W8800 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his cousin John Knox McQuesten
Sep 8 1912
To: Rev. Calvin McQuesten Bracebridge, Ontario
From: Manchester, New Hampshire
My dear Calvin,
Some days ago I recd. a card from your mother upon which was a picture of your church and and [sic] Manse. I was glad to have a view of the house in which you "hold forth" on Sundays, also your home. If you and the parish work in harmony, the relation must be a delightful one. Our minister has been with us now more than seven years and the best of feeling has prevailed. A similar state of things has not existed since the Church was organized nearly thirty years ago. Our minister, Mr Fraser, is about returning from Scotland, the land of his birth. One of our Deacons, who has the granite of Old [Scotia?] in his veins, went with him and provided the [fi?]. Our parish owns the parsonage and we give the rent, also a salary of $1,200.00. This is as good as $1,5000.00 per year. If you are ever here over Sunday during my pilgrimage, and I hope you may be, you will have to preach in that old edifice which has overlooked the last resting place of so many of your relatives for nearly a century, and I assure you that there are others besides myself who would be glad to listen to you.
This morning a Baptist minister occupied the pulpit. He is one of the best men, one of the best pastors that ever was, and one of the poorest preachers imaginable, but a saint nevertheless. He has been a pastor in Manchester nearly forty years. Hannah Varnum has not written me for some time. Doubtless she has more than enough on her hands for one of her years. Her brother Edward is quite feeble and is with her some of the time. John Q.A. and his daughter were here last Sunday. John is 78 years of age and appears to be in better health than he was a year ago.1
My health is quite good. I keep busy, but do not do much: "The still contentedness of seventy years" is mine, but it is shadowed by a lonliness such as that man knew of who said something about "the touch of a vanished hand". I am glad Lucia lived as long as she did, and glad neither of us knew of the fatal disease which was doing its deadly work for so many years. What a gloom it would have cast over our lives if we had known.
Your mother's card suggested that you would like to hear from me, and so I have written, feeling all the time that it would be impossible for me to say any thing that could interest you. A long time ago you or your mother sent me a magazine containing a description of the country where you did missionary work. I read it with interest, but suspect the mag. went the way of a thousand other things when we cleared up the house after the funeral.
I have written a sketch of the Lincoln Fields in Bedford, which has been in the hands of a newspaper since last winter. It will probably be printed sometime when a copy will be sent you.2
With kindest regards to all,
Rev. Calvin McQuesten
1 John Knox McQuesten (b. 1842) is the son of Dr. Calvin McQuesten's brother, Samuel (1789-1861). His deceased wife is Lucia.
Hannah Varnum (1799-1877) is the daughter of Dr. Calvin McQuesten's sister, Eliza, who married Jonas Varnum, Jr.
John Quincy Adams (b.1824) is the son of Dr. Calvin McQuesten's brother David Jr. (1793-1850), and his daughter is Martha.
2 We do not have a copy of this article.