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1881    1883

Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1882



SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

Monday night
[ 1882-1883 ]*

Dear Mary

            ………….Mr. Aldrich* sent to me this morning to hurry up some Contributors Club articles* I have been doing and so I put in and did no end of work between twelve and two.  I don't believe I ever crammed so much into two short hours.  I think the result was satisfactory.  You can run a good deal faster when you are chased you know!

 
Notes

1882-1883: This tentative date is based upon Jewett's report that she has been working on a number of pieces for the Atlantic's Contributor's Club.  See notes below.
    The line of points presumably indicates an omission from the manuscript.

Mr. Aldrich:  Thomas Bailey Aldrich.  See Correspondents.

Contributors Club articles:  During Aldrich's editorship at Atlantic, Jewett's pieces in the Contributor's Club column appeared mainly between January 1882 and January 1884.

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, Undated Letters, Folder 75, 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 Emma Harding Claflin Ellis

148 Charles St
31 January 1882

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

Dear Mrs. Ellis

    I have meant to write you every day but in the first place I could find out little about Mary's* plans, and even now I am not very certain. She thinks that she shall go to

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Newark about the middle of February and I should ^think^ the first fortnight in March would be an excellent time to appoint for her dwelling in 15th St.  So may I trouble you to put out an anchor to wind'ard for me, at the house you

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wrote me about?  I want Mary to stay away through as much of the bad weather as possible and I hope she will go on a regular racket.

    I think that you will be amused at finding that I am still in town, but Mrs. Fields* seemed to wish so much that I

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would not go away that I have only been out of this dear house for a day or two at a time.  Beside I was so glad to be here and it really has been the best place for I have not been well.  The weather has used me up a good deal, and I know that the longer I kept away from Berwick the better.

[ Page 5  with the letterhead repeated ]

Although I wish so much to see them all at home I really dread going back.  I am shut up enough here, but I am able to get out very little there in winter and spring weather.        However!

    I have been writing a little lately{,} mostly in the line of Contributor

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Club sketches for the Atlantic* -- And I read and have beautiful good times with Mrs. Fields.  Cora Rice* is here a good deal and we see each other every day or two, and my other cronies are more friendly than ever.

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I think Boston [unrecognized word] so pleasant.  Tonight Mrs. Lodge* and I are going to view Oscar Wilde* sorely against our principles!

    Haven't seen Mrs. Claflin* for a few days, but Mr. Whittier* spent most of yesterday

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morning with us and reported that he was very well and very busy.  Mrs. Fields sends you her love and is sorry she did not see you. 

Yours always lovingly with kind regards to Mr. Ellis --

'Little Sarah'

Notes

Mary: Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

Atlantic:  The"Contributor's Club" column in Atlantic Monthly consisted of short anonymous essays by regular contributors to the magazine.  In 1882, Jewett may have provided as many as five pieces for this column.  She claimed authorship of just one, "The Color Cure," which appeared in March.  Richard Cary attributes four others to her: "Good Society Novels" January; "Pleasant Rooms" April; "Deplorable Improvements" (June); and "Woodland Mysteries" (July).

Cora. Rice:  Cora Clark Rice.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Lodge:  Mary Greenwood Lodge.  See Correspondents.

Oscar Wilde:  During his 1882 tour of the United States, the Irish author, Oscar Wilde, lectured on "The English Renaissance" in Boston on 31 January.

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

Mr. Whittier:  John Greenleaf Whittier.  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 John Geenleaf Whittier

 South Berwick

February 16, [1882

Dear Mr. Whittier:

     I have missed you very much -- it has been so great a pleasure to see you often and I was always wishing that it would happen that we were neighbours. Since I came home on Monday, I have not done much except thinking about the things I have done lately, but I hope to begin a story before many days go by.

I wonder if you have gone back to Danvers?1 I venture to send this to Boston for Mrs. Fields2 tells me that you were in town yesterday, and that your brother3 has been ill. I am very sorry for I know you will be worried and sad. I wish that I could do some little things for you, but after all I suppose it would not do for us to live each other's lives, and though we wish with all our hearts to take away the troubles of the people we love it would be anything but kindness. I have not read The Year 134 yet. I have not felt exactly like reading -- for I am like a boat that is coming round into the wind to start on another tack -- and I have to drift a little first! I took up Warner's Life of Irving5 for a half hour last night and I liked it very much. I wonder if you have read it? Give my love to Mrs. Claflin and the Governor.6 I hope you have seen Mrs. Fields again. You don't know how much I have missed her. My sister7 went away this morning and I was sorry for myself but I am glad for her sake. I know she will have so much pleasure. You do not know how much love I send to you always when I think of you, and now there is more than ever before.

Yours always sincerely,

Sarah Jewett

 
Notes

1. In 1875 Whittier's cousins, the Misses Johnson and Abby J. Woodman, purchased a farm of sixty acres in Danvers and invited him to make his home there whenever he wished. The place was notable for beautiful lawns, orchards, gardens, and grapevines. Whittier suggested the name of "Oak Knoll," which was immediately adopted.

2. Annie Adams Fields (1834-1915), widow of the publisher James T. Fields, became Miss Jewett's closest friend and confidante. Miss Jewett spent most of the winter at Mrs. Fields's Boston home and part of every summer at her cottage in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. They traveled extensively together through the United States, on four European tours, and a Caribbean cruise. Mrs. Fields edited the first collection of Miss Jewett's letters in 1911, published a small life of Whittier (New York, 1893), and several volumes of her own verses.

3. Matthew Franklin Whittier (1812-1883), never a robust man, spent his middle years in Portland, then took a position in the Boston Custom House. He published a series of caustically humorous anti-slavery letters under a pseudonym. At this time John wrote to Miss Jewett: "My brother has been very ill, but is now somewhat, though I fear not permanently, better. The last of our family, he is a kind, unselfish man, whose way of life has been hard and difficult." (Pickard, II, 676.)

4. Fritz Reuter, In the Year '13: A Tale of Mecklenburg Life, translated by Charles Lee Lewes. The best-known edition was the Tauchnitz (1867) but there were numerous later reprintings, such as the G. Munro (New York, 1878). The book gives many vivid pictures of Franco-German confrontation in the Napoleonic era, rendered in Reuter's local dialect, Platt-Deutsch.

 5. Charles Dudley Warner, Washington Irving (Boston, 1881). Whittier admired "the smooth gracefulness" of Irving's style and modeled his own in part on it. The effect of this influence is "painfully obvious" in Whittier's first book, Legends of New England (1831).

 6. Whittier was the frequent guest of Mary Davenport Claflin and William Claflin, governor of Massachusetts, 1869-1871, at their town and country houses. Mrs. Claflin (1825-1896) wrote three volumes on the New England scene and Personal Recollections of John G. Whittier (New York, 1893). Governor Claflin (1818 -- 1905) was like Whittier ardently anti-slavery; he was a trustee of Claflin University, a Negro institution in South Carolina. Miss Jewett was equally intimate with the Claflins.

 7. Mary Rice Jewett (1847-1930), Sarah's elder sister. She, like Sarah, remained a spinster and kept in close touch throughout her life. Sarah dedicated A White Heron and Other Stories (1886) to her.

 
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.



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ


Danvers [2d Mo ? ] 18 1882*


My dear Friend,

    I wonder how I can reconcile myself to the old, customary life here, after my pleasant stay in Boston, and our delightful companionship there.  I cannot make thee understand how grateful and refreshing it all was., and how

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much I thank thee for it. I did not leave the city until Thursday morning.  My brother* has been very ill, but is now somewhat, though I fear not permanently, better. The last of our family he is a kind unselfish man, whose way of life has been hard, and difficult.  For the last 15 years he

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has been connected with the Naval Office in Boston.

    I was glad to get thy letter: it was so good of thee to send it! I hope thee will not hurry about writing;  there is time enough before thee; and I am sure thee need a little country rest and sleep after thy city life & folk-seeing.  I did not call on dear Annie Fields* again, though

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{I} should have been glad to do it, for I never see her without a feeling of thankfulness that for such a rare, beautiful soul, and the privilege of being her friend.

    I shall probably go to Boston for a few days early in March, & after that visit Amesbury.

    I must tell ^thee^ how much I have enjoyed that queer, good Vicar of Hermanstow.* I have seen nothing so good for a long time. For it, & for how much more, I thank thee, God bless thee!

Ever with love thy friend

John G. Whittier

Notes

[2d Mo ? ] 18 1882:  Whittier uses the Quaker dating system, giving the day and the number of the month.

my brother:  Whittier's brother, Matthew, died on 7 January 1883.

Annie Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

Vicar of Hermanstow: Richard Cary notes the misspelling here and identifies S. Baring-Gould, The Vicar of Morwenstow: A Life of Robert Stephen Hawker, M.A. (New York, 1880).

A transcriber's note reads: "Most of this letter appears in Plckard, II, 676."  This would be the second volume of Samuel T. Pickard's Life and Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier.

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



SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett


[Feb. 17, 1882 ]*
                                    Thursday evening

Dear Mary

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Do you know that John* didn't buy you a ticket at all, but gave you one he had, for a send-off.  I think it was enough to crack anybody's heart!  Goodnight dear O. P.*  Give my love to your beloved hostesses -- and I wish I were just flying in at the window.

                    Yours ever

                             S.  O.  J


Notes

1882:  With this transcription appears this note: [So.  Berwick,  Me.,  Feb. 17, 1882.]

The meaning of brackets is not known; hence it is unknown how this letter was dated.  In other transcriptions, it appears such information comes from an accompanying envelope.  Also, the line of points that opens the letter text suggests that this is selected from a longer letter.

John:  John Tucker. See Correspondents.

O.P.:  A family nickname for Mary Rice Jewett.

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



SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

[South Berwick, Me.,  Feb. 20, 1882]*


                                Monday afternoon

Dear Mary

I have just been out a little while but the wind was so raw and chilly that I put back into port and went in to dwell with Uncle William.*  I found him as steadyminded as usual and very pleasant and we gossiped amiably until I was obliged to depart.  I did not go to church yesterday -- for it was snowing most of the day.  Cousin Charlotte* turned out however and made me a call on her way home.  Carrie* was down this morning for a little while, and Mother received a visit from the baby yesterday.  I was so much amused last night.  Ann* came in to say she had thought she would take her walks abroad and go as far as the cop-house.  I immediately racked my brains to think what branch of the Copp family* could be friends of  hers -- but it turned out she was heading for the wake of a Duffy girl,* and it was the corpse-house she mentioned!  though I was too stupid to understand.  We were very glad to get your letter and the postal card this morning.  I had been wondering if you would get to the ferry-house in time to meet Hetta -- but wasn't it nice you should have met Dr. Swan?  Did he have anything to say about the Gates's?*  I had a very pleasant letter from Cora this morning.  She said she met Grace at a lunch party and thought she seemed pretty well again.  She has been at Cambridge with Georgie.*  Georgie herself spent yesterday with Cora and they went to Trinity but Mr. McVickar preached.*  Mrs. Field's letter was uncommon long and lovely, and she had Miss Phelps* a spending Sunday with her, and was properly solemnized in consequence.  I have been reading a good deal since you went away and I hope to begin to write some time this week but I don't know.  I think I should like to fall asleep for a month or two, and I am pretty sure my society wouldn't be much loss.  The dogs and birds are well and I have borne with your clock so far!  You don't know how often I think of you, and you must remember everything that happens to tell me!  which makes me think of the woman who said to her child Be absolutely perfect, that's all I ask!

    Give ever so much love to Miss Ward and Hetta and much for yourself goes in this letter and I hope it won't spill out.  My kindest remembrances to Mrs. Ward and Miss Hayes if she is still there -- so no more at present from yours with esteem

the Queen.


Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [South Berwick, Me.,  Feb. 20, 1882,   SOJ to MRJ  c/o Rev. W. H. Ward,  Abington Ave., Newark,   N.J.]. 

Uncle William:  William Durham Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Cousin Charlotte: Richard Cary says in notes to an 1872 letter: "Elisha Hanson Jewett (1816-1883), first cousin of Miss Jewett's father, was a prominent railroad and building contractor, a bank director and state senator from South Berwick. His first wife, also named Sarah Orne Jewett, was the daughter of his uncle and business associate. His current wife was Charlotte Tilton Cross."

Carrie ... the baby: Caroline Eastman Jewett and her son, Theodore.  See Correspondents.

Ann ... Copp family:  Ann is presumably an Irish employee, but she has not been identified with certainty.  Nor is there information yet available about the Copp family of South Berwick, though Copp's Hill Burying Ground in Boston would have been familiar to the Jewett sisters.  Assistance is welcome.

Duffy girl:  The identity of this person who died in February 1882 in South Berwick has not been determined.  Assistance is welcome.

Hetta:  Jewett expects Mary to see members of the Ward family:  Miss Susan Hayes Ward, her brother William Hayes Ward, and their sister, Hetta.  See Correspondents.

Dr. Swan ... the Gates's
:  There is some possibility that Mary has met a well-known New York homeopathic physician, Dr. Samuel Swan (1814-1893).  To which Gates family Jewett refers also cannot be known easily.  She records writing a letter to Vattie Gates in her diary of 15 January 1869.  This seems likely to have been Vashiti / Vashti Gates (1848-1925), daughter of Ephraim Church Gates and Vashiti / Vashti Randall Pickins of Calais, ME.  She married Bradley Llewellyn Eaton (1850-1937) in 1872.  The "Find a Grave" pages for this couple offer a good deal of information about their families.

Cora ... Grace ... Georgie:   Cora Clark Rice, Grace Gordon who married Jacob Treadwell Walden, and Georgina Halliburton. See Correspondents.
   
but Mr. McVickar preached:  The tone of possible disappointment in this statement may result from the expectation that the popular Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) would have preached.  He was rector of Trinity Church (Episcopalian) Boston from 1869 until he became Bishop of Massachusetts in 1891.  Mr. McVickar's identity is not certain, but probably this is William N. McVickar (1843-1910), who in 1897 became Bishop of Rhode Island.  At the time of this letter, he was rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia.  It is not clear why he would be preaching in Boston, except as a guest.

Mrs. Field's ... Miss Phelps:   Annie Adams Fields and Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Ward and Miss Hayes:  The identities of these people are not easily determined.  William Hayes Ward's wife and mother both had died before the date of this letter.  The Hayes family was large and prominent in South Berwick, as suggested by the Ward families' middle names, but the identity of this "Miss Hayes" is not yet known.  Assistance is welcome.

the Queen:  Among her immediate family, Jewett accepted the nickname, the Queen of Sheba (sometimes Sheby).  She often referred to herself and signed her letters with variants of this title.  In the Bible (Kings 10 and Chronicles 9), the rich Queen of Sheba visits King Solomon to "prove" his famed wisdom.

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 John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick

February 21, 1882

Dear Mr. Whittier:

     Don't think that you must answer this letter -- if I thought I gave you a bit of trouble I should be so sorry! But I am a very near relation of yours now, you know;1 and I like to have something to do with you and just now, sending a letter is the only way. I can't say how glad I was to hear from you this morning. It was like being with you again for a few minutes, and to tell the truth I have been wishing that I could put myself back into the midst of those days in Boston. I have missed Mrs. Fields* so much! I fairly long to see her again and it seems a month instead of a week since I came away. I hear from her very often and that is a great pleasure, but every letter makes me wish all the more to be close beside her.2 I think you know better than most people can how dearly I love her, for you know how well worth the best love in the world she is. I could not love her any better now, but I shall by and by, as fast as I grow better myself. I do not believe you begin to know how much she cares for you, she so often spoke of you in the most loving and tender way, and she was always a great deal happier after she had seen you. I am so glad that you are to be in Boston again early in March and I have already made a plot to go down for a day and night and perhaps we will have another twelve o'clock breakfast, and tell some new ghost stories, and be otherwise dismal!

     My sister Mary* went to New York within a few days after I came home and she is having the best of good times and will not be at home for a month yet, but if my mother is very well I do not see why I cannot go away for a little visit. I am very lonely here at this time of the year, for I am always used by the weather, and have to stay indoors, and I grow dull and sad in spite of myself. I don't mean to fret, and I do love my home, and cling to it more and more fondly every year, but I hardly ever feel very well all through the winter, and like to be where the outside life helps me to forget myself.

     I brought some books down with me, some of my own and some that I brought from the bookshelves in Charles St. and they keep me company. But it has been one of the times when I have cared for people more than for books, and found that a cold sheet of printed paper did not make up for a voice I like to listen for, or a hand I like to get hold of. I wish to do some writing as soon as I can but somehow I have not liked the thought of it yet. You will say I need a bright red room to stay in, and will recommend my own prescriptions in "The Colour Cure." Did you see that bit of The Contributors Club for March?3 I wrote it and Mrs. Fields laughed over it a good deal, which was satisfaction enough, wasn't it?

     I can look out of your windows at Danvers now and see the tall Norway spruces shouldering all the snow they can get hold of. There are some that look like them at the side of the house here, but we are shut into the village and cannot look off across the fields. You must give my kind remembrances to your household, and tell Phebe4 that I expect to be taken out in style with her dog team. My dog Roger5 is very well and was glad when I came home. Goodbye dear friend and I am yours most lovingly.

S. O. J.


Cary's Notes

1. In letters to Mrs. Fields (at Huntington Library) Whittier had referred to Miss Jewett as his "adopted daughter."

2. Her husband, James T. Fields, died April 24, 1881.

3. "A Color Cure," Atlantic Monthly, XLIX March 1882), 425-426. Since faith in old-fashioned medicine has declined, Miss Jewett examines the suggestion that there is more therapy in agreeable colors than in dosages of disagreeable drugs. The tone -- her father was a doctor -- is gently satiric.

4. Phebe Woodman Grantham was the adopted daughter of Whittier's cousin Abby J. Woodman. In her childhood she lived at Oak Knoll and was the object of much affection by Whittier, who wrote the poem "Red Riding Hood" for her. She became extremely possessive of Whittier in later life and, from accounts in Albert Mordell's biography and a letter by Miss Jewett to Samuel T. Pickard, could be unseemly sharp in defending her interest.

5. See Miss Jewett's letter to Gertrude V. Wickham (Sarah Orne Jewett Letters, ed. Richard Cary [Waterville, Maine, 1967], pp. 53-55). Miss Wickham incorporated this material in "Sarah Orne Jewett's Dog," St. Nicholas, XVI (May 1889), 544-545. Roger, "a large Irish setter, of wide and varied information, and great dignity of character," was one in a long line of Jewett pet dogs.

Additional Notes

Mrs. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett. See Correspondents.

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 Louise Chandler Moulton


South Berwick Maine
22 February
[ 1882 ]*


[ Letterhead with superimposed initials, SOJ]

My dear Mrs. Moulton

    I am afraid you have been thinking me both rude and unkind, but your little note came just before I was to leave town, and then I was ill, and since I came home I have been ill again, and I have felt very unlike writing.

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I wish I could have seen you, but I shall be in town again in April and you will not have gone away I hope?  I thought of you while you were the other side of the sea, and I hoped that you were stronger and better

[ Page 3  ]

than when you went away in the spring -- It is a great puzzle to me of late, why we should be given a certain sort of work to do and be made ready for it, only to be told to lay it down!  But all our puzzles will look very simple and easy

[ Page  4 ]

to be solved by and by wont they?

    I am sure you are finding Boston pleasant?  I hated to come away for I never have been happier there, although my illness made me miss a good many things -- I send you a thousand good wishes and thank you so much for the kind little notes.  I am so sorry I did not see you.

Yours sincerely
Sarah O. Jewett.


Notes

1882:  With this letter is a matching envelope addressed to 28 Rutland Square, Boston, and cancelled February 23, 1882 in South Berwick, ME.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Library of Congress in the Louise Chandler Moulton papers, 1852-1908.  MSS33787.  This transcription of from a microfilm copy of the manuscript, on Reel 8 of Microfilm 18,869-15N-15P.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

   [ Feb. 23, 1882]*
         Thursday 23rd

Dear Mary

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Did you send me those beautiful Japanese stout little bowwows?*  They came from New York -- like Mrs. Claflin's* that I have adored for some years?  I love them more than I can tell.  I should hug whoever did send them.  Good-by with love to Miss Ward and Hetta* -- and no end for yourself  -- 

from the Queen.*


Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [So. Ber.  Me.   Feb. 23, 1882,   SOJ  to  MRJ,   c/o Dr. Ward,   Abington Ave, Newark, N.J.]  The line of points that opens the letter text suggests that he has transcribed only part of the letter.

Japanese ... bowwows:  One might guess that Jewett refers to ornamental dogs, but that is only a guess.

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

Miss Ward and Hetta: Miss Susan Hayes Ward and her sister, Hetta.  See Correspondents.

the Queen: Among her immediate family, Jewett accepted the nickname, the Queen of Sheba (sometimes Sheby).  She often referred to herself and signed her letters with variants of this title.  In the Bible (Kings 10 and Chronicles 9), the rich Queeen of Sheba visits King Solomon to "prove" his famed wisdom.

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 John Geenleaf Whittier


South Berwick

Thursday evening [February-March 1882]

Dear Mr. Whittier:

     If my mother is quite well1 and everything is all right here I think I shall spend Sunday in Boston. But please don't tell Mrs. Fields if you see her, for I have set my heart on surprising her. I shall be in all day (unless we go to church at four o'clock).

     I have been hoping that I should see you, and wondering if this was not the time for you to be in town too. I have not finished The Year 13, but you see, I looked at it and found it was so good that I would not read it until I was sure the right time had come. And when I did begin it I was interrupted.

     My friend Mrs. Rice2 has been staying with me and we have had such a good time together! and yesterday when she went home I went with her as far as Exeter to see my grandfather3 and did not get home until this afternoon. I wonder if I shall ever be ninety-three years old and as chirpy as he is!

     I do not say anything about the summer plan4 because I want to talk about it and a letter is no good.

Yours always most lovingly,

Sarah

 
Notes

 1. Mrs. Caroline F. Perry Jewett (1820-1891) was a semi-invalid during the last decade of her life.

 2. Cora Clark Rice (1849-1925) was one of Miss Jewett's earliest Boston friends who introduced her to the social and cultural life of the city. Married to the son of a Massachusetts governor, John Rice, she devoted much time to philanthropies and the Home for Incurables in Boston.*

 3. Dr. William Perry (1788-1887) of Exeter, New Hampshire, was the most distinguished physician and surgeon in that section of the country in his time. A decisive and inspiring man, he rode spirited horses until he was past eighty and performed surgeries at ninety-two. Miss Jewett dedicated The Story of the Normans (1887) to him.

4. Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields had begun discussing details of their first European jaunts during which they would touch on England, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, Italy, France, and Switzerland, and were to meet Tennyson, Charles Reade, Anne Thackeray Ritchie, the Charles Dickens family, and Christina Rossetti.

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.



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ


63 Mt Vernon St
14' .)  [ 1882 ]*

My Dear Friend

    I have just got thy note.  I have made arrangements to stay here through the week, so that I may have the pleasure of seeing thee, possibly, before I leave.  I am glad thee like the Year 13.*  The slow, quaint Dutch humor of it is sometimes irresistable [so spelled].  Thine always,

John G Whittier

Notes

1882:  In a letter to Whittier of 16 February 1882, Jewett says she has not yet read In the Year '13.  The letter seems to follow Jewett's to Whittier of Thursday evening [February-March 1882].  The 3 marks after "14" are difficult to make out and are rendered here as they appear.

the Year 13:  Whittier refers to Fritz Reuter (1810-1874)  In the Year '13: Tale of Mecklenburg Life, which had been published in English translation in 1867.

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




SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

[Mar. 3, 1882]*

 
Dear O. P.*

    We are going on as usual and I haven't much to tell you, only I know from experience how nice it is to hear that everything is going on all straight.  Mother wrote this morning that she found Grandpa nicely, and that Aunty and Fanny were going to Concord last night so I suppose the funeral is today.*  It seems very forlorn some how or other, and yet death is far less forlorn than a lonely life that seems a little adrift and uncertain.  I always feel as if there were a great deal better chance in the next world for such people than there can be in this.  I think Mother was quite stirred up about it -- and I dare say it brought back a good deal to her.


Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [South Berwick,  Me.,  Mar. 3, 1882,  SOJ to MRJ,  c/o  C. W. Ellis, Esq.,   250 East 15th St., N.Y.C.]  This would indicate that Mary is visiting at the home of Emma Harding Claflin Ellis.   See Correspondents.

O.P.:  A family nickname for Mary Rice Jewett.

Grandpa ... Aunty and Fanny ... Concord ... funeral: Grandpa is Dr. William Perry; Aunty should be Lucretia Morse Fisk Perry, daughter-in-law of her grandfather; Fanny would be her daughter, Frances F. Perry.  See Correspondents.
    Whose funeral they are attending, and in which Concord, Massachusetts or New Hampshire, is not yet known.  Assistance is welcome.

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





SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

[March 6, 1882]*


                            Sunday afternoon

Dear Mary

    ………Mar seems in excellent health but is at present at Taddy's,* so there is no message.  She has now returned and sends her love in which Cora and I join.  Love to Missis Ellis.*  I hope you will indulge her and yourself in some pretty show this week so no more at present from yours with esteem

            The Queen of Sheby*


Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [South Berwick, Me.,  March 6, 1882,   SOJ to MRJ  at Mrs. Cushman's,  128 E. 16th St.,  N.Y.C.] The line of points that opens the letter text suggests that he has transcribed only part of the letter.

Mar ... Taddy's: Mar is an occasional nickname for the Jewett sisters' mother, Caroline.  Taddy is Theodore Jewett Eastman.    See Correspondents.

Cora ... Missis Ellis:   Cora Clark Rice and Emma Harding Claflin Ellis.    See Correspondents.

The Queen of Sheby:  Among her immediate family, Jewett accepted the nickname, the Queen of Sheba (sometimes Sheby).  She often referred to herself and signed her letters with variants of this title.  In the Bible (Kings 10 and Chronicles 9), the rich Queeen of Sheba visits King Solomon to "prove" his famed wisdom.

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




SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

March 7, 1882

                                Tuesday

Dear O. P.*

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . Do you know that Mother seems as pleased as Punch* about my going.  Somebody in Exeter had heard about Mrs. Fields* and inquired why I didn't go with her, and Mar was evidently hoping I would!  I haven't heard her say a word that made me think she really felt bad about it.  Sister sails the 24th of May in the Scythia from New York* -- and tell Mrs. Ellis* that I hope she will console me at the last moment.


Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [South Berwick, Me.,  Mar. 7, 1882.  SOJ to MRJ,  c/o C. W. Ellis, Esq.,  250 E. 15th St.,   N.Y.C.] The line of points that opens the letter text suggests that he has transcribed only part of the letter.

O.P.:  A family nickname for Mary Rice Jewett.

pleased as Punch:  The character, Mr. Punch, of "Punch and Judy" puppet shows, though he behaves outrageously, typically triumphs over adversity in the end, and so is pleased with his final situation.

Mrs Fields: Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

New York:  Jewett and Fields sailed from New York to England on 24 May 1882.

Mrs. Ellis: Emma Harding Claflin Ellis.    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 Lilian Woodman Aldrich

  South Berwick
7 March 1882*

Dear Duchess*

    I am moved to write you today, but I haven't anything to say that it is worth your while to read!  I should have enough to say though if we were together and I wish very much I could get hold of you!

    The plans for the flitting across the water* get on famously, and I grow more interested every day.  I see more and more clearly that it is the very best thing for me, and I hope to come home in the fall good for something both to my friends and myself!  I think Mrs. Fields and I will have a most lovely time together and we mean to stay as long in a place as we can and not try to do too much travelling.  I am deeply interested in the account of your French studies!  It is exactly what I ought to be doing myself, but I hate studying -- and I must get on as best I can. I think it must be a great pleasure to 'Adolph'* - - - - - - - - - - - 

                    Yours always

                        S.  O.  J.



Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [To Mrs. T. B. Aldrich,   131 Charles St.,   Boston,  Mass.]  The line of hyphens at the end of the text suggest that he has transcribed only part of the letter.

Duchess:  Lilian Woodman and her husband, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, were affectionately nicknamed among their friends as the Duchess and Duke of Ponkapog. 

flitting across the water:  Jewett and Fields sailed from New York to England on 24 May 1882.

Mrs Fields: Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

'Adolph':  This reference remains mysterious.  Assistance is welcome.

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.



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ

 
63 Mt Vernon St

Boston 12th 3d Mo.*

1882

My dear Friend

    Sarah O. Jewett

    I was disappointed by thy telegram last night, as I anticipated the great pleasure of seeing thee to-day.

    But, I hope I shall see thee yet; and to that end shall stay here a few days longer.  My niece has gone back to Portland, and Mrs. Claflin  is at Washington and the Gov is in Bache{-}

[ Page 2 ]

lor quarters, and I am keeping him company.  I wish thee was here.

    Mrs Fields* called at the Quincy House,* day before yesterday. She was not as usual on her errands of mercy.  If I was a painter I should take her as a model of an angel, -- a true ministering spirit. She will be lonely today for lack of thee.

    I shall expect to hear of thy arrival sometime this week -- as early as Wednesday I hope.

Ever affectionately thy friend

John G. Whittier


Notes


12th 3d Mo.: Whittier uses the Quaker dating system, giving the day and the number of the month.

Mrs. Claflin .. the Gov: Governor William Claflin and his wife, Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin. See Correspondents.  

Mrs. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents. Fields's errands of mercy usually were for the Associated Charities of Boston.

Quincy House:  A major Boston hotel during the 19th century, at the corner of Brattle Street and Brattle Square.

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




SOJ to John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick Monday

[13 March 1882]*

Dear Mr. Whittier:

     I was obliged to give up my plan for spending Sunday in Boston because my mother was ill, and I am sorry to say that she is not well enough yet for me to leave her, though she is much better today.

     I am more grieved than I can tell you, to lose the chance of seeing you, and there were a good many other things which seemed to make it necessary for me to go to town for a day or two. I am afraid that I cannot get away before Thursday but possibly on Wednesday. I shall surely see you before Mrs. Fields* and I go away, but I wish to see you twice! and three times! and four times -- . I was so glad to get your letter this morning. I believe it is only you who can say the right things of Mrs. Fields and even you can never say too much.

     Berwick is all deep snowdrifts and deeper mud; you ought to be glad that you are living on the top of that nice dry hill1 but I do hope that you and Govr. Claflin* are behaving very well, so you will not get scolded when Mrs. Claflin gets home!

Yours lovingly,


Cary's Note

1. Whittier’s house was in fact near the foot of Po Hill in Amesbury. Abbreviated from Powow, site of former Indian nocturnal ceremonials, it was a landmark for craft that sailed up Newburyport harbor. Whittier refers to the hill in “Abram Morrison,” “Miriam,” and “Cobbler Keezar’s Vision.”

Additional Notes

1882:  Cary dates this letter  in February or March of 1882, but it seems clearly to have been written after Jewett received Whittier's first 12 March 1882 letter and before she received his second of that date.  For this reason, it is out of its strict chronological order here.

Mrs. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

Govr. Claflin: See Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin in Correspondents.

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.




John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ

  [ Embossed letterhead is a W with a C intertwined ]*
63 Mt Vernon St

Monday a.m.

[Postmark:  Boston Mar 12 1882]


 My dear friend,

    I have just seen dear Mrs. Fields* who tells me that thy mother is unwell.  Of course, much as we want to see thee, we cannot ask thee to come if thy presence at home is really needed.  I ought to be at Danvers to attend to some writing which I

[ Page 2, back side of the embossed page 1 ]

can only do there; but I shall stay here until I find that we cannot expect thee this week; and, if I have to leave without seeing thee, I shall insist on thy spending a day with me at Amesbury, the last of this month or the first of April.  But Mrs F. & I hope to see thee in Boston some day this week.

    I suppose the bluebirds have got to South Berwick, by this time. 

[ Page 3 ]

They were busy welcoming the pussy willows & the first tiny green blades of our reluctant spring, when I left Danvers.

    G. W. Claflin thinks of going to Washington tomorrow, and I shall be left alone save Mrs Freeland.  We miss Mrs Claflin* greatly.  Always, and most heartily thy friend

John G. Whittier


Notes


Letterhead:  The meaning of the intertwined C is as yet unknown.  One might expect a J or a G, for example.

Mrs Field
:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

G. W. Claflin ... Mrs. Claflin: Governor William Claflin and his wife, Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin. See Correspondents.  

Mrs. Freeland:  This person remains as yet unknown.  Mrs. Claflin's mother was Mary Sophia Freeland (1802 - 1868), so Mrs. Freeland may be a relative.

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



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ

 
Danvers      3d Mo. 22     1882*


My dear Friend

    I realized in opening thy letter to-day the subtle truth of thy charming paper in the "Contributors" Department of the Atlantic.* I felt that something of thee was in the little sheet, & was glad of that little{.}  I wish thee had staid

[ Page 2 ]

in Boston over the Sabbath, since thy mother was so comfortable.  I did not leave until Tuesday yesterday [ so written ]. I went out to call on Longfellow* Sunday p.m. & found him too ill to see me.  He sent word to me how sorry he was.  I came away feeling very sad but, [so written] I think his folks are afraid of his seeing any body, and that

[ Page 3 ]

the slightest complaint of illness on his part alarms them.  Dr. Holmes* spent Saturday afternoon with me, and we had a right good time, alternating from grave to gay.
   
    I did not see Mrs Fields* after thee left.  Elizabeth Phelps* spent Sunday at Hotel Claflin,* but she was sadly ill from her sleeplessness.  Her new story in the Atlantic opens well. 

[ Page 4 ]

I cannot not see how she can write at all under the circumstances.

    All thy friends are pleased with thy prospects. You will have a delightful time  --  I almost envy you that Norwegian visit.*

    I half suspect thee may be in Boston at this time, but my letter can wait thy return, as it amounts to nothing except to say that I am gratefully thy friend

John G Whittier

Notes


3d Mo. 22: Whittier uses the Quaker dating system, giving the day and the number of the month.

"Contributor's" Department:  Jewett appeared several times, anonymously, in the "Contributor's Club" section of Atlantic Monthly during 1882. Her March essay was "The Color Cure," and Richard Cary believes she also wrote a follow-up piece for April, "Pleasant Rooms." Whittier could refer to either of these, though Jewett had recommended the March essay to him in her letter of  21 February  1882.

Longfellow:  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died on March 24, 1882.  See Correspondents.

Dr. Holmes:  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.  See Correspondents.

Mrs.  Fields: Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

Elizabeth Phelps:  Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (Ward).  See Correspondents.  Her novel, Dr. Zay, began to appear in an Atlantic Monthly serialization in April of 1882.  This novel about a woman physician is likely to have influenced Jewett's composition of A Country Doctor (1884).

Hotel Claflin:  There not being an actual "Hotel Claflin" in Boston or Newtonville, Whittier presumably is joking about the busy social calendar at the Governor Claflin home.  See Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin in Correspondents

Norwegian visit:  During their first European trip together in 1882, Jewett and Fields visited Mrs. Ole Bull in Norway. See Correspondents.

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




SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett and Caroline Jewett Eastman


Wednesday morning

[ March 1882 ]*

Dear Sisters

                     I was so pleased to get your letters last night.  It always seems a good while since I heard! -- I laughed so over the notice about the story but it made me mad too, for it was such a lie and they must have known it.  People must have thought I had changed all of a sudden if I were going to write about my neighbors!*

 

Notes

The line of points presumably indicates an omission from the manuscript.

March 1882:  This tentative date is based on the probability that Jewett is responding to a review of Country By-Ways.  See note below.

neighbors:  A review of Country By-Ways in Atlantic Monthly (March 1882) suggested that Jewett had run out of interesting material gleaned from visiting her neighbors.  It is not certain, however, that Jewett responds to this review.

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, Undated Letters, Folder 75, 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 Lilian Woodman Aldrich



                                Tuesday    [Spring 1882]*

Oh my dearest Duchess*

I cant begin to write the Ki-yi's that I say to myself and have been saying ever since I got your letter.  It didn't reach me until yesterday as Mr. Aldrich* will tell you, and isn't it going to be the pleasantest summer that ever followed a melancholy spring!  Of course we will keep company!  We are going to Norway about the 10th or 15th of June -- thinking it will be much better to go right on with 'Mrs. Ole'* for protector -- and we shall return to London the first of July or certainly within the first week, just in time to meet you and have some looks.  It seems to be growing pleasanter every day!  the Princess thinks she is going to make a truly royal progress, and one of Queen Elizabeth's expeditions* will be nothing to it!  I feel better already, for I began to think I was too tired to go on with the same things much longer.  I know you and I will be worth a thousand times more to ourselfs and our friends when we come back in the fall. I cant begin to tell you how glad I am you are going, dear.  It was the most harrowing agony not to be able to tell Mrs. Fields* and I was reading the letter and ki-yi-ing right in her face and eyes -- so she also was made to suffer! -- but I hope she knows by this time.  Wont she be delighted; I was so sorry not to see you for I was counting upon it, and if I had felt 'up to it' I believe I should have made a pilgrimage to Dorchester.  I am glad you are better.  I only wonder you haven't had a worse time of it, for I knew you were getting worn out just as fast as ever you could.  Do be careful now, Duchess.  I cant bear to have you so miserable but we will make up for all our woes this summer!  Ki-yi!  Give my love to the author of  A Cough* and give my love to Mr. Pierce* and tell him how glad I am about the cruise.  

Your always          

S.  O.  J.

I have thought so many times what fun it would be if you were going.


Notes


Duchess: Lilian Woodman and her husband, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, were affectionately nicknamed among their friends as the Duchess and Duke of Ponkapog. 

Mr. Aldrich:  Thomas Bailey Aldrich. See Correspondents.

Mrs. Ole:  Sara Chapman Thorp Bull. See Correspondents.

the Princess ... Queen Elizabeth's expeditions:  Jewett apparently refers to herself as "the Princess," perhaps in reference to one of her nicknames, "The Queen of Sheba."  She refers to the English Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) famed for her "royal progresses."  These are discussed in The Portable Queen : Elizabeth I and the Politics of Ceremony (1999) by Mary Cole Hill.

Mrs. Fields: Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

author of A Cough:  The Finding Aid to the Collection of Thomas Bailey Aldrich Materials in Colby College Special Collections lists this item:  Folder B2: A Cough., 1882. Description Poem. Holograph, signed manuscript.  When the poem was published has not been determined.

Mr. Pierce:  Henry Lillie Pierce (1825-1896)  A close friend of the Aldriches, the Baker Chocolate executive and politician, often invited the Aldriches to join him in travel, notably in the winter and spring of 1896, when Pierce, the Aldriches, Annie Fields and Jewett sailed the Caribbean together on Pierce's steam yacht, the Hermione.

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



SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

[Mar. 15, 1882]*

Home Tuesday

Dear Mary

    . . . . . . . . . Sister had two letters this evening from Truly thy friend,* and he is going to remain throughout the week!  and is expecting dear Sarah who will strive to go.  I am busy with some writing now, a story I have had in mind for some time and I believe I will finish it tomorrow and next day, if I can, and take it with me when I go --  and have it off my mind.  It's the Mate of the Daylight.*  I think you have received particulars?  Good-night with love from Mother and me to you and all.  It is too funny for anything and he marked the most cleris [clearest?] things in it for fear I shouldn't see them -- I am in such a hurry for you to read that book Whittier gave me!  Tell Cousin R.* I am going this summer if you want to.  Peoples know it to Bystin [Boston?] and I dont make any seckel [secret?] though I haven't told it much here.

                    Yours
                    the Queen


Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [So. Berwick,  Me.,   Mar. 15, 1882,   SOJ to MRJ].  The line of points at the beginning of the text suggest that he has transcribed only part of the letter.

Truly thy friend:  John Greenleaf Whittier

Mate of the Daylight:  Jewett's story first appeared in Atlantic 50 (July 1882).

Cousin R:  The identity of this cousin is uncertain.  Jewett had a Cousin Roxalene Orne (1818-1887), who had married Alexander R. McHenry (1814 - 1874).

the Queen:  Among her immediate family, Jewett accepted the nickname, the Queen of Sheba (sometimes Sheby).  She often referred to herself and signed her letters with variants of this title.  In the Bible (Kings 10 and Chronicles 9), the rich Queeen of Sheba visits King Solomon to "prove" his famed wisdom.

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




SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

[
1882 - March]*

The eleven weeks will soon go, won't they?  When I think about losing all the summer here I feel very bad, but as I told Mrs. Fields the other day -- either our friends are very self-sacrificing or else they are glad to get us off, there seems to be such general satisfaction.  They all stood on their heads with pleasure at Exeter and Mae* has remembered at her youth in a way that is surprising.  To think how sister suffered at thinking how she should break the news to Mar!*  You must have had a good rake with Clara Perry!

Notes

1882 - March:  This date seems correct, for 11 weeks prior to the May 24 departure for Europe of Jewett and Annie Adams Fields would fall in the middle of March.  It seems clear that this is a fragment of a longer letter.

Mae:  The identity of this person is unknown.  Perhaps it is supposed to read "Mar."

Mar:  Mar is an occasional nickname for the Jewett sisters' mother, Caroline.

Clara Perry: Though almost certain a relative of the sisters' mother, the identity of this person is unknown.  Assistance is welcome.

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



SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

[Mar. 18, 1882]*

Saturday

Dear Mary

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .I did not have time to send you a word yesterday for I was busy all day.  In the morning Cora was here for awhile and then Mrs. Fields* and I went over our journey together and made lists and then Whittier* came and was in his most delightful mood and he stayed to breakfast and some time afterward.  Then Mrs. Fields went to the Charity Building* and I went downtown and did an errand and afterward we went to Cambridge to see Longfellow* and had a lovely night.  He had said that he wanted me to come out when I came up, so we "put it through".  He was delightful and the girls were both at home which was nice.  He is better than he was a while ago.  We went to see Mrs. Ole Bull* but she had gone in town and I stopped for a minute at the Horsfords* -- then we came in.  Cora came to dine and F. Perry* in the evening.  Won't this be nice:  Mrs. Ole Bull thinks she will go to Norway and wants us, if she does, to make her a visit.  Sister would love it.  You take a steamer from England and it isn't much [illegible]  I will write more tomorrow but must stop now.  I'm going home this afternoon and promise to see Truly thy friend first beside doing other things.

        Love to Cousin R.* and all

                             Yrs. ever   S.  O.  J.


Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [Boston, Mass.,   Mar. 18, 1882,  SOJ to MRJ,  c/o Mrs. Alex R. McHenry,  1937 Chestnut St.,  Phila., Penna.]  The line of points at the beginning of the text suggest that he has transcribed only part of the letter.

Cora ... Mrs Fields:  Cora Clark Rice and Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

the Charity Building:  Helen Winslow in Little Journeys in Literature (1902), chapter 3, says: "At the council-table in "Ward Seven's" office in the Chardon Street Charity Building of Boston Mrs. Fields has sat since the organisation of the Associated Charities, and has borne a large part in the general directorship, besides, from the beginning."

Cambridge to see Longfellow ... the girls:  In 1882, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882) had four living daughters:  Alice Mary, Anne Allegra, Edith, and Fanny.  Longfellow died on 24 March 1882.

Mrs. Ole Bull: Sara Chapman Thorp Bull. See Correspondents.  The visit to her in Norway took place in the summer of 1882.

the Horsfords: The family of Eben Norton Horsford. See Correspondents.

F. Perry: Probably this is Frances F. Perry, daughter of Lucretia Morse Fisk Perry. See Correspondents.

Cousin R:  Jewett had a Cousin Roxalene Orne (1818-1887), who had married Alexander R. McHenry (1814 - 1874).  This letter's envelope indicates that Mary is staying with this cousin.

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 John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick

March 20, [1882] 

My dear Friend:

     It is too late to write a long letter but I must tell you how glad I am to have seen you. It was lovely to be with you and Mrs. Fields that day at her house. I don't believe I shall ever forget it. When I came home I found that my mother was much better and she wondered why I didn't stay over Sunday. That would have been very pleasant, but I didn't get the letter which she had sent to me. I think I shall go down again next week to meet my sister and do some errands with her, but I shall not see you then!

     It seems more like spring than when I went away -- the sun has made the snowdrifts ashamed of themselves, but there are too many of them now. I was out driving a little while this afternoon. John1 makes the appeal that the horses need driving. I must tell you about John someday, for I am very fond of him; he has lived with us for a long time. He used to be in the Army and in the time of the war he was badly hurt. He was devotedly fond of my father and came here because he wished to be with him. He is really a most pleasant companion; I like most to be with him for the sake of the dear old days when Father was here, but he has a charming knowledge of woodcraft and a refinement that is very rare in a man who used to be so knocked about the world. I believe he would almost forsake his own family for Father's sake!

     Sometimes I think a great deal about leaving home for so long, and think of it sadly too in spite of all its pleasures, but I grow more sure every day that it is right. I shall surely see you again first. I hope that your writing will not give you trouble. I have been writing another little scud for The Contributors Club today.2

Yours always,

Sarah


Notes

1. John Tucker (1845-1902) was the Jewetts' hostler and general factotum. He came to work for Dr. Jewett on a temporary arrangement around 1875 but remained for the rest of his life, trusted and treated like a member of the family.

2. Probably "Deplorable Improvements,” Atlantic Monthly, XLIX (June 1882), 856-857, in which Miss Jewett yearns for a league among summer boarders for the preservation of antiquities in small country places, another chapter in her lifelong defense of provincial values against urban invasion.

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 Mary Rice Jewett


[Mar. 21, 1882]*
Saturday

Dear O.P.

         There is a nice [blot?] on the other side of this paper, but sister thinks it will do for a sound churchwoman who goes to the circus in Lent.*  I had thoughts of passing Sunday in Boston having been written a pretty letter by Truly Thy friend -- it being half thees and the other half yours and very engaging. He is passing a few days at the Quincy House.*



Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [South Berwick, Me.,  Mar. 21, 1882  [to] SOJ to MRJ  c/o Mrs. Ellis,  230 E. 15th St.,   N. Y. C.]

O.P.:  A family nickname for Mary Rice Jewett.

the circus in Lent:  For Christians, Lent, the five and a half weeks before Easter, is to be a period of serious reflection and austere living.  Attending the circus would not be an appropriate activity for this period.

Truly Thy friend ... Quincy House:  Thy Friend is John Greenleaf Whittier. See CorrespondentsQuincy House was a hotel in downtown Boston, on Brattle Square.

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




SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett


[Mar. 22, 1882]*

Tuesday night

Dear Mary

    . . . . . . . . . Miss Grant* and I are under full sail on the dress in preparation for the London season!  It is a good deal of an undertaking.  [Canton?] crepe* isn't the easiest fabric to handle that ever was.  Carrie* was down this afternoon in full war paint and brought your letter.  Mr. John Varney and wife are deaded -- that is Mr. V. has "skipped" as Alex. used to say and his wife has every prospect of it, and Mr. James Wentworth and Mr. True Godwin's [Goodwin's?] wife. I asked Miss Grant if he would feel bad and she said she guessed True knew where he's got to!  Aunty* sent for Mother to come up to a concert which was declined with thanks -- so no more at present from the Queen of Sheby* with much love to all.


Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [So. Berwick, Me.,  Mar. 22, 1882,  SOJ to MRJ  1937 Chestnut St.,  Phila., Penna.]  The line of points at the beginning of the text suggest that he has transcribed only part of the letter.

Miss Grant:  Olive Grant.  See Correspondents.

Canton crepeCanton crêpe is "A soft silk crêpe with a pebbly surface originally associated with Canton in China, with bias ribs. Made in Britain, but exported to China, hence its name."

CarrieCaroline Jewett Eastman.  See Correspondents.

Mr. John Varney and wife are deaded -- that is Mr. V. has "skipped" ... Alex ... Mr. James Wentworth and Mr. True Godwin's [Goodwin's?] wife:  The identity of this Alex is not known.  As Mary may be visiting the widow of Alexander McHenry at this time, she may refer to their son, Alexander R. McHenry (1849-1899).  The report of Olive Grant's store of gossip is difficult to sort out, especially given Jewett's light tone about what appear to be deaths in the Varney family.  The Varneys, Wentworths, Trues and Goodwins all were large and prominent families in South Berwick.  At about this time, a John Varney and a James Wentworth were employed in a local textile mill.  In Pirsig's The Placenames of South Berwick, is a photograph of True E. Goodwin (1850-1918) and his family at Hamilton House (p. 38).
    Assistance is welcome.

Aunty sent for Mother to come up to a concert:  Which aunt and which concert remain unknown.  Assistance is welcome.

the Queen of Sheby: Among her immediate family, Jewett accepted the nickname, the Queen of Sheba (sometimes Sheby).  She often referred to herself and signed her letters with variants of this title.  In the Bible (Kings 10 and Chronicles 9), the rich Queeen of Sheba visits King Solomon to "prove" his famed wisdom.

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




SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

[March 23, 1882]
Wednesday night


Dear Mary

    Your letter tonight was truly delightful and I shall make a poor and undeserved reply. -- not being in a frame for writing -- having written a little scud, and consorted with Miss O. G.* beside.  We are getting on very well but it is slow work.  I am going to let her take her time and not try to sew myself for I think she needs the money and I would rather she had it than I have the work!!



Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription:[So. Berwick, Me.,  Mar. 23, 1882,  SOJ to MRJ,  1937 Chestnut St.,  Phila., Penna.].

Miss O. G.:  Olive Grant.  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 Annie Adams Fields


     March 24. [1882]*

     Today is father's birthday.* I wonder if people keep the day they die for another birthday after they get to heaven? I have been thinking about him a very great deal this last day or two. I wonder if I am doing at all the things he wishes I would do, and I hope he does not get tired of me.

Notes

1882:  Fields places this selection from a letter in 1882.

Father:  Jewett's father was Theodore Herman Jewett (Portsmouth, N. H., March 24, 1815 -  September 20, 1878).

This letter appears in Annie Fields, Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett (1911),  Transcribed by Annie Adams Fields, with notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett



[Mar. 24, 1882,]*

Thursday night

Dear O. P.*

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I haven't much news tonight and I am pretty tired, so I shall send you more love than letter.  I must copy a sonnet for you to read that Whittier* wrote for Mrs. Fields and me.  It fairly brought the tears to my eyes.  Do show it to Cousin Roxalene.*  Miss Grant* is so pleased with your message and wants me to tell you that she has some sleeves for you to trim!


Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [So. Berwick, Me.,   Mar. 24, 1882,   SOJ to MRJ,   1937 Chestnut St.,   Phila., Penna.] The line of points at the beginning of the text suggest that he has transcribed only part of the letter.

O.P.:  A family nickname for Mary Rice Jewett.

sonnet ... Whittier:  John Greenleaf Whittier wrote "Godspeed" to memorialize the European trip of 1882.
Outbound, your bark awaits you. Were I one
     Whose prayer availeth much, my wish should be
     Your favoring trade-wind and consenting sea.
By sail or steed was never love outrun,
And, here, or there, love follows her in whom
     All graces and sweet charities unite,
     The old Greek beauty set in holier light;
And her for whom New England's byways bloom,
Who walks among us welcome as the Spring,
     Calling up blossoms where her light feet stray.
     God keep you both, make beautiful your way,
Comfort, console, bless; safely bring,
Ere yet I make upon a vaster sea
The unreturning voyage, my friends to me.
Cousin Roxalene:  Cousin Roxalene Orne (1818-1887) married Alexander R. McHenry (1814 - 1874).

Miss Grant:  Olive Grant.  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 Alice Mary Longfellow


[ 25 March 1882 ]


Dear Miss Longfellow

        I cannot help telling you how sorry I am for you -- the sorrier because it is not so very long ago that my own dear father went away,* and I know only too well the pain and loneliness that these sad days will bring.

        Yours always sincerely
            Sarah O. Jewett

25th March.
South - Berwick


Notes

my own dear father:  Alice Longfellow's father, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, died 24 March 1882.  Jewett's father, Dr. Theodore Herman Jewett, died 20 September 1878.

The manuscript of this letter is held in the archives of Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters NHS; Correspondence of Sarah Orne Jewett.  HWLD-B139-F94 1882-03-25 Sarah Orne Jewett to AML 001.  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     Saturday morning, [after 24 March] 1882.

     I have just seen the notice of Longfellow's death,* and while it was hardly a surprise, still it gave me a great shock. Are not you glad that we saw him on that pleasant day when he was ready to talk about books and people, and showed so few signs of the weakness and pain which troubled us in those other visits? It will always be a most delightful memory, and it is all the better that we did not dream it was your last good-bye. I can't help saying that I am glad he has gone away before you had to leave him and know it was the last time you should see him. I dreaded your getting the news of this after we were on the other side of the sea, darling!* After all, it is change that is so hard to bear, change grows every year a harder part of our losses. It is fitting over our old selves to new conditions of things, without the help of the ones who made it easier for us to live, and to do our best that is so hard! I have just been thinking that a life like that is so much less affected by death than most lives. A man who has written as Longfellow wrote, stays in this world always to be known and loved -- to be a helper and a friend to his fellow men. It is a grander thing than we can wholly grasp, that life of his, a wonderful life, that is not shut in to his own household or kept to the limits of his every-day existence. That part of him seems very little when one measures the rest of him with it, and the possibilities of this imperfect world reach out to a wide horizon, for one's eye cannot follow the roads his thought and influence have always gone. And now what must heaven be to him! This world could hardly ask any more from him: he has done so much for it, and the news of his death takes away from most people nothing of his life. His work stands like a great cathedral in which the world may worship and be taught to pray, long after its tired architect goes home to rest.

     I cannot help thinking of those fatherless daughters of his. I know they were glad and proud because he was famous and everybody honored him, and they are being told those things over and over in these days, and are not comforted. Only one's own faith and bravery help one to live at first.

Notes

Longfellow's death: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet, perhaps best known for his long narrative poems such as The Song of Hiawatha (1855). He was probably the best-known and most respected American poet of the nineteenth century.
    Jewett's tribute to Longfellow in this letter was reprinted as "Sara[h] Orne Jewett's Tribute," The Bookman 34 (November 1911), p. 221.  The quotation of the tribute had this introduction:

  We recall few nobler tributes than that written by the late Sara[h] Orne Jewett when she heard the news of Longfellow's death. It was contained in a letter to Mrs. James T. Fields which is printed in the Letters of Sara[h] Orne Jewett, a book that has just been published by the Houghton Mifflin Company.

other side:  Jewett and Fields were planning their first trip to Europe together for the summer of 1882.

fatherless daughtersWikipedia says that Longfellow and his wife, Frances, had six children: "Charles Appleton (1844–1893), Ernest Wadsworth (1845–1921), Fanny (1847–1848), Alice Mary (1850–1928), Edith (1853–1915), and Anne Allegra (1855–1934)."  Jewett and Fields were particularly close to Alice.

This letter appears in Annie Fields, Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett (1911),  Transcribed by Annie Adams Fields, with notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick, Maine

March 27, [1882

My dear Friend:

     I wish to send you just a line tonight to thank you for your letter and for that sonnet which Mrs. Fields sent me.1 It has touched my heart and given me more pleasure than I can begin to tell you. You do not know what a beautiful thing it is to me -- the dearest of all gifts, and the best of treasures. It always makes me so happy to think that you care for me and that I can give you a bit of pleasure.

     The Norway journey is decided upon and Mrs. Fields says today that Mrs. Ole2 will cross in the same steamer with us. I shall be watching things in that northern country for you and myself too. I wish you were going to be there. We are only going to spend a few days in Ireland after all!3 I found that Mrs. Fields cares very much to get to London for Dickens' birthday, the 9th of June, and I said we must do it, and perhaps when we go down to Cornwall a little later Liza4 can go back to the Emerald Isle to see more of her friends than we can take time for.

     I have been reading the Caroline Fox book5 and I like it very much. But for a Cornishman give me his riverench the praste of Morwenstow!6 I did not get to town last week after all, but I hope to see my way there before many days. Mrs. Fields writes me in a way that makes me wish to be with her more than ever. All this of the last week will tire her sadly.* Good night and God bless you!

Yours affectionately,

Sarah


Cary's Notes

1.  "On the occasion of a voyage made by my friends Annie Fields and Sarah Orne Jewett" Whittier indited "Godspeed," first published in The Bay of Seven Islands, and Other Poems (1883). Miss Jewett is limned in lines 8-10:

And her for whom New England's byways bloom,
Who walks among us welcome as the Spring,
Calling up blossoms where her light feet stray.

2.  Sara Chapman Thorp (1850-1911) met the Norwegian violinist Ole Bull while he was on concert tour in Wisconsin, and became his wife. After 1876 they spent summers in Cambridge, joining the Holmes-Lowell-Longfellow circle, playing often at the Fields's home. Mrs. Bull wrote Ole Bull: A Memoir (Boston, 1883).

3.  They spent ten days in Ireland, touching on Cork, Glengariff, Killarney, Enniskillen, Portrush, Giant's Causeway, Belfast, and Dublin. Mrs. Bull entertained them for a fortnight in Norway.

4. Mrs. Fields's personal maid, frequently mentioned by Miss Jewett in her letters home on this trip.

5.  Memories of Old Friends, edited by Horace N. Pym (Philadelphia, 1882), a volume of extracts from her journals and letters. Caroline Fox (1819-1871) was an English Quaker, friend of Carlyle and John Stuart Mill.

6. Miss Jewett's interest in the "praste" is attested by the presence in her library of three volumes: S. Baring-Gould, The Vicar of Morwenstow: A Life of Robert Stephen Hawker, M.A. (New York, 1880); Hawker's Poetical Works (London, 1879), and his The Cornish Ballads With Other Poems (London, 1884). Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields did stop at Morwenstow one day during their tour. (Fields, Letters, p. 17.)

7.      Robert Stephen Hawker (1803-1875), antiquary, poet, and parson, led a thoroughly eccentric and self-satisfactory life. Among his extravagant acts was posing as a mermaid on moonlit nights to the awe of crowds watching from the shore, keeping as a pet a pig that accompanied him on pastoral visitations, and formally excommunicating a cat. His Cornish ballads, however, are superior renditions of local legendry.

      Whittier also "enjoyed that queer, good Vicar of Hermanstow [sic]" and thanked Miss Jewett for introducing him. (Pickard, Life and Letters, II, 676.) 


Additional Notes

tire her sadly:  Jewett refers to the death of their beloved friend, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, on 24 March, 1882.

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.



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ

  Oak Knoll

[ Begin letterhead ]
Danvers, Mass.
[ End letterhead ]

3d Mo. 31 1882


My dear Friend,

    Thanks for thy letter of the 27th.  I wonder when thee will be in Boston.  I expect to go to Amesbury the last of next week on the 7th or 8th and shall be there for some time when I shall hope to see thee.

[ Page 2 ]

I had a letter from Mrs. Fields* giving an account of Longfellow's funeral.*  I think she has felt his death very much; and there are some other things, which I doubt not she will explain to thee, which have moved and interested her.  I think she needs thee.

    I have just heard from my brother at Wilmington, Del. His state of health has not

[ Page 3 ]

greatly improved as yet, though he himself is hopeful.  I am glad he is not [ in the ? ] reach of our disappointing Spring.  I suppose thy sister* is at home now. Pray remember me to her, and think of me always as thy friend entirely.

John G Whittier

Notes


3d Mo. 31: Whittier uses the Quaker dating system, giving the day and the number of the month.

Mrs. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

Longfellow's funeral:  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died on March 24, 1882, and his funeral was on 26 March. See Correspondents.

my brother:  Whittier's brother, Matthew, died on 7 January 1883.

thy sister: Mary Rice Jewett. See Correspondents.

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




SOJ to Annie Adams Fields


Tuesday noon
 [March, 1882]*

Dear Darling

    I have just sent you some pussy willows, I waited for them to bloom out a little but -- I dont know how they happened to show themselves so early here this year -- but it is a willow I know of old to be an early bloomer.  I send you a little poem of Lily Fairchild's* which I am sure you will like to see.  Once when I was there I had a lot of my verses which we looked over, for she has always wished me to make a little book of them.  And when we came to that boat-song that you liked,* it reminded her of this one of hers, and after she said it she wrote it off for me.  I am having a good time with Cora.*  She is in her sweetest and dearest and quietest mood, and I can see already that she is feeling better.  We talked a good while last evening because there was really so much to say!  And we stole up to bed at last feeling like [two?] guilty children, but Mother was kind and did not hail us, and tonight I mean to repay her by turning in very early indeed! -- The weather is very thawy but I am getting on pretty well.  I have [illegible] John to bring round the long sleigh and take us out for a drive but I am afraid the roads are soft.  Tomorrow I am going to try to get up early and take Cora over the pond and through the woods the scenes of the Winter Drive sketch.*  John thinks the logging roads will yet serve us!

    Dear love I am so often sending you messages, and I hope the little white moths dont forget them by the way.  Are you sure you know how much I love you?  If you dont I cant tell you!  but I think of you and think of you and I am always being reminded of you.  Good day, and I long for your letter tonight.    I am yours most lovingly  --

S.  O.  J.


Notes

1882:  The transcriber's rationale for this date is not known.  Clearly, it must have been written after the appearnce of Jewett's Country By-Ways (1881).

poem of Lily Fairchild'sElizabeth Nelson Fairchild (1845-1924), poet and friend of Jewett.  Which poem Jewett references is not known.  Assistance is welcome.

that boat-song that you liked:  Weber and Weber report Jewett's statement that "The Boat Song" first appeared in a little paper published at a fair in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. However, this paper has not been located. Jewett also reported that "Josef Hoffman, the pianist, composed a musical setting for this poem 'and it was afterwards published by some music publishers.'" This music also has not been located. (Weber & Weber 24).  John Austin Parker, "Sarah Orne Jewett's 'Boat Song,'" American Literature 23 (1951) reports, according to Nagel and Nagel's Sarah Orne Jewett: A Reference Guide, that "Among the uncataloged materials of the Library of Congress is a copy of 'Boat Song,' words by Miss Sarah O. Jewett.  Music by Richd. Hoffman.  New York:  G. Schirmer, c. 1879."

Cora:  Cora Clark Rice. See Correspondents.

John:  John Tucker.  See Correspondents.

Winter Drive sketch:  Jewett's "A Winter Drive" first appeared in Country By-Ways (1881).

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.




Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ


April 3, 1882.

     Is it really a year of special change and flux? or is it only that one has grown old enough to see what moving waters run below this crust of continuance? I am not sure, but I think it is this last.


Note

This transcription appears in Letters, Sarah Wyman Whitman.  Cambridge, MA:  Riverside Press, 1907, "Letters to Sarah Orne Jewett: 1882-1903," pp. 61-109. 



SOJ to John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick

April 4, [1882]

My dear Friend:

     I wish very much that I could see you today! I came home from Boston last night but your letter had reached me there in the morning, and I was more than glad to get it. I was in town several days and I shall go back again on Saturday to make some short visits before my longer voyage begins. I shall be in town two weeks and then come back here for the last month before the 24th of May. I shall spend the 24th of April with Mrs. Fields.* I shall not let her stay alone that day even if she wishes it, and I don't believe she will.1 I shall surely see you in Amesbury by and bye. I want to know how to think of you there. It is like having people go off into space when you don't know what they see from their windows or where they keep their books.2 Mrs. Fields said she hoped she could see you too. She was as busy as ever, and for many reasons I was glad I could be there for a few days. She was so sorry about Longfellow's having gone.3 I think she misses him more and more but it touched me very much because she kept saying she was so glad to think that he and Mr. Fields were together. They would be so happy! Really she seemed to think more of that than anything that belonged to the change, and it was giving her a wonderful pleasure. And she had written me about the strange experiences of last week and week before. You know I was growing curious enough about such things! and I found out where this person lived, and went alone one day to see what she would say to me! Don't say anything to anyone about it, please, Mr. Whittier, for nobody is to know but you and Mrs. Fields. I didn't tell "The Sandpiper"4 to whom I suppose I owe it all!! I was most suspicious and unbelieving even after Mrs. Fields told me and it really wasn't until after I had gone home again and began to talk it over that I quite took in the strangeness of it. It seemed quite an everyday thing that that strange woman should be talking about my life and my affairs as if she had always known me. I thought she was quick-witted and, after she told me to ask her questions, that she was clever in "putting two and two together." She told me first that I was going away before long, that there would be a good many people all together in one place, and, without saying it was the steamer, gave a picture of it all. She told me what a good time I was going to have and how much better I was to come home, that it was even going to be pleasanter than I thought, and there was to be no accident, that father wouldn't have let me take that steamer if there had been misfortune ahead. She said "James" wished to speak to me, and described Mr. Fields perfectly. (She had already told me all about Mrs. Fields and our going together) and she said he and my companion for the journey were very near each other "like one person." She told me wonderful things about my father and about his death and our relation to each other, and what he said to me was amazing. There was a great deal that came from him and from Mr. Fields that is the most capital advice, the most practical help to me, perfect "sailing orders" you know! All this I should be so glad to tell you someday. They said they had made all the plans for Mrs. Fields and me and helped us carry it out, that we needed each other and could help each other. I wish I could tell you all that now! But of all things I believe this startled me most and was the proof that there was no sham. The woman told me my father liked so much a friend who was with him there, they were much together and he was very fond of her. "Her name is Greene, do you know her? -- Bessie, I think; Bessie Greene." And I said no, he had never known such a girl and I never had, but after I had told Mrs. Fields almost everything it suddenly flashed into my mind, and I said, "What was that Miss Greene's name, the daughter of your old friends who had studied medicine and was so charming, and who was lost in the Schiller when Dr. Susan Dimock was?" and she told me "Bessie."5

      Now wasn't that very strange? From what I know of her, she would delight Father's heart, and they have somehow found each other. There was no "mind reading." I have not thought of her for months, but it all needed no proof, and it gives me such a pleasant glimpse of father's life. It was a very long talk and it was very pleasant. There was much about my writing, and about my taking care of myself, that showed on someone's part a complete knowledge of "the situation."

     I do not think I care to go again, though it was said Father wished to say one or two other things before I went away. I can't tell you how much good it did me, for it made me certain of some things which had puzzled me. I should like to go to another "medium" someday, to see what was common to the two, for I still have "an eye out" for tricks of the trade and yet I can't help being ashamed as I write this, for it was all so real and so perfectly sensible and straightforward, and free from silliness. Mrs. Fields did not ask any questions but I sometimes did. I said, "Do my father and the person you call James know each other?" and I was answered that I ought to see them laugh, they were having great fun over me. They came to me together to tell me so soon after Mr. Fields died, which was the truth, for the Sunday I went to hear Dr. Bartol's6 funeral sermon last spring I had a sudden consciousness of their being in the pew too, in a great state of merriment. The sermon was very funny and Father was as much amused as Mr. Fields himself. Dr. Bartol was a classmate of Father's. I had always wished that Mr. Fields and Father could know each other, and I remember how glad I was that Sunday!

     I have written you this long rambling letter, but I could not wait to tell you all that I could write of that strange day. It doesn't make me wish to run after such things; I only feel surer than ever of a companionship of which I have always been assured. It was no surprise when the message came from father that he knew me so much better than when we saw each other and that he was always with me, and loved me ten times more than when he went away. And I was given a dear and welcome charge and care over Mrs. Fields which I can speak about better than write to you. I think this has been a great blessing to her, and a great comfort. I do not believe she will go again. I cannot imagine making it a sort of entertainment, and letting it be the gratification of curiosity. No good can come of that. I believe it would take away too much of our freedom of choice which is something to which we cannot cling closely enough. One does not think of seeking these impulses and teachings of the spirits, only of listening to them gladly when they come. But one sails with sealed orders* so often, that the help which came to me the other day was most welcome.

     Now I must say goodbye to you. Won't you send me the photograph before you go away from Danvers, (unless there is one at Amesbury) for I want it so much. I met my sister* in Boston and she is coming home today. She was greatly pleased with the kindness of your message to her.

Yours always lovingly,

Sarah O. Jewett

I hope that your brother will soon be growing stronger. I wished before that you would tell me how he was getting on.

 
Notes

1.  April 24 was the first anniversary of the death of James T. Fields (1817-1881), publisher, poet, biographer, editor of the Atlantic Monthly. Annie Fields, his second wife, was seventeen years younger.

2.  Whittier's bookshelves were on one side of the chimney in his unpretentious "literary workshop," and his writing desk on the other side. Books, however, overflowed into nearly all the rooms in the house. The northern window near the desk offered a view of the street and the southern slope of Po Hill. In this room Whittier wrote "Snow-Bound" and many other of his popular successes. For a full description, see Pickard, Life and Letters, I, 160.

3.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died March 24, 1882.

4.  Miss Jewett's nickname for Celia Thaxter (1835-1894), after the title of her widely reprinted poem. Mrs. Thaxter (best known for Among the Isles of Shoals) gave serious credence to esoteric spiritualistic phenomena;* Whittier seemed never quite sure of the extent of his belief; and, despite this letter, Miss Jewett was most apt of the three to make light of psychic communication. Miss Jewett edited and wrote prefaces for Celia Thaxter's Stories and Poems for Children (Boston, 1895) and The Poems of Celia Thaxter (Boston, 1896).

  5. The steamship Schiller lost its bearings in heavy fog and was wrecked thirty-five miles off Land's End, England, on May 7, 1875, with a loss of some three hundred and fifty lives. Miss Susan Dimock (1847-1875), trained in surgery at the University of Zurich, was house physician of the New England Hospital for Women and Children. Miss Elizabeth Greene, same age, was the granddaughter of Nathaniel Greene, editor, historian, and postmaster of Boston; and the daughter of William Batchelder Greene, theologian, colonel in the Civil War, and author of books on the science of history, the theory of calculus, socialism, and Hebrew and Egyptian antiquities. Miss Greene, a favorite in society and active in philanthropy, was already looked upon as "one of the most benevolent ladies in Boston."

  6. Cyrus Augustus Bartol (1813-1900), graduate of Bowdoin College, was a Unitarian clergyman influential in the religious life and thought of Boston for half a century. An associate of James Russell Lowell's father, Rev. Bartol became noted for his original, radical, epigrammatic sermons.

Additional Notes

Mrs. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields, recent widowed, the wife of James T. Fields. See Correspondents.

sealed ordersWikipedia says: "Sealed orders are orders given to the commanding officer of a ship or squadron that are sealed up, which he is not allowed to open until he has proceeded a certain length into the high seas; an arrangement in order to ensure secrecy in a time of war."

my sister:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

esoteric spiritualistic phenomena: Paula Blanchard speculates in Sarah Orne Jewett (2002) that Fields and Jewett visited the medium recommended to them by Celia Thaxter, Rose Darrah.

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 Annie Adams Fields (fragment)

[Spring 1882]

Monday noon

My own dear darling, your letter makes me wish to fly to you. There is one thing about it all; it seems to have been done to make you surer than ever that the love still holds and follows you -- You were sure already, and it does not seem to me that this was needed, but -- here it is! And I think you are right in your saying that there shall be no more of it -- no more, I mean, of your going outside to find what is you own and will come to you at any rate. It is simple curiosity that sends most people to mediums;* if one has need of these revelations they will come unsought. I never shall forget that morning last winter when that message was told me for you as you sat writing at your desk -- But for Celia this will work wonders, if only her imagination is not fascinated and excited by the wonder and mystery of it. I think we should hold it as sacred a thing as possible for her [sake?] and help her to reverence it, and not dream of degrading it into a mere satisfaction of curiosity. Thank God for anything by which a human soul is helped to see more clearly the reality of our spiritual life in this world or the next!*
    -- My heart went with every word you said about Mrs. Ole and [the/her] summer plan. Why is not July better than June in that northern country?* and there will not be anytime all summer so good for England


Notes by an earlier unknown transcriber:

It is not clear where the remainder of this letter is. The collection has some individual pages -- and it is possible that the closing is there.  Annie Fields has written "1882" in pencil at the top of the first page. James T. Fields died in April of 1881 -- and Annie went through bouts of depression and despair over her loss.

mediums:  For the interest of Celia Thaxter, Sarah and Annie in a medium, Rose Darrah, see Blanchard, p. 181. Annie and Sarah apparently consulted a medium prior to the European trip referred to in this letter.

Mrs. Ole: Annie and Sarah visited Sarah Chapman Bull, the American born widow of famed Norwegian violinist, Ole Bull, on the island of Lyso on July 15, 1882. See Blanchard, p. 143.
 
The manuscript of this letter is at the University of New England,  Maine Women Writers Collection,  Jewett Collection  correspondence corr052-soj-af.01.  New transcription by Terry & Linda Heller,  Coe College.  




SOJ to John Geenleaf Whittier


148 Charles Street

Boston

Sunday [April 30, 1882]

Dear Mr. Whittier:

     Now listen to this sad story! Yesterday I drove over from Bradford to Amesbury to see you and you had gone to Danvers, and it is a wonder I did not sit down to cry on the doorstep! Miss Annie Johnson1 was with me and two young friends beside, and at first I was deeply grieved because I had dragged them so far on false pretenses, but they had a very good drive and a great deal of pleasure in spite of their disappointment. So did I; but it is too bad I could not have seen you. However, there may be time yet.

     What a pleasant country it is! and it was all new to me yesterday beyond the house where you lived when you were a boy. I had been there before, and was glad to go by again. The brook was in a great state of excitement and the willows were growing yellow and will be fit to make whistles from in a day or two! I wish I could go there with you some day.

     Miss Johnson was so sorry to miss you; but she means to drive over again when she is sure you are in Amesbury.

     I am spending a last Sunday with our dear A. F. before we go away, which will be in little more than three weeks now. Miss Phelps2 is here too. Mrs. Fields and I are going out to Concord this afternoon. I am sure she sends you her love with mine.

Yours most affectionately,

Sarah O. Jewett

 
Cary's Notes

1. 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.

2. Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward (1844-1911), author of The Gates Ajar and other religious romances, was another of Whittier's broad coterie of female friends whose works he admired and generously praised. She had religion, reform, literature, and insomnia as common interests with Whittier.

Additional Notes

A.F.:  Mrs. Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

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.



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ

 
Oak Knoll
    Thursday

[ 4 May 1882 ]*


My dear Friend

    Day before yesterday I got thy letter telling me that that Miss Johnson of Bradford* had actually been at my house in Amesbury -- and I was not there!  I immediately went to Boston rather hoping

[ Page 2 ]

I should find thee there, but thee had left.  I saw Mrs Fields* for a few moments; I thought ^she^ seemed a little nervous about the expedition, but thee will be all right as soon as she & thee are aboard ship.  And I  am not to see thee before you leave!  I am sorely disappointed.  I thought

[ Page 3 ]

I could write thee as soon as I returned to Amesbury, and that thee could fix a day when I might expect thee.  Well!  I shall have to think often of when we parted at the Mrs Claflins* -- but it is too bad.

    I hope thee go in good spirits, though of course, it will {be} rather hard to leave thy mother & sister.  But they I know will feel that it is the best possible thing

[ Page 4 ]

for thee to do, a god send of an opportunity which occurs very seldom{.} Thee & dear Annie Fields will be such mutual help to each other.

    Good [bye ?], dear friend.  I shall follow thee in my thoughts. With grateful affection thy friend

John G. Whittier


Notes


1882:  A transcriber's note reads: Postmark;  May 5; in 1882, May 5 fell on a Friday. This letter refers to the imminent departure of Jewett and Fields on their first voyage to Europe, which took place on about 24 May 1882. 

Miss Johnson of Bradford:  Whittier's home in Haverford, MA, is across the Merrimack River from Bradford, MA. 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. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

Mrs Claflins:  Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin.  See Correspondents

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



SOJ to Eben Norton Horsford

Tuesday morning, [1882-1883]*

148 Charles Street, Boston

My dear Fried [ intended Friend ? ]

    I shall try to see dear Whittier* today and only hope that he may not have flown suddenly for this will so deeply interest him. I am sure it interests us more and more. I will only stop to say how much Mrs. Fields thanks you for the cheque, which has come when she was particularly wishing for one!* -- and all other things I will keep until I see you on Thursday afternoon. I am looking forward to the little visit with so much pleasure
  
Love to all from

Sarah.


Notes

1882-1883:  Willoughby places this letter in his article between those of 1881 and 1884.

Whittier:  John Greenleaf Whittier.  See Correspondents.

cheque:  Probably, Professor Horsford has contributed to Annie Fields's work with Associated Charities of Boston.  See Fields's "thank you" below.

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.



Annie Adams Fields to Eben Norton Horsford

 
Tuesday, [1882-83]*
148 Charles Street, Boston

Dear Professor Horsford:

    Your generous hand always seems to open at just the right moment for me. I was wishing I could employ a young woman for a month, one who interests me by her nature and acquirements as well as by her great need, the kind in short which you yourself most like to help.
    What an interesting thing this monument* of yours is and what a good inscription and plan you have for it! Sarah will tell you on Thursday how much we liked it.
    She tells me she has already sent you a word of thanks from me, but I love to send my own all the same.

With affectionate wishes to you all, believe me

Gratefully yours

Annie Fields


Notes

1882-1883:  Willoughby places this letter in his article between those of 1881 and 1884.

monument:  Willoughby writes:
Horsford designed a monument to Nathaniel Sylvester, the emigrant from England to Shelter Island [in Long Island, NY] who gave his name to Sylvester Manor; the monument is referred to in an earlier letter and the "great day" when it was installed and dedicated in the Quaker Graveyard on Shelter Island in this letter. Edwin Austin Abbey painted a historical painting of the Southwicks, a Quaker family given shelter on Shelter Island by Nathaniel Sylvester. John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem, "Banished From Massachusetts: On a Painting by E. A. Abbey," which reached his publishers too late to be included in The Bay of Seven Islands and Other Poems (1863), but which was included in St. Gregory's Guest and Recent Poems (1886).
See also the Friends' Intelligencer, Volume 52 (1895), p. 671.  These sources indicate that the monument was erected in 1884.

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 John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick

May 5 [1882

Dear Mr. Whittier:

     I wish you could come to South Berwick for a day or two! I do want to see you very much and we would drive down the Sligo road and go anywhere you please out of doors, and indoors you should be made as much at home as you liked. There are only my mother and sister* here. I do not go for two weeks and I shall be more than glad if you feel like coming. My sister has been saying how much she wished you would make us a little visit.

     Yes, I find too that Mrs. Fields* begins to dread the going away, but that day at Concord tired her very much and she is altogether tired out at any rate. I think, in her wish to drive away her sadness, she has tried to carry too much care and work, and she feels the burden of it beside the weight of the sorrow itself. She needs more than ever to have this change and rest.

     I wish you were here tonight and we would make the fire last a good while into the night and have a talk over it.

Wednesday, May 10th 

     I wrote all this and went away to Portland for a day or two leaving my letter unfinished in the desk. I do hope that you can come, next week -- or this. There are so many things to talk about, but I must stop writing. God bless you! I do hope I shall see you before I go away.

Yours most affectionately,

Sarah

 

Notes

sister:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

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.



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ

Danvers
5 Mo. 13, 1882


My dear Friend

    How kind it was in thee to write me amidst the worries and cares of preparation for thy flitting across the water,* and to add to all thy troubles the necessity of entertaining dull company by inviting me to South Berwick.  I know it would it would be wickedly selfish of me to accept such

[ Page 2 ]

an invitation, but I certainly should do it if I could. Fortunately for thee, I have been kept back by illness, and the north-east winds blowing over all the icebergs between here and the Pole. And then I must be in Amesbury next week, in attendance upon our Quaker Quarterly Meeting,* and to meet my niece Lizzie,* & my

[ Page 3 ]

 brother* if he is able to get there.

    So, I must let thee go with my written benediction,* and with grateful thanks for thy books, and still more for thyself.  I am always and affectionately thy friend


John G. Whittier


Notes

5 Mo. 13:  Whittier uses the Quaker dating system, giving the day and the number of the month.

the water: Jewett and Fields departed on their first voyage to Europe on about 24 May 1882.

Quaker Quarterly Meeting: Whittier was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers).  Quarterly meetings of the Society of Friends are gatherings of regional representatives to worship and conduct business.

niece Lizzie: Richard Cary says: "Elizabeth Hussey (1843-1909) was the daughter of Whittier's brother Matthew and namesake of his sister. She assumed the other "Lizzie's" place in Whittier's household from 1864 to 1876, the year she married Samuel T. Pickard, editor of the Portland Transcript and, later, biographer of Whittier.  This letter appears in Pickard's biography,  Life and Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier, II, pp. 679-680.

my brother:  Whittier's brother, Matthew, died on 7 January 1883.

written benediction:  Richard Cary notes: "Whittier wrote the sonnet "Godspeed" for "my friends Annie Fields and Sarah Orne Jewett" on the occasion of their first departure for Europe in 1882. Not to be outdone, Miss Jewett eulogized him in "The Eagle Trees," Harper's, LXVI (March 1883), 608."   Perhaps his poem was included with this letter.

Outbound, your bark awaits you. Were I one
     Whose prayer availeth much, my wish should be
     Your favoring trade-wind and consenting sea.
By sail or steed was never love outrun,
And, here, or there, love follows her in whom
     All graces and sweet charities unite,
     The old Greek beauty set in holier light;
And her for whom New England's byways bloom,
Who walks among us welcome as the Spring,
     Calling up blossoms where her light feet stray.
     God keep you both, make beautiful your way,
Comfort, console, bless; safely bring,
Ere yet I make upon a vaster sea
The unreturning voyage, my friends to me.

"Her in whom all graces and sweet charities unite" is generally agreed to be Fields, while "her for whom New England's byways bloom" is Jewett.

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



SOJ to John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick

May 16 [1882]

 

My dear Friend:

     I have nothing to say about your brother and your niece, but as for the northeast wind and the Quarterly meeting1 I have no patience with them! I do wish with all my heart that it had been possible for you to come and if you should find a day when you can get away I do wish I could see you here. You know you can take the Eastern R.R. and come straight here. I would give anything if I could manage to get to Amesbury but though I am not really so busy with doing things with my two hands as one might suppose, it seems necessary for me to be here. Just now we begin to feel sure of what has been vague before -- that I am to be away for a good while -- and people are going and coming from the house beside, though the last of the week I do not think there will be any guests.

     You don't know what a happy two days I have just had with our dear A. F.* who came down to spend Sunday with me. She and my mother naturally felt like knowing each other before I go away with her. It was grey, chilly weather but we took a drive down Sligo Point which she wished to see on your account as well as mine, and she went away quite in love with the Berwick country -- and looking delightfully rested beside. I do not think she worries now about going away. We were always talking about you!

     Now here in the envelope are some verses I hope you will like a little, for I am sure you will read the love I have for you between lines that may be full of faults, and in a damaged state, if you look at them only as literature! Mrs. Fields and I didn't see any eagles though we looked with all our eyes for them on Sunday. The verses are to be printed in Harper's2 by and by, that is if you do not say no yourself to Mr. Alden.3

     And now goodbye and God bless you if I don't see you again, though I cling to the hope that I may. You have made life on this side of the sea, and my dear New England, mean so much more to me that I am sure that however far away I shall wander it will never be away from you.

Yours aff'ly,

S. O. J.


Cary's Notes

1. Whittier had just declined an invitation from Miss Jewett to spend a day or two at South Berwick before she embarked for Europe. "Fortunately for thee I have been kept back by illness, and the northeast winds blowing over all the icebergs between here and the Pole. And then I must be in Amesbury next week, in attendance upon our Quaker Quarterly Meeting, and to meet my niece Lizzie, and my brother if he is able to get there." (Pickard, Life and Letters, II, 679-680.)

2. "The Eagle Trees," Harper's, LXVI (March 1883), 608, a poem of eight octets dedicated "To J. G. W." and exalting him as a giant in spiritual stature akin to great pines and high-flying eagles.

3. Henry Mills Alden (1836-1919), editor of Harper's for half a century until his death, was highly selective of Miss Jewett's work, turning down about as much as he accepted. He was at the dock to bid the ladies bon voyage.


Additional Notes

A.F.:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

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 Annie Adams Fields

[ May 1882 ]*

Sunday Dearest Fuff --

      I was so sorry after I had sent the letter that I wrote at night   it is little use to write those things that after all can only be said. But I know that these times of depression are largely physical with you. Don't think that I am unfeeling if I say that it is not only your sorrow when you feel as if your surroundings are all wrong and you yourself all wrong and unfitted, in 'such a final way.' I begged you before you went to Manchester to remember that this time of reaction and distaste was sure to come. You worked very hard the last two or three weeks in town and I saw what was coming. At such times whatever makes you unhappy and especially your sorrow and loss are sure to seem sharper than ever. And I say again that the last of your summer is going to be happier and better than this first month, dear darling. Forgive me if I ever forget how sad your heart is but when it is so much to me to have you and to be with you I do forget sometimes that in a certain way it is less to you than to me. But I thank Heaven that I am anything to you, and that is enough. Yet if I have learned anything it is this, that such times of dissatisfaction and suffering have always come to you, and they are not only part of these few years, but are the law of your nature and of every nature that is being taught the deeper lessons of life. The toil of the spirit on its upward way, the fulfillment of its duties and realization of its [deleted word] visions sometimes strains the poor body beyond
 

Notes from an earlier transcriber

An Incomplete* Letter from Sarah Orne Jewett to Annie Fields. It is not clear where the remainder of this letter is.  The collection has some individual pages and it is possible that the closing is there... 8 5 02.  Though undated, it clearly is from after the death of James T. Fields in April of 1881, after which Annie went through bouts of depression and despair over her loss.

New notes

May 1882:  The reference to the first month of summer and the promise that later summer will be better suggests that Jewett refers to a planned trip to Europe for summer of 1882.


The manuscript of this letter is at the University of New England,  Maine Women Writers Collection,  Jewett Collection  correspondence corr059-soj-af.08.  New transcription by Terry & Linda Heller,  Coe College.



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     Tuesday, [May] 1882.*

     I hate to keep sending you letters instead of going to you myself, but by and by there still be no letters at all. Your little word of last night has just come and I wish I were going to be there to welcome you home from the perils of Bridgewater.#  It is a hot, tiresome day, and I did not get up until very Late, and what book do you think I read in bed? A hand-book of Anatomy, and I found it very interesting. Sometimes I think I should like to give up the world, the f -- , and the d -- , and be a doctor, though very likely I am enough of one already to get the best of it for myself, and perhaps I have done as much as I ever could for other people.

Fields's note

#Bridgewater State Farm,* which was then a most unpalatable place. [Fields's note]


Notes

1882:  This year is given by Fields.  The month is inferred from Jewett's complaint about hot weather.  See next note.

Bridgewater
:  The Bridgewater State Farm in Massachusetts, according to The Asylum Projects,  opened in 1856 and served as a prison mental hospital throughout its history.  This account indicates that the facility was officially named Bridgewater State Farm from 1887 through 1919, which could cast some doubt upon Fields's dating of this letter.  However, Fields probably composed her note in 1910-11.

the f--, and the d --:  What Jewett means by these initials is not known.  Assistance is welcome.

This letter appears in Annie Fields, Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett (1911),  Transcribed by Annie Adams Fields, with notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

Another partial transcription of this letter appears in the Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection of transcriptions from mixed repositories, letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, folder 63,  For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Following is his transcription.
Dear love

  I hate to keep sending you letters instead of going to you myself, but by and by there will be no letters at all!  Your little word of last night has just come and I wish I were going to be there to welcome you home from the perils of Bridgewater!  There is a great comfort in thinking of having a glimpse of you within two or three days and I am sure of that.  It is a hot tiresome day and I did not get up until very late -- and what book do you think I read in bed?  a hand-book of anatomy, and I found it very interesting!!!  Sometimes I think I should like to give up the world the f. and the d. and be a doctor, though very likely I am enough of one already to get the rest of it for myself and perhaps I have done as much as I can or ever could for other people.

    Now this is a plan I have.  Let us tell Mrs. Ole we wish to have June in England

[rest missing]



24 May - 25 October, 1882
Sarah Orne Jewett and Annie Fields sail to Europe
Letters from this trip are gathered as a separate document: Jewett Letters from Europe.



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     Tuesday evening. [October/November 1882]*

     I need not tell you what a joyful homecoming it was. Mother's look as she came running out to meet Mary was something that I never shall forget. it. It was like some old painter's picture of a Bible scene! With her arms out, and her aging face and figure. And such a time all the afternoon, and the unpacking and presents galore, and charming photographs as thick as the fallen leaves without. I kept wishing for you to "be to it," Pinny with such splendour! Burne-Jones' photographs,* new ones, and big! and a sealskin cape to her shoulders, and an Edinburgh pin, and a new ivory brush (needed!), and a beautiful piece of best lace, and some new undergarments, and stockings, and a best white petticoat, and Oh such a lot of things! I ought to be Sandpiper* to properly enumerate and describe!

Notes

1882:  Jewett and Fields returned from their 1882 European tour in late October 1882.  This letter seems to describe that homecoming.

Burne-Jones' photographs: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), was a British Pre-Raphaelite painter.

Pinny ... Sandpiper:  Pinny is one of Jewett's nicknames; Sandpiper is Celia Thaxter.  See Correspondents.

This letter appears in Annie Fields, Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett (1911),  Transcribed by Annie Adams Fields, with notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Nancy (Nanna) Wyer Manning (Mrs. Henry Oscar) Houghton


[Nov. 12, 1882]*


I need not tell you what a charming summer I have had, or how delightful it is to be at home again, and the best part of it is that I am so much stronger and better than when I went away in the Spring.*  I hope to be in Boston a good deal this winter…

Notes

1882:  The transcriber includes this note with the transcription: [Nov. 12, 1882.   SOJ,  South Berwick, to Mrs. Houghton.   Friendly note.].  The absence of salutation and signature suggests that the manuscript is longer.

Spring:  Jewett and Fields were abroad during May - October of 1882.

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 Annie Adams Fields

Sunday noon

26 November [1882]*

Thank you for the medicine which came last night.  I believe it has done me good already -- and tomorrow I think my cold will be well enough for to go out doors.  I dont know how much of a story I shall get done but I have just started one and am so full of it that it ought to whisk itself off in a very little while, but yesterday the pen balked at the end of the second or third page and would travel no farther on that occasion!  However I am sure of the yarn and I shall be telling T. L. it is done next thing -- as soon as I get up a little more steam.  It is funny how a cold takes hold of one -- for it doesn't seem to be enough of an illness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Notes

1882:  The transcriber's rationale for this date is not known. The line of points at the end of the text suggest that he has transcribed only part of the letter.

T.L.:  Richard Cary says that T. L. is a "covert pet name which Miss Jewett teasingly applied to Annie Fields. No revelation [of its meaning] has yet been discovered in any of Miss Jewett's public or private writings." 

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 John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick

December 8, [1882

My dear Friend:

     I have been writing you letters ever since I came home but the postmen wouldn't carry them because I forgot the ink and paper! One of the reasons that are hurrying me back to Boston is that I wish so much to see you. There are so many things to talk about and when I think that I have only seen you about twenty minutes since last April, I lose my patience entirely.

     I mean to go to Charles St.* week after next in good season for Christmas, and I shall be so glad to be with my dear A. F. again. I must confess that I felt as "stray" as a dropped kitten without her at first, and I miss her every day, but we shall be doing things together before long and I don't doubt that we shall rush out of the front door the minute we catch sight of each other, having caught up the first red-covered book we can find for a guide book, and perhaps we shall make straight for Bunker Hill monument* for I never have climbed to the top [of] it yet as all good New Englanders ought to do.

     I haven't much to tell you, for nothing has happened to me but a bad cold, and I have made up my mind not to have either a cold or the rheumatism again for many years. I have been busy writing, but I don t like very well what I have done -- by the time I get to the last of a story a cloud seems to cover it, and it seems painted in very dull colours. I am going to write as fast as I can after I get to Boston, but I am used to doing my work here, and so, for fear the experiment shouldn't be successful or I should be too much tempted to play I am writing all I can before I start.1

     It has been so pleasant to be at home again and Mary* and I have such

[pages missing]

 
Cary's Note

1. Despite her dubiety Miss Jewett published ten short stories, three poems, and four essays in the following year, as well as compiling and editing The Mate of the Daylight, and Friends Ashore (1884).

Additional Notes

Charles St.:  The home of Annie Adams Fields, A. F. See Correspondents.

Bunker Hill monument:  A monument in Charlestown, MA that commemorates the first battle of the Americn Revolution in 1775.

Mary: Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

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
Francis Jackson Garrison

 [December 1882]

    Dear Mr. Garrison:

     I enclose this note which has a message for H. M. & Co.1 I thought it was best to let the story be reprinted in the little paper.2 I have been asked for it before, and from other quarters, and they might be right in thinking that it will do some good in reaching that special audience.

     Yours sincerely,
     S. O. Jewett

     Do not take the trouble to return the letter.


Notes

     1 Houghton, Mifflin & Company, which was organized in 1880, succeeded Houghton, Osgood & Company. All but three of Miss Jewett's books were published by this firm and its predecessors, reflecting, as it were, the motto on the Jewett coat of arms: Toujours Le Même.
 
    2 The story may be "Jack's Merry Christmas," which appeared in the Independent, XXXIII (December 15, 1881), 31-32; in which case "the little paper" is the Maine Sentinel (Biddeford), which reprinted the story in vol. XI (January 2, 1883), 45.

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



SOJ to Mr. Richardson

     [9 December 1882]*

My dear Mr. Richardson

        I send you a little story for young people which I think you may use in one of the numbers 'after Christmas' as I suppose the Christmas number itself is quite made up -- It will make something over about three pages of Atlantic print.

        Yours sincerely
            S. O. Jewett

South Berwick, Maine
    9 December --

Notes

1882:  This letter presents puzzles regarding its recipient and date.  Here is some speculation about these puzzles.
    Jewett's short story for young readers, "After Christmas," appeared in The Independent (34:27-8) on December 28, 1882.  I am assuming that this letter refers to that story. However, no record has been discovered of a Mr. Richardson accepting manuscripts at The Independent.  In fact, had Jewett sent this letter to The Independent, it almost certainly would have gone to her old friend, William Hayes Ward; see Correspondents.
    In the letter, Jewett implies that she is sending the manuscript to Atlantic Monthly; however, no record has been discovered of a Mr. Richardson accepting manuscripts at Atlantic.  Furthermore, Atlantic Monthly  did not publish fiction for young readers, and by December 9, the "Christmas number" of Atlantic would have been on the news stand for as much as two weeks.  It seems unlikely that Jewett would have considered submitting the story to Atlantic, and if she had, she almost certainly would have sent it to someone she knew well, such as Thomas Bailey Aldrich; see Correspondents. Perhaps her reference to Atlantic is meant to remind a different magazine editor that she often publishes there or merely to indicate how brief it is.
    If, as seems likely, Jewett sent this story out on 9 December of 1882, and it was published a few weeks later, it probably was accepted by Mr. Richardson.  This would indicate that despite the lack of confirmation, Richardson was indeed employed at the Independent.
    But it is possible that Jewett sent the story to another publication and received an immediate rejection and then submitted it to the Independent. During 1881-1883, Jewett published work for younger readers in The Independent (3 items), Harper's Young People (2 items), and one item each in The Congregationalist, Wide Awake, and St. Nicholas.
     During this period, only The Independent and The Congregationalist were weeklies that might yet squeeze her story into a Christmas number, and of these, The Congregationlist was edited by Charles Addison Richardson (1829-1891) during 1856-1891.  See Memorial Biographies of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Towne Memorial Fund. pp. 33-4. Jewett published a total of 3 pieces there in 1882.
    Of course, little may be concluded from these observations at this point.  A reasonable scenario would show Jewett sending the story to The Congregationalist, which quickly rejected it, allowing her to resubmit to The Independent, which accepted and quickly published it.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Smith College, in the Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, Mortimer Rare Book Room.  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.




John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ

Hotel Winthrop*
12 Mo 10     1882*

My dear friend

    It was good of thee in the midst of thy work to write me. I should have written thee before this, but was looking for thee to come here any day.  My time has been fully

[ Page 2 ]

occupied -- the extreme illness of my brother has kept me all the time anxious, and ^nearly^ all the world has been writing letters to me, & the rest have been calling upon me; and, like Halleck's Fanny,* I was younger once than I am now, and better able to contend with interviewers and other "wild beasts of Ephesus."*  The occasion{-}

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al sight of Annie Fields* and a few other dear friends, is my sole relief.  I shall be glad when that most pleasant face of thine once more is visible in Boston.

    God bless thee ever & ever!  Don't try to write me, for this hurried note is not worth it.

Affec

                        John G. Whittier


Notes


Hotel Winthrop: Richard Cary notes: "The Winthrop Hotel on Bowdoin Street in Boston was a frequent retreat for Mrs. Thaxter when the winters on the Isles of Shoals became too rigorous. Whittier spent the winter of 1882-1883 at the hotel to be near his dying brother."
    Cary also says: Matthew Franklin Whittier (1812-1883), never a robust man, spent his middle years in Portland, [ME,] then took a position in the Boston Custom House. He published a series of caustically humorous anti-slavery letters under a pseudonym. At this time John wrote to Miss Jewett: "My brother has been very ill, but is now somewhat, though I fear not permanently, better. The last of our family, he is a kind, unselfish man, whose way of life has been hard and difficult." (Pickard, II, 676).

12 Mo 10 [1882]: While the letter's annotator speculates that its date is 1881, Cary's information indicates that 1882 is the more likely year.  Whittier uses the Quaker dating system, giving the day and the number of the month.

Halleck's FannyFitz-Greene Halleck (1790 -1867) was "an American poet notable for his satires and as one of the Knickerbocker Group."  His longest poem was "Fanny" (1819).  It opens, "Fanny was younger once than she is now / And prettier of course...."

"wild beasts of Ephesus": St. Paul mentions his struggle with these beasts in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:32.   Whittier repeats the phrase in his Anti-Slavery Poems, in his satirical "Letter from a Missionary of the Episcopal Church South, in Kansas, to a Distinguished Politician." There, the beasts represent abolitionists.  His book collects anti-slavery poems from 1848 to 1886.

Annie Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

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



SOJ to Anna Laurens Dawes


12 December (1882)1

My dear Anna

Thank you so much for your letter. It seemed a great while since I had heard from you, but I dare say it was my fault for I  was so bad about writing letters before I went away -- and indeed I am afraid I am not much better now!

There are so many things to do nowadays! and I am so busy since I came home -- but I dont find that a lack of thinking about ones friends follows a lack of writing them letters.

I needn't tell you how glad I am to be at home again -- it never seemed pleasanter here in Berwick, but I shall leave it for all that, and go down to Boston soon. I am shut up in the house too much in a country winter and I am so much stronger and better now that I want to keep so --

I had a most lovely summer -- I don’t think I ever can tell anybody how much I enjoyed it -- but strange to say I hadn't a bit of a desire to stay over this winter as most of my friends prophesied.

Mary is very well and we are enjoying so much these few weeks we are having together. She would send her love if she knew I am sending you a letter. I should think you would enjoy a winter in Pittsfield very much! Shall you not be in Boston by and by? I am always to be heard of at 148 Charles St2 -- and I hope I shall see you. I shall make no apologies for this very dull little letter, but I didn't want to wait any longer before sending an answer for your kind welcome home. 

Yours sincerely and affectionately,


Notes

1 The year for this letter would seem to be 1882 when Sarah made her first trip to Europe.

2 The Annie Fields's residence which was Sarah's home away from home from this time on.

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 Annie Adams Fields

Tuesday evening

[ late December 1882 ]*

My dear T.  L.*

           . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The New Parishioner* was ever so many pages long, nearly a hundred but he was so stupid that Pin* is GOING TO THROW HIM AWAY!  He was a bad man but he needn't have been so stupid.  Miss Lydia Dunn is very good in the story.  Perhaps I will bring the story and we will read it and think we can do something with it.

Good night my darling my darling.  I wish I could get hold of you, but Pin to be very good.  I went out for a little while and gave away some of my presents and people were so pleased.  Pin had a beautiful time with her neighbours.  Pin to feel even better tomorrow and T. L. not to think about her except to love her.  Always your Pinny.

 

Notes

The ellipsis in the transcription indicates that this is a selection from the manuscript.

late December 1882:  This date is based upon Jewett reporting that she is delivering Christmas presents and  working on her story, "A New Parishioner," which was published in the spring of 1883.

T.L.: A nickname for Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

New Parishioner: Jewett's story, "A New Parishioner," appeared in Atlantic Monthly in April 1883.

Pin: Nickname for Sarah Orne Jewett.    See Correspondents.

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.



Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.




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