting as being the Missionary at Stand Off, & in fact had heard a letter read aloud in the meeting from you, describing your work. I recognized your style at once. As I was secretary, I had the pleasure of recording your letter in the valuable minutes which are to be handed down to posterity. It must agree with you well -- the climate out there -- since it so quickly gave you back your old "nerve" -- glad you are so much better & are once again at college.
Jim mentioned seeing you twice, two summers ago. He is still on survey work up near Owen Sound, & was home at Christmas for a holiday --his two younger brothers have been married since you left -- and I am now raised to the colossal height of being an Auntie -- with a capital A -- Willie's home is in Winnipeg -- Tom's at Dixie, but next winter, they will come into town. Mother & Minna were in Toronto last summer, & one day in Hamilton. They just went for the sail & to see it. It does seem a very long time since you left Montreal & must seem very much longer to you, as you have had so many changes. What has this poor City done that you should never revisit it? I now it is not famous as a nerve producer -- but still!!!
Mr. Johnston, I believe has had Typhoid Fever quite badly. I'm afraid to say I don't know much about them, but I saw his sister-in-law with "the boy" on the street, & she told me. He (the boy) certainly is a dear little chap, as the devoted father told you.
We were in the Y.M.C.A. for a little on New Year's day & spoke to Mr. Jamieson. We have not seen much of him, as his evenings were so much taken up there, but now he says he has more time, & took down the address again in a note book so you, as a man, will know whether his intentions of coming to see us are in earnest.
It has been so bitterly cold for the last few weeks -- I am just recovering from a week or so of Grip -- more tiresome than anything else. I had a very beautiful trip to Newfoundland last summer. It was really most enjoyable.
Well, I shall just tell you beforehand that if you receive another valentine this year, you must be very careful whom you thank -- And, by-the-way, I want to thank you very much for that lovely little book you sent me at X-mas. How pretty some of them are I liked them exceedingly, & so prettily got -- & I suppose I should say gotten up. We are always pleased to hear from you, & I do hope you will keep ever so much stronger for the rest of your course. I don't just know at what part of your course you are at present. With kindest regards from all, I am,
Very sincerely yours,
1 Following is some correspondence of inquiry from a researcher.
From: Darren Savage
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2012 12:36 PM
Subject: Gertrude Arnold via Calvin McQuestern
Hello Dr. Anderson,
I'm an editorial assistant working with Dr. Colin Hill out of the University of Toronto.
I am conducting some research on an early 20th C. Canadian author named 'Gertrude Arnold'. I've come across your meticulous research in the process and discovered that Mr. Calvin McQuesten received several letters (W7769, W7477, W7526, W7633) from a 'Gertrude Arnold' between 1904 and 1908.
The letters provide me with reason to believe that this Gertrude may in fact be same Ms. Arnold who published a book entitled 'Sister Anne, Sister Anne!' in 1919.
What information, if any, can you provide/direct me to about the Gertrude Arnold who wrote to Rev. Calvin McQuesten over a four year period? What was the nature of their relationship?
Thank you so much for your research and time!
After some research at Whitehern Museum, this is our reply:
Dear Darren Savage: Thank you for your E-Mail about Gertrude Arnold. I am sorry to say that I cannot direct you to any other information than that which is in the letters. You might try Jones & Smith in Toronto as the first letter suggests that she may be working there. You could also try finding the minutes of the Literary Society that they both attended in Montreal, and, of course, you have her address in Montreal for further research. As you know Calvin was a journalist with the Toronto Times and the Montreal Gazette. The reference to "Valentines" suggests the possibility of a relationship between them, but we have only those four letters.
The Whitehern team has checked the library catalogue at Whitehern and Gertrude Arnold's book is not listed.
I will add your inquiry and any subsequent correspondence to a footnote to the earliest letter along with a reference to the other letters. This may bring a response from others searching the site. If you prefer that we not do this please let me know. Good Luck with your research. Sorry that we could not be of more help.
Sincerely, Dr. Mary J. Anderson
The four letters mentioned in this correspondence are: W7477, W7526, W7633, W7769.