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Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1878




SOJ to Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin

South Berwick
8 Jan. 1878

My dear Mrs. Claflin

    I am very glad that I can say nothing seems to stand in the way of my going to Washington.*  And if it is still convenient for you to have me visit you I think I shall be ready at any time the last of

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the month.  So will you tell me please by and by about it! --

    I have been in Boston for a few days and Mary* and I saw Mrs. Ellis.*  One day she came to town to meet us, and one day Mary was out at Newtonville.  I do not know when Mrs. Ellis has

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seemed so bright and well and we had a great frolic in town, in spite of the snow storm .....  I wish so much that you could have heard one of the sermons Mr. Brooks* preached Sunday for you would have liked it.  I hope I shall not have forgotten some things he said so I can tell you by and by.  It was a

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wonderfully beautiful sermon.

    I was at Mrs. Goddard's* [yesterday ?] and Mrs. William Davenport* came in, and sent her love to you when she found ^that^ I was sure to see you.  So here it is!  Do not you think that Mrs. Goddard's parlor is a very charming place?  I always find it so hard to come away, for I am very fond of her ----
   
    Mary sends her love to you and I am always yours sincerely and affly{,} Sarah Orne Jewett.

Notes

Washington:  During the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881), William Claflin served in the House of Representatives from Massachusetts.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Ellis:   Emma Harding Claflin Ellis.  See Correspondents.

Mr. BrooksPhillips Brooks (1835-1893) was rector of Trinity Church (Episcopalian) in 1878.  Which sermon he preached on Sunday 6 January of that year is not yet known.

Mrs. Goddard's:  Martha LeBaron Goddard (1829-1888) was the compiler, along with Harriet Preston Waters, of Sea and Shore: A Collection of Poems (1874).  She was married to the journalist Delano Alexander Goddard (1831 - 1882), and they had no children.

Mrs. William Davenport:  Though the name "William Davenport" was and remains fairly common, it seems likely that this would be Elizabeth Hewitt Davenport (1847-1912), wife of Mrs Claflin's brother, William Freeland Davenport (1833-1887)..

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.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Emma Harding Claflin Ellis

1824 [L ?] St.
Washington  Feb 6th
1878


Dear Mrs. Ellis

   I began a letter to you Sunday and its in my letter case now!  I have been wishing to write you every day, but what can a fellow do who is having such a good time & who is on the wing from morning till night, but think of people with great affection.  There isn't a minute for writing but there isn't a day I haven't wished with all my heart that you were here.  I'll tell you about yesterday for its an excellent specimen of our days.  Addie* and I went to the market on a lark in the morning and when I got back after a call on the way

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I found Mrs. Claflin* just starting unexpectedly for Richmond. ^ -- She went down with a party for Miss Thursby's concert* and | comes back tonight.^  I had been asked to go and declined and for a few minutes I was pretty sorry, but afterwards I was glad I could didn't go for I had such a good time here.  Mary and Miss Cushing* and I felt very grand -- you see it was Tuesday and we had to receive and we had ninety calls and entertained the nobility and gentry and behaved just was well as we could.  Then we scurried off when there was a pause just after five, and went to a grand reception ^at the Lincolns*^ and spent an hour there and met ever so many people we knew.  Then we came home to dinner, and Gov. Claflin had somebody to drive.  Then we rigged for the President's reception and had such a good time there.  I wouldn't have missed it for anything, and

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we came home in the watches of the night, and wasn't that a day!

    I wished so much that you were with us one day when we went to a reception at the Carlile Pattersons at "Brentwood"* ^out in the country^ such a lovely old place where everything was in the old Southern fashion -- very 'swell' indeed! and there were family portraits, and little darkies in livery, and big punch bowls and general magnificence to your heart's content --  It was so different from anything I had ever seen.  And I think it must be like the way Southerners lived before the war.  The house was queerly arranged and very pleasant -- great wood fires and a round ahll or reception room lighted from the top -- with the other rooms opening from it.

    Dear me.  I set sail upon a long letter and here is Monroe* to mention that lunch is ready{.}

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& we have to go out calling afterward. 

    I must tell you how happy I am here and how charmingly kind everybody is to me.  And [ as corrected ] for your father and mother!  why words fail me when I think how good and how thoughtful and how lovely they are.  I think I never have been happier in my life, and I have found such a dear new friend in Mary.  We have such nice times together, for I share her room and it's so much pleasanter.  Isn't she a nice girl!  I like Miss Cushing so much, too.  Addie and I are great cronies and he irreverently and kindly has bestowed the title of 'The Tomboy' upon me, so you see he doesn't quite consider me a

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society-girl yet, though I certainly feel entirely like one at times!  I never supposed I should be a used-up society-girl but Mary Davenport and I both confessed to it this morning we were so sleepy.  We don't hear the alarm clock anymore, and we dont know what we shall do!

    It's dreadfully hard to say good by when I wish to tell you so much.

    Addie & Mary and Miss Cushing all send their love and so do I.  Mrs. Pollak* (that little French lady who is so fascinating) and I had  a talk about you yesterday at the reception and I wish you could have heard the things she said and they way she said them -- I shall take at least the second train for Newtonville* when

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{I} get back to Boston, for I shall have so much to tell you.  Though I'm going to write you again if I may?  Only I hope it will not be such a helter skelter letter as this.  I must tell you that the pink bonnet is highly approved by my hostess -- likewise the white brocade -- so take the credit which I always give to you.  I feel more at home in the pink bonnet than I believed possible when it first was all my own.

    Good by -- yours lovingly --

Sarah


Notes

Addie:  Adams Davenport Claflin. See Correspondents.  

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

Richmond ... Miss Thursby's concert:  Miss Emma C. Thursby (1845-1931), a renowned soprano, gave two "Grand Farewell Concerts" in Richmond, VA on Tuesday and Wednesday February 5 and 6, before beginning a European tour.  According to an ad in the Richmond Daily Dispatch of 29 January 1878, page 1, the Mozart Hall concert also was to include: Mr. W. T. Carleton, baritone, Miss Matilda Toedt, violin, Alfred H. Pease, pianist and composer, and George W. Colby, musical director and accompanist.  See also The Life of Emma Thursby, 1845-1931, by Richard McCandless Gipson.

Mary and Miss Cushing:  For Mary Davenport, see Emma Ellis in Correspondents.  In the absence of any other known "Mary Davenport" connected with the Claflin and Ellis families, it seems possible that Jewett refers to Mrs. Ellis's daughter by this name, to distinguish her from her step-grandmother.

    The identity of Miss Cushing remains unknown.  This is pure speculation, but it is possible that Florence Maria Cushing (1853 - 1927), the first graduate of Vassar College (1874) to become a member of Vassar's board of trustees, was visiting her relative (probably a second cousin) Frank Hamilton Cushing (1857-1900), who was a curator of Native American artifacts at the Smithsonian Institution. Assistance is welcome. 

the Lincolns ... the President's reception:  Jewett's description of her day in Washington, DC, that includes attending two receptions the same evening would seem to indicate that a special event such as an inauguration was taking place, but this would not occur in 1878.  In fact, the Washington social season in February and March during the Hayes administration was replete with such activities.  Linda McShannock of the Minnesota Historical Society presents this account:

Thomas Corwin Donaldson, a personal friend of Hayes, noted in his memoirs a communication from the White House doorkeeper, Thomas F. Pendel, that the "receptions and parties they [the Hayeses] gave were the most expensive and costly ever given in the White House."

These social engagements are also noted in the diary entries of Lucy Scott West, cousin of Mrs. Hayes, who spent the social season of 1878 in Washington. Her diary is full of almost daily receptions, weekly State Dinners and balls in February and March of 1878.  Lucy Scott described one such event on February 16th 1878 that the Japanese minister also attended:

“Thursday night I attended Secretary Evarts Reception & Mrs. Jeffrey’s Ball; both most elegant entertainments but “Oh ye Gods & little fishes” what a crush. Upon my word we were half an hour getting up the steps to the dressing room (at Sec. Evarts) & down again. Every body [sic] & his wife was there & the rooms presented the strange appearance of a dense mass of human beings struggling about helplessly in the most inextricable confusion. Two thousand invitations had been issued. The house is lovely & large enough for airy[any] seasonable festivity. The library, supper room & saloon parlors were thrown open on the first floor & there were two or three lovely little apartments up stairs where you could take yr ease & sip coffee, chocolate, or tea. A great many celebrities were present among others the Japanese minister. . .”

The week before, on Feb 7, 1878, Florence LeDuc wrote to her friend Minnie:

“After all I did not enjoy the President’s reception. There was such a great crowd. Papa does not like crowds but must say go as soon as we have spoken to President & Mrs. Hayes. On Monday night we were invited to the Japanese Minister’s – Papa, Mamma, Minnie went. I did not go.”

Robert Gale in A Sarah Orne Jewett Companion (p. 49), says that in 1878 Jewett attended a reception hosted by Robert Todd Lincoln (1843-1926), President Abraham Lincoln's only surviving son.  However, in 1878, R. T. Lincoln was practicing law in Chicago; he first moved to Washington as an adult in 1881, as President James A. Garfield's Secretary of War.  Though it has not yet been confirmed that he hosted a February 1878 reception in Washington, D.C., no other Lincoln family is currently known to have given receptions in Washington at this time.  Assistance is welcome.

Carlile Pattersons at "Brentwood:  Carlile Pollock Patterson (1816 - August 15, 1881) was the fourth superintendent of the United States Coast Survey.  Wikipedia says: "Patterson married Elizabeth Pearson (daughter of Congressman Joseph Pearson of North Carolina) in 1837.... From 1861 ..., the Pattersons occupied the Brentwood Mansion, designed by Benjamin Latrobe and inherited by Patterson's wife, in Brentwood, Washington, D.C., (since demolished), and it became a social center during the administration of President Grant."

Monroe:  This may be a Claflin household employee, but this is not certain.  Assistance is welcome.

Mrs. Pollak ...that little French lady:  The identity of this person remains unknown.  Assistance is welcome.

Newtonville:  Newtonville, MA is the home of the Claflin and Ellis families.

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.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin

South Berwick
3 May 1878

Dear Mrs. Claflin

    I forgot to tell you in my last letter to Mary* that the 'Psalm-book' was here when I came home, though I told Estes and Lauriat* to send it to Washington -- I shall keep it for you, for I'm sure you will not wish for anything else to pack up! ----  It begins to seem like like Washington weather here and I am glad of it, for it seemed dreary at first to come back to such

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very early Spring and the trees so like winter --  the first week I was here it rained hard all the time and was very cold and I had the rheumatism promptly, and thought of Washington with a sigh!  We have just had a little visit from my Uncle John Gilman and Aunt Helen* and she was so glad to hear about Mrs. Parker and the rest of the family* and you may imagine how much I had to tell about them and my whole delightful

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visit which seems to me an increasing pleasure.  You dont know how much I enjoyed it Mrs. Claflin, or how much it has given me to think of.

    I was so glad to hear of you the other day through Ellen Mason* who wrote me that she had ^just^ met you.  It was very stupid in me not to ask her where she was going to stay in Washington, for I should have asked you or Mary if you would be kind enough to call on her.  But though I saw her

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two or three times before she went we were always in such a hurry that I wonder I remembered anything --  But as you happened to meet, it was no very great matter.  I think Ellen is looking so well this spring and we did have such a good time together -- by fits and snatches --

    You dont know how much I wish I could see you all{,}  I have really missed you more since I have been quietly at home -- for while I was going from one place to another there was not much time to think.  I wish you [were blotted] here this minute and

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I could take you for a drive and tell you about my other visits and hear what you have been doing.  I know so little about you though I dont mean to say by this that I have wondered May didn't write.  I know too well that there is no time for that in in the midst of such a busy life and while entertaining so many guests.

    I am looking forward to Mary's visit here with so much pleasure, and I only wish dear Mrs. Claflin that we could have a visit from you sometime this summer.  Do you think it is entirely out of the question?  I hope nothing

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will prevent Mrs. Ellis's* coming.  Wasn't it too bad that I should have only had such a glimpse ^of^ with her the other day, when I had set my heart on a long afternoon talk, and had been saving up "particulars" until I could not hold another one and should have had to tell it to the first person I met! ----  I thought of Miss Johnson as I came though Bradford,* and I wished she had happened to be in sight.  I mean to stop of  over a train to see her when I go to Boston again. I did like her
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so much.  I wonder if she will be at York again this summer? ---  It is growing dark and I must leave my desk, but I must tell you first how completely I lost my heart to Mrs. Fairchild* --  I have  heard a great deal about her, but I feel now like asking why nobody ever told me how lovely she is!  I went to a charming little dinner there one evening ---

    Please give my love to Gov. Claflin* and to Mary and dont forget that I am always your sincere and loving friend

Sarah O. Jewett.


[ Note on page 8 in another hand ]

Given by R. B. Claflin*
March 12, 1914



Notes

Mary:  The identity of this Mary remains uncertain, but it seems likely that she is, Mary Agnes, the daughter of  Emma Harding Claflin Ellis.  See Correspondents.  

Estes and Lauriat:  A 19th-century Boston publisher and bookstore.

Uncle John Gilman and Aunt Helen:  See Mrs. Helen Williams Gilman in Correspondents.  

Mrs. Parker and the rest of the family:  In her memoir, Under the Old Elms (1895) Mrs. Claflin mentions, among visitors to her home, Dr. Peter Parker (1804-1888), an eminent physician and Presbyterian missionary to China, among his many accomplishments (p. 90).  In 1878, he was living in Washington, DC, with his wife, Harriet Colby Webster, and their son,  Peter, Jr. (b. 1859).  Parker was a regent for the Smithsonian Institution.  It is not certain, however, that this is the Parker family to which Jewett refers.

Ellen Mason:  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Ellis:   Emma Harding Claflin Ellis.  See Correspondents.

Miss Johnson ...Bradford:  Bradford, Massachusetts is across the Merrimack River from Haverhill, the home of the poet, John Greenleaf Whittier.  See Correspondents.
    Richard Cary says: "Annie Elizabeth Johnson (1826-1894), Maine-born daughter of the Reverend Samuel and Hannah (Whittier) Johnson, was principal of Bradford Academy (now a college) from 1875 until her death. Miss Johnson was a close friend of Miss Jewett's sister Mary and her cousin Abba Fisk."

Mrs. Fairchild:  Probably Elizabeth Nelson Fairchild (1845-1924), a poet and friend of Jewett.

Gov. Claflin:  Mary Claflin's husband. See Correspondents.

R. B. Claflin:  This person has not yet been identified.  Assistance is welcome.
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.  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College, with assistance from Nan Card of the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center.



S
OJ to Charles Ashburton Gilman

     South Berwick, Maine 
     May 14, 1878

     My dear Charley:

     I hope you do not think I have forgotten I owe you for that nice letter which I received just after I went to Washington. I was so glad to hear from you and I have meant to answer it a good many times but, as you will imagine, I have had very little chance for writing while I was away and since I came home I have been very busy. 
     You do not know what splendid times I have had. All my visits were very pleasant, but I enjoyed so much being in Washington. There is so much to interest anybody and I was going all the time from morning until night and pretty late at night too! I was there nearly two months and I would not have missed it for anything. How much I shall enjoy telling you of my frolics when I see you, which I hope will not be a great while hence. 
     Amt Helen1 was here the other day and I told her of the plan we made to meet in Portland at the time of the Poultry Show. She laughed and said she hoped we would sometime. I wonder if you really went and if you had a good time? 
     You don't know how glad I was to get home again, and I believe home never seemed so pleasant. My horse goes splendidly and I have had some splendid long rides after I finish writing in the afternoon.2 I went to work again as soon as I could and have already done a good deal of writing, though the first week I was at home it was so cold and damp that it played the mischief with me and I had the rheumatism, which seemed very natural indeed! 
     I have so much to tell about and I am not nearly talked out yet either.*
     Please tell your mother how sorry I am not to have been at home when she made her visit, for all the family enjoyed it so much. Carrie has been writing Lizzie* and I suppose she told all the news. Do write soon, and with love to Lizzie and Dave, believe me your loving cousin 
     Sarah

     Have you heard any news from Orr's Island,* and how is Miss Ballard?* Please give her my love.     


Cary's Notes

     1 Mrs. Helen Williams Gilman (1817-1905), daughter of the noted Maine lawyer and U.S. Senator, Reuel Williams, was esteemed for her philanthropies, civic activity, and personal congeniality. 
     2 On the same day Miss Jewett wrote to Anna Laurens Dawes: "You don't know how much I enjoy 'Sheila' who is better than ever -- and high as a kite. I began to think she had gone back to her colthood and must be disciplined and broken anew. But I am luckily very strong and Sheila knows I mean to be captain." (Manuscript Division, Library of Congress).

Additional notes

either:  A partial transcription with slight variations appears in 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.  This text reads:

You dont know how glad I was to get home again -- and I believe home never seemed so pleasant.  My horse goes splendidly and I have had some long rides after I finish writing in the afternoon.  I went to work again as soon as I could and have already done a good deal of writing, though the first week I was at home it was so cold and damp that it played the mischief with me and I had the rheumatism which seemed very natural indeed!  --  I have so much to tell about and I am not nearly talked out yet either.

Carrie:  Caroline Jewett Eastman, Elizabeth J. Gilman, David Dunlap Gilman.  See Correspondents.

Orr's Island: Orr's Island is in Maine's Casco Bay.  Jewett says that Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, set on Orr's Island -- The Pearl of Orr's Island (1862) -- inspired her to write about her own region.

Miss Ballard:  It is probable but not certain that this is Sarah J. Ballard of Brunswick, ME.  She was the only surviving daughter of Sarah Ludlow Morris (1806 - 1847) and Rev. Edward Ballard (1806-1870), who was the rector of St. Paul's Episcopalian Church in Brunswick (1858 - 1870).

This letter is edited and annotated by Richard Cary in Sarah Orne Jewett Letters; the ms. is held by Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, (M238.1), George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, Bowdoin College Library.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Anna Laurens Dawes


14 May 1878

Dear Anna

That note of yours was most crushing -- but as it is getting near June I venture to address you again and to state that I would not disdain a letter from Washington -- on the contrary nothing would please me better. Washington is a sad place to leave, for none of your friends have any time to write to you. I think it is so forlorn to be in the midst of things as I was, and then come away and be entirely shut off and cut off from knowing what becomes of everybody afterward. I wish I could see you or Mary Davenport1 and ask forty questions at once! but I hope I shall see Mary before long for I have to go to Boston in about a fort­night and then I suppose she will be at home. I hope I don’t seem like a person who scolds her friends for not writing -- I know too well how many demands there are on ones time and how hard it is to keep up with ones letters. I am owing Hattie Bailey and Linda Lawrence myself, and I ought not to fail in giving Julia Stout* credit for her letters which I get often and enjoy very much -- but she doesn't often speak of what goes on outside her own family.

I do wish most awfully that you were here this minute, Anna Dawes! I think we should indulge in a most satisfactory talk -- I do want to see you ever so much -- I tell you I wouldn't fall asleep while you were talking this time. Do you remember how tired and sleepy I was that night I stayed with you? I was awfully tired the time I was in Phila­delphia and I came home at last pretty well fagged out, and it was so cold and wet I had the rheumatism and was rather melancholy than otherwise. Since then however I have been very well and have done a great deal of writing. I never enjoyed it more -- and just now I am taking a day or two vacation for I worked both morning and afternoon the last three days of last week and of course have to pay for it. I have a story nearly ready to copy for Mr. Howells,* and I have promised Mr. Gladden one right away for Sunday Afternoon.* I should like to talk over my plan for that with you. Next week or the week after I am going on a little journey with my grandfather2 which we planned last fall. It seems hardly decent to leave home again so soon doesn't it? -- but I never would say no to the frisky young fellow. He is only ninety his next birthday but he seems at least fifteen years younger. I have a summons from Mr. Osgood* and I wish to see Mary Davenport and some other people so I shall stay over a day or two in Boston. I spent two nights with Mr. & Mrs. Little while I was in Boston on my way home -- and I had a very nice time with Ella. Wallace* was very miserable it seemed to me -- but I believe he is a good deal better. I think the poor fellow is very delicate (Dont mention it!) -- I am fond indeed of Wallace. The family were in their usual state of mind and all asked a great deal about you.

You do not know how much pleasure it gives me to think over my Washington experience. It has all come true, what you told me of it -- I have learned a great deal from my visit there, beside having had such an immense amount of pleasure. There is a great deal I could say to you if I were talking instead of writing, and if I were to go to Wash­ington again I should do some things differently perhaps. Still there is after all less to grieve over and regret than there might have been. I would not have missed the experience for anything. It is an education, as you most truly said.

            The Claflins I suppose will be at home this week or at any rate some time soon. Hatty Bailey said in her letter that she was to have a visit from Mary3 of a week or two after the first of May while Mrs. Claflin was at the Parkers.* What a time of it they must have had packing up -- I don’t suppose they will rest much after they get home for they always have so many visitors. Mary has promised to make me a visit early in the summer and I do hope nothing will prevent it.

            I think I never was so glad to get home as I was this time. Sometimes after I have been away I have been very lonely and like a fish out of water for awhile, but I have been very happy -- and it was delightful to have people seem so glad to see me and give me such a welcome. And here in the house they had planned so many little surprises for me and I didn't suppose they had missed me half so much. I am so glad I live in a small town instead of a great one -- and I mean to do every­thing I can to make the people here glad that I do live here and am one of them. Of course one misses a great many things in living in such a place as Berwick but I am away a great deal -- and see a different sort of life just as much as is good for me -- and there are the greatest compensations. I love country life with all my heart. You dont know how much I enjoy “Sheila”* who is better than ever -- and high as a kite. I began to think she had gone back to her colthood and must be disciplined and broken anew. But I am luckily very strong and Sheila knows I mean to be captain. I have had some perfectly lovely rides -- I wish you had been with me an afternoon or two ago when I went all alone through some lovely woods by the cart-path and across some wide pastures and at last I came out on the river bank at a place which I long to show you some day. The air was so fresh and still that after­noon and all the wood thrushes were singing and Sheila went poking along over the pine leaves and turf. Once I scared up a big brown rabbit and he went leaping off for dear life as if Sheila and I were a couple of fiery dragons. -- Well goodbye my dear girl. Mary* sends lots of love to you -- and will you please give my love to your mother and father -- and write soon as you can to

your sincere and aff. friend 

I spent a night with the Horsfords4 and enjoyed it very much -- we talked ever so much about you and how much we liked you! I forgot to tell you too what a nice time I had in Phila and Brooklyn. Three weeks in one and two in the other place and then I was two days in Springfield and six in Boston. I have been at home a little over two weeks.


Hollis's Notes

1 William Claflin married twice; his second marriage in 1845 was to Mary Bucklin Davenport, the Mrs. Claflin who was Sarah's hostess in Washington earlier in the year. The Mary Davenport referred to here seems to have been Mrs. Claflin's niece. She was also a guest of the Claflins for this Washington visit and a friend of Anna's as well. See Correspondents.

2 Dr. William Perry, Sarah's maternal grandfather, remained active until his death in 1887. See Correspondents.

3 This is not Sarah's sister Mary but Mary Davenport mentioned earlier in this letter.

4 Cornelia and Lilian Horsford lived in Cambridge, and Sarah was a fre­quent guest at their home in the 1870s. Cf., Frost, op .cit.59. See Correspondents.


Additional Notes


Hattie Bailey ... Linda Lawrence ... Julia Stout:  These people remain unidentified and assistance is welcome.  It is possible that Julia Stout is Juliett Louisa "Julia" Stout Conklin (1853-1948), author of  The Young People's History of Indiana.

story ... Mr. Howells:  William Dean Howells, editor of Atlantic Monthly; See Correspondents.  Which story Jewett is copying for Howells is not certain.  She did not publish a new story in Atlantic until more than a year after this letter, "A Bit of Shore Life" in August of 1879.  In the meanwhile, two pieces probably by Jewett appeared anonymously in the "Contributor's Club" column of Atlantic: "Th. Bentzon" in December 1878 and "Domestic Touches in Fiction" (March 1879).  Perhaps she was working on "Lady Ferry," a story Howells did not accept.

Mr. Gladden ... Sunday AfternoonWikipedia says: "Washington Gladden (February 11, 1836 - July 2, 1918) was a leading American Congregational pastor and early leader in the Social Gospel movement. He was a leading member of the Progressive Movement, serving for two years as a member of the Columbus, Ohio city council and campaigning against Boss Tweed as religious editor of the New York Independent. Gladden was probably the first leading U.S. religious figure to support unionization of the workforce; he also opposed racial segregation. He was a prolific writer who wrote hundreds of poems, hymns, articles, editorials, and books.... In 1875, Gladden became pastor of the North Congregational Church in Springfield, MA for seven years. During this pastorate, Gladden also worked as editor of Sunday Afternoon (1878-1880). Sunday Afternoon described itself as “A Monthly Magazine for the Household.”
    Jewett is not publish a story in Sunday Afternoon after this letter until "Paper Roses" appeared in February 1879.  However, her poem, "Verses," appeared there in June 1878.

Mr. Osgood:  James Ripley Osgood.  See Correspondents.

Mr. & Mrs. Little ... Wallace:  The Littles are Ella Walworth and George Britton Little.  See Correspondents.
   The identity of Wallace is not yet known.  Context suggests that Wallace is a child of the Littles, but their known sons were named Theodore and Harry.

Mrs. Claflin was at the Parkers:  In her memoir, Under the Old Elms (1895) Mrs. Claflin mentions, among visitors to her home, Dr. Peter Parker (1804-1888), an eminent physician and Presbyterian missionary to China, among his many accomplishments (p. 90). However, it is not clear that he is one of the Parkers to whom Jewett refers.

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.

 



SOJ to Anna Laurens Dawes

Wells Maine
7 July 78

Dear Anna 

I was very glad indeed to get your letter and I am going to surprise you by answering it soon. I am the more glad to have a chance this morning because I am afraid I shall not get much time for letters during the next few weeks. I have been here by the sea for a week and have enjoyed the last two or three days immensely. Before that the weather was too frightfully hot and I felt tired and sick and beside that I had -- or thought I had -- to keep on with my writing. It was duty that made me keep to it then, now that the weather is cool and a salt wind blows straight in from the sea I do it for sheer pleasure. I wish you were here this Sunday morning and we would have such a good time together, wouldn't we? I love the sea with all my heart -- and I pray heaven it may never be my sad fortune to have to go to live out of possible reach and sound of it. I have always had a sense of its neigh­borhood in Berwick and there is always the possibility of driving down for an hour or two though sometimes there are weeks together that I never do it. Carrie is here with me; and Mrs. Seeger*, and Miss Brown,* rather an elderly woman whom I am growing to like dearly, who came on Miss Seeger's recommendation. I knew what manner of person she is at first sight -- good as gold; and a woman who has had a hard busy life with much care of other people. She has been a teacher of little children in one of the Boston public schools and will not be promoted because she thinks she knows the work and can do it where she is better than another might -- Isn't that good? She was fairly worn out when I first saw her, and now she begins to be fresh and bright again and ten years younger at least than I thought her at first. I have had some very pleasant talks with her.

I must tell you what Carrie and I did yesterday. It was a very great delight to me. There is one of the fishermen whom I like dearly and we got up before four o'clock and went out with him about four miles to see him set and draw his trawls. I wish you had been with us -- after we were a little way out from land, the sun showed itself just above the water -- pale red in a soft gray cloud and as we went farther and farther out, the sea was growing silver colored with pink tops to every little wave. It was like a fairy story or like The Princess of Thule* and the voyages one may go in a fishing boat out of 'Borva' or 'Stowoway'* -- I didn't think of Sheila* yesterday morning either, which was strange! I rowed most of the way out though part of the time we had the sail up to catch the little breeze and I tended that. It was a delicious morning -- and it was such fun to see the trawls. We put out about half a mile of lines and waited half an hour and pulled it up and found fish of all sorts and kinds -- some I never had seen or heard of before. I'll tell you who our fisherman is -- the man whom I call "Danny" in Deephaven.* He told me several summers ago about his having a pussy cat on board a schooner and I enlarged upon it at my own sweet will! It is romance about his loneliness: he has a wife and a young boy whom I like -- a quiet pleasant fellow like his father, though he's not lame and doesn't wear a red shirt, as yet! He has been making me a little fishing boat with all the rigging complete which you shall see some day -- and he rejoices that his father is going to take him one of these days to Kennebunk to see the ship yards.* Last year when I was here his mother was living somewhere else and I always thought that she was dead. He seemed such a lonely little fellow and he used to go out after lobsters in the darkest nights all alone. I have grown intimate with Mrs. Hatch this year but I have known "Danny" or George, that's his real name, for a long time.1

We have found a little field of strawberries on a point of land near the sea, and we go there after we eat our suppers, and I lie in the grass and pick all I can find within arm's length. The air is deliciously fresh and I feel so very much better than I did when I came down. I condole with you for the loss of your horse for two months. But aren't you glad that since it had to come it was for July rather than September and October. I can get on very well without riding now, but when it grows cooler it will break my heart if anything happens to Sheila. I ride after tea when it is cool or else put her in the phaeton or light wagon, for she goes very decently in harness now -- in any light carriage. Indeed I might say that she spins over the road in a way that gratifies her mis­tress very much. I didn't bring her here with me, for the green-headed flies are holding court -- and she would soon be murdered or else murder me jumping about because they bite her. -- It is so pleasant to hear what you write of John Burleigh --2 I hope

[page missing]


Hollis's Notes

1 George Hatch and part of the incident described here contribute to "A Bit of Shore Life," Atlantic Monthly XLIV (August 1879), 200-211. There is also an account of him in Frost, op. cit., 59.

2 John H. Burleigh (1822-1878), the Maine congressman from South Berwick, had died a year earlier, and I imagine the reference here is to a son who perhaps had remained in Washington. A later reference, in the letter of September 1, 1879, indicates that young Burleigh had some personal difficulty ....

Additional notes

Carrie ... Mrs. Seeger:  Caroline Jewett (soon to be Mrs. Eastman). See Correspondents.
     Hollis says that Mrs. Seeger probably is Harriet Foot Seeger (b. 1843?), a schoolteacher friend of the Jewetts from Boston.  She may be the daughter of  Adonijah and Clarissa (Woodworth) Foot.

Miss Brown:  This "teacher of little children in one of the Boston public schools" has not been identified.  Assistance is welcome.

The Princess of ThuleA Princess of Thule (1873) is a novel by William Black (1841-1898)..

'Borva' or 'Stowoway':  Borva is a location in Black's A Princess of Thule.  However neither "Stowoway" or "Stowaway" appear in an electronic search of the novel's text.

Sheila:  Jewett's first horse.

"Danny" in Deephaven:  Part six of Jewett's first novel, Deephaven (1877) is entitled "Danny."

Kennebunk to see the ship yardsWikipedia says that Kennebunk, ME developed as a center for ship-building.

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 Emma Harding Claflin Ellis

[ 1878 ]*

Dear Mrs. Ellis

    I wish to tell you how sorry I am to have missed you today.  I had to go to take a Turkish bath, and I came back down after you were here.  I am out of the house so little and always for things like that which the Dr. makes me do!  I am gong to drive

[ Page 2 ]

often now however and I shall hope to get out to see you.  Mrs. Rice* was out for a few minutes or she would have seen you and told you.  I do wish to see you dreadfully for just think of the particulars! and I wish to see you if there never had been a particular in the world!  I shall be here sometime

[ Page 3 ]

longer, and I shall see you someday.  I am really beginning to feel as if I were going to be myself again!

Yours always lovingly

Sarah

34 Union Park*
Thursday

Notes

Mrs. Rice: John Hamilton and Cora Clark Rice. See Correspondents.

34 Union Park: In Boston's South End (2004), Anthony Mitchell Sammarco notes that Alexander Hamilton Rice was at one time a resident at 34 Union Park in Boston.  Alexander Rice was the father of John Rice, who married Jewett's close friend Cora Clark Rice. 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.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Emma Harding Claflin Ellis

[ Letterhead made of initials SOJ]

34 Union Park*
Sunday -- [ 1878 ]


Dear Mrs. Ellis

    I should certainly have gone out to see you, but the weather has been so bad that I have been in the house most of the time until yesterday when I had some engagements

[ Page 2 ]

and errands that took all my time.  Mrs. Rice* and I were going on to New York on Wednesday but we had word to wait as Mr. [Losters ? ] was ill{.}  I think we shall go this week sometime but probably not until Thursday at any rate --

[ Page 3 ]

It was provoking to see you in the way I did, and it make me wish to have a long gossip with you all the more.  I begin to think that dinner parties ought to have been prescribed earlier in my case, for I have been to several [shinners ?] and seem to flourish in them, and

[ Page 4 ]

a breakfast beside at the L. Club,* which was very nice.  It has been like a fortnight in Washington.*  I hope I shall see you soon & wont Mrs. Claflin & Little Mary be here before long now?  With very so much love

Sarah

Notes

34 Union Park: In Boston's South End (2004), Anthony Mitchell Sammarco notes that Alexander Hamilton Rice was at one time a resident at 34 Union Park in Boston.  Alexander Rice was the father of John Rice, who married Jewett's close friend Cora Clark Rice. See Correspondents.

Mrs. Rice:  John Hamilton and Cora Clark Rice. See Correspondents.

Mr. [Losters ? ]:  This transcription is uncertain and the person remains unidentified.  Assistance is welcome.

L. Club:  The identity of this club, presumably in Boston, is not yet known.  Assistance is welcome.

fortnight in Washington:  At the time of composition, Jewett must have spent some time in Washington, DC.  At this time, Jewett's earliest known stay in Washington, DC, was in the spring of 1878.

Mrs. Claflin & Little Mary:  Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin and Mrs. Ellis's daughter, Mary. 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 Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin


Friday afternoon
[ 1878 ]*

Dear Mrs. Claflin

    I wish to tell you that we reached home all right after a very pleasant drive.  It was certainly a most beautiful evening, and we did not miss our way after all.  I was a little tired but I did not get up until

[ Page 2 ]

so late this morning that I must have repaired all damages!  and truly wish I could take the same drive again though I should like better to be going toward your house instead of away from it --    I have been writing Mary* just now and hope I have

[ Page 3 ]

persuaded her to come to Boston for I tried very hard!  I told her you spoke of her coming out Tuesday night, but if you should not happen to have room for another guest there, will you send me a note here and she could just as well go out on Wednesday. 

    I am so glad to

[ Page 2 ]

have seen you again, and it was a great pleasure to meet Mr. and Mrs. Abbott,* and will you not please remember {me?} to them if they are still with you.

    Mrs. Rice* enjoyed her call very much and sends you her very kind regards.

    With much love for yourself and Mary & Mrs. Ellis --*

Yours always
Sarah
   
Notes

1878:  This letter seems to have been written from Boston at a time when Jewett could invite her sister to town for a visit.  However, she does not mention Mrs. Fields, suggesting that she may be staying with another Boston friend, perhaps Cora Clark Rice.  On this tenuous evidence, I have grouped this letter with others of 1878.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Mr. and Mrs. Abbott:  This may be Lyman and Abby Abbot. See Correspondents.

Mrs. Rice:  John Hamilton and Cora Clark Rice. See Correspondents.

Mary & Mrs. Ellis:  Emma Harding Claflin Ellis and her daughter, Mary.  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 Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin


Sunday afternoon
[ Late summer or Fall 1878 ]*
Dear Mrs. Claflin

    Thank you so much for your letter.  I am ready to go any day, but I wrote Mr. Whittier* that I thought of Tuesday (you know we spoke of that day at the reception?)*  If he does not want us then, we will take Friday.  I would just as soon have a few days longer in town, and if you dont wish to go

[ Page 2 ]

Tuesday on account of getting back for your "meetin'" on Wednesday will you please telegraph me -- and I will then speak of Friday to Mr Whittier.  I think very likely you have to be in town early on Wednesday and you would have to leave Bradford at break of day in that case -- Your time is much more important than mine so I shall

[ Page 3 ]

leave it all to you.

    I have been to Concord but I didn't come in until last night so I got your letter too late to go to [Newton ?].  Mr. Rice* would have driven me over today but it is too cold -- I wish I could have seen Mrs. Stowe* again and you know how much I always wish to see you -- You must not say anything about the Plymouth day*-- for I had such a good time

[ Page 4 ]

and wished you were there -- I am just as likely to be tired when I have been as carefree as possible -- and I might as well have a good time !!  I begin to dread the winter awfully, and at present I think I shall go to Bermuda!  I have given up Louisiana -- ("uncertain, coy, and hard to please")*

    Please give my love to Mrs. Stowe if she is still with you, and to all the rest.

Yours always most lovingly
Little Sarah.

Notes

1878:  Jewett's diminutive signature and the absence of references to Annie Fields suggests that this letter is from the 1878-1881 period, after Whittier befriended Jewett, but before she became intimate with Fields.  In content it seems related to the letter of 3 May 1878.

Mr. Whittier
:  John Greenleaf Whittier.  See Correspondents.   Whittier's home in Haverford, MA, is across the Merrimack River from Bradford, MA.

Mr. Rice:  John Hamilton and Cora Clark Rice. See Correspondents.

Mrs. Stowe:  Harriet Beecher Stowe.  See Correspondents.

the Plymouth day:  This reference is not yet known.  It would seem likely to refer to a day spent in Plymouth, MA.

"uncertain, coy, and hard to please":  This line is quoted from Sir Walter Scott's "Marmion"(1808),  Canto VI, Stanza 30:
O, Woman! in our hours of ease,
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please,
And variable as the shade
By the light quivering aspen made;
When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering angel thou! --

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

Wednesday morning (Aug., 1878)

Dear Anna

I returned from Boston last night after a very pleasant little visit. Mrs. Stowe1 was very nice and her daughter too, and Margaret Bailey and her mother* were also there which was very pleasant for me. Mrs. Claflin* gave a lovely lunch party Monday so I stayed over until yester­day. Mary* sent her love to you and was so glad to hear about you. I went to see Mr. Houghton but he was not there for which I was sorry -- Mr. Osgood* had come the day before from Europe and I missed him too. 2

I shall try and drive one day soon -- and will bring your gloves and your paragraphs which you left here.3 Father came home just after I did on Saturday feeling wretchedly and looking worse, so that I was worried to death at going away -- and made Mary promise to telegraph me Monday morning early -- but he is better now & I believe he and mother are going soon to the mountains. Julia came home with me.*

Give my love to Miss Lane and Miss Baker* and I hope you are growing stronger every day & I'm your loving friend --

 

Hollis's Notes

1 The relationship between Sarah and Harriet Beecher Stowe is summarized by Richard Cary, Sarah One Jewett Letters 85, note 4. The date of this letter is supplied by Anna in the parenthesis that is added to the heading.

2 These were her publishers

3 My assumption is that Anna had been visiting the Jewetts on her way to a recuperative vacation period at one of the Maine resorts near enough to Berwick that Sarah could drive over to return these items. The letter of October 14, 1878, indicates that at least some of Anna's time in the region was spent at York.

**Additional Notes


Margaret Bailey and her mother:  These persons have not been identified.  Assistance is welcome.

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

Mary:  Probably refers to Mary Ellis, daughter of Emma Harding Claflin Ellis.  See Correspondents.

Mr. Houghton ... Mr. Osgood:  Henry Oscar Houghton and James Ripley Osgood.  See Correspondents.

Mary ... Julia:  For Mary Rice Jewett see Correspondents. It is possible that Julia is Juliett Louisa "Julia" Stout Conklin (1853-1948), author of  The Young People's History of Indiana.

Miss Lane and Miss Baker:  While this remains uncertain, it is probable that Jewett refers to the American landscape and genre painter, Susan Minot Lane (1832-1893) and American historian, Charlotte Alice Baker (1833-1909).  In Sarah Orne Jewett (2002) Paula Blanchard describes the association of Jewett, Baker and photographer Emma Lewis Coleman: "the three summered at York [ME] together.  In 1883-86 Jewett and the others collaborated in staging a series of photographs in the [François] Millet style: local models, or sometimes Miss Baker, would dress up in period costume and Coleman would photograph them at everyday rural tasks.  Reconstructing historic conditions as accurately as possible, the group also followed Millet in creating images intended to express the beauty and dignity of rural life.  The results were obviously staged and entirely lacked the heroic aura of Millet's peasants, but Jewett was pleased with them." (225-6). See "Guide to the Papers of Charlotte Alice Baker." of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association.  Historic New England holds an example of one of the Coleman photographs: "C. Alice Baker in costume as a woman dragging a calf, Deerfield, Mass., 1880s."

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 Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin


South Berwick
17 Sept 1878

My dear Mrs. Claflin

    I have begun two letters but I had bad luck about finishing them!  Since I came home I have been on the fly and the days have gone so fast, but there has not been a day when I have el not thought of you and of what a lovely little visit I had last week.  You dont know how much I enjoyed it.

[ Page 2 ]

or how much I think you for giving me so much pleasure.  Both the guest chambers have been filled ever since I came, and there has been a good deal going on in a quiet way.  And to my horror they began sending the proofs of my book all over again from the Riverside Press!*  when I thought I was quite done with them -- such bundles as came, too!

    Your housekeeper now [unrecognized word ] bear off my honors

[ Page 3 ]

with great dignity and renown.  Father and Mother and Uncle William and Mary* ^have^ all gone to the mountains for a little while, to the Glen* first and then across the mountains to Franconia &c.  Father has been very miserable* since I came home and though he is really a great deal better he looks pale and gets tired so easily.  I think this journey will do him a great deal of good.  Tell Mrs. Ellis* that her message amused

[ Page 4 ]

him immensely -- and he wishes me to assure her that it was her going away that had broken his heart.

    I have Julia Stout* here for a little visit and she seems to enjoy it very much and is delighted with the drives so I entertain her in that way to the best of my ability.  We were going off for a whole days pilgrimage today, but I couldn't be gone so long (being house keeper!) {.}  I am so glad she happened to be

[ Page 5 ]

so her spirits were a little low.

    I am going to the Houghtons* Saturday and to the Fairchilds* Monday and after that to Newport for two or three days --  I hope I shall see you when I'm at Belmont.*  Please give my love to all the family.  Julia sends her kindest remembrances to you and Mary.*

Always yours lovingly
Sarah --

Notes

my book from Riverside Press:  Jewett refers to Play Days (1878).

Uncle William and Mary:  William Durham Jewett and Mary Rice Jewett. See Correspondents.

the GlenWikipedia says: "Glen House was the name of a series of grand resorts, between 1852 and 1893, in Pinkham Notch very near Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, USA."

Father has been miserable:  Jewett's father, Theodore Herman Jewett, died of a heart attack three days after this letter was composed, while he was at Crawford Notch, NH.

Mrs. Ellis:   Emma Harding Claflin Ellis.  See Correspondents.

Julia StoutIt is possible that Julia Stout is Juliett Louisa "Julia" Stout Conklin (1853-1948), author of  The Young People's History of Indiana, but this has not been established.

Houghtons: Jewett may mean the offices of the publisher of Play Days, or she may mean she will be staying with the family of Henry Oscar Houghton, a director of Houghton, Osgood, her publisher.  See Correspondents.

Fairchilds: This is probably the family of Charles and Elizabeth "Lilly" Nelson of Boston and their children Sally (1869-1960), Gordon and Neil.  The Brookline Historial (Massachusetts) Society provides this suggestive sketch of the Sally and her family:

     Her father was a wealthy stock broker and banker and her parents were frequent hosts of prominent artists and writers. She never married and often lived with her younger brother, Gordon: at St Paul’s School where he ran the Upper School; in the Philippines; in Japan; and, when he returned to Boston around 1930, at his house at 391 Beacon St., Boston. After he died at sea in 1932 she moved to 241 Beacon St. 
    She made quite an impression on some very famous people of that era. There are descriptions of her by George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, George Santayana, the Fabian leader Beatrice Webb, and the Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry. Shaw took several photographs of her and corresponded with her for many years. She also gave a young Ethel Barrymore a letter of introduction to Shaw. Here is a description from Gertrude Kittredge Eaton, in her Reminiscences Of St. Paul's School: "Mrs. Fairchild had at one time what might be called a salon, in Boston. She knew all the interesting people of the day. She was one of the first to appreciate Walt Whitman. John Singer Sargent was a great friend, and painted many pictures of Sally, who had lovely red hair. Red hair fascinated Sargent. She was an early admirer of Robert Louis Stevenson. When her husband went abroad one year, she told him to look up young Stevenson and have Sargent paint his portrait, which he did. Stevenson stayed with the Fairchilds in Boston, and Gordon remembered sitting on the foot of his bed while Stevenson told him stories. There are many letters to the Fairchilds in the collected letters of Stevenson. "

Belmont:  While there are several possibilities for this location, a more probable one is Belmont, MA, where William Dean Howells (See Correspondents) resided 1877-1882.

Mary:  Mary Ellis, a daughter of Emma Ellis and step-granddaughter of Mrs. Claflin.  See Emma Ellis in 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.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




Friday, September 20, 1878.

Death of Theodore Herman Jewett (1815-1878)
Sarah Orne Jewett's father.



SOJ to Theophilus Parsons [21 September, 1878]

     South Berwick

     Saturday*

     Dear Prof. Parsons

     My dear Father died suddenly yesterday at the mountains. It is an awful blow to me. I know you will ask God to help me bear it. I do not know how I can live without him. It is so hard for us.

     Yours lovingly

     Sarah
 

Notes

Saturday: Jewett's father, Theodore Herman Jewett, died on Friday, September 20, 1878.

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 Anna Laurens Dawes

14 Oct 1878

Dear Anna

I send with this your pin which I am afraid you must have needed but it was put away in my desk and quite forgotten. I was very glad to see your father the other day at Parker's* and to hear that you were feeling better. I knew the air at York and the rest would do you good.

Thank you so much for your kind note of sympathy. Father's death was indeed a most terrible shock to me and I feel the effect of it more now than I have at all. My sister Carrie is to be married next Monday1 and that gives us a good deal to do and to think of which is perhaps the best thing. I will write you when I can but somehow today I am not in the mood -- but I wanted to thank you for your kindness if I couldn't do any more.

Yours always affly


Hollis's Note

1 Caroline Jewett married Edwin C. Eastman of Berwick as indicated.


Additional Notes

Parker's:  In her memoir, Under the Old Elms (1895) Mrs. Claflin mentions, among visitors to her home, Dr. Peter Parker (1804-1888), an eminent Physician and Presbyterian missionary to China, among his many accomplishments (p. 90).   In 1878, he was living in Washington, DC, with his wife, Harriet Colby Webster, and their son,  Peter, Jr. (b. 1859).  Parker was a regent for the Smithsonian Institution.  It is not certain, however, that this is the Parker family to which Jewett refers.

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.



21 October 1878

Marriage of Caroline Augusta Jewett to Edwin Eastman


 
SOJ to John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick, Maine

November 4, 1878 

My dear Mr. Whittier:   

I send you a copy of my new book -- Play Days and I hope you will like it a little. Some of the stories were written a long time ago.1 You were so kind in liking Deephaven and I have never forgotten the pleasure you gave me.

     I have had a great sorrow lately in the death of my father,2 and as I write to you I cannot help remembering how I hoped always that you could come to us for a little visit, for I was so sure you would like driving about Berwick and father would have been so happy to have you here. And I know you would have enjoyed him, for everyone did who knew him. I miss him terribly, and most of all when I think of going on with my writing by and by.3

Yours sincerely,

Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

1. Play Days, published by Houghton, Osgood & Co. in 1878, comprised one poem and fifteen short stories for children, collected mostly from St. Nicholas and the Independent from as far back as 1871.

2. Dr. Jewett died on September 20, 1878. He secured his M.D. at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.  A graduate of Bowdoin College, he served for a time as professor of obstetrics there.

3. The first two poems in Miss Jewett’s Verses, printed posthumously in 1916, are addressed to her father, poignant recollections of his footfall breaking the silence of “the quiet house,” and the sharper loneliness of a new spring now that he was no longer here. She was slow in recovering from grief. She published nothing in 1878 after June and only five items in 1879, far below the average of her subsequent output.


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

     12 Nov. 1878

     Dear Prof. Parsons

     I was very glad to get your letter and to hear what you had to say about the book. And I certainly agree with you when you say I ought to do something better. If all goes right this winter I shall write a new book and I mean it shall be the very best I can do. I think I can write a story for girls that may help a good many who have thought and felt as I have in the last few years.* I don't say this with too much self-confidence or boastfulness -- it is only that I am sure I ought to do such a thing -- if I can.

     As for Playdays* -- Mr. Osgood* wished to bring out something of mine this fall and I hesitated between a collection of grown-up stories and this. People have always seemed to like these and I have been urged a great many times to put them together. At any rate I think -- though they don't take any high flights of fancy or eloquence -- they have nothing in them to do children harm. I meant there should not be and I tried to make them stories of everyday life and possible things! Some of them I wrote years ago and all of them have been printed before. I have always remembered with so much pleasure that you liked one of them: "Patty's dull Christmas."*

     I sometimes dread the winter here very much -- not only from the loneliness which I suppose I should feel just the same everywhere -- but because I am so apt to be ill in winter. I do not mean to leave home for any length of time if I can help it. My youngest sister has just been married* and that leaves only three of us at home now. I wish I could see you and talk about my plans for writing, but I think I may be in town in December. You do not know how glad I am to hear anything you will say to me. You have taught me so much already. I think of you very often and I am always yours most gratefully and affectionately

     Sarah O. Jewett

Notes

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).

Playdays: Play Days, Jewett's collection of children's fiction, appeared in 1878.

Mr. Osgood:  James Ripley Osgood.  See Correspondents.

"Patty's dull Christmas":  This story appeared in The Independent (27:25-27), December 23, 1875.

married:  Caroline Jewett became Mrs. Edwin Eastman on 21 October, 1878.

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 Lillian Munger

[Dec. 8, 1878]*

"I think that in the beginning of one's Christian life the question of one's personal salvation from sin is apt to be the whole of religion, but as we go on we care more for the people we are with and are more and more sorry for them if they seem to be wasting their lives and going wrong.  Life is best when we lose sight of ourselves in trying to help others..."   " ...to tell the truth I puzzle myself very little about things that trouble me and that I dont understand.  I think one is sure to grow up to them sooner or later."

              "I have felt very sad lately -- life is very different with me from what it used to be for I miss Father* so much and the home seems so changed. I find it very hard sometimes to keep myself from growing very dismal, but I do not mean to be that.  I am glad that I am better than I was a month ago for I am busy writing now and that makes me much more contented. My life has been singularly free from care and sorrow but I remember when I left Washington last spring I had a strange feeling that I had done with that merry life, and as if my girlhood, which had lasted late, was all over with."

                                                                                        [Pinny]

Notes

1878:  This transcription contains a note:  [Dec. 8, 1878.   SOJ, South Berwick, to Lilian Munger, Sidney, Me. Admonition].  The text seems to be selections from a longer letter, which would seem to account for the quotation marks and ellipses.  The signature raises questions because this is the only time Jewett's nickname, "Pinny," appears outside of the personal correspondence between Jewett and Annie Adams Fields.

Father:  Jewett's father, Theodore Herman Jewett, died on 20 September 1878.  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.



Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.



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