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1880    1882

Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1881




SOJ to Annie Fields  -

[Undated, Late 1880 or early 1881]*

     I think your book is the dearest book I ever saw! I don’t know that it is polite to speak of the cover first, but it is so pretty! ... I do think you were very good to send me Under the Olive*-- I know how many friends you have, -- but I take it, as I know you will let me, as a sign of something that is between us, and since we have hold of each other’s hands we will not let them go--

     … I shall be very fond of the little book for its own sake, and also for yours, and many a line will seem as if it were spoken and not written to me, and bring back other things -- that you have said and I like to remember…. I do hope to be in Boston again and I should like dearly to make you a little visit. And we will play with each other whenever we have a chance, and talk about the rose teaset -- and find time every day for one handkerchief doll at least.


Notes

1881:  This letter appears in The Gentle Americans (1965) by Helen Howe. The tone suggests that it precedes the death of James T. Fields in April of 1881, though it follows the late 1880 appearance of Annie Fields's volume of poetry, Under the Olive.  The first edition has an 1880 copyright, suggesting that it may have been released in time for holiday sales at the end of 1880.
Image of cover from Hathi Trust  

handkerchief doll:  A handkerchief doll may be handcrafted from a handkerchief.





SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

South Berwick
12 January 1881

Dear Mrs. Fields

    I hope you do not think that I am very rude for indeed I didn't mean to be!  When I saw you I thought I should be in Boston again by the middle of this month, but I find I must put off my cruise until later.  I think it is, to say the least, distressing to have a guest give warning of her coming from time to time!  and I hope I am not a dead weight on your mind and that I shall not interfere with your plans.  I am looking forward with the greatest pleasure to being with you for a few days, and I hope you will let me come by and by and play that it is still January, the time when you asked me to come.  We do not like to leave my mother alone in winter, it is so very lonely for her, and just now my sister Mary* is going to town for a little while first to Cora Rice's.* She is going to have a very good time I hope, for though I shall miss her dreadfully I cant help remembering how much oftener I give her a chance to miss me!  And in one way, I think she minds being in Berwick in winter more than I do.

Your Under the Olive* is always more and more of a pleasure to me, and I read the notices of it as eagerly as possible.  I wonder if you have seen one in the N.Y. Christian Union* which I saw by chance a day or two ago?  I wish to thank you all over again for the pleasure the book has given me.  Ellen Mason* wrote me that you sent a copy to her.

    Will you believe that I do wish very much to see you and I am always yours affectionately.

S.  O.  J.


Notes

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Cora Rice: Cora Clark Rice. See Correspondents.

Under the Olive:  Fields's collection of poems, Under the Olive, appeared in 1881.

N. Y. Christian Union:  An advertisement for Under the Olive in Christian Union 22, (24 November 1880, p. 460) said: "A beautiful volume of lyrical and dramatic poems mostly on noble or romantic subjects in Grecian history and legend.  They show not only great familiarity with Greek literature, but a rare sympathy with the modes of Greek thought and expression which have made that literature the admiration of the world."  A review in the same issue, (p. 449) said:  "Mrs. Annie Fields, the author of the new Boston book of poetry, "Under the Olive," is the wife of Mr. James T. Fields, ex-publisher and now lecturer.  Mrs. Fields has done something in verse in the past, but the coming of this book was a genuine surprise.  It is a collection of Greek verses of a very difficult sort to write, and perhaps there is nothing in the collection better than the Apostrophe to Theocritus, which was printed in the "No Name" volume of poetry a year or two since."

Ellen Mason:  Ellen Francis Mason.  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 Anna Laurens Dawes

7 February 1881

My dear Anna

If I had not wished to write to you so much I should have sent you a letter long ago -- every day I scurry off notes and letters -- but it seems to me I find less and less time for the letters I used to take such pleasure in. Dont you know too, that every day there are things that must be done at once -- and so one lets the dearest things be sometimes crowded out by the things one would not have missed. And then, this long last year I have been in such wretched health that only a person who has had the same experience will know how to pity me! There have been so many cares and responsibilities that it was hard to neglect and I do think the physical pain and suffering is really the least evil of a long illness. Yet I can truly say that this has been the happiest and most satisfactory year of my life -- and I thank God that I can say so. I shall have to go away this spring I am afraid. I am better than I was a few months ago, but by no means strong, and the severe weather has upset me a good deal. I dont dare risk being here through the spring which always tires me most -- and it would involve my dragging about all next summer as I did this last one -- more dead than alive! And I do wish to be well for the sake of my writing -- and I wish to be every­thing that is possible to my friends -- for I feel as if lately I had been a drag to them instead of the help and comfort and pleasure I always mean to be if I can. Dont you think it is a very great help to be obliged to stop in ones life for a while as I have? One sees everything so much more clearly, and I think I am going to write better and live better for this lesson. It has been like keeping a great Lent for ones next five years.

I thought when I knew of your father's re-election I would congratu­late you at once -- (I mean your father & you for his sake) but though I am late about it I am none the less sincere. I think I can understand that you were very glad about it and in one way a little sorry too, for yourself. I think one is apt to plan ones life better than it turns out -- but when we look back we are pretty sure to aquiesce [so spelled], and I know that your society life will count for a great deal more in your eyes one day than it does now. There seems to be a good deal that there is no use in, but perhaps we are carried through long roads that seem stupid so that we may reach one point we would not have missed for anything -- and if we are not looking forward to it, we always look back gladly.

I had a lesson that I shall never forget one day last summer -- I was mourning once my enforced idleness and somebody quietly told me that if I had not done anything else, I had been such a help to her and made her life seem different. It was half unconscious -- I thought she had helped me, but it flashed through my mind that if I had been well I should not have been with her then -- and I saw that God had been using me, and I was so rejoiced and glad that I would have given up a great deal more, rather than miss hearing her say what she did. We only know one side of our lives, do we? and it startles us to remember once in a while that God is doing his part for us and with us, beside our doing our own.

I should like so much to have you here this afternoon. Mother is going out to dine, and Mary is in Boston so I dine alone and how we would chatter if we were together, and perhaps you would like to have the wish on your dear little Christmas card "come true" as well as I should. I should like to hear what is going on in Washington and I have no doubt you are crazy to hear the Berwick news. Please remember me to your father and mother and dont forget that I am always your sin­cere and affectionate friend --


I heard in a round about way the other day that Ella and Mr. Little have gone to Cuba. Mary has been in Boston for a month and I feel as if I were an only child!

 

Notes

Ella ... Mr. Little ... Mary:  Richard Cary says that "Mrs. Ella Walworth Little was "one of Miss Jewett's young coterie of Boston friends which included Cora Clark, Elizabeth Fairchild, Grace Gordon, the Horsford sisters, and the Mason sisters."  For Mary Rice Jewett, see Correspondents.

This letter was transcribed 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.  The notes are by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Susan Hayes Ward

The Brunswick*
     New York

     Friday [February 1881]

    Dear Susy Ward:

     I am here for a very few days and I went to your friend Mrs. Watson's* this morning to see if you might chance to be in town, and I heard that you were planning to come in tomorrow. If it is to be in the morning and you are anywhere in this neighbourhood, I wish that you would be so kind as to come and see me -- me and also Mrs. Fields!1 I shall be here between 10 and 10:30 or eleven o'clock certainly.

     I have not time to get out to see you and dear Hetta2 and I hated to ask you to come in on purpose, but I make bold on the score of Mrs. Watson's knowing your plans.

     With love to you both.
     Yours ever affectionately,
     S. O. Jewett


Notes by Richard Cary


     1 Annie Adams Fields (1834-1915), wife of the publisher James T. Fields, earned her own fame as poet and biographer. After Fields's death in 1881, Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields became inseparable companions, visiting extensively at each other's homes, and traveling together in the United States, on four European tours, and a Caribbean cruise. Miss Jewett dedicated The Mate of the Daylight, and Friends Ashore "To A. F.," and Mrs. Fields edited the Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett.
     2 Hetta Lord Hayes Ward (1842-1921), sister of Susan and William, reported on architecture, exhibitions of painting, the applied and domestic arts for the Independent, as well as publishing delightful stories and verses for children.

Additional Notes

The Brunswick: There apparently were two possible hotels in which Jewet may have stayed, the Brunswick Hotel at
17 - 19 East 27th Street and the Hotel Brunswick at 1236 Madison Avenue.  It is not yet known at which Jewett stayed.

Mrs. Watson:  The identity of Mrs. Watson is as yet unknown.  Assistance is welcome.

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.



April 24, 1881
Death of James T. Fields




SOJ to Annie Fields, sometime after 24 April 1881*


                                                                                                            Wednesday evening

My own dear darling

            I don't believe you were half so sad when you wrote this little letter as I was when I read it. Dear Annie I know that life is very hard for you and that the love and help that used to make it so much easier seem to have gone out of it. But it is not all wrong, and it does not hold you back and crush you down unless you make it so, for we both believe that God sent this loneliness and pain

[2]

into your life only to bless you and bring you closer to Him and to the dear one whom you love best -- I can't bear to think of your sorrow. I can't bear to think that everything seems so blank and dreadful to you. I can't bear not to have you happy among the things that were so lovingly planned and brought together for your comfort and happiness. It ought not to be so dear love, and I do long to have you outgrow this kind of pain and misery that will not let you forget that you are hurt and lonely.

[3]

It seems to me that the only thing to do is to say I am hurt and my heart aches, but God keeps me here in the midst of the empty things that used to belong to my happiness, and I must live the old life alone, and put all my love and thoughtfulness and helpfulness into it, for the sake of whoever comes now; instead of for the sake of one only and for the sake of one only. I think nothing would please him more than to have you making other people happy just exactly as you have been doing since you came to Manchester. It is

[4]

not only Jesus Christ but your dear love beside who will think 'Ye have done it unto me.' His 'poor humanity'* whom he told you he was trying to help are is not only the people who cannot buy bread and shoes, but the people who cannot buy content and happiness because their every day lives are half worthless. And whether you work by your fingers that do pretty things for people to see, or whether you work by your beautiful gift of poetry -- or by your own most lovely presence that keeps most people up {to} the

[5]

best level that is in them -- or by letting them come into the influence of the hospitality which delights every body who knows it -- you are going about doing good -- Don't think about next summer dear darling, dont think about tomorrow even, but make the days grow lovelier one by one because you do the tasks God sets you, as best you can --  Dont say my heart aches and I am wretched, but say I am going to be happy by and by and have my own again, and God

[6]

is teaching me as I wait. Dont say that the time is long and bitterly hard but only that this is a short night between two blessed days, and I will not be always awake to the thought of my own sorrow and get frightened in the dark of uncertainty -- Other people have sorrows that are full of shame and misery, and mine is a sorrow that is like a night full of stars and I see a great light in my darkness to lead me and show me

[7]

the way

            Yes, dear love I know you were certain of all this before -- but I can't help saying it again. One kind of happiness is gone, but it is to make place for a better one -- "not as the world gives give I unto you"* -- And so my dear darling I pray God that you may find His peace wherever you are, and may not wish either for the old dear days that are past or for the Heaven that is to come because you hold both and they belong

[8]

to you always in this world as they will always in the next. -- And I love you and hold you close and cannot do without you. I will stay with [you] always when I can for it seems more and more lovely, and more strange, however dear other places and people may be, to be away from you. I think it is meant we should help each other and love each other more and more. Oh my dear dear darling, dont shut yourself out of the sunshine of life -- it was only the shut windows of the city at which the morning light could not go in -- [deleted word] --

[9]

I could not help saying all this, but after it is said I only stop to think, 'Oh if I could go to her and put my arms around her! {'} But it is something more than that which you want, something that no human love can give, but only God's love and goodness and your own faith and bravery -- When I see that you do not feel so lonely if I am there, and then it is all worse than ever and lonelier, when I am away I know that my love is not

[10]

enough for you after all, though I would do anything for you and I love you with all the love that I can give. It is my great sorrow too because it is yours -- but we will try to say: 'Yes I am not happy, but I can still make others happy and I must do my work lovingly whatever it is, and so I shall know what Heaven is better and better as the days go on. {'}
 
Good night dear and God bless you and comfort you -- Yours always and always

                                                                                                                                                S.O.J.


 Notes


1881:  Someone has written "A selfish grief"  at the top of the first manuscript page in pencil. 
    James T. Fields died on 24 April of 1881; Annie went through bouts of depression and despair over her loss.

'Ye have done it unto me':   See Jesus' parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Matthew 25: 31-46:  "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

"not as the world gives give I unto you":  See John 14: 27: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

The manuscript of this letter is held in the Sarah Orne Jewett Collection, 1801-1997, of the University of New England's Maine Women Writers Collection: II. Correspondence, item 60.  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College, assisted by Linda Heller.





SOJ to Annie Fields



Thursday

[ 1881 after April ]*

Oh my dear darling your two letters have come and I don't know what to say. It fairly stung me to have my own dear love say that nobody would keep her out of it -- Dear Fuffy* if I had thought that this summer would have been easier and happier for you anywhere else I would have helped you go there. It can't be that you think I might have been more thoughtful of you -- but

[Page 2]

indeed this seemed best and does seem best -- And in a few days I shall be with you not to leave you alone again except for a few days while you stay there. Won't it make you more contented to know that really I have been looking forward to being with you there in a way I never have before -- besides fairly longing now for the rest and quietness. I have more care than I ever have had before this

[Page 3]

summer -- and it has made me get through it all and be glad -- because I know that afterward I am going to be by the sea with you. When I think of you it seems wrong that I can't always be with you to take care of you and love you and not let you be lonely -- but dear darling so long as I really must be away part of the time it does make a difference that we belong to each other in a sweet way- - and can keep

[Page 4]

the thought of it in our hearts when we are apart. So let us try to wait the rest of the time and know that it will be all the dearer when we are together. It is hard to write for I could so much more easily tell you this if I were with you -- indeed I should not need to tell you at all. It makes my heart ache to think of your sadness and loneliness, but oh my darling don't let us forget that there is a great blessing sent with it all -- and that God does not mean to punish us

[Cross-written on p. 1, left margin and top ]

or torment us but to bless us and make us more and more his own dear children. I only hope that this note will carry you a little of that great love that fills my heart for you.

Your own Pin*

[Cross-written on p. 2, left margin]

I send you Lilian H's* letter. How touching it is about the Longfellows.* I knew too that they wanted so much to go to you.

[Cross-written on p. 3, left margin and top]

No -- the letter got spoiled -- but she only said beside that other's [?] wishing to go to Manchester that Mrs Ole* was there & it was about my coming down &c by and by


Notes

1881 after April:  Original transcriber notes appearing with this text read: (nd but late summer 1881 - AF has written 1881 in pencil at the top. James T. Fields died in April of 1881 - and Annie, devastated, cut herself off from friends and family for a time. This letter indicates an earlier intimacy than most scholars assume. See Paula Blanchard, pp. 134-135. )
(in sleeve marked K-l). 
    The transcriber's dating seem correct, though it is difficult to determine how long after April the letter was composed.  It seems clearly connected with another similar letter that responds to the grief of Mrs. Fields.  As this one seems more intimate -- with its use of private nicknames -- it likely comes after the other.

Fuffy:  a Fields nickname. See Correspondents.

Lilian H:  Very likely this is Mary Leila ("Lilian") Horsford is the oldest daughter of Eben Norton Horsford.  See Correspondents.

Longfellows: Fields and Jewett were friends of the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family.  See Alice Mary Longfellow in Correspondents.

Manchester:  Annie Fields's summer home, the Gambrel Cottage, was in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA.

Ole:  As Ole Bull died in 1880, Jewett presumably refers to Sara Chapman Thorp Bull. See Correspondents.

Pin:  A Jewett nickname. See Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is at the University of New England,  Maine Women Writers Collection,  Jewett Collection  correspondence [n.d.] corr054-soj-af.03.  Unknown original transcriber, with additions and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Theophilus Parsons

     South Berwick

     12 June 1881

     Dear Prof. Parsons

     I have been thinking of you a great deal lately. It seems so long since I saw you or heard from you by letter, but I suppose that is partly my fault, though when I tell you that I have been ill for a good deal more than a year -- you will be able to account for my silence. I was in Cambridge for a few days in March, and I meant to go to see you, but I was sorry to hear that you were quite sick just then and I was prevented from doing as I wished. I am very much better now, but I had a dismal long siege all last year. In the first place I got used up by writing too much and doing everything else beside! and I somehow could not grow strong again but went on month after month with a good-for-nothing head and a foot that acted as if it never meant to go of its own accord; I was really very much used up, and though I wrote a little once in a while because I couldn't help it, I had to stop all my plans and be as idle as possible. I think it has done me a great deal of good in many ways -- it was like keeping a long Lent -- and when I am quite well again I shall know even better than I do now "the gain of the loss". I wish so much to have a long talk with you that it is a little hard to write a letter. I wish I could talk with you about my stories. Just now I am making up a book which is to come out in the fall -- called Country By-Ways.* It is mostly sketches of country life -- and of my own country life. So far I have simply tried to write down pictures of what I see -- but by and by I am going to say some things I have thought about those pictures. I don't know whether the pictures or the meditations will seem truest, but I know that I have found out some bits of truth for myself -- and I know one other thing -- that nobody has helped me to think more than you have. I was thinking of you in church this morning while I tried to listen to a most (to me, at least) tiresome sermon. I believe there must soon be a new-unifying interpretation of the New Testament made public or preaching will lose its hold more and more. The explanation of its contradiction, and of the letter of it, is in most men's [mens] pulpits very trite and feeble. Thoughtful people are getting very tired of the sermons they hear, and of the imagery that is taken for reality and boldly explained by worn out phrases. It is only when clergymen get hold of the spiritual meaning of the Bible that they really teach or help us; I can see that plainly enough; and I grow so impatient of the other thing that sometimes I think going to church makes me wicked! It isn't that I hear things that I know and am tired of hearing, but it is so far-fetched and false and one has the feeling that so many ministers have got into the habit of preaching, and they are not teachers of good -- either by their lives or doctrines. I believe I hate sham more and more every year! I will not scold any more, or make you tired, because I was tired myself of that poor parson! When shall I see you again? and you do not forget me, do you? for I am always yours sincerely and affectionately

     Sarah O. Jewett

Notes

Country By-Ways:  Jewett's short story collection was published in 1881, the Library of Congress copy deposited in November.

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.  Annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College




SOJ to William Dean Howells

Isles of Shoals, Tuesday [Summer 1881]*


Dear Mr. Howells

    I told Mrs. Thaxter* this morning that I had been poaching, but she didn't mind and I hope you will like these verses.  She did, and I did too!  and I request your pardon for saying so.  I might have said that "some friends advised my sending them".   My love to Mrs. Howells* and I am hoping to see you by and by.  I am getting well again fast.  --  I think I should have twenty-five dollars for "The Island".  I must tell you some day about my tolling the bell  (which was 'true').*  Mrs. Fields was with me and we did not know what people would say, but I had to give that rope a pull!


Yours sincerely,
Sarah O. Jewett


I am going home soon so please direct to me there.


Notes

Summer 1881:  That this apparently is the letter by which Jewett submitted her poem, "On Star Island," to Howells indicates this date.

Mrs. Thaxter: Celia Thaxter. See Correspondents. Thaxter resided on Appledore in the Isles of Shoals and published poems about the islands.

Mrs. Howells:  See William Dean Howells in Correspondents.

"The Island". ...my tolling the bell:  Jewett's poem "On Star Island" first appeared in Harper's Magazine (63:550-551), September 1881.  Weber and Weber report that the poem was written at Isles of Shoals, July 26, 1880 (25). Rita Gollin says, in Annie Fields: Woman of Letters (2002), that the friendship of Jewett and Annie Fields began when they met on Star Island:  The poem ends:
    I saw the worn rope idle hang
        Beside me in the belfry brown.
    I gave the bell a solemn toll --
        I rang the knell for Gosport town.

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Folder 72, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Preparation by Linda Heller.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Lilian Woodman Aldrich

Isles of Shoals
27 July 1881

My dear Duchess*

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - I spent a day in Swampscott* and then went to Gloucester and I had a very pleasant day or two with Miss Phelps* though I must confess to you that her real talent and fine gifts are very much spoiled to me by that streak of morbid silliness which is tangled through and through her writing and her talking.  There is so much that I respect and honour in her that I hate to say this -- but you and I have talked about her before and I am sure I am only saying it to you. To tell you the truth, I am in a great hurry to see you again dearest Duchess!  I am always thinking of things to ask you and to tell you and I feel very rich when I think of you and remember that you are my friend.  I think as one grows older one gives and takes friendship with greater care -- and deep satisfaction!  I did have a lovely little visit and I think of all your household very often, and wonder if the cherries are gone and if Billy* is properly attended and served, and if anybody has been fishing. - - - - - - - - - -

    I displayed Bopeep* with triumph to my sister, and left her at home because I was afraid the sea air might fade her!  I was only at home over night -- to get a bigger trunk and some more clothes, and tell my family I was still very much attached to them! - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Yours most affly
 S.  O.  J.


Notes

Duchess:  Lilian Woodman and her husband, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, were affectionately nicknamed among their friends as the Duchess and Duke of Ponkapog. 
    The transcriber seems to indicate with his lines of dashes that he has transcribed only part of this letter.

Swampscott:  Swampscott, MA, in Essex County, north of Boston, was a popular resort town in the 19th century.

Miss Phelps:  Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward.  See Correspondents.

Billy:  This person has not been identified.  Assistance is welcome.

Bopeep: Jewett may be speaking of a doll.  Little Bo-Peep was a familiar, unfortunate young shepherdess in an English nursery rhyme with a number of variants.  Perhaps most familiar is:
Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
and doesn't know where to find them;
leave them alone, and they'll come home,
wagging their tails behind them.
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 William Hayes Ward

[ 14 August 1881 ]*

Dear Dr. Ward

    I send you the story, registered, by this post. If you cannot publish it by the 10th or 12th of September please return it to me.
 -- I have been away from home and forgot it, so I had not done any thing with it -- I think it is best one of the best things I have done and if I did not want it for my book I should keep it for a magazine -- That's frank -- isn't it?

  -- I saw Mr. Gladden* the other day -- by the sea -- and I was very glad of it -- the will none of your house hold come this way this summer?

 Yours sincerely
 Sarah O. Jewett

  South Berwick Maine
  14 Aug -- [1881]


Notes

1881:  Green has determined the date of this letter by speculating persuasively that if Ward published the story in The Independent, and it was a story for adult readers that she soon collected, then the story most likely was "Miss Becky's Pilgrimage," which appeared on 1 September 1881 and was collected that year in Country By-Ways.

Mr. GladdenWikipedia 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 published a number of poems and stories in Sunday Afternoon during 1878-1879.

This transcription by David Bonnell Green appears in "Two Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett." Notes and Queries 5 (1958): 361-362.  He says the manuscript is held by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Eben Norton Horsford

South Berwick, 27 October 1881

Dear Prof. Horsford

    Thank you very much for your kind letter and for the little book which I shall enjoy reading very much, also. It is odd that only two or three days ago I was wishing that I knew something more than I do about that good queen.* -- I think we are much more surprised by the little things that 'happen' to us at just the right time than at the  great things! -- I thought of you at the time I heard of Mr. Durant's death, for I knew you were very fond of him.* It is very hard to get on without the people whom one has learned to depend upon -- and I think one feels such a loss more and more. You get used to doing without a person in the old ways, perhaps, after a while, but there are always new questions coming up when you are sure that the friend who is gone could have given the best and wisest help. I did not know Mr. Durant except in the most casual way --

    I am rejoiced to hear something of your household. I was lucky enough to meet Mrs. Wyman* at the mountains and we talked a great deal about you all. I am in a great hurry to see her again -- it was a great pleasure to me, to meet her.

    My love to dear Sam and to Trofart, and the two new dogs Brownie and Roger send their compliments.* Brownie has been one of us for some months and Mrs. Dr. Oliver is 'fetching me up' a collie puppy whose name is Sandy: but one day I saw this red setter whose eyes are enough to win any heart and I bought him and named him Roger, and I love him already almost as much as I did old Joe. My mother is not over-fond of bow-wows, and I dont know whether she will like to have three in the house of an evening for these two big fellows seem to cover half the parlour floor already!

    I am glad that you like Country By-Ways. I think in some ways it is far better than any thing I have done, but I never shall really be so fond of any thing as of Deephaven. I have associations with that that I couldn't have with another book.

I have been very busy all summer though I have been off several times for a week or so. Yes, I hope to be in Boston later in the season, and don't I know where the door-key is hidden at 27 Craigie St? --

    With much love to you and to Mrs. Horsford and the 'little gells' as Mrs. Poyser would call them

Yours always sincerely

Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

Transcriber note:  This letter refers to several mutual acquaintances. Henry Fowle Durant was the first President of Wellesley College; he died on October 3, 1881. Horsford knew Durant well, was one of Wellesley's founders, and served on the college's governing board. Elizabeth Aspinwall Pulsifer Wyman, the wife of the Horsford family physician, was the daughter of a shipmaster, an occupation of Sarah Orne Jewett's ancestors. Sam and Trofart were the Horsford dogs, the latter receiving his Norse name as a result of Horsford's involvement in the excavation of the Viking Godstow ship. See Captain Magnus Anderson, "Norway and the Vikings,"  National Geographic 5 (1894) 132-6.
    Susan Lawrence Mason Oliver was the wife of a Boston physician, hymnologist, author, and local historian.

good queen:  Which little book on a good queen Professor Horsford sent to Jewett is not known.  Assistance is welcome.

Country By-Ways, Sarah Orne Jewett's second book was published in October, 1881.

Brownie ... Roger:  Both were Jewett family dogs, following the death of Old Joe, and it appears that Sandy the collie soon will join the family.  See "Sarah Orne Jewett's Dog" (1889).

27 Craigie St.:  Willoughby says that "the Horsfords lived at 27 Craigie Street [in Cambridge, MA], a few doors from the Longfellows."  See Mary Melvin Petronella, Victorian Boston Today: Twelve Walking Tours (225).

Mrs, Poyser:  Mrs. Poyser is a character in George Eliot's Adam Bede (1859).

According to transcriber John W. Willoughby, the manuscript of this letter is in the possession of the family of Andrew Fiske, Eben Norton Horsford's great-grandson, "heir to Sylvester Manor, Horsford's Shelter Island estate, who graciously offered to share with the public the letters from Sarah Orne Jewett and Annie Fields to Eben Norton Horsford and his family."  This letter was published in John W. Willoughby, "Sarah Orne Jewett and Her Shelter Island: Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett and Annie Fields to Eben Norton Horsford,"  Confrontation (Long Island University) 8 (1974): 72-86.  Annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Emma Harding Claflin Ellis
 
Saturday Morning
[ November 1881 ]

[ Letterhead design of SOJ initials superimposed over each other. ]

Dear Mrs. Ellis

    I wish to tell you that Mary* is here safe and sound and we are enjoying "the company" very much.  I was very much provoked because I missed you yesterday

[ Page 2 ]

for I came along just after Mrs. Rice had left you -- I went over to Mrs. Fields's after breakfast, and the time went very fast, so I didn't get started from the Aldriches* until sometime after I planned and consequently I

[ Page 3 ]

was a little late all the way through the morning!  I just ran up to town to have a frock fitted, and so see about Country By-ways* for the last time -- I wish I could have seen you and Mrs. Claflin --*

    Mary* sends love and likewise Mary Ellis

[ Page 4 ]

and I am your very affectionate

S. O. J.

Tell Mrs. Claflin there will be particulars next week! With covers on.



Notes

Mary is here safe:  Emma Ellis's daughter, Mary.  See Correspondents

Mrs. Rice ... Mrs. Fields ... Aldriches:  Cora Clark Rice, Annie Adams Fields, Thomas Bailey and Lilian Aldrich.  See Correspondents.

Country By-ways:  Jewett's collection of stories was deposited in the Library of Congress on 21 November 1881.  Jewett probably refers to this book in the postscript as "particulars."

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

Mary:  In this sentence, the first Mary is 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.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



Celia Laighton Thaxter to Annie Adams Fields

Kittery, November 25, 1881.

    Yesterday, while I was writing the last words of the letter I sent to you, I perceived smoke in the air, and looking up, Annie, the smoke was pouring up the whole length of the crack in the floor next the fireplace behind me!!! I ran upstairs to John's room;* he rushed down half dressed: the cellar was full of smoke! In a moment all the half-dressed men were on the scene. Wentworth fortunately had not yet finished his work at the barn and gone home, and with lightning speed every bit of fire was carried out into the snow, and he was dislodging the bricks in the hearth, and the smoke followed. Then it was water, water, and finally, after working about an hour, they thought it was out, and we sat down to breakfast. But I wasn't satisfied and I kept saying, "I expect every minute we shall break out into a light blaze." But they laughed at my fears. Suddenly we all became conscious of more smoke. They ran to the top of the house; the smoke was coming out in the attic!!! When I heard that I thought we were gone, and went quickly into my room and put my mother's little jewel treasures in my pocket, tried to think what I would like to save most, and swiftly rushed back. They had torn the whole brickwork out by that time, and what do you think! they found the bricks had been laid on wooden beams!!! and the beams cut down like bread before the axe, a mass of soft, hot charcoal! Just think of the man that built that chimney! Well, we got it out at last, and, thank God, it was only smoke, not yet flame, that had gone up through the partition to the attic. But it was the narrowest kind of an escape. All day long they were at work taking out the whole of the hearth, so that the cellar was laid bare to view, and it is to be laid, as it should have been at first, in solid stone. The mason who built it had the pleasure of spending his Thanksgiving digging out his wicked, shiftless work. It is the greatest wonder on earth that we are not in ashes this moment.


Notes

John:  Thaxter's son, John, was born 1854; he married Mary Stoddard in 1887.

This extract from a letter appears in Letters of Celia Thaxter Edited by her friends, A. F. [Annie Fields] and R. L. [Rose Lamb], The Riverside Press, H. O. Houghton, & Co, Cambridge, Mass. 1895.  Annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College.



Celia Laighton Thaxter to Annie Adams Fields

Monday A. M. on train. [1881?]

    I am so struck with the flowers along our way, though we rush so fast! Just now we passed a brook edged with golden senecio, do you know it? growing just like purple asters, only bright gold, in cluster; blue iris grows with it. The meadow-rue is in lovely mist all over the low places. We pass so many kinds of loosestrife, I'm going to set them down, "for fun," as Sarah Jewett would say, as I see them: daisies, St. John's wort (blooming), toad-flax, white spirća, princes' feather, roses, buttercups, white early aster, mustard, tansy, milkweed, yarrow, clover, fireweed (rosy purple), arethusa, rudbeckia, wild parsley, scarlet wood lilies, oh, so superb! arrow-head (white) cymbidium, morning-glory, and golden gorse (only a rare glimpse of this), white elder clusters, pink meadow-sweet, gold mullein spikes, pale primrose, blue-eyed grass (now we run into the rain! Oh, I hope your hillside has it!), water lilies (white and yellow), laurel, thistle, blackberry (still blooming), Gill-go-over-the-ground, and crowfoot; going through a wood, a glimpse of white azalea. What a wilderness of bloom! And now we near Greenland, and it doesn't seem five minutes since we ran out of the dark station at Beverly.* And here is pink germander! Dear, let me hear from you soon. I had such a happy time with you!

    At the Shoals. This morning, a little after three, I was wakened by the distressed cry of a sandpiper. I knew the dear creatures had a nest near the reservoir, towards which and over which one of my windows looks. I sprang up and looked out. Sure enough, round the brick parapet was stealing a hideous three-legged cat, who got here nobody knows how, and has grown wild and a terror to the birds, and we can't catch her. I saw the sandpipers flitting and piping. Everything was rosy with dawn and the sea a mirror. I threw on my dressing gown, and, not stopping even for stockings, slipped on my shoes, down stairs and out of the house, round the piazza, up through the green space and clustering rose and bayberry bushes, over the low fence, on to the broad, low wall of the reservoir, round which I ran at the edge of the still water to the ledges on the other side, where the tragedy was going on. I scared away the cat, and the wise sandpipers stood watching on the highest part of the rock and ceased their shrieks of terror, and peace descended upon the scene. The sun was yet some time below the horizon, but such a rosy world! It was heavenly, the delicate sweet air, the profound stillness, the delicious color. I quite forgot I was nearly fifty-one, and why I did n't get my death of cold the Lord he knows, I don't!


Notes

Greenland ... Beverly:  Thaxter is traveling toward Portsmouth, NH.  Beverly, MA and Greenland, NH are along the route between Boston and Portsmouth.

This extract from a letter appears in Letters of Celia Thaxter Edited by her friends, A. F. [Annie Fields] and R. L. [Rose Lamb], The Riverside Press, H. O. Houghton, & Co, Cambridge, Mass. 1895.  Annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College.



Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.




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