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1876    1878
Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1877



SOJ to Theophilus Parsons

     South Berwick

     7 Jan. 1877

     Dear Prof. Parsons:

     I have not much that's new to tell you, but I feel like writing to you. I am getting on very well with my book though I have been sick since I wrote you last, and am getting tired. I hope to get through sometime next week and I shall be delighted. I have been in Deephaven* altogether lately, and not in Berwick! If it had not been for my taking such a horrid cold it would have been easier -- still I believe it was a great deal better that I had to stop for a little while -- and I really am not so tired now as I was before. I like what I know of Mr. Osgood* very much indeed and am quite contented which is a good thing. As for the new writing: I have one chapter about the widow Jim Patton -- who was a factotum of Miss Brandon's -- "Kate's" aunt who owned the house -- for I thought there ought to be one old woman gossip -- as I have so many old sailors and 'longshore men. Then I have a new beginning and a new last chapter -- and ever so many bits to put in all the way along. As I told you, I am going to Boston to see Mr. Osgood myself and attend to whatever business there is. I think the 'copy' will make two hundred pages of the size we had in mind -- and I am glad, for Mr. Osgood at first thought there might be hardly enough. I am going to make a point of having pretty covers. I did not know when I wrote you before how near I might have been to a worse complication about the publisher. I wrote to Houghton and Co. for permission to use the printed sketches in the Atlantic thinking it a mere formality -- and while they gave permission most cheerfully and wished me good luck -- they said they had intended to republish Deephaven themselves but had no wish to keep me waiting for it was uncertain as to time! It would be a pity if the book should be a failure. But I never have expected it to be 'popular'; it is not that kind of book. If my friends like it and Mr. Osgood loses no money I shall be very glad -- and of course I should like it to be a pleasant success. I do not think I am sensitive about my work. I can understand those sketches being dull to a great many people who like a plot rather than a plan -- and more of a 'story'. When I am in Boston in February I hope I shall see you more than once. I am looking forward to my visits with the greatest pleasure. Goodbye Yours with love

     Sarah

     I hope Mrs. Parsons has no return of her last winter's illness.

Notes

Deephaven:  Jewett's first novel, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood & Co. in 1877.

Mr. Osgood:  James Ripley Osgood.  See Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Special Collections at Colby College.  It was transcribed in 1986 by curator Fraser Cocks, with some later corrections by an anonymous hand.  Further corrections, notes and annotations by Terry Heller, Coe College,.



SOJ to Theophilus Parsons

     South Berwick

     7 February 1877

     Dear Prof. Parsons --

     I wish I could have gone out to see you week before last when I went to Boston with the book,* but I was so tired and sick that I came home in a few days without finishing my visits. I overworked myself, and have just begun to feel like myself again, though I am not yet strong. I did not know how very tired I was until the book was done. Everything seems to be going on nicely, and I like Mr. Osgood* very much. I have never repented of my choice though perhaps you will say that it is rather early to know the practical result of it, and that I shall be surer of my publisher when l know how the book sells (not that he will be to blame for its failure!) It is to be out before long: in March probably. I have had two packages of proofs, and the book is to be two hundred and forty pages long -- the name is to be simply Deephaven. I called it at first Deephaven Cronies as I told you I should, and I still have a lingering fondness for the name though perhaps it is not quite so 'high-toned', as they say in Philadelphia! I am going to Boston to see Mr. Osgood, (if I am well enough) next week and afterward to Concord for a little visit and then I shall be in Boston again for a few days. I shall hope to see you -- there is so much I wish to ask and to tell you. It seems a great while since I saw you and it was for only a few minutes anyway -- in October. I hope that your eyes do not trouble you as you said they did when I last heard from you. I think it the hardest thing to be patient about, at least it is harder for me -- not to be able even to read!

     I have a great deal to tell you about my book, and I wish so much that I were talking with you! I have thought so often of your telling me to be careful, and to make it just as good as possible in every way. Truly, I have done my work as well as I possibly could and if it is not lucky I shall be sorry of course, but not half so sorry for myself as for my friends who have been so kind and taken so much interest in me and what I am trying to do. I think you know just how I feel about it.

     I should like to write longer, but it is growing late and I am tired and stupid. It is an odd thing to happen to me but I find it takes a great effort to write at all lately. I begin with so much to say, and think I will cover three or four sheets but I can only say there is more affection than letter! With love yours sincerely

     Sarah

Notes

the book:  Jewett's first novel, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood & Co. in 1877.

Mr. Osgood:  James Ripley Osgood.  See Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Special Collections at Colby College.  It was transcribed in 1986 by curator Fraser Cocks, with some later corrections by an anonymous hand.  Further corrections, notes and annotations by Terry Heller, Coe College, with assistance as noted.




SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

Thursday night           

15 March 1877

Dear Mary,

     I was delighted to get your letter today and delighted Mrs. Gordon’s* heart with it -- I do think you write the best letters I know of -- I have only time to write a few lines, but I thought you would like to know I saw the object of your affections today -- dear Mrs. Ellis.* She was lovely as ever and I had a very nice time. There were several other people there at lunch but I saw a good deal of Mrs. Claflin* & Mrs. Ellis both. Mr. Whittier* was there but he is not well and after he talked to me a few minutes after lunch he went up stairs. Mrs. Ellis has had a real hard time. Addie* has not been out yet and Mary & Annie* have both been sick too. She

[ Page 2]

talked a [ considerble  so spelled] about enjoying your visit and mentioned those two lubberly boys what sat round so she did not get good of her company! I called on “Kitty”* and went to see Nelly Whitehead* a few minutes --  and then went to see Miss Preston* whom I had not seen for a week but alas she had gone out of town and at the Gordons I found a beautiful letter from her to say goodbye. Grace and I have not heard anything about Mrs. Burroughs* yet but we had our doubts, and may have a letter in the morning. I should like to have another day --

[ Incomplete ]

 

Notes

Mrs. Gordon’s … Grace Grace Gordon, who will marry Rev. Treadwell Walden, and her mother, Katherine.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Ellis … Addie … Mary & Annie: For Emma Harding Claflin Ellis & her daughters, Mary and Annie, see Correspondents.

    In a letter of 6 July 1879, Jewett indicates that this Addie may be male, which suggests this may be a nickname for Mary Claflin's son and Mrs. Ellis's half-brother, Adams Davenport Claflin (1862-1910).

Mrs. Claflin: Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin.  See Correspondents.

Mr. Whittier:  John Greenleaf Whittier.  See Correspondents.

“Kitty”: The identity of this person is not certain.  In her 1869 diary, Jewett writes about enjoying the company of Kitty Richmond in Little Falls, New York.  She also mentions Mrs Allan Richmond, who may Kitty's mother.  Jewett writes of Kitty again in her January 1872 diary, noting that she saw her in Boston at Christmas in 1871.  Further information is welcome.

Nelly Whitehead: Jewett in her diary mentions visiting Ellen Whitehead in South Berwick on 22 June 1869.  It is possible that she is a daughter of the South Berwick tailor, Charles E. Whitehead (1817 - 1878) and Mary B. Whitehead (1826-1908).  Further information is welcome.

Miss Preston: Harriet Waters Preston.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Burroughs: This person has not been identified.  Assistance is welcome.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Houghton Library of Harvard University in Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909.  Mary Rice Jewett 1847-1930, recipient,  40 letters; 1877-1892 & n.d.  Sarah Orne Jewett Correspondence, 1861-1930.  MS Am 1743 (255).  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College, with assistance from Tanner Brossart and Linda Heller.





SOJ to Anna Laurens Dawes

6 April 1877

Dear Anna

I am sorry to have been so neglectful of your letter which I was so glad to receive while I was in Concord. I have been meaning to write to you but when I tell you that on my return Tuesday afternoon I had more than twenty letters to write you will see that I have for some reason been obliged to neglect other friends as well as yourself! You see that in the first place I have not been at all well since I saw you in January and during the first four weeks of my seven weeks absence I was working harder than I ought on my proofs and other of the book's affairs* -- and I could not attempt to do much else in the way of writing.

But I am feeling somewhat better now, and I wish that you were here so that I could have a long talk with you -- I should like to tell you of my visits in Concord and in Boston and in Exeter. So many pleasant things happened to me and I met so many delightful people and every­body was so kind! While I was at Ella's I saw your Mrs. Barnard and your niece Miss Ruth* -- which was very pleasant. I had not seen Mrs. Barnard since Ella's wedding. I am so glad you said what you did to me about Alice:* I had some very nice talks with the child and I never have been half so much interested in her before -- but I think it is such a pity that Mr. Walworth objects to her being an Episcopalian. I think that is a question that one ought to be allowed to decide for oneself, do not you? and the atmosphere of Trinity church would do so much more for Alice than the atmosphere of Dr. Webb's church.* Besides Ella's & Sallie's* going there will make a great difference. I said very little because of course it was not my business -- and yet I am some­times sorry and wish I had said something. Isn't it wonderful the dif­ference it makes in a girl's life like Alice's -- this having ever so faraway and small an understanding of the better life in Christ and ever so little knowledge of his companionship? I think she is wonderfully changed and I never cared half so much for her, did you? As for Wallace* whom I never really knew before -- I am so fond of him Anna! I am very glad to have known him. Mr. Brooks* said such pleasant things about him to me -- and he seems to take a great deal of interest in him. I enjoyed my visit at Ella's very much -- and I wish you and I could have been together there. I really was not well enough to stay longer when I was there with you. I had dreadfully overtired and strained myself and it surprises me to count up now the immense amount of work I did without knowing it -- Would you like to know something about the book? It will be out in a week or two and you will know all about it for yourself, what kind of cover it has and what it looks like, outside and in. I hope you will like it, and may I ask you for one thing -- you see a good many papers, and if you find any notices good or bad will not you cut them out and send them to me?

I do want to tell you about my visits! First I was in Concord working hard, and very unenergetic as to health, and enjoying the delightful people to my heart's content. I saw a good deal of the Emersons, par­ticularly Miss Ellen* for whom I care more than ever, and of all the older people -- this visit was more in the houses whereas my others are associated with out-of-door Concord and the picnics &c -- and the younger people -- there were some theatricals and a good many tea parties & I was there two weeks: then I went to Grace Gordon's1 and that week's visit and my visit at Ella's & at the Kempton* &c took up nearly three weeks. Then Grace Gordon and I came down to Exeter together to make my aunt Mrs. Long2 a visit, and we had such a good time! And afterward I went to my grandfather3 for ten days or so. But wouldn't I tell you all the particulars if I saw you. I must say good-bye -- because it is dinner time. Mary* would send no end of love to you if she were here. What are you reading?

Yrs. sincerely


Notes

1 Grace Gordon was a Boston friend of the same social set as Ellen Mason and Ella Walworth. Sarah stayed frequently at the Gordon home when she was in Boston during these years. Grace Gordon later married Rev. Treadwell Walden, rector of the Episcopal cathedral in Boston and friend of the Jewetts.

2 Of this person, Frost writes (op. cit., 35): "Sarah Orne Jewett once said that she grew up with her grand-aunts and grand-uncles as playmates. Mary Olivia Gilman Long -- Aunt Mary Long -- was the grande dame of the family. She was the recent widow of a naval commodore, and was childless. She knew all of the family history, and had made her share of it."

3 Sarah's maternal grandfather, Dr. William Perry, was a favorite relation. He is described in Frost, op. cit., 36, and in Cary, op. cit., 47-48.


Additional Notes

book's affairs:  Jewett's first novel, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood & Co. in 1877.

your Mrs. Barnard and your niece Miss Ruth:  Mrs. Barnard has not be identified.  Assistance is welcome.
    Anna Dawes is unlikely to have had a literal niece.  Her brother, Chester Mitchell (1855-1917) did not marry until 1880.  Her youngest brother, Henry Laurens (1863-1928) was just 14 in 1877.  Assistance is welcome.
        Though this has not been confirmed, a strong candidate for "Mrs. Barnard" is Helen M. Barnard, like Dawes, active in women's suffrage.  Helen Barnard worked as a journalist for the New York Herald, and served the U. S. government in various capacities.  The Washington Times of 22 July 1914 (p. 7) says that she was one of the first two female reporters allowed to attend and cover the United States Senate: "Later Mrs. Barnard, under Grant's Administration, was sent to Liverpool as immigration commissioner. She visited England, Ireland, and Scotland. She returned on the steerage of an ocean liner and gave one of the most interesting and useful reports made on the subject of immigration."  The Los Angeles Herald of 27 May 1888 (p. 6) says: "Helen M. Barnard was, and is, a regal woman, earnest, thoughtful and profound. Her forte was politics, in which she displayed extraordinary sagacity. She is now a staid married woman, resides in New York City, and is editing a special monthly journal."  The description of a letter of introduction by James A. Garfield, then an Ohio congressman, presenting her to E. B. Washburne, then U. S. Minister at Paris, France, says: "Barnard was a government clerk, journalist, and an original member of the Universal Franchise Association, and an associate of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton."

Alice:  Alice Drummond Walworth.  See Ella Walworth Little in Correspondents.

Dr. Webb's church:  In 1877, Rev. Edwin Bonaparte Webb, D.D. ( 1820 - 1901) was pastor of the Shawmut Congregational Church in Boston, where Caleb Clark Walworth was a member.  See The Missionary Herald 97 (1901), p. 275, and Officers and Members of the Shawmut Congregational Church, Boston, January 1, 1881, p. 29.
    One might note that Alice Walworth turned 20 in 1877.  In 1881, her father was the sole family member listed among the Shawmut membership.

Sallie:  Hollis says identifies this person as Sallie French Bartlett.  This is Sarah Flagg French Bartlett (1846-1883), sister of the American sculptor, Daniel Chester French. (1850-1931), who sculpted the Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  She married Edward Jarvis Bartlett (1842-1914).

Wallace:  Wallace Lincoln Pierce, who married Ella's sister, Stella in 1876.  See Ella Walworth Little in Correspondents.

Mr. Brooks: Wikipedia says: Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) "was an American Episcopal clergyman and author, long the Rector of Boston's Trinity Church and briefly Bishop of Massachusetts, and particularly remembered as lyricist of the Christmas hymn, "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

the Emersons, par­ticularly Miss Ellen:  American writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) lived in Concord, MA, with his second wife, Lidian (Lydia) Jackson and their daughter, Ellen Tucker Emerson (1839-1909).

the Kempton:  This reference remains a mystery.  Assistance is welcome.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

This letter was transcribed and annotated by C. Carroll Hollis.  It appeared in "Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett to Anna Laurens Dawes," Colby Library Quarterly No. 3 (1968): 97-138.  It is in the Henry Laurens Dawes Papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.
 


S
OJ to James Ripley Osgood

South Berwick, Maine
     April 9, 1877

    My dear Mr. Osgood:

      I think Deephaven1 is very pretty, a great deal prettier than I had thought it was going to be! Don't you like it? I like especially the little 'die' on the back which I had not seen before.2

     I send you a notice which came from the Christian Union and the longer one from the N. Y. Herald. At least I suppose it came from that, for it is exactly the same type &c. Someone sent it to me in a letter. Will you be good enough to keep it for me with the other notices, for I should like to save them. I think it would be a good plan to send an advance copy to the Cincinnati Gazette, to Mr. Perry who is my uncle,3 and who ought to speak a good word for Deephaven, indeed I'm pretty sure he will! The paper has a large circulation in that part of the country. I find I appreciate my relationship to an Editor, in a marked degree just now!

     Was not a copy to be sent to the Advertiser early?* or to Miss Preston?4 I know you told me that Mr. Whitney* spoke of some plan. I never have asked Miss Preston to write a notice, but I know her very well and if nothing has been arranged I will send her one of my copies and will ask her.

     I should like the 25 copies very much, and will you please have them sent by Goodwin's Ex.,* 10 Court Square.

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

    1Deephaven, Miss Jewett's first work published as a volume, appeared in this year and brought her wide public acclaim as an authentic delineator of her special region.
    2A triad of cat-tails in gilt on the spine of the first edition between her name and the publisher's device.
    3John Taylor Perry was another of Miss Jewett's maternal uncles .... After twenty-five years as editor and part owner of the Cincinnati Gazette, he returned to his birthplace, Exeter, New Hampshire, where he resided until his death.
    4Harriet Waters Preston (1836-1911), a scholar in the field of Provençal poetry, a translator, novelist, and editor of considerable ability. She wrote reviews and critiques for numerous periodicals, including the Atlantic Monthly. Miss Jewett's enthusiasm for Matthew Arnold had its origin in Miss Preston's appraisal of his poems. Their friendship was renewed when their itineraries crossed in Florence during Miss Jewett's first trip to Europe in 1882.


Additional notes

Advertiser:  Presumably, Jewett refers to the Boston Daily Advertiser.

Mr. Whitney:  Mr. Whitney's identity remains unknown  It appears he was employed at James R. Osgood & Co.

Goodwin's Ex.:  Goodwin Express, a New England delivery service founded by American War of 1812 veteran, Colonel William Goodwin (d. 1885).  See The Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder, Volume 9 (1898), pp. 323-4.

This letter is edited and annotated by Richard Cary in Sarah Orne Jewett Letters;  the ms. is held by Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




William Dean Howells to SOJ



Apr. 11, 1877

Dear Miss Jewett:

    I have read Lady Ferry,* but though she was in many ways exquisite, I found her as indefensibly too long as she was too old.  You have made too much of her, and I shouldn’t know how to suggest a reduction.

Yours sincerely

W. D. Howells

Notes

Lady Ferry:  Jewett's story "Lady Ferry" never appeared in a magazine.  Jewett included it in her 1879 collection, Old Friends and New.

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, folder 63, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Theophilus Parsons

     South Berwick

     24 April 1877

My dear Prof. Parsons

     Thank you for your kind note which I meant to answer before. I am very glad you like the book and I hope some time that you will tell me a great deal more about it. I should like so much to have a long talk with you this morning. I suppose you must have seen some of the many great compliments which have been paid Deephaven.* I am more and more astonished at them and I am pleased -- in a way -- yet I must confess to you that I find it very hard to realize that this praise belongs to me and it all seems very vague when I try to 'take it in'. It seems almost a little sorrowful sometimes, when I think how I used to build castles in Spain about this very thing and now that I find the 'castles' in finer array even than [then] I had expected. I don't seem to care so very much for them after all! I beg you not to think that I am ungrateful, but the pleasure is such a different pleasure. I have been very busy since I came home and not at all strong. I find that I do not get rested much and the spring weather takes away the little bit of energy I had left. I wish I could see you. You do not know how much I enjoyed my long call upon you that rainy day -- or how much I learned. I wonder if you are to be anywhere in this region in the summer? I wonder if Miss Sabra* has read Deephaven and if she likes it at all? I was so sorry not to see more of her. Will you please give my love to her? I am going to read more this spring for I have had so little time this winter -- and just now I am reading again some translations of the Greek tragedies -- Eschylus and Sophocles. I have always liked Antigone* and that was the only one I knew much.

     2 May -- I would not have believed that this letter would be so many days unfinished and it does not look as if I had been thinking of you a great deal every day -- which I have! I am either very busy or very lazy nowadays and I am quite distracted when I think of all the letters I wish to write. I wonder if you noticed in Deephaven the additions to the chapter called "In Shadow" -- Perhaps you remember that it was shortened in the Atlantic and I was sorry about it. I rewrote it for the book. I don't know that my chief thought in Deephaven is very evident -- but I think I tried most to show the truth of what 'Kate' says on page 244 -- that success and happiness are not things of chance but of choice -- and they might so easily have had a dull summer. It was certainly not at all the kind of place that most young ladies would enjoy for their summer's campaign -- but didn't they have a good time! And there is another thing. I wished to show how interested they became in the town's people, and how interesting these people were. I am so sorry for girls who are shut up in their own set of society. I should be so glad if anybody had a better time in the country this summer because she had read Deephaven! I wonder which chapters you like best? There is something -- to change the subject abruptly -- which I wish to ask you -- and that is what it means about Elisha and the children who called him names and the bears who devoured them.* It was the Sunday school lesson a while ago, and it was very hard to understand. I never had thought of it before -- but the punishment seemed out of proportion to the offence [so spelled]. I have been meaning to ask you about it. I am always wishing I could ask you what the Sunday school lesson means! I wonder if I have told you lately about my class? I am more and more interested in it and lately I have had some new scholars whom I like and wish to help very much. I get frightened at the thought of my attempting to teach those girls, but I do the best I can. They're about twenty years old (or in that region) and they are very bright -- and all girls who have a good deal of influence here. I wish I could write longer but it is time to take my letter to the post. I always have so much to tell you and more to ask you. I wish I could see you. Goodbye, from your aff. and grateful

     S. O. J.

     I suppose you had a note from Ellen herself,* but I believe I never have told you how delighted she was at your remembrance of her and your sending your book to her. --

Notes

Deephaven:  Jewett's first novel, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood & Co. in 1877.

Miss Sabra: Ancestry.com lists Mary Sabra Parsons as a daughter of Theophilus Greenleaf Parsons and Catherine Amory Chandler, born on 6 August 1842 in Taunton, MA.  Findagrave.com dates her death as October 16, 1910.  She is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA.

Eschylus and Sophocles ... AntigoneWikipedia says: "Aeschylus ... (c. 525/524 – c. 456/455 BC) was an ancient Greek tragedian." The Persians and the Oresteia trilogy.
  Wikipedia also says: "Sophocles ... is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides. Sophocles wrote 120 plays during the course of his life, but only seven have survived in a complete form," including Antigone, which is one of a group of plays concerning the family of Oedipus.

Elisha ...
children ... the bears:  This story is found in 2 Kings 2: 23-25.

Ellen herself:  It is likely this is Jewett's close friend, Ellen Frances Mason.  See Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Special Collections at Colby College.  It was transcribed in 1986 by curator Fraser Cocks, with some later corrections by an anonymous hand.  Further corrections and annotations by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Charles Ashburton Gilman

    South Berwick, Maine

     May 9, 1877

    My dear Charlie:

      I have just come home from a very pleasant day in Portsmouth with Miss Halliburton, who told me to tell you with her kind regards how very sorry she was to miss your call yesterday. I am so sorry too that you did not see her, for I know you would have had a pleasant call, and have certainly found her very glad to see you.

     We went to Newcastle today and had such a jolly time, I wish you had been with us. It is not nice weather for a picnic, but we went to a house which Mr. Haven1 owns and had a big fire in a fireplace and a very good time, with a walk along the rocks and beach after dinner.

     I hope you had a good time in Boston and you must tell me about it. I received your postal card and should have answered it, but I have been busy and there was not very much news. I have nearly finished the survey of the Sunday-school books. The new ones have been very entertaining for we have had them here in the dining room for a week or two. I gave Susy Jewett2 your goodbye message, and she was sorry not to have seen you again, and said many pleasant things about you. Carrie is better but not nearly well yet. We all enjoyed your visit and you don't know how much I missed you Charlie!3

     With love to Cousin Fanny.
     Yours always sincerely & affly,

     Sarah


Cary's Notes

    1George Wallis Haven, scion of an old Portsmouth family, and described as "a scholarly gentleman of leisure and some means," was the father of Edith Haven Doe and stepfather of Georgina Halliburton.  For Georgina Halliburton, see Correspondents.

    2Susan Jameson Jewett of South Berwick was the daughter of Elisha Hanson Jewett (see Letter 3, note 12).

    3The next day Miss Jewett wrote to Anna Laurens Dawes about her cousin: "He's such a nice fellow, and we are great friends. I used not to like him, and it is delightful to find him so nice as he grows up. He would not thank me for giving you the impression that he is young. It falls very sweet upon his ear to be called Mr. Gilman and I never shall tell that he is at home an underrated younger brother and only 'Charley.' " And on October 11: "I made a little visit down at Brunswick and had a lovely time with my young cousin Charley -- dear little fellow (or big fellow!). He has grown so this summer and he is trying very hard to be a good man." (Manuscript Division, Library of Congress)


Additional Notes


Carrie:  Caroline Augusta Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Cousin Fanny:  Frances F. Perry.  See Correspondents.
 
This letter is edited and annotated by Richard Cary in Sarah Orne Jewett Letters; the ms. is held by the Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, Bowdoin College Library.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Anna Laurens Dawes

10 May 1877

My dear Anna

I have enjoyed your letter very much and have wished to answer it but you will not ask for any apologies I'm sure and so I will save all the room they would take. I only wish I could see you today. It is a lovely Sunday afternoon and we would walk a while and sit down at the first acceptable and lonely place we reached. I think I should take you to the top of the hill which is not a great climb and where you would be happy because of the view, as I always am. I truly wish I could see you. I am beginning at last to feel as if I were in my right mind, though I am not wholly rested yet. My younger sister has been very ill, and we have had visitors and Deephaven* gives me a good deal of work in one way or another. What a busy world this is, Dawes-y! and you see I began by making it a lazy world with no need for hurry. In the first place I am very glad you like Deephaven. I should have been very sorry if you had not liked it. It amazes me to find out how much the reviews have praised it and it goes straight to my heart to have suc­ceeded in pleasing my dear friends. I should say a great deal about this if you were here, and tell you that the very success has frightened me and humbled me and made me feel very inadequate, and how hard it is even not to be cowardly. It has not been wholly pleasure, this suc­cess which I seem to have -- though there is so much pleasure. It is very hard for me 'to take it in' that all the praise is meant for me -- indeed I believe I am somehow hindered from taking it in -- except in the very vaguest way. Sometimes I have been very sorry because I do not feel more pleased and set up. Can you understand that feeling? I should not have dared tell it you otherwise. But dear, isn't it a tremen­dous thing to be put into one's hands and can a girl help feeling that she is living a more conspicuous sort of life, and that is frightful to think what a little bad influence will do. Ah well! does not one grow more and more thankful that there is a strength that never fails and a wisdom that never is found wanting and a Love that is always ours; and that the Best Friend* may be your own friend and mine. And just now I caught myself thinking of Alice* and how true and sensible your idea of her is. I will write to her certainly -- I hope she is on the right road and I liked very much the way she spoke of better things. I have had not time to write her lately.

I have been terribly in debt for letters and I cannot yet write long at a time. Sometimes it seems to me that taking care of my letters is enough for one girl and I am sorry when I have to neglect them. You see I have much more to take up my time in town and home affairs than I did at one time -- then my friendships and out-of-town interests were almost everything. I am as much interested in my Sunday School class as you can imagine. I have six girls of about twenty -- and they are very bright, and girls who have and will always have a good deal of influence among their different sets of friends. I enjoy them very much and since I long with all my heart to help them and to do them good I can't believe I shall wholly fail. I wish very much to read that life of Kingsley.1 Miss Preston is Mrs. Goddard's friend & she wrote me about it much as Mrs. Goddard did you. I met Mrs. Goddard once this winter for a few minutes and like her so much. I do hope I shall see her again sometime or other. Miss Preston says a great deal about her.

I have hardly read at all lately except a great many Sunday School books, for I have been recataloguing and adding to the Sunday School library. I have been at work off and on for three weeks and today it was all in order. I am quite proud of it, for though I have had some help, I have really managed everything. It has been a good deal of work and I am glad to be nearly done for nothing is left now but to see to some printing. One day this week I have spent with Georgie Halli­burton and she was in town the week before. We have had visitors off and on and I do a little of everything. I am enjoying my friendship with Miss Preston more and more -- I must tell you a great deal about her some time. She has such a generous way of looking at things, and she has come to me just the right time as all my friends have. I will certainly tell you of my Concord visit some day; it seems a year ago now, that I was there. I had a very nice time but I was miserably tired and used up, as I have told you.

I must say good bye dear. I have promised to go for a walk with a young cousin2 who is staying with us and he has waited so uncom­plainingly that I must start soon. He's such a nice fellow -- and we are great friends. I used not to like him, and it is delightful to find him so nice as he grows up. He would not thank me for giving you the im­pression that he is young. It falls very sweet upon his ear to be called Mr. Gilman and I never shall tell that he is at home an underrated younger brother and only 'Charley.' Don't be afraid, your letters are never too long dear Dawesy. Think of how much we should say if we were together and how short the longest letter is compared with that! And I am always so glad to hear from you. Mary sends no end of love and says she looks upon the length of your letters with longing eyes. Thank you for your friendship which is very much beloved and thought of! and I say God bless you and help you most heartily -- and am your fond friend --
 

P.S. Thank you for the extracts which I passed on to Ellen Mason -- for I knew she would like them. I dont mean I lightly gave away those you gave me!

Hollis's Notes

1 Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) was well known in America, and the book recommended to both Sarah and Anna was undoubtedly Charles Kingsley, His Letters and Memories of His Life. Ed. by his wife. Abridged from the London ed., New York, 1877.

2 Charles A. Gilman lived at Exeter but visited Berwick regularly. He was a favorite cousin with whom Sarah subsequently went on a trip to Brunswick, cf., letter of October 11, 1877, below. Cf., also: Richard Cary, "Jewett's Cousins Charles and Charlie," Colby Library Quarterly V, (Sep­tember 1959), 48-58.


Additional Notes

Deephaven:  Jewett's first novel, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood & Co. in 1877.

Best Friend:  Jewett's capitalization indicates that she refers to God or to Jesus.

Alice:  Almost certainly, Alice Drummond Walworth.  See Ella Walworth Little in Correspondents.

Miss Preston is Mrs. Goddard's friend:  Harriet Waters Preston.  See Correspondents.
    Martha LeBaron Goddard (1829-1888) was the compiler, along with Harriet Preston Waters, of Sea and Shore: A Collection of Poems (1874).

Georgie Halli­burton:  See Correspondents.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Ellen Mason:  See Correspondents.

This letter was transcribed and annotated by C. Carroll Hollis.  It appeared in "Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett to Anna Laurens Dawes," Colby Library Quarterly No. 3 (1968): 97-138.  It is in the Henry Laurens Dawes Papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Ida Agassiz Higginson

     South Berwick, Maine

     June 2, 1877

     My dear Mrs. Higginson:

     You have not the least idea how much pleasure your letter has given me. Thank you with all my heart for your kindness in writing me. I hoped you would like little Deephaven,* but I do not know what to say when you give it such high praise. I am very glad to have pleased you, that is certain! It is all vague enough when I read about the book in the newspapers but it is a real delight to know that my friends like what I have done, and some of the letters which have come to me lately I shall always keep among my dearest treasures.1
 
    You said one thing in your letter which made me very glad: that you thought I had not made country people ridiculous. I should have been so sorry if I had done that, for I have always liked my outdoor life best, and in driving about ever since I can remember with my father, who is a doctor, I have grown more and more fond of the old-fashioned countryfolks.* I have always known their ways and I like to be with them. Deephaven is not the result of careful study during one 'summer vacation,' as some persons have thought, but I could write it because it is the fashion of life with which I have always been familiar. I think no part of New England can possibly have kept more of the last century's way of thinking and speaking than this. Berwick itself is growing and flourishing in a way that breaks my heart, but out from the village among the hills and near the sea there are still the quietest farms, where I see little change from one year to another, and the people would delight your heart.2

     And as for the sailors, I have always known them. Nobody knows how I love the sea, and many of my friends have been and are sailors in either the navy or the merchant service, and until a few years ago we had much to do with ships. When I was a child the Captains used to come to see my grandfather3 and I thought if I could go off on a voyage I should be perfectly happy.

     Deephaven seems as real to me as Berwick or Newport. I know all the roads and all the houses there, and I believe I could answer all the questions about it that anyone could ask.

     I beg your pardon for this letter, dear Mrs. Higginson, because it is altogether too long. I wished to write you at once, and I think of so many things to say. I have always remembered my two calls with the greatest pleasure. Please let me thank you again for your kindness and interest, and believe that I am always

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Cary's Notes

    1True to her sentiment, Miss Jewett did preserve this early letter which is now in Houghton Library. Mrs. Higginson enjoyed particularly the description of the old church in this "delicious little book" which reminded her of Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford, except that she considered Deephaven" very superior to it."

    2Basically conservative and in love with the old ways and days, Miss Jewett deplored the drastic change that was affecting the once idyllic Berwick area. South Berwick was originally an inland riverport to which fleets of quaint, flat-bottomed gundalows brought cargoes of rum, molasses, sugar, and tea from the huge West Indies vessels docked at Portsmouth. Lumber, fish, hay, and country produce hauled by oxen from as far away as Vermont were taken in exchange. During the Civil War period and thereafter, this atmosphere of barter gradually gave way to the smoke and clangor of cotton and woolen mills. By 1877 shipping was no longer the major occupation of the region.

    3Theodore Furber Jewett (see Genealogical Chart), "a citizen of the whole geography," led a life of affairs and hazards which appealed to Miss Jewett's early romantic drift. Bound out as a boy, he ran away and shipped aboard a whaler. With only two companions, he was left for over eight months on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean to guard stores and secure seals. He returned to New England, became a sea captain, ran a vessel to the West Indies at the height of the Embargo, was captured by the British and confined on the infamous Dartmoor Prison Ship. He turned to the less turbulent occupation of shipbuilding, married four times, and finally retired as a merchant. In his declining years he maintained the "W. I. Store" on Main Street in South Berwick, a multifarious general store replete with potbelly stove and cracker barrel. Here gathered daily the Captain's cronies, veterans of the seven seas, to spin the prodigious yarns which the child Sarah absorbed with undiminishing wonder.


Additional Notes

Deephaven:  Jewett's first novel, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood & Co. in 1877.

countryfolks:  Another transcription of this letter appears in Burton Trafton Research Collection of transcriptions from mixed repositories, letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, folder 63. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.
    Perhaps the main difference is that the transcriber believes the letter is addressed not to Ida Agassiz Higginson, but to a Mr. Higginson.  Mr. Higginson could be the husband of Ida Agassiz, Henry Lee Higginson.  Other main differences are:
    - Trafton presents the letter in only two paragraphs, the second beginning: "You said one thing...."
    - Trafton does not give the title of Deephaven in italics or as underlined.  Jewett rarely underlined book titles.

  In the text of the letter, Trafton's version reads differently at these points:
     - country-folks
    - ... during one "summer's vacation,"
   - ...the quietest farms -- where I see little change from one year to another -- and the people would delight your heart. -- And as for the sailors,
    - ... the navy or the merchant service and until a few years ago
    - When I was a child the captains used to come to see my grandfather....
    - I have always remembered my two sails with the greatest pleasure. ...

This letter is edited and annotated by Richard Cary in Sarah Orne Jewett Letters; the ms. is held by Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Theophilus Parsons

     South Berwick 8 June 1877

     Dear Prof. Parsons

     I have been a long time in answering your letter which I was so glad to have -- but I found at first little time for letters, from one reason or another, and lately I have been ill -- and am just beginning to crawl out again like an old fly in the spring. I just said this to someone else, and it told my story so well that I repeat it to you: I am so glad that you told me some of the faults you found with Deephaven* -- for as you say honest criticism helps one after all more than praise. I think it would have been better to have put in a little more 'moralizing' and I should do it if I wrote another book of this kind. For myself, I like best to have the moral in the story -- to make the character as apparent as I can, as one feels instinctively* the character of the people one meets. I always feel as if when I say anything directly as if it were awkward and that if the story itself doesn't say it, it is no use to put it in afterward. I think this is a mistake with me often times. I should be sorry to miss doing good because I carried out my fancy and pleased myself in the fashion of my writing. I hoped Deephaven might do two things -- the first to help people to look at 'commonplace' lives from the inside instead of the outside -- to see that there is so deep and true a sentiment and loyalty and tenderness and courtesy and patience -- where at first sight there is only roughness and coarseness and something to be ridiculed. And beside this it seems to me that such a life as I told about in Deephaven is so much pleasanter and more real, than what one calls 'society life'. I think so many girls I know care so little for out-door life, and its pleasures and see so few of its beauties. And do you know I made 'Kate' say that she can see how easily they might have had a dull summer -- only they chose not to have it? -- I meant to teach that if I could. I should like to write more -- but I cannot to-day. I did not wish to leave your kind letter any longer unanswered, and I wished to thank you for it and for all your interest and kindness always. Yours sincerely and affly

     Sarah O. Jewett

Notes

Deephaven:  Jewett's first novel, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood & Co. in 1877.

instinctively:  In his transcription of this letter, Scott F. Stoddart reads this word as "distinctively." See Selected letters of Sarah Orne Jewett: A critical edition with commentary.  Ph.D. Dissertation.  University of Illinois, 1988, p. 123.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Special Collections at Colby College.  It was transcribed in 1986 by curator Fraser Cocks, with some later corrections by an anonymous hand.  Further corrections and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Anna Laurens Dawes

25 July 1877

Dear Anna

I am so sorry but I don’t believe I can possibly make you a visit this summer. In the first place I am not feeling well at all and when I get away from home I want to go close by the sea and until it is a good deal cooler I should not dare to go far inland. Whenever I have done so I have always have had to pay for it. And we are looking for a good many visitors during the next two months -- which fact bars the way at once. I do want to see you very much indeed and I wish you could come to us for a little while at any rate.

It is very provoking to me not to have felt better this summer for I wished to do a great many things. I have had to give up the plan into which I entered so heartily at first, of getting ready a volume of chil­dren's stories for Mr. Osgood* to publish in October for the Christmas market.1 He is very good about it, indeed he thinks it better perhaps to wait awhile -- though he says it shall be published whenever I choose. But I hate to give up anything and I should have chosen to do the work now if I had felt like writing all through August.

I am very lazy indeed -- and I haven't anything in the way of news to tell you. I have been staying by the sea with my sister Carrie* who is not well yet -- and one day I went over to Exeter to see my aunt and cousins -- the Gilmans and Bells* who to my heart's delight have just come home from abroad. Miss Preston* is coming to York the tenth of August, and when I can get a chance I am going down --York is only a dozen miles from us -- shall not I be happy to have Miss Preston to myself as much as I can there! I wish you were to be there -- I hope you will never have a suspicion that I am not awfully sorry I cant go to you for a visit now! I have always wanted to go to the Berkshire region again, even if I did not wish so much to see you, and did not know what good times we could have together. I have had to refuse and put off other visits beside lately, and I get so sorry over it!

I have been so much interested lately in a girl here* who is younger by some years than I am, and who has seemed to be very fond of me. I have always fancied her very much and hoped some day I could 'get at' her and lately it came about. She is trying very hard to grow better, and there is something very touching in her way of talking about it. She is a wild out-doors sort of girl very fond of horses and all that sort of thing, and I have been surprised more and more to find how much tenderness and loneliness she has covered up by her careless wild ways. Not that she is rough or rude exactly, but untamed! I am getting very fond of her, and I must have told you that it is my great ambition to have younger girl-friends as I grow older, and to do them good and help them -- so you will understand the happiness her liking for me gives me. She is so sincerely trying to be a Christian -- she has rather a lonely home which I hope to help her make pleasanter for herself and the rest. There is a pathos about her of which I always am conscious and lately she has been ill.

            I always find so much to say to you dear Dawes-y but I must just now unwillingly say good-bye. I am sorry your arm is lame -- so is mine -- that is to say, my chest & shoulder2 -- and I think we had better learn to write with our left hands. I can already a little, can you?

Yours with much love


Hollis's Notes

1 The plan was given up only temporarily for Sarah did put out this volume of children’s stories, Play Days, in 1878.

2 Sarah "had sprained her shoulder fairly badly swimming at Wells" earlier that summer, according to F. O. Matthiessen, Sarah Orne Jewett (Boston, 1929), 57.


Additional Notes

Mr. Osgood:  James Ripley Osgood.  See Correspondents.

Carrie:  Carrie Augusta Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Gilmans and Bells:  For members of the Gilman and Bell families, see Correspondents.

Miss Preston:  Harriet Waters Preston.  See Correspondents.

a girl here:  The identity of this person is as yet unknown.  Assistance is welcome.

This letter was transcribed and annotated by C. Carroll Hollis.  It appeared in "Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett to Anna Laurens Dawes," Colby Library Quarterly No. 3 (1968): 97-138.  It is in the Henry Laurens Dawes Papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick

July 27, 1877 

My dear Mr. Whittier:

     Thank you with all my heart for your letter which came last night. I think you were so kind to write to me, and I cannot tell you how glad I am that you like my book.1 I hoped you would like it a little, but I never thought you would care so much for it, and I am so glad and so proud. I have read your poems over and over ever since I was a little girl, and because I have had so much pleasure and have learned so much from what you have written, it makes me very happy to have pleased you by anything I have done.

     I remember that you told me last winter that you had been here and in Rollinsford.2 I wish you would come again and would stay with us, and give us the very great pleasure of driving you about the country wherever you care to go and of doing everything we can to make it pleasant for you. I think it never was so beautiful about Berwick as it is now, -- though it is always new to me -- and there is a great deal to interest one here and in York and up and down the river. My father3 wishes me to ask you if some time you will not care to come.

     Please let me thank you again for your kindness to me, for your letter will always be one of my great treasures and because you praised my works I shall try harder than I ever have before to make it better.

Yours most sincerely,

Sarah O. Jewett

 
Notes

1 Whittier's comments on Miss Jewett's first book contain several superlatives. "I must thank thee for thy admirable book Deephaven. ... I know of nothing better in our literature of the kind. ...I heartily congratulate thee on thy complete success" (Francis Otto Matthiessen, Sarah Orne Jewett [Boston, 1929]. p. 56.) Two years later he assured her "I have read Deephaven over half a dozen times, and always with gratitude to thee for such a book -- so simple, pure, and so true to nature." (Samuel T. Pickard, Life and Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier [Boston, 1895], II, 654.)

2 The family of Whittier's mother, Abigail Hussey, lived in Rollinsford. Although across the border in New Hamp­shire, Rollinsford is only one mile from South Berwick, Maine. Miss Jewett and her sisters often walked there to the house of their friend Edith Haven, who had married the Honorable Charles Doe, Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

3 Miss Jewett adored her father, Dr. Theodore Herman Jewett (1815-1878), "the best and wisest man I ever knew." During her childhood he took her with him on his daily rounds of farm and shore patients. He instilled in her a love of nature and of people, and constantly admonished her to put them down on paper "just as they are."

This letter was transcribed and annotated by Richard Cary, and first published in  "'Yours Always Lovingly': Sarah Orne Jewett to John Greenleaf Whittier,"  Essex Institute Historical Collections 107 (1971): 412-50. This article was reprinted at the Sarah Orne Jewett Text Project by permission of the library of the American Antiquarian Society and the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.
 



SOJ to Theophilus Parsons

     South Berwick

     28 July 1877

     Dear Prof. Parsons

     Thank you so much for your last letter. I have wished to write to you but somehow I keep putting off writing letters this summer, day after day. I have not felt at all well most of the time and I am lazier than ever! When your letter came I was staying down at Wells where I first knew you and I meant to write you from there at once because I had been thinking about you so much. It always carries me back at once to those days, when I go to Wells -- and I wished I could see you -- again and again. But how much there must be to enjoy in Nantucket! I want to go there and to Marblehead more than any places I can think of -- and I hope to make the two journeys in the course of time, neither being very long!

     Didn't I tell you that I had promised Mr. Osgood* to get ready a book of children's stories? I have given up the idea for the present, for I did not feel a bit like working over it all through August -- as I should have had to do. Mr. Osgood thinks it is just as well to put it off though he says the book shall be published whenever I say. I am in such a hurry to have September come for then I shall feel well and go to work again. I am so hopelessly tired and lazy all this summer and my lame shoulder and chest have troubled me more than usual. I think I hurt it while I was at Wells for the last day I was in swimming I got dreadfully used up before I knew it and I think I worked too hard on that occasion which will be a most profitable lesson to me! I am to have a jolly long time by the sea this year if everything goes right. Next week I am to spend with my aunt and cousins the Gilmans and Bells at Little Boar's Head in Rye* -- They have just come from abroad and I have only been with them part of a day, so I shall have such a good time. Both my sisters are to be there too. After that some of my friends are to be here and about the middle of August or perhaps earlier I am going to York to stay with Miss Preston* two weeks at least. You don't know how very fond of her I have grown or how very kind she is to me. I am still having a great deal of pleasure from Deephaven and I don't know when I have been so proud and so glad about anything as I was of getting a letter from Mr. Whittier a few days ago.* Wasn't he kind to take the trouble to write to me and to say that he had read my book three times and that he thought there was nothing better in our literature of the kind and that he thought it a complete success -- and things of that sort? I don't think a letter could have been pleasanter and I have enjoyed what he has written so much ever since I was a little girl, that I am delighted to know that anything I could do has pleased him. I have had some new notices in Magazines which were very kind. I wish you would look at one in the June Eclectic if you ever come across that number* -- for it was such high praise -- and praise that went to my heart -- and will make me try to come up to the high-water mark which the writer seems to think I have reached, and which I certainly think I have not. For I must tell you and all my friends -- again and again that I never wished to work so hard over my writing or saw the need of it so clearly as I do now. It seems to me that I never felt so entirely that I am just beginning and have no end of things to learn and to do. And I see that I must try harder than ever to be better myself if I want my stories to be really good. I am always remembering what I have often spoken to you about -- the bit from a notice of one of Miss Thackeray's books* "In short, the tenderness of a loving womanly heart pervades the whole story. It is Miss Thackeray herself in Old Kensington that makes it so delightful a book" ----. You do not know how much that taught me -- and I want to tell you again because you have helped me so much -- that I am more than ever glad of the help, and I beg you to teach me and to scold me and to show me my way, because alone I am always going wrong though I do wish to go right. How much I wish I could have a long talk with you! Good-bye -- Yours sincerely and lovingly

     Sarah

     Please give my love to Mrs. Parsons and Miss Sabra --*


Notes

Mr. OsgoodJames Ripley Osgood.  See Correspondents

Gilmans and Bells:  For members of the Gilman and Bell families, see Correspondents.

Miss Preston: Harriet Waters Preston.   See Correspondents

a letter from Mr. Whittier: John Greenleaf Whittier, see Correspondents. This letter is reprinted in Paula Blanchard, Sarah Orne Jewett, p. 112. Whittier reports that he is reading Jewett's first novel (1877) for the third time and recommending it to his friends. He says, "I know nothing better in our literature of the kind...." 

June Eclectic:  This review appeared in The Eclectic in June 1877.

from a notice of one of Miss Thackeray's books: Miss Thackeray is William M. Thackeray's daughter, also a novelist, Anne Isabella Thackeray, Lady Ritchie (1837-1919). Old Kensington appeared in 1873. This review has not been located.  Help is welcome.

Miss Sabra: Mary Sabra Parsons. See Theophilus Parsons in Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Special Collections at Colby College.  It was transcribed in 1986 by curator Fraser Cocks, with some later corrections by an anonymous hand.  Further corrections, notes and annotations by Terry Heller, Coe College.



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ

'Oak Knoll'                               
Danvers 14th -- 8 Mo. 1877*
My dear frd.

    Thanks for thy exceedingly kind invitation to South Berwick -- and "Deephaven."*  I wish I could accept it, but the dog-days compel ^me^ to keep quiet at home.  Did I answer thy letter before this? -- I half suspect I did, but in the multiplicity of my correspondence, I am

[ Page 2 ]

 not quite sure, and so write now.  I hear thy little book everywhere praised. and The hotels & boarding houses of "Old York" ought to give thee & thy friends free rooms, from this time henceforth, for there will be half thy readers going to "Deephaven{.}"  My friend Miss Preston[,]* whom thee know I suppose, is there now at the "Harbor."*

[ Page 3 ]

    I hope I may sometime, avail myself of thy invitation.

    I saw our good friend Mrs. Ellis at Newtonville* the other day.

Always & truly thy frd.

John G. Whittier

Notes

14th 8 Mo. 1877:  Whittier uses the Quaker dating system, giving the day and the number of the month.

Deephaven:  Jewett's first novel appeared in the spring of 1877.  Whittier seems to be thinking of "Old York" as a model for the fictional the town of Deephaven that is the setting of Jewett's novel.

Miss Preston:  Harriet Waters Preston (1836-1911), a writer and translator, was one of those from whom Jewett sought advice early in her career. See Blanchard, Sarah Orne Jewett, pp. 108-9.

the "Harbor":  This is likely to be the York Harbor Inn, in York Harbor Maine.

Mrs. Ellis at Newtonville:  Emma Harding Claflin Ellis.  See Correspondents.  She was a member of the Claflin family of Newtonville, MA.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the South Berwick Public Library, South Berwick, ME.  Transcription by John Richardson.  Annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to James R. Osgood


     South Berwick, Maine
     August 16, 1877

    Dear Sir:

     Cannot I have the rest of the notices of Deephaven* now if you are done using them? There are a great many that I have not seen and I shall thank you very much if you will take the trouble to send them.

     Yours sincerely,
     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

Deephaven:  Jewett's first novel, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood & Co. in 1877.

This letter is edited and annotated by Richard Cary in Sarah Orne Jewett Letters; the ms. is held by Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine.



SOJ to Anna Laurens Dawes

10 Sept 1877

Dear Dawes-y my dear friend!

I have thought of you fondly if I have not written. The hindrance was a combination of visitors and my lame shoulder and two, long, delicious, and lazy weeks at York Harbor. I came home from there Saturday night via Portsmouth and I must confess that I am a little homesick for the sound of the sea -- the charming out-door life and the dear old and new friends from whom I had to part. Most of them had either left already or came away when I did, and yet there are some who will stay until October. I mean to drive down for the day the first morning I think it will be decent to suggest it to my family. Do you always feel a little unsettled and ill at ease when you first get home or rather when you first get back! It always is a little uninteresting to me for a day or two. I am not ready to write or to do anything sensible. I think one is half a guest, don’t you? and doesn't take one's proper place at the beginning. At least I don’t, and I remember that while I was growing up and afterward I used to get very blue and lonely and miss my friends awfully for two weeks at least. But my writing has had a great influence over that naughtiness. I can always throw myself heart and soul into that. I am thinking a good deal of late about my winter's work -- and I wish I could begin upon it at once. My shoulder (or rather the lame place in my chest which I call my shoulder 'for short') has been trou­bling me dreadfully this summer -- and I know I had better let writing alone. I wish I could talk over with you a plan of which I have thought a good deal -- and perhaps I can some day before I carry it out. I shall start writing very soon, for I have so much to do. Mr. Howells* has been writing to me for some stories and I wish I had them done. I have thought a great deal about my scribbling this summer -- and I never was so much interested in it. We have some visitors coming a little later and after that my time will be mostly my own -- which speech you need not criticise because I see its inefficiency and naughtiness as well as you!

Miss Preston* meant to come from York with me for a little visit, but was obliged to go elsewhere first. It all came out right though I was so sorry about it at first, for Mother is sick today.

How much better I should like talking with you than writing! We would go for a walk Dawes-y for there is an exquisite sunset shining in at the window through the trees. I feel exactly like a talk with you -- and I half think you are thinking of me too, just now. Do you ever feel certain of such things? I wish you were to be here for the next few days. We would stay out doors all the time and spend all our after­noons down river, for the tide is high of an afternoon just now and I should like to pull you down two miles and then stop in the shade and read and gossip until it is time to come home to supper.

Thank you for your interest in my younger girl friend and I am glad to tell you that she is growing stronger and happier in every way. I think you would like her dearly, and isn't it a great thing to be used in helping somebody, and to have people associate you with their pleas­ures and blessings? We will try to be good tools and to keep ourselves always ready for God's use, wont we dear? I wish we could talk more about these things, but we have talked haven't we? -- and we are sure of each other's sympathy, which is a very great thing.

It is growing dark and I must say good night to you -- though there is so much else I wish to tell you. How pleasant it has been to know Miss Preston more and to love her better -- and about the new friend I made at York -- and how nice it was when somebody would tell me they had liked my little Deephaven -- and thank me for pleasure I had given "unbeknownst" --

Good-bye -- I have your litany put away in its letter wh. I can't get at tonight, but I will send it to you shortly. I beg your pardon for keeping it -- but I quite forgot it -- God bless you and fare you well.

 

Notes

Mr. Howells:  William Dean Howells.  See Correspondents.

Miss Preston: Harriet Waters Preston.   See Correspondents.

Deephaven:  Jewett's first novel, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood & Co. in 1877.

This letter was transcribed and annotated by C. Carroll Hollis.  It appeared in "Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett to Anna Laurens Dawes," Colby Library Quarterly No. 3 (1968): 97-138.  It is in the Henry Laurens Dawes Papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.





SOJ to James Ripley Osgood


South Berwick
11 Sept 1877

 
Dear Mr. Osgood

    Some day will you please have those childrens stories* sent to me.  There's no hurry only I am going to finish a scrap-book I am making of my 'works' and I want to put them in some rainy morning or other.

    Is Deephaven* still getting on well?  And have you any idea how many more have been sold?  I have proud thoughts of buying myself a most gallant new horse* for riding -- and though I don't dare for a cheque at all until your usual time of sending it, I wish I could have some idea of how well the book has done -- or how ill!

    I have just been down at York Harbor for a fortnight and I wish I were back again.  This does not show decent civility to one's family I fear!  If this is a busy time with you I beg you will not answer my letter until you find it quite convenient.

Yours most sincerely
Sarah O. Jewett

Notes

childrens stories: It is uncertain which stories Jewett means.  It seems likely that she is looking forward to Play Days, which Houghton, Osgood & Co. published in 1878.  Perhaps she has sent Osgood copies of the materials she is thinking of including and hopes to get those copies back again.

Deephaven: Jewett is inquiring about sales of her first book, published earlier in 1877.

horse: Within a month, Jewett had chosen her horse.  See below her letters of October 10 and 11.

A note on this anonymous transcription indicates that the original is in: [Yale University Collection.]  A search of Yale Manuscript and Archives finding guides provides this probable, but not yet certain location: Yale Collection of American Literature --  Letter Collection YCAL MSS 446, Box 15.  This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, folder 63, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Theophilus Parsons

     South Berwick

     17 Sept. 1877

     My dear Prof. Parsons

     I have just come home from York Harbor where I have been staying for two long, delicious lazy weeks -- and I wish I were back again. Isn't that a lack of decent civility to my family! But I miss the sound of the sea and the out of door life and I miss my friends with whom I have been. The sorrow is never in getting home but in getting back -- which not very plain sentence, I think you will understand. I wrote you some time [sometime] ago and sent the letter to Nantucket where I hope you had a pleasant vacation. I wish I could go there. It is one of the places I most wish to see. I shall ask you ever so many questions about it when I see you again. I hope I shall be in Boston a good deal this winter -- but I hope that every year without my visits growing much longer. If I am only well I shall do a great deal of writing but my shoulder has troubled me more than usual through the summer and it tires me dreadfully to write more than half an hour or so. I stopped just after I wrote that and imagined your telling me there is a purpose in all this hindrance -- and I am already very sure that it is sometimes better for one's work to be hindered. But don't you think it is very hard to have to be idle, when one wishes to be busy? I have had a pleasant summer all except not feeling well. I have been by the sea a great deal, and I have seen a great many old friends and have made some charming new ones. It has made me very happy to find that I have been making friends 'unbeknownst' through Deephaven* and I am so glad people like it, and yet I am more sober than ever when I think of it. But I have told you that in every letter! -- never mind! I should say a great deal about what I mean to try to do, if I were with you and a bit of it will get written down, whether or no.

     I must tell you of something which has made me very happy, -- My friendship with two younger girls. I think I have spoken to you of one whom I have known for a year, but the other I have only had to do with this summer and I am so glad that I have 'helped' her to help herself. I think I have no greater wish or ambition than to be a good friend to younger girls and I hope to be of more and more use in this way as I grow older. I don't feel as if I were ready for it yet -- but I have already learned that God can do good works with very dull tools. I wish I could have a long talk with you. I do so often wish for that.

     I have been enjoying one of my newer friends so much this summer. I wonder if you know much of her? Miss Preston.* I know I have spoken of my fondness for her to you but I have been with her lately and I was very happy. I am very fond of her books, and to know her is a thousand times better than reading those. I am very glad to have such a friend, indeed I think there never was a girl so lucky in her friendships as I have been. You know I mean a great deal when I say 'lucky'!

     I am thinking a good deal nowadays about that old plan of mine for writing a book for girls.* If I were feeling better I believe I would begin it at once. I am sure of the truth of what you said once -- that perhaps I could do it better now than if I waited until later -- when I am older and may have forgotten what troubles and helps a girl. I wish I could talk with you about it. I am very glad I did not try to do this bit of work three years ago when I was thinking so much about it.

     I believe Deephaven is still getting on well. I have had so much real pleasure from it, and I am so glad to have done anything my friends like, -- they have been so good to me. I want to do a great deal better next time -- but I don't wish to get that restless ambition that drives and puzzles and discontents and disappoints one. And I don't wish to get so fierce a liking for my pen and ink that all my other work will seem stupid and not worth while! There are so many things to say to you -- but good-bye! Yours lovingly and sincerely and in the hope of growing good and useful

     S. O. J.

Notes

Deephaven:  Jewett's first novel, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood & Co. in 1877.

Miss Preston: Harriet Waters Preston.   See Correspondents.

book for girls:  Jewett published two books "for girls," but more than a decade after this letter: Betty Leicester.  A Story for Girls (1890) and its short sequel,Betty Leicester's English Xmas: A New Chapter of an Old Story (1894).

The manuscript of this letter is held by Special Collections at Colby College.  It was transcribed in 1986 by curator Fraser Cocks, with some later corrections by an anonymous hand.  Further corrections, notes and annotations by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to William Dean Howells
South Berwick,
18 Sept. 1877.

Dear Mr. Howells

    Thank you for your funny, kind little note which I received just before I went to York for a while.  I should like very much to send you some sketches* that were good enough for you to keep for 'the poor old friend' [!]  and I hope I can go to work soon.  I have not been well this summer and have written almost nothing.  Perhaps I can send you two or three short papers about country people etc. for next year, for I have planned so many.

            Has not everyone been very kind about that small book of mine?*  I have had a thousand times more pleasure from it than I ever dreamed of, and I thank you so much for telling me to get it ready -- because I certainly should have given up the idea if it hadn't been for you.  It hardly seems real now, that people have liked it so much.  My friends have been so very good to me that I am glad enough to have done something that pleased them.  I hope Mrs. Howells is well and dear Pilla, and that you have all had a most charming summer.  Please give my love to them and believe me your[s] sincerely with most hearty thanks for your kindness.

                        Sarah O. Jewett



Notes

sketches:  It is not yet clear to which sketches Jewett refers.  Nothing of hers appeared in Atlantic until March of 1878, "A Lost Lover."  Several anonymous pieces possibly by her appeared later in 1878 in the Contributors' Club column.

small book of mine:  Jewett refers to Deephaven (1877).

Mrs. Howells is well and dear Pilla:  Elinor and Mildred Howells.  See William Dean Howells in Correspondents.

A note on this transcription indicates that the original is in the Bowdoin Collection.  However, Bowdoin College's on-line catalog of the Sarah Orne Jewett Papers (M238) lists no letter from Jewett to Howells. This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, folder 63, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



Ellen Tucker Emerson to SOJ


Concord Sept 28th 1877

Dear Miss Jewett,

    I have the book safely back, and thank you very much for your good letter with its very pleasant account by your class,* which you may be sure rejoiced my heart.

Ellen T. Emerson

Notes

your class:  Jewett speaks of her Sunday school class for "grown-up girls" in her letters to Theophilus Parsons of 12 April 1877 and to Anna Laurens Dawes of 11 October 1877.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Columbia University Library  (New York) Special Collections -- Jewett.



SOJ to Mrs. Alice Dunlap Gilman

    South Berwick, Maine
     October 10, 1877

     Dear Cousin Alice:

     Isn't it a good day for the fair?1 and don't I wish I were there!

     I reached home all right but in the midst of a pouring rain. Mary* was to have been here at three, but she did not show herself, so we are looking for her this morning. Father and mother are very well but I think they have been rather lonely, and we sat up late last night talking for I had so much to tell about my visit. You don't know how much I enjoyed it, or how much I thank you and all the rest for your very great kindness to me. I shall have so many pleasant things to remember, and I hope you will all come here before very long, and that I can do something for you.

     As for the horse, in which I take it for granted you have some interest, I am sorry to say he is not here yet so I have to wait another day. It is not much matter because it is so muddy today, but I want to see how he looks.2

  
Father is away today and I think I shall give the horses a little exercise after I unpack my trunk. I wish Charlie* was here for I owe him some splendid drives and I shouldn't mind paying up at all. Tell Liddy3 that I have lost some valuable time this morning because I had to sit right down and read the Mother's Magazine.I had a lot of letters to read last night and one was from the editor of a new magazine5 asking me to write for it, so I don't believe I am likely to want business this winter with all the rest I have to do!

     Tell Aunty that she shall have the poem in a few days.

     I keep thinking of the fair and wishing I could go. I am so glad it doesn't rain, and I shall look anxiously for the Telegraph. Mother says the receipt for the "pepper-tomato" is to take the tomatoes and put them in hot water a little while so they will peel very easily and then put them in a kettle without any water and the proportion is three pounds of sugar to four pounds of fruit. Boil them until they get dark and thick (almost all day, I guess) and put in cayenne pepper as strong as you like it. Mother is in the midst of grape jelly and there are some things for me to do for her, so I must say goodby with ever and ever so much love to you and all the family.6

     From your sincere and aff 
  
     Sarah


Cary's Notes

    1The annual Sagadahoc County Fair at Topsham, Maine.

    2Miss Jewett's interest in horseflesh had a long history, beginning with her childhood admiration for the horses that drew her father's buggy in his rounds of backwoods and seacoast patients. As soon as she was old enough she instituted regular afternoon drives, leading to association with a long series of spanking equines. She even contemplated driving from South Berwick to Boston, but there is no record that she ever consummated this project. It is somehow portentous that her death was brought about indirectly by a beloved horse who unseated her in a moment of clumsiness or panic.  See also her letter of 16 October.

    3Mrs. Gilman's daughter Elizabeth (see Correspondents).

    4Mother's Magazine, published in New York from 1833 to 1888, was at this time edited by a minister and bore heavily upon the Sabbath and scripture. Although it printed periodical reports of the Maternal Association, it was "not for mothers any more than for women in general," and was widely read for its stories, poems, and special features.

    5The Sunday Afternoon, published in Springfield, Massachusetts, and edited in its first year by Washington Gladden. Miss Jewett contributed four stories and two poems to its pages between January 1878 and July 1879. Two more of her stories appeared after its name was changed to Good Company.

   6For additional data on the Gilman family, see Richard Cary, "Jewett's Cousins Charles and Charlie," Colby Library Quarterly, V (September 1959), 48-58; and "Jewett and the Gilman Women," V (March 1960), 94-103.


Additional Notes

Mary:  Almost certainly Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Charlie:  Charles Ashburton Gilman.  See Correspondents.

This letter is edited and annotated by Richard Cary in Sarah Orne Jewett Letters; the ms. is held by Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, Bowdoin College Library.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College./




SOJ to Charles Ashburton Gilman


                                    South Berwick
                                    10 October 1877

Dear Charlie

    I have been meaning to write to you ever since I came home but I have not found time.  I went to Boston the second morning after I left Brunswick and bought the chestnut horse* which I like very much.  Mary* says she likes it better than the others she saw, and so far every thing seems right about it . I dont know that I ever saw a prettier creature.  She's a thoroughbred and it was a great piece of good-luck that Mr. Chamberlain* happened to get her etc.  She knows me already and follows me all round after apples and sugar.  I just wish you were here and would go out to see her for yourself.  I think I shall enjoy her ever so much.



Notes

chestnut horse:  Jewett further describes this horse in the final paragraph of her letter to Anna Dawes of 11 October 1877.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Mr. Chamberlain:  Mellen Chamberlain.  See Correspondents.

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, folder 63, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.





SOJ to Mary Ellis*

[ On stationery with the SOJ initials superimposed over each other. ]

South Berwick
10 October
[1877 - 1885]*

Dear Mary Ellis

    I hope you have not forgotten your promise to spend a Sunday with me, and I should like dearly to have you come this very next Friday afternoon.  I have

[ Page 2 ]

just written Abby,* and I hope nothing will prevent my seeing you both.  I have told her that I hope you can come in the early afternoon train for then I can go to meet you.  Mary* sends

[ Page 3 ]

you her love.  And she and my mother and I are all looking forward to "the company" with great pleasure.

Yours always affectionately
Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

1877 - 1885:  The tone of this letter suggests that the recipient is fairly young, though this is by no means certain.  Jewett's correspondence with the Claflin family seems to begin in 1877, when Mary Claflin's step-granddaughter, Mary, was about 13.  It seems unlikely that this letter was composed after Mary was 21, but as there is no yet discovered record of her marriage, it is possible that this letter is from a later year.

Mary Ellis:  A daughter of Emma Harding Claflin Ellis.  See Correspondents.

Abby:  The identity of Abby is unknown.  Perhaps this is a nickname for Mary Ellis's sister, Annie Claflin Ellis.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in the  Governor William and Mary Claflin Papers,  GA-9, Box 4, Miscellaneous Folder J, Ac 950.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Anna Laurens Dawes

11 Oct 1877

Dear Dawes-y,

She "thought to break a country heart For pastimes ere she went to town"!* -- I suppose I ought to congratulate you on going to Wash­ington, but to tell the truth I am grieved that you are not to be in this region this winter. I hoped I should see you in Boston and that I should see you here. But joy go with you! and you can enlighten the mind of your provincial friend -- can't you? and won't you? I am not sure, but I don't believe I should like to be in society. I am getting to have a very old-maidenly liking for being quiet. I suppose my writing makes me dislike a 'racket' more and more, and yet no girl likes to see new people or enjoy her old friends more or better than I. I suppose it behoves [ so spelled ] me to acknowledge your 'bit of a complimment'["] as the Irish say -- before I mention anything else. I am very much obliged and if I did make it up myself dear Dawes-y, I never should be fool enough to tell yez! I should have thrashed you if I had been there, for that! I should have shaken you well and made a few remarks to you that would not have been soon forgotten. None of your jokes at poor young authoresses if you please. But it was truly a sweet speech and I felt proud and am grateful to you for passing it on. It seems very foolish to say my stories are like Hawthorne's* and I wonder why people do! They don't seem a bit alike to me. I wish I were with you and we could have a talk -- there is so much I wish I could say about this very matter of praise. It is all very pleasant -- but is such a different pleasure from what I supposed it would be when I used to build castles in Spain a great while ago. It is a great puzzle to me to know myself -- and other people aren't half so much a puzzle somehow. But I don't believe in thinking much about myself. I believe I take life more and more simply, at least I try to -- for I am sure it is the better way. -- I must confess to you that I have been feeling rather dull and blue lately -- for I do not grow strong as I very much wish I could. My lame shoulder and chest hin­der me some days from even writing a letter and I hoped to be hard at work by this time. I shall soon come to the conclusion that I had better not write any more just now -- and try to give it up good naturedly. But I have made ever so many plans and I am so interested in writing! I have been doing a little at a story during the last few days -- it is rather out of my line and I am very much interested to see how it is coming out. I wish I could work five hours a day right straight along, which is a senseless wish enough, because I should only be happy as long as I held out and then I should go down in sight of land as I did last winter.

See here, dear girl -- you think me a great deal gooder and better than I am and I don’t feel comfortable and happy! I feel as if I were taking you in and I hate every kind of deceit. Wouldn't it be nice if one never said more than one meant -- if we could in every way be per­fectly true? I suppose it is a thing one must try for always in this world and never reach. I'll tell you what I ask for myself every morn­ing and night when I say my prayers -- that I may pray and fight to become a brave good woman -- that I may be a Christian through and through, and that I may be tireless in trying to do right. I wonder why we dont try harder and care more about being good. We 'go into' almost everything so much more heartily -- it seems to me sometimes -- and yet isn't it a comfort that the growth isn't all in our own heads, that there is a spiritual growth outside our own consciousness, that God takes care of. But don’t you 'forget' hour after hour and day after day, and doesn't it seem as if there were more winter than summer? There is something in Fenelon* that is always a great consolation to me when I think about my faults and troubles and carelessness -- that when we walk in the dark the roughness of the country does not trouble us -- but the higher the sun goes up in the sky the more plainly we see -- and the more we see Gods brightness, the worse we seem to our­selves. I get so ashamed of myself here at home -- and isn't it harder to be good at home than anywhere else -- and did you ever think that while we get most of our discipline from our own families, there is com­pensation because we really love them better than we do anybody else!

I was thinking about Sunday school awhile ago, and I wonder if you took a class in Washington? I wish you could have a class of grown-up girls as I have. It would help you and it would help them -- as a younger class cannot. I think it is very seldom one sees a girl so well fitted to help other girls, as you are. You know so well society-life and you carry under all this so strong a consciousness of better things. I think so often of that line "some earnest word amid the idle talk"* -- and do let us try to remember it. I have often been sorry that I was afraid to speak gravely -- but never sorry when I have spoken. All the same, I dont believe in forcing such things upon one's friends -- there is always an instinct which teaches one -- do not you find it so. And after all God's object in putting us into this world is to let us know him and have his goodness and wisdom and happiness. We are put here for love's sake, and God helps us all he can -- but we must take his help in freedom. He does not force us. Now everything that makes people remember this real object of life must be a good thing -- and when we are with people who are living for anything and everything else, and we know it and can remind them and help them, for God's sake let us try! -- And let us pray oftener at any rate, because we are always forgetting what a power that is.

It made me very glad, what you said about Miss Barnard, and I wish you would give my love to her. Isn't it wonderful how one's life reaches out? -- beyond one's own knowledge -- and how it frightens one sometimes. I think of it so much when I think about my book and my stories and how many people have read them.

Well -- I must say good-bye -- I dont know when I have written so long a letter. I must tell you that I was in Boston for a day or two lately but I didn't see Ella* -- and before that I had made a little visit down at Brunswick and had a lovely time with my young cousin Charley* -- dear little fellow (or big fellow!) He has grown so this summer and he is trying very hard to be a good man. And I know you will be interested when I tell you that in Boston I bought myself a lovable saddle-horse -- a chestnut thoroughbred that goes like the wind, and is so far satisfactory in every way. I call her Sheila for the Princess of Thule* -- is not that a good name? I have no end to tell you about my dear Miss Preston whom I like and love more and more -- but I have no time, and my arm really gave out some pages back! Mary sends a heap of love to you and wishes she ever could see you. Do you know how the Alice Walworth match* comes on? Mary* has been out at Mrs. Claflin's & Mrs. Ellis's & has had a lovely time.1 She and Mrs. Ellis are great friends you know. Good bye from your fond and true


Hollis's note

1 Mrs. William Claflin and Mrs. Emma Claflin Ellis were friends of the Jewetts. Mrs. Claflin, whose husband had been Governor of Massachusetts from 1869 to 1871, was especially fond of Sarah, and through her friendship Sarah made the acquaintance of many literary personages of New England. This was before the intimacy with Annie Fields and the acquaintance with the literary coterie at Charles Street.

Additional notes

went to town:  These lines are from the first stanza of Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Lady Clara Vere de Vere."  See The Complete Works of Alfred Tennyson (1887), p. 26.

Hawthorne'sWikipedia says: "Nathaniel Hawthorne ... (July 4, 1804 -  May 19, 1864) was an American novelist, Dark Romantic, and short story writer."

FenelonWikipedia says: "François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon ..., more commonly known as François Fénelon (6 August 1651 - 7 January 1715), was a French Roman Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet and writer."  The passage to which Jewett refers may be from Letter VII, "Not to be troubled about unintentional omissions in confession" of March 21, 1690, in Spiritual Letters (1877), pp. 28-30.

"some earnest word amid the idle talk":  This line is from Coventry Patmore (1823-1896), "Parting."  The poem appeared in a number of 19th-century verse anthologies and was widely reprinted in various publications.

    PARTING.

If thou dost bid thy friend farewell,
But for one night though that farewell may be,
Press thou his hand in thine.
How canst thou tell how far from thee
Fate or caprice may lead his steps ere that to-morrow comes?
Men have been known to lightly turn the corner of a street,
And days have grown to months, and months to lagging years,
Ere they have looked in loving eyes again.
Parting, at best, is underlaid
With tears and pain.
Therefore, lest sudden death should come between.
Or time, or distance, clasp with pressure firm
The hand of him who goeth forth;
Unseen, Fate goeth too.
Yes, find thou always time to say some earnest word
Between the idle talk,
Lest with thee henceforth,
Night and day, regret should walk.


Miss Barnard:  Whether this is the Mrs. Barnard mentioned in other letters is not clear. In either case, her identity remains unknown.  Assistance is welcome.
    Though this has not been confirmed, a strong candidate for "Mrs. Barnard" is Helen M. Barnard, like Dawes, active in women's suffrage.  Helen Barnard worked as a journalist for the New York Herald, and served the U. S. government in various capacities.  The Washington Times of 22 July 1914 (p. 7) says that she was one of the first two female journalists allowed to attend and cover the United States Senate: "Later Mrs. Barnard, under [President Ulysses S.] Grant's Administration, was sent to Liverpool as immigration commissioner. She visited England, Ireland, and Scotland. She returned in the steerage of an ocean liner and gave one of the most interesting and useful reports made on the subject of immigration."  The Los Angeles Herald of 27 May 1888 (p. 6) says: "Helen M. Barnard was, and is, a regal woman, earnest, thoughtful and profound. Her forte was politics, in which she displayed extraordinary sagacity. She is now a staid married woman, resides in New York City, and is editing a special monthly journal."  The description of a letter of introduction by James A. Garfield, then an Ohio congressman, presenting her to E. B. Washburne, then U. S. Minister at Paris, France, says: "Barnard was a government clerk, journalist, and an original member of the Universal Franchise Association, and an associate of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton."

Ella:  See Ella Walworth Little in Correspondents.

cousin CharleyCharles Ashburton Gilman.  See Correspondents.

Sheila for the Princess of Thule: A Princess of Thule, is a novel by the Scots author, William Black.

Miss Preston:  Harriet Waters Preston.  See Correspondents.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.   See Correspondents.

Alice Walworth:  See Ella Walworth Little in Correspondents.

This letter was transcribed and annotated by C. Carroll Hollis.  It appeared in "Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett to Anna Laurens Dawes," Colby Library Quarterly No. 3 (1968): 97-138.  It is in the Henry Laurens Dawes Papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Charles Ashburton Gilman

South Berwick
16 October 1877

Dear Charlie

I have been meaning to write to you ever since I came home but I have not found time. I went to Boston the second morning after I left Brunswick and bought the chestnut horse* which I like very much. Mary* says she likes it better than the others she saw, and so far, every thing seems right about it. I dont know that I ever saw a prettier creature -- she's a thoroughbred and it was a great piece of good-luck that Mr. Chamberlain happened to get her.* I found out all about her, and who had owned her &c. She knows me already and follows me all round after apples and sugar. I just wish you were here and could go out to see her for yourself. I think I shall enjoy her ever so much.*

I did have such a good time in Boston. I went to see Mr. Osgood,* and did some other errands and then went up to the Gordons, where I found that Ellen Mason* and several other friends of mine were in town from Newport and were all at Ellen's. You can guess that I whisked in and that I was persuaded to send a telegram home and to stay overnight. I stayed with Grace but I spent the evening with the other girls and we had a jolly time. I wish you had been with us! We went to see Heller the magician and you never saw such things as he did!*  I hurried home the next day at noon for I thought that Miss Preston* was coming but I found she was obliged to put it off until a week or so later, and that neither Mrs. Ellis nor Mrs. Furber* could come so soon as we had planned, and that even the dressmaker was belated! So we are alone this week after all, but I find a good deal to do.

Yesterday I went to York with John* to get the old chair I told you about, and I had a very nice time. We 'took' our dinner and went over on Cape Neddick exploring the pastures and in one place we drove over a stone wall! We had General in the little open buggy, and the wall had fallen down considerably just there! I should like to take you where we went, some day. It was not quite so wild as Orr's Island* but it was wild enough. York is such a nice old place -- I mean to go down again for the day, before cold weather. I hope you will 'happen along' soon.

It was too bad there was so much rainy weather in 'fair time' but I hope it didn't hinder all the pleasure and that you had no end of fun. I thought of you ever so much while I was in Boston. I long to see the Telegraph to hear about the premiums.*

I did have such a nice time in Brunswick. I remember it every day, and especially Orr's Island -- and you will not be surprised to hear that I have been reading "the Pearl" over again to refresh my memory.

By the way Charlie did you ever read a book called "Tom Brown at Rugby"?* It is one of the books I like best, and I think you would. Perhaps you wont like the first chapter very well, but you get "Tom" started at school, and see if you dont read all the rest! I dont know a jollier or a better book. I wish I could spend this afternoon at your house. Do give my love to all the family. I suppose Cousin Alice got my letter but I want to say again what a good time I had and how kind you all were. Now write to me as soon as you can and remember you are coming to see us.

Yours lovingly

Sarah.


I just had a letter from Mrs. Claflin* asking me to make her a visit with Miss Phelps the authoress.* Wouldn't it be nice? but I can't very well accept, and my friends want me again to come down to Newport, which would also be very great fun if I could leave home.

I send these patterns of a dress I got, to your mother -- not to you!

Notes

Charles Ashburton Gilman:  Cary provides this account in the article where this transcription appears:
Charles Ashburton was a lovable youth and he lost none of this attribute as a man. Secure under the wing of his baronial father, he was not ambitious for the best education, neither did he seek a profession nor go away to make money in the new industries. His gregarious nature inclined him toward politics. As ardently Republican as Charles Jervis, he was an attending member of the Town Committee, eventually its chairman; served on the County Committee, and carried the electoral vote for two such disparate presidential candidates as Theodore Roosevelt and Alfred Landon. From among his vast acquaintance with nationally known Republicans he was instrumental in bringing the best to orate at rallies, celebrations, and other public gatherings in Brunswick. And it was his pleasure to indulge in extensive anecdotage about them to whatever friends he met at bank, post office, or convenient street corner. He spoke robustly but never with enmity, and there was an aura of gallantry about his every gesture.

He was born on the Gilman estate, lived there his whole life, and became master of it in due course. He too made sporadic efforts to commercialize Paradise Spring Water, hoping to recoup the diminishing splendor of his patrimony, but with as little reward. Gradually the famed hospitality of the place shrank to family visits and the calls of close friends. Charlie's sisters Mary and Elizabeth managed the modest entertainment while Charlie hovered about, dispensing small talk and good nature.

The fire in him, banked by several generations of unchallenged ease, flared up after he had passed his fifty-fifth birthday. On May 5, 1914, the Brunswick Record laconically announced that Charles Ashburton Gilman had filed intentions of marriage at the Town Clerk's office. June 12th it reported that the wedding had taken place in Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday, June 3rd, and that the Gilmans would be at home after the 15th of June in Brunswick. Charlie had been incurably smitten by Miss Martha Brown Ellison four years before at the wedding of her brother to Elinor Dunlap, which was held at the Gilman home.
chestnut horse:   Miss Jewett's enthusiasm for horseflesh had a long history, beginning with her childhood admiration for the horses that drew her father's buggy in his rounds of backwoods and seacoast patients. As soon as she was old enough she instituted regular afternoon drives, leading to association with a lengthy series of spanking equines. She even spoke of driving from South Berwick to Boston, but there is no record that she ever consummated this intention. And it is somehow portentous that her death was brought about indirectly by a beloved horse who unseated her in a moment of clumsiness or panic.
  A week before (October 10, 1877) she had written to Charlie's mother: "As for the horse ... I am sorry to say he is not here yet so I have to wait another day ... I wish Charlie was here for I owe him some splendid drives and I shouldn't mind paying up at all." Seven months later (May 14, 1878) she reported to Charlie: "My horse goes splendidly and I have had some splendid long rides after I finish writing in the afternoon."
    The sex of Jewett's first horse seems confused here.  In other letters, Jewett refers to the horse as female, naming her Sheila, "for the Princess of Thule."

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett, Sarah's elder sister.  See Correspondents.

Mr. Chamberlain:  That Jewett went to Boston to purchase her horse from Mr. Chamberlain suggests the possibility that the seller was her friend and early literary adviser, Judge Mellen Chamberlain of Boston.  See Correspondents.

Mr. Osgood:  James Ripley Osgood, the Boston publisher who brought out her first book, Deephaven, that year.  See Correspondents.

Gordons ... Ellen Mason:  Miss Jewett was the frequent guest of Mrs. Katherine Parker Gordon and her daughter Grace of Walnut Street in Boston, and of the sisters Ellen and Ida Mason of Beacon Hill and Newport.

Heller the magician:  Robert Heller (1826 -1878), a German immigrant, was a popular touring magician.  Wikipedia.

Preston: Harriet Waters Preston, translator, critic and novelist, who roused Miss Jewett's interest in the poetry of Matthew Arnold.

Mrs. Ellis nor Mrs. Furber:  Mrs. William Claflin and Mrs. Emma Claflin Ellis were friends of the Jewetts. Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin (1825-1896), second wife of Governor William Claflin of Massachusetts, published three books of belles-lettres on New England life, and Personal Recollections of John G. Whittier.  Mrs. Claflin, whose husband had been Governor of Massachusetts from 1869 to 1871, was especially fond of Sarah, and through her friendship Sarah made the acquaintance of many literary personages of New England.  See Correspondents.
    Mrs. Furber probably is Elvira Irwin Furber (1836-1912), daughter of Alexander J. Irwin, lawyer, postmaster and pioneer settler in Green Bay, WI and wife of Henry Jewett Furber, Sr. (1840-1916), a third cousin of Sarah Orne Jewett.

John:  John Tucker (1845-1902), of Kittery, Maine, came to work for Dr. Jewett as "temporary" hostler in 1875 and remained until his death. A loyal and trustworthy man, he was granted increasing responsibility in household affairs and became practically indispensable to the entire family.  See Correspondents.

Orr's Island: Off the Maine coast, some twelve miles south of Brunswick. Miss Jewett first read Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel The Pearl of Orr's Island (Boston, 1862) when she was thirteen or fourteen, and on a number of occasions in print avowed the influence that it had on her own literary career.

premiums:  In point of fact the opening day of the Sagadahoc County Fair at Topsham was postponed on account of inclement weather, and attendance on the following morning was disappointingly slim. Gilman took high pride in excelling at local fairs. Miss Jewett's eagerness to read about "the premiums" (see her letter of October 16, 1877, below) was to be thoroughly rewarded. At the annual Sagadahoc County Fair, held the week previous, Charles Jervis exhibited in most of the major classes, winning two first prizes in the cow and heifer contests, a first and second prize for full-blooded sheep, and a second prize in poultry for his Plymouth Rock (Brunswick Telegraph, October 19, 1877).

Tom Brown at Rugby:  Miss Jewett's recommendation of Thomas Hughes' popular 1857 novel of English school life and "muscular Christianity" is in line with the maternal admonition in her letter of December 23, 1877 : "I hope you will have a 'Merrie Christmas' and a most happy one too, dear Charlie, and that you will try to make it a pleasant day for somebody else. I am very sure you will do this, for I think you do not forget other people."

Mrs. Claflin: Wife of William Claflin, one-time Governor of Massachusetts. See above.

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps:  Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward was writer of religious stories touched with humor; best known for The Gates Ajar (1868).

The manuscript of this letter is held by Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, Bowdoin College Library. Transcription and notes by Richard Cary, with additions by Terry Heller, Coe College.  This transcription appeared originally in "Jewett's Cousins Charles and Charlie."  Colby Library Quarterly 5 (1959): 48-58.  It was reprinted in Richard Cary, Sarah Orne Jewett Letters.




SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

South Berwick
4 Dec 1877

     Is not this a beautiful day and I wonder if you were as disheartened by the little snow-storm as I was!  I am always so sorry to see the snow, and it shuts one in so in the country.  I don’t like to keep to the roads always when I go for a walk -- I have thought ever so many times about writing a sketch and calling it Between the Roads -- People usually know nothing of the land that lies between the long country roads, except of course the people who own it, and I know such pretty places

[ Page 2 ]

where there are deserted farms with traces of the house and garden perhaps, and one can find new brooks, and little hills and hollows. There is a favorite track of mine that I haven’t followed this fall. I waited till the swamps froze, and then other things prevented.

     Did you have a good time Thanksgiving Day? It was certainly not a pleasant day out of doors. Grandfather* stayed until the morning and then I drove him over to the station, and left him in a very chipper frame of mind. I wonder if I shall live to be eighty-nine and be as young then as he is! I was very much tangled up in my theology

[ Page 3 ]

the other day after I read that Methusaleh* wasn’t really so very old after all{,} that the years in those days were only a month or so long! Did you know it{?} I never did before, and do you believe it!
     I have been reading Avis and it interested me very much as Miss Phelps's books* always do, but I think it wont do the good she fancied and I am afraid it will do harm. Avis is far too exceptional a character -- one can hardly say that Phelps's characters are untrue, but they seem to me like what I know of Turner’s pictures,* beyond more peoples comprehension or without their observation at any rate. I think it is better

[ Page 4 ]

not to take the perfect type of a class when one wishes to write such a book as that! So few girls can possibly be so devoted, as Avis was to her art.


Notes

Grandfather:  Jewett's grandfather, Dr. William Perry (20 December 1788 - 11 January 1887). See Correspondents.

MethusalehMethuselah (usually so spelled) is named in the Bible, Genesis 5:21-27, as the longest lived person in Hebrew history, dying at the age of 969.  Biblical scholars continue to disagree upon the meaning of this number, whether it is to be read literally or in some other way.  Jewett later published a story, "The New Methuselah" in Scribner's Magazine (7:514-524), April 1890.

Avis ... Phelps booksWikipedia says: "Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward (1844 - 1911) was an early feminist American author and intellectual who challenged traditional Christian beliefs of the afterlife, challenged women's traditional roles in marriage and family, and advocated clothing reform for women.... In 1877 she published a novel, The Story of Avis, that was ahead of its time. The work focuses on many of the early feminist issues of her era. In it she portrayed a woman's struggle to balance her married life and associated domestic responsibilities with her passion to become a painter."

Turner's picturesWikipedia says:  "Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA (baptised 14 May 1775 - 19 December 1851) was an English Romanticist landscape painter. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivaling history painting."

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.  Sarah Orne Jewett Correspondence Sarah Orne Jewett to Annie Fields, MS AM 1743 (255).  Transcribed and annotated by Terry Heller, with assistance of Tanner Brossart, Coe College.



SOJ to Anna Laurens Dawes

5 Dec 1877

Dear Anna

I have just finished a long stretch of copying and it is not quite time for dinner, so I am going to begin a letter to you. I have been wishing of late to answer your last letter but my time has been very much broken of late. First my cousin Minnie1 died and I went to her funeral and then the next day I went to Boston to stay for two or three days with Grace Gordon* whose father had just died. I caught cold while I was away and came home sick -- and as soon as I felt well enough I had to hurry into some writing.

As usual I wish I could talk to you instead of writing. I want to see you very much -- and I have been hoping that we might meet in Boston as Ella* said you would probably be there later. But I doubt if I go before January now, unless something turns up. I saw Mrs. Goddard* and she praised you most heartily for which I liked her the more. I never have seen her for a very long time until lately and I do like her so much. Indeed I have grown very fond of her. I hoped to see Miss Preston* whom she expected two days while I was there, but the rain prevented her coming in from Danvers.

It is after dinner now, and in the meantime I have had a letter from Miss Preston in which she says she may possibly come for two or three days next week. Would it not be very pleasant for me? but I am so sorry we were disappointed about her coming earlier in the season -- every­thing conspired against it then and now it is so dreary. But I want to see her awfully.

Dear Dawes-y I have viewed Mr. May -- and I don’t think him so black as he's been painted to me in past times. And neither do the family it seems to me. He is very much of a gentleman and the wonder is to me that he should be satisfied with Alice -- if there is any wonder at all in the case! I could not see anything undesirable about him in the evening I was with him at Mrs. Walworth's -- but Wallace is my favorite of the sons-in-law.* Give us your views.

Do you know that I have under consideration a plan which would involve my holding considerable sweet counsel with you? Mrs. Claflin2 has asked me for the third time to visit her -- bless her kind heart! and this time it is Washington late in January. I said at once that I shouldn't go, but the family persuaded me not to send an out and out refusal -- the truth is I like so dearly to be quietly at home and at work at my desk and to take my walks abroad to Boston by and by -- and then it would be such a piece of work to get ready and the end would be that my whole winter would be broken up, for I should have to stop to make at least three decent little visits in Philadelphia. I suppose I should enjoy Washington, and there are quite a number of people there this winter whom I know, and it would be great fun to have you there. Wouldn't we have a neat little lark once in a while? -- I own that the great draw­back is bothering my head about more new clothes. I'm very respect­able for staying at home -- I have a gallant new black silk and velvet gown for the house -- and a brown out-door dress that seems to 'fill the eye' of all my friends, but shouldn't I be unhappy without a light silk? and though I don't like big parties I should be Mrs. Claflin's guest and if she wanted me to go to one very much I should you know, dear Dawesy -- friend of my heart. To tell the truth I dont know whether I want to go or not -- I suppose it would be a “great advantage” to me don't you!!

I have done a great deal of writing since I wrote you and I begin to feel a little tired. There is going to be a story of mine in the first num­ber of Sunday Afternoon3 the new magazine which I hope you let your eyes rest upon. I have a great deal to say to you but I must wait until next time. I have felt my cousin's death very much -- I think you must have heard me speak of her -- Minnie Fiske (not Ella's cousin!) Her death seemed very sudden to me; we were about the same age and were together a great deal when we were children. Good-bye dear and do write to me soon. I have thought much of you though I have not said so in a letter. Yours sincerely and fondly


I've been reading Miss Phelps's Avis,4 but withhold my views at present!

Hollis's Notes

1 Minnie Fiske of Exeter is the person meant, although this was not a blood relationship. Cf., Cary Sarah Orne Jewett Letters, 26-27.

2 William Claflin, former governor of Massachusetts, served in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1877 to 1881.  See Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin in Correspondents.

3 "A Late Supper," Sunday Afternoon, I (January 1878), 55-64.

4 Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward's The Story of Avis (1877), a novel about a woman’s ambition for an artist’s career. The parallels with Sarah's career are slight, but sufficient to arouse mild curiosity as to the withheld views.


Additional Notes

Grace Gordon:  Grace Gordon Treadwell Walden. See Correspondents.

Ella:  See Ella Walworth Little in Correspondents.

Mrs. Goddard:  Martha LeBaron Goddard (1829-1888) was the compiler, along with Harriet Preston Waters, of Sea and Shore: A Collection of Poems (1874).

Miss Preston: Harriet Waters Preston, translator, critic and novelist, who roused Miss Jewett's interest in the poetry of Matthew Arnold. See Correspondents.

Mr. May...  Alice... Mrs. Walworth's ... Wallace:  All of these people are identified in the entry on Ella Walworth Little in Correspondents.

This letter was transcribed and annotated by C. Carroll Hollis.  It appeared in "Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett to Anna Laurens Dawes," Colby Library Quarterly No. 3 (1968): 97-138.  It is in the Henry Laurens Dawes Papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Charles Ashburton Gilman

      South Berwick, Maine

     December 23, 1877

    Dear Charlie:

      I send you this little lettercase hoping you will find it as useful as I have found one just like it. Mine is nearly worn out now. I was very glad to get your letter and wish I could send you a long one in reply but I must put off writing anything but a note, for I have several notes to write today and not much time.

     I hope you will have a 'Merrie Christmas' and a most happy one too, dear Charlie, and that you will try to make it a pleasant day for somebody else. I am very sure you will do this, for I think you do not forget other people. I should like to see you and to hear all about what you are doing, your lessons and your friends and what is going on. I was very glad to get your letter, and I wish you could write oftener, but I know it is hard to find time for letters.

     We were very sorry to hear of David's1 accident and hope he is gaining very fast. Mother and Carrie have been in Exeter this week but returned yesterday. Thursday was Grandpa's eighty-ninth birthday.

     Please give my love and good wishes to all the family and with a great deal of love for yourself.
     I am always your sincerely and affectionately,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Hollis's Note

    1David Dunlap Gilman (1854-1914), Charles's elder brother, was a paymaster at the Cabot mill.


Additional notes


Mother and Carrie:  Caroline Frances Perry (Jewett); See Theodore Herman Jewett in Correspondents.
    Caroline Augusta Jewett (Eastman); see Correspondents.

Grandpa:  Dr. William Perry. See Correspondents.

This letter is edited and annotated by Richard Cary in Sarah Orne Jewett Letters; the ms. is held by Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, Bowdoin College Library.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.







William Hayes Ward to SOJ

[ Begin letterhead ]
The Independent.
Editorial Rooms, 251 Broadway
       Post-Office Box 2787.                                                          New York,  [ End letterhead ] Dec 28 1877.

Miss Sarah O Jewett,

    My dear Miss J.

                I like those Negro pictures much  --  But I do not believe there is any thing Aryan about those fox ^rabbit^ stories.* They are pure Negro, I am very sure.  Such folk lore is not characteristically Aryan, as even Japan is full of it.

                I will publish [them ?]

Respectfully
Wm Hayes Ward
Ed. 


Notes

rabbit stories:  Ward seems to be talking about the "Brer Rabbit" stories popularized by Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908). 1877 would have been just at beginning of Harris's publication of the Uncle Remus Stories.  Whether Jewett actually had seen any of these in 1877 and contacted Ward about them and whether he actually published any is not yet known.  Assistance is welcome.

The manuscript of this letter fragment is held by the Houghton Library of Harvard University: bMS Am 1743 (229).  Transcribed and annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College.



Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.



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