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1886    1888
Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1887


SOJ to S. Weir Mitchell

 

South Berwick Maine 19 January 1887

Dear Doctor Mitchell

    I have been wishing to thank you for the great pleasure your stories have given me, and this note has been put off until I begin to feel fairly ungrateful.  I do not know

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when I have enjoyed anything so much as I have Roland Blake,* and I hardly know whether to wish that the doctor or the story-teller should claim most of your time.  When I read the book I was almost ready to say that

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your professional life had been a grand training for the writing of such a story, but after all, though I am a pen-holder myself I am child and grandchild of physicians and as I once made somebody else say, “My heroes are the great doctors”* ----------

    Your Miss Octopia is

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wonderfully true – altogether a perfectly drawn character.  I read her with hungry delight! and the most sincere admiration, and as for the drawing of the marsh country and the tide inlets, I am afraid you do not half know what a beautiful picture you are giving away between these brown book covers.  Forgive this long note and believe me

Yours gratefully Sarah O. Jewett

 

Notes

Roland Blake: Mitchell's novel, Roland Blake, was published in 1886.  One of the main characters is a young woman named Octopia.

heroes ... great doctors:  See Jewett's A Country Doctor (1884), chapter 21.

The manuscript of this letter is held in the Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Houghton Autograph File to S. Weir Mitchell  #5. Transcription by Linda Heller; annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Eliza Farman Pratt 

South Berwick
24 February 1887

Dear Mrs. Pratt.

I am afraid that Our1 will be too long for the chor Contributor's pages,2 but cannot you use it for a stray page in one of the spring numbers -- I have ile [the?] plea3 very much at heart!  -- I shall go back to town in a day or two and shall hope to see you before long. I have had a busy winter and this is the second time I have been at home since I saw you early in January. You will catch a glimpse of a great pleasure I have had lately when you read the little paper. How I wish I could make you and Mr. Pratt4 see the wonderful winter beauty of the woods and hills at Jackson where I have been!5

I shall have a great deal more to tell you about it when we meet --

Yours sincerely
S. O. Jewett


Notes

1    It is unclear Jewett is talking about here.

2    'The Contributor's Club," a regular column which appeared in Atlantic Monthly.

3    These words are illegible.*

4    Charles Stuart Pratt (1854-1921), a native of South Weymouth, Massachusetts. He married Eliza Pratt (1837-1907) in 1877, and together they edited periodicals for children, including Wide Awake, Babyland (which became Little Men and Women) and Little Folks.  Mrs. Pratt wrote under the name "Ella Farman."

5    A resort area on the Ellis River in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.


Editor's Notes

illegible:  Assuming that Stoddart has speculated correctly about "plea," Jewett may be referring to her essay, "A Plea for Front Yards," The Fête (Vol. I, No. 1), August 21-22, 1888, Eliot Library Association, Eliot, Maine.  There is, however, nothing obvious in this piece to associate it with her recent enjoyment of the winter beauty of Jackson, NH.  Nor is there any other piece, fiction or non-fiction, Jewett is known to have published between spring 1887 and December 1888 that describes a winter in the mountains.
    Jewett's story. "A Christmas Guest" had just appeared in Wide Awake (24:91-101), January 1887, at which time the Pratts were editors.

The manuscript of this letter is in the collection of the Miller Library of Colby College, Waterville, ME.  The transcription first appeared in Scott Frederick Stoddart's Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Selected Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett, copyright by Stoddart, 1988.  Annotation is by Stoddart, supplemented where appropriate by Terry Heller, Coe College.


 

Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

March 5, 1887.

     I have not said to you how very sweet, how comforting and sustaining I found the letter which came to me from your hand, nor have I said that I let it count in my hurrying days; and did distinctly leave undone some things which pressed with the familiar pressure, but which, in a larger vision, were not essential. I live so much under the water as it were, that I am in danger, I know, of mis-calculating weights and measures; and the touch of a friend's hand is a beautiful reminder of first values. . . . Do you know the line from Epictetus?* "Rather than bread let understanding concerning God be renewed to you day by day."


Notes

Epictetus ... "Rather than bread let understanding concerning God be renewed to you day by day": Epictetus (35-135) was a Greek Stoic philosopher.  See The Encheiridion of Epictetus, tr. with notes by T. W. H. Rolleston (1881), p. 59. (Research: Gabe Heller).

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 Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.*

148 Charles Street
Boston 12th of March
[ 1887 ]

Dear Dr Holmes

    The necessity of making a special effort to awaken the interest of the public in the Longfellow Memorial* has led certain members of the Cambridge Committee to suggest that an Authors'  Reading be given in Boston on the 31st of March: each author to read a selection from his own work.  The committee of ladies signing the petition earnestly hope that you will make the occasion a success by your presence, and also by reading for ten or fifteen minutes.

Believe me
Yours sincerely

Sarah O. Jerwett

Secretary for the committee

[An irregular vertical line divides the above words from the next line.]

over
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Mrs. Louis Agassiz

Mrs. T. B. Aldrich

Mrs. Joseph M. Bell

Mrs. Martin Brimmer

Mrs. James T. Fields

Mrs. Arthur Gilman

Mrs. John L. Gardner

Mrs. E. N. Horseford

Mrs. S. R. Putnam

Mrs. J. Turner Sargent

Mrs. G. Howland Shaw

Miss Ticknor

Mrs. Henry Whitman

Mrs. R. C. Winthrop

Mrs. Roger Wolcott

Mrs. Benjamin Vaughan


Notes

Longfellow Memorial:  That Jewett and the Cambridge Committee were successful appears in journalism on the event.  The New York Times (30 March 1887, p. 4) announced:
When the curtain rises on the Boston Museum stage Thursday afternoon those present will look upon more eminent authors than have ever been gathered together for a public entertainment. The cause of their presence will be an "author's reading" for the benefit of the Longfellow memorial fund.  Charles Eliot Norton will be master of ceremonies, if such he may be called.  Oliver Wendell Holmes will follow with his poem, "The Chambered Nautilus," and Edward Everett Hale will read his ballad, "The Great Harvest Year."  George William Curtis will come from New-York, and is expected to read a selection from the "Potiphar Papers," although he has not announced the topic chosen.  F. [intended T.] B. Aldrich, if well enough at the time, will choose a chapter from "The Bad Boy," and Julia Ward Howe, James Russell Lowell, W. D. Howells, and Thomas W. Higginson will have little difficulty in finding some delightful sketch for the occasion.  The venerable John G. Whittier is expected to journey from Oak Knoll for this occasion, but beyond his presence will contribute nothing to the literary entertainment.  Success is assured, as the entire house is taken, a large portion at fancy prices, New-York contributing bountifully in checks and good wishes for the success of the enterprise.
According to Publishers' Weekly for 16 April 1887 (p. 538), the Author's reading at the Boston Museum on 31 March 1887 realized $5208 for the Longfellow memorial.  Jewett presumably wrote letters to many, perhaps all of the authors, including John Greenleaf Whittier, whose letter also appears here.

Identities of the Cambridge Committee

Mrs. Louis Agassiz:  Elizabeth Cabot (Cary) Agassiz (1822 -1907) "was an American educator, and the co-founder and first president of Radcliffe College. A researcher of natural history, she was a contributing author to many scientific published works with her husband, [Harvard University professor] Louis Agassiz."

Mrs. T. B. Aldrich:  Lilian Woodman Aldrich. See Correspondents.

Mrs. Joseph M. Bell:  Helen Olcott Choate Bell. See Correspondents.

Mrs. Martha Brimmer:   Marianne Timmins (1827-1906) was the wife of Martin Brimmer (1829-January 14, 1896), an American politician and first president of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  His New York Times obituary (January 16, 1896, p. 5) indicates that he was a graduate of Harvard (1849) and was keenly interested in public affairs.

Mrs. James T. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Arthur Gilman:  Stella Scott Gilman (1844-1928 ) was the second wife of the educator, Arthur Gilman (1839-1909).  Together, they were the originators in 1879 of Private Collegiate Instruction for Women, known as the Harvard Annex.  She was the author of a child-rearing book, Mothers in Council (1884).

Mrs. John L. Gardner:  Isabella Stewart Gardner.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. E. N. Horseford:  Phoebe Horsford.  See Eben Norton Horsford in Correspondents.

Mrs. S. R. Putnam:  Mary Lowell Putnam (1810-1898) was a linguist and author.  She married the Boston merchant, Samuel Raymond Putnam (1797-1861). 

Mrs. J. Turner Sargent:  Mary Elizabeth Fiske Sargent (1827-1904) became the second wife of John Turner Sargent (1807-1877), a prominent Unitarian minister, remembered for his support of abolition and woman suffrage.  Together they founded Boston's Radical Club (1867-1880).  She edited Sketches of the Radical Club of Chestnut Street, Boston. See Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier v. 1, p. 194n.

Mrs. G. Howland Shaw:  This probably is Cora Lyman Shaw (1828-1922), who married Gardiner Howland Shaw of Boston (1819-1869).  See Back Bay Houses, 23 Commonwealth. More information is welcome.

Miss Ticknor:  Wikipedia says: "Anna Eliot Ticknor (Boston, Massachusetts, June 1, 1823 – October 5, 1896) was an American author and educator. In 1873, Ticknor founded the Society to Encourage Studies at Home which was the first correspondence school in the United States....  She served as one of the original appointees to the Massachusetts Free Public Library Commission, which was the first of its kind in the United States."

Mrs. Henry Whitman:  Sarah Wyman Whitman.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Roger Wolcott:  Edith Prescott Wolcott. See Correspondents.

Mrs. R. C. Winthrop:  Cornelia Adeline "Adele" Granger (1819/20 - 1892), widow of John Eliot Thayer (1803-1857), was the third wife of Robert Charles Winthrop, an American lawyer, politician, and philanthropist.  Representing Massachusetts, he was Speaker of the House of Representatives, 1847-49.  Her parents were the politician Francis Granger and Cornelia Rutson Van Rensselaer.  See also Wikipedia.  More information is welcome.

Mrs. Benjamin Vaughan:   Anna Harriet Goodwin (1838-1919) was daughter of Henry R. and Mary A. Goodwin of Brunswick, ME, where her father was a professor of languages.  She married Benjamin Vaughan (1837-1912) and moved to Cambridge, MA, where she was a member of the Associated Charities of Cambridge and an originator of the District Nursing Association.  See also "Find a Grave." and the Cambridge Tribune, Volume XLII, Number 34, 18 October 1919, p. 8.
 
The manuscript of this letter is held by the Library of Congress in the Oliver Wendel Holmes Papers, on Microfilm 15,211-3N; Microfilm 15,671-3P, Box 2, Reel 2.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.


SOJ to John Geenleaf Whittier

148 Charles Street
Boston 12th of March [1887]

To John G. Whittier

 Dear Sir:

The necessity of making a special effort to awaken the interest of the public in the Longfellow Memorial, has led certain members of the Cambridge Committee to suggest that an Authors Reading be given in Boston on the afternoon of the 31st of March -- each author to read a selection from his own work -- The committee of ladies signing this petition earnestly hope that you may be able to be present and so make the occasion a great success -- 1

 Believe me yours sincerely,

Sarah O. Jewett

(Secretary for the committee) over

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Mrs. Louis Agassiz
Mrs. T. B. Aldrich
Mrs. Martin Brimmer
Mrs. Joseph M. Bell
Mrs. James T. Fields
Mrs. John L. Gardner
Mrs. Arthur Gilman
Mrs. W. D. Howells
Mrs. S. R. Putnam
Mrs. G. Howland Shaw
Mrs. J. Turner Sargent
Miss Anna E. Ticknor
Mrs. Benjamin Vaughan
Mrs. Henry Whitman
Mrs. R. C. Winthrop
Mrs. Roger Wolcott*


Notes

Cary's Note

In addition to this formal letter Miss Jewett wrote Whittier a personal note assuring him that he would sit among his friends on the platform, where it would not be draughty, and he could easily slip away by the side entrance at any time if he chose (MS in Houghton Library). Even this was not enough inducement for the shy poet. He did not attend but sent a check for $50. (Cary, "Whittier Letters," p. 17.) The occasion was indeed "a great success." Every seat in the Boston museum was occupied, standing room only, ¬and a crowd in the street turned away. Charles Eliot Norton presided over the program which included Mark Twain, Julia Ward Howe, Holmes, Lowell, Aldrich, George W. Curtis, Howells, Edward Everett Hale, and T. W. Higginson -- "one of the most notable entertainments ever given in Boston." See Mrs. Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Crowding Memories (Boston, 1920), pp. 255-262.

Additional Notes

Mrs. Roger Wolcott:  See above for the identities of the Cambridge Committee: SOJ to Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., letter of 12 March.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA in Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, Misc. mss. boxes “J.”  The 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.   Revisions to the transcription and additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.


SOJ to Thomas Wentworth Higginson

148 Charles Street
Boston 18th of March
[ 1887 ]

 Dear Colonel Higginson

    The necessity of making a special effort to awaken the interest of the public in the Longfellow Memorial* [has corrected] led to the proposal that an Authors Reading be on the afternoon of the thirty-first of March.  The committee signing this petition earnestly hope that you may be present and will read a selection from your writings.  Ten minutes will be allowed to each author or possibly a little more time.

 

Believe me

yours sincerely,

Sarah O. Jewett

Secretary for
the committee

over

 

[ Page 2 ]


Mrs. Louis Agassiz

Mrs. T. B. Aldrich

Mrs. Joseph M. Bell

Mrs. Martha Brimmer

Mrs. James T. Fields

Mrs. John L. Gardner

Mrs. W. D. Howells

Mrs. E. N. Horseford

Mrs. Arthur Gilman

Mrs. J. Turner Sargent

Mrs. G. Howland Shaw

Miss Anna E. Ticknor

Mrs. Henry Whitman

Mrs. Benjamin Vaughan

Mrs. R. C. Waterston

Mrs. Robert C. Winthrop

Mrs. Roger Wolcott.*

-----------------------------

Please reply at once by telegraph if you are unable for any reason to be present.


Notes

Longfellow Memorial: The Longfellow Memorial reading was held at the Boston Museum on 31 March 1887.  Higginson was one of the readers.

Wolcott:  This list of Cambridge Committee members differs from lists in earlier invitations to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., and John Greenleaf Whittier.  Absent from this list is Mrs. S. R. Putnam. Added are: Mrs. W. D. Howells and Mrs. R. C. Waterston.  In this list, Jewett has varied from the alphabetical order she follows on the earlier lists.

    For Mrs. Howells, see William Dean Howlls in Correspondents.

    Mrs. R. C. Waterston:  Anna Cabot Lowell Quincy (1812-1899), wife of the Rev. Robert Cassie Waterston (1812-1893).  She was the author of A Woman's Wit & Whimsy: The 1833 Diary of Anna Cabot Lowell Quincy, Verses (1863), Together (1863), and Edmonia Lewis (the young colored woman who has successfully modelled the bust of Colonel Shaw) (1866). Mrs. Waterston appears on the Cambridge Committee list with the invitation to Thomas Wentworth Higginson of 18 March 1887.
   

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Boston Public Library: Folder 70: Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909. A.L.S. to Thomas Wentworth Higginson; [Boston, n.d.] 1 s. (3 p.) Old folder #: 73.  MS. P. 91.37 (71).



SOJ to Thomas Wentworth Higginson



148 Charles St.
29 March [  1887 ]*

Dear Colonel Higginson

    Will you please be at the Museum* on Thursday a few minutes before two o-clock, say ten minutes?  You will not need any entrance ticket, but if you go up the Museum stairs nearest Park St. to the

[ Page 2 ]

box office, you will be shown your way to the green room by Mr. Emery* or his deputy or, more likely still, by Mr. Arthur Gilman* --

Yours sincerely

S. O. Jewett.

Notes

1887:  This letter fairly clearly concerns arrangements for the authors reading to raise funds for the Longfellow Memorial on 31 March 1887.  Jewett was active in organizing this event, serving as secretary for the committee.

Museum:  The Longfellow Memorial reading was held at the Boston Museum on 31 March 1887.  Higginson was one of the readers.

Mr. Emery: The identity of Mr. Emery is not yet known.  Assistance is welcome.

Arthur Gilman:  It is not perfectly clear whether Jewett has written Mr. or Mrs. Arthur Gilman.  Stella Scott Gilman (1844-1928) was the second wife of the educator, Arthur Gilman (1839-1909).  Together, they were the originators in 1879 of Private Collegiate Instruction for Women, known as the Harvard Annex.  She was the author of a child-rearing book, Mothers in Council (1884).  Mrs. Gilman was a member of the Cambridge Committee that organized the authors reading.

This manuscript of this letter is held by Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library, in the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Thomas Wentworth Higginson


147 Charles St.

[ March 1887 ]*


Dear Col. Higginson

    The ticket is for Mrs. Higginson, and I suppose that the readers will use the stage entrance.  Also I take it for granted that afternoon dress will [be corrected ] worn -- The manager at the Museum* seemed to understand what was wanted as to "scenery."

[ Page 2 ]

and we have have [ so written ] it on the list of things to be done that the reading desk &c must be exactly right.  The committee is racking its collective brain [ in written over to ] order to make the best possible arrangements for the readers.

[ Page 3 ]

You shall have early notice of any change in the minor plans.  Every thing has gone capitally so far --

Yours sincerely

S. O. Jewett


Notes

1887:  Jewett is confirming arrangements for the Longfellow Memorial Authors Reading that took place on 31 March 1887,

Museum:  The Longfellow Memorial reading was held at the Boston Museum on 31 March 1887.  Higginson was one of the readers.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Boston Public Library: Folder 70: Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909. A.L.S. to Thomas Wentworth Higginson; [Boston, n.d.] 1 s. (3 p.) Old folder #: 73.  MS. P. 91.37 (70)



SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel 


Saturday morning [ April 9, 1887 ]1

Dear Loulie

    I was glad to get your letter yesterday and to know that you will be at home tonight. I shall be thinking of you tomorrow; when how delightful your own corner of the world will seem after being in to many strange corners!

I shall be expecting to hear the end of the first half of your letter, it was so funny about the people who looked like their figure, on the best mantel piece --  Did I tell you to please be looking out for the May Atlantic next  week? 1  think that you will like a new story at least I hope you will,2 It belongs to the kind that you do like generally! but when I saw it in sheets I thought that I should change it if I could.

Did you know that Ellis most kindly brought us some of your Easter flowers? They were very lovely and it was very good of Ellis -- wasn't it? I still hope to be in town by the middle of next week and I shall be hoping to see you one of the first days

Yours affectionately

S. O. J.


Stoddart's Notes

1 This letter is dated "1891" in pencil.*

2 A Native of Winby," Atlantic Monthly, (May, 1891).


Editor's Notes

April 9, 1887:  Stoddart has reasonably accepted the date penciled on the manuscript, but there are reasons to doubt this date.  Jewett had stories in Atlantic in May of 1886, 1887, 1891 and 1892.  The opening of the letter suggests that Jewett writes on the Saturday before Easter.  In 1892 at Easter, Jewett was in Europe.  Easter in 1891 fell on 29 March, seemingly too early to expect the May issue of Atlantic to appear the week after Easter. 
    In 1887, Easter fell on 10 April, making it at least possible that the May Atlantic would appear the following week.  If this is correct, then the piece Jewett commends to Dresel would have been "The Courting of Sister Wisby," a story containing a good deal more humor than "A Native of Winby."
    It is possible, however, that Jewett wrote the letter in 1886.  Easter fell on 25 April, and that year's May Atlantic story was "Marsh Rosemary."
    Another clue to the date is the indication that Dresel has been traveling abroad.  Information about her travels during these years is welcome.

The manuscript of this letter is in the collection of the Miller Library of Colby College, Waterville, ME.  The transcription first appeared in Scott Frederick Stoddart's Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Selected Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett, copyright by Stoddart, 1988.  Annotation is by Stoddart, supplemented where appropriate by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

Friday

[ June 1887 ]*

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This morning Carrie* came and I started for York armed with a bundle of large peppermints for Miss Mary Barrell* but Sheila* began to limp and grew so lame when we reached the woods that there was nothing to do but bring her home step by step.  Poor Sheila!  She kept looking round at me as if she wished to say she felt very badly on my account and her foot ached beside!  I am going to turn her out to pasture for awhile and I am afraid it means giving her up altogether, though I had such seasons before and bade her farewell once or twice only to have her come out fresh again.  She went pretty well yesterday  --  and looked so handsome when we started this morning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Yes:  a preaching Pinny* to be sure.  --  I have been doing twenty things since I wrote the first of this letter driving a little way with Mary* and writing away on Law Lane* and watering the garden.  It is a lovely June night and I hear the birds, singing in the trees  --  a melancholy pee wee for one.  I never said until to night that the noise of all the milldams on the two rivers is almost exactly like the sound of the sea as we hear it at Manchester.  And when it is loud we say that it means rain just as a weather wise Fuff* does.  It didn't rain much on our dry garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Notes

June 1887:  Jewett reports that it is a June night, and "Law Lane" was published in December 1887.
    The ellipses in the transcription indicate that this is a selection from the manuscript.

Carrie: Caroline Jewett Eastman.  See Correspondents.

Mary Barrell:  Jewett is speaking of visiting Mary Barrell (c. 1804 - June 6, 1889), who lived in what is now the Sayward-Wheeler House in York Harbor, ME. for much of the 19th century.  For many years, her sister, Elizabeth Barrell (c. 1799 - November 12, 1883), resided with her.

Sheila: Jewett's first horse, purchased in 1877.

Pinny: Nickname for Sarah Orne Jewett.    See Correspondents.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Law Lane: Jewett's story appeared in Scribner's in December 1887.

Fuff: Nickname for Annie Adams Fields.    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.



SOJ to Unknown Person

July 1, 1887

    Dear Madam:

     I am sorry that I have no indelible ink at hand, and I am afraid that you can make no use of this autograph written in ordinary ink.
     However, I send it.

     Yrs very truly,
     S. O. Jewett


Note

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 Francis Hopkinson Smith

     South Berwick, Maine
     September 24, 1887

    My dear Mr. Smith:

     I must send a word to tell you that I was perfectly delighted to find that you have really published the new edition of Well-Worn Roads. I sent for a copy at once and here it is; a truly charming little book for which I wish all the good fortune it deserves.1
 
     With best regards to Mrs. Smith, I am

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1Well-Worn Roads of Spain, Holland, and Italy (Boston, 1887), adequately described by its subtitle "Traveled by a painter in search of the picturesque," achieved sufficient popularity to be reprinted in 1898.

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 Mary Rice Jewett and Carrie Jewett Eastman


Saturday
[ August 1887 ]*


Dear Sisters

    A long and pleasant Thidder* arrived betimes last night and has now set sail in great majority for town hoping to meet Mithter Black* as we did last Saturday.  He and Katy Coolidge* seemed pleased to meet and Ants* received him warmly.  I shouldn't think there would be any trouble about the tailor but who can tell? 

    My hat came yesterday and is such a beauty so refined and nice & handsome and fit for winter when Sister Carrie is so kind as to place a velvet top on it!

    I haven't

[ Page 2 ]

much to tell today, but I sent you some grapes yesterday which you can add on to the letter!  You had better not count on their keeping many days for they are ripe as they can be.  I expect now to come home Tuesday afternoon -- going to town in the morning to see S. W. !!*  I had a dear letter from her day before yesterday as if from a sea post office! but it was written from the train two or three days before she was to sail.  I wish you were to be here Mary, to see the Vicar & go to church!  I tease A. F. * about the early service.

[ Page 3 ]

Katy has to go that morning and so I must go and sit with her.  But please find much love in so poor a letty.

from Seddie.*



Notes

August 1887
:  This date is tentative.  The letter seems to precede that of 25 August 1887 to Jewett's sisters, which also mentions the association of Theodore with George Nixon Black.

Thidder:  Theodore Jewett Eastman. See Correspondents.

Mithter Black: It seems probable that Jewett refers to George Nixon Black, Jr. (1842-1928).  His mother, Mary Elizabeth Black (1816-1902) may also have summered with him at Kragsyde, which was built  in 1883–85 and demolished in 1929: "a Shingle Style mansion designed by the Boston architectural firm of Peabody & Stearns and built at Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. Although long demolished, it is considered an icon of American architecture."  The landscaping was by the Olmsted firm.

Katy Coolidge:  Katharine Parkman Coolidge. See Correspondents.

Ants:  Humorous rendition of Aunts?

S. W. : Sarah Wyman Whitman.  See Correspondents.

Seddie:  A Jewett nickname.  See Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Historic New England in the Jewett Family Papers MS014.02.01.  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Carolyn Jewett Eastman and Mary Rice Jewett

[ 25 August.  Pride's Crossing 1887 ]*

    Thursday Afternoon

Dear girls,

    I am going to be betimes with my letter for there is so much walking and talking in the morning and John wailing by the time I get three quarters through.  There is no sign of me coming home Saturday{.}  I said yesterday at my [lamest ?] that I thought we might stay over Sunday and there were those young persons who stepped themselves as far as Mr. Blacks* this afternoon and gave their word to be present

[Page 2]

at half past one on Sunday to an early dinner ....  They thought I had said so, so I acceded and all is well.  He went on to the Howes* to carry a book for me and had a pleasant call and saw the parrot --- It is one of his little times dear Stubby.  I shouldn't be surprised to find a pounded stone occasion on the front piazza tomorrow morning!  Sister hopes you didnt let Cal. Plaisted go home with two good baksits [ so written ] --  How nice about Tucker's

[Page 3]

going to drive, but dont risk him with Jane Ann until he is entirely well* ---  I wouldn't let him drive anybody but Dicky!!
    -- I am sorry you couldn't go to York today which brings me to say that I thought I explained about Mrs. Merriman.*  It is at home I want to be next week, and to go to York and do something.  I was feeling so lame and poor elbowed that the thought of racketing was not so alluring.  I am much better today except one arm which is indisposed but much limberer than it was this morning.

[Page 4]

Since my throat got well my knees set in, but I have got on pretty well until three or four days ago and I dare say it was this storm coming --  It wasn't your being busy that was unnoticed [but ? looks like hit ] you said that it was a beautiful morning and we would go somewhere if I were at home, and I thought it was more for you to go anyway and I afterward found that you did, so I laughed.  But I always think the fuller we can make our lives when we are apart the more we have to give when we are together.  Which has a didactic tone, but you will please excuse.

[Page 5]

Think sometimes people who are a great deal together get to be each one legged ^when they are apart^ -- and it is not useful to be one-legged.  It is a great visit from Jess.  They have gone off to Mrs. Whitmans much dressed.  When A. F*. wanted to send Theodore [for written over something] I forgot about the Shackfords.*  Perhaps this storm will keep on and they wont come after all.  You must give my kind remembrances if you get this letter in season.  So no more at present.  Give my love to Hannah and Annie.*

    Sarah
 
    All send love

[on the back of p. 5]

I thought you would like the notice{.}  I thought it was [beautilly ? ]


Notes

1887:  The date, 25 August 1898, appears bracketed on the upper right corner of page 1, added by a Historic New England archivist. However, this cannot be correct, as Jewett and Fields were in Europe from Spring until mid-September of 1898 (Blanchard, Sarah Orne Jewett p. 310).
    August 25 falls on a Thursday in 1887 and 1892 as well as in 1898, but in 1892 Jewett also was in Europe in August.
    Theodore Eastman (born 1879) has accepted an invitation from Annie Fields to join her in Manchester, apparently at the same time that Jewett visits Susan Burley Cabot in nearby Prides Crossing, MA.  Stubby's interest in the Howe's parrot and his boyish behavior suggest his youthfulness.  Some of the party pay a call at Mr. Black's nearby home, which, if correctly identified, was completed in 1885.
    This would seem to place the letter in 1887.

Mr. Blacks ... the Howes:  While this is speculative, it seems probable that Jewett refers to George Nixon Black, Jr. (1842-1928).  His mother, Mary Elizabeth Black (1816-1902) may also have summered with him at Kragsyde, which was built  in 1883–85 and demolished in 1929: "a Shingle Style mansion designed by the Boston architectural firm of Peabody & Stearns and built at Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. Although long demolished, it is considered an icon of American architecture."  The landscaping was by the Olmsted firm.
    Almost certainly, Jewett refers to Alice Greenwood (Mrs. George Dudley) Howe, who spent summers at her home, the Cliffs, in Manchester-by-the-Sea.  See Correspondents.

Stubby  ... Cal Plaisted:  Stubby is Theodore Eastman.  See Correspondents.
    Calvin Plaisted was "a well-known basket maker of Cape Neddick, ME."  His death at South Berwick is reported in the Lewiston Evening Journal of 12 April 1904, p. 4.

Tuckers ... Jane Ann ...  let him drive anybody but Dicky:  Richard Cary says "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."  Dicky and Jane Ann appear to be horses.  Information about Jewett family horses is welcome.

Mrs. Merriman:  Helen Bigelow Merriman.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Whitmans ...  When A. F:  Sarah Wyman Whitman and Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

Shackfords:  In a diary entry of Monday, August 2, 1869, Jewett records visiting "Shackfords" in the area of South Berwick.
    It is possible Jewett refers in this letter to Charles A. Shackford (1848-1903).  Shackford is believed to have been staying with a cousin in South Berwick in the 1850s, when he attended the Berwick Academy. He is listed in Jewett's Memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine. In the 1880s, he and his wife, Adelaide Josephine Clark, and his three children were residing in Indiana and Ohio:
    Edna Grace Shackford (1879-1958) -- married William Oliver Driskell and moved to Los Angeles
    Alice Mary Shackford (1880-1969) -- married John Mark Lacey
    Mabel Frances Shackford (1881-????) -- married Edmond Franklin Smith.
It is possible that the Shackfords were distant relatives, there being a Mary Shackford among their 18th-century ancestors on their father's side.
    Further information is welcome.

Hannah and Annie:  Jewett family servants in South Berwick, Hannah Driscoll and Annie Collins.  See Annie Collins in Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Historic New England in Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett to Caroline Augusta Jewett Eastman and Mary Rice Jewett, Jewett Family Papers: MS014.01.02.01.  Transcribed by Tanner Brossart, edited and annotated by Terry Heller. Coe College.




SOJ to Emma Harding Claflin Ellis

Boston Friday --

[ Autumn 1887 ]*

Dear Mrs. Ellis

    I am much pleased to send you the dress.  I hated to let it go out of fashion in a dark closet and I did not wish to have it worn by a foe! -- But you may not like it when you see it and you must

[ Page 2 ]

not hesitate to send it right back again -- $20. was what I named it seems to me, but if it is not going to be worth that to you just make your own estimate -- and I shall be contented.

[ Page 3 ]

I am only here for a few days ( -- we moved [up ?] from Manchester last Saturday --) so I was particularly glad to get your note today and to be able to see about the frock myself.  Mrs. Fields* sends love and we both thank you

[ Page 4 ]

for the dear and wise things in your letter --

Yours always affectionately
S.O.J.

Please remember me to Mr. Ellis & when you see Mr. Valentine* to say how pleased I was with [his written over a word] note & because he liked The Landscape Chamber --

Notes

Autumn 1887:  This date is inferred from Jewett mentioning her story, "The Landscape Chamber" which appeared in Atlantic Monthly in November 1887.

Mrs. Fields
:  Annie Adams Fields, whose summer home was in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA.  See Correspondents.

Mr. Valentine:  The identity of this person is unknown.  The Massachusetts Claflin and Valentine families were connected by marriage.  So, this could reasonably be George Albert Valentine (b. 1846), whose parents were John T. and Mary Claflin Valentine.  This family resided in the Newton, MA area, as did the Claflins.

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


SOJ to Louisa Dresel

     South Berwick, Maine
     September 25, 1887

     Dear Loulie:

     I was very sorry to miss you the other afternoon, and I find {it} is so hard to write what I wish to say in answer to your interesting letter that I am tempted to wait and talk it over when we meet in town! It was just the kind of letter I like to have, written out of a mood and bringing a piece of your life to me. I know how one regrets having written such letters because the next day is apt to find one reserving one's opinions with great care!! but they are immensely helpful between friends and so I thank you very much for sending this to me. Indeed it startles me now and then to grow suddenly conscious of unexplored territory in myself! as if my thoughts could be laid out map-fashion; and here is my native state and here its neighbour and the rest of New England, and there is "Out West" where I have been two or three times only1 -- and then like the old geographies comes blank places of yellow and red marked Desert and waste land -- (Please make all that I mean out of this bungling simile!). And little by little we learn our way about our own consciousness. I think that you were right in the main, in saying that we should be able to say things that we think clearly, but the power of apprehension is one that differs as well as the power of expression, and both can be cultivated. When I follow you a little farther and come to the vehicle of expression, I believe that the reason of our pleasure with the verses that our thoughts make themselves into is this: that we have to make them very clear and brief little figures and so our thoughts have a live definiteness that is very enticing. But I liked the way you put your thought into prose best. It takes an experienced verse writer, not to be hampered with rhyme and metre. For myself, I made a resolve long ago that verses should not escape me, that if I had a poetical idea it must go to enrich my New England prose. I could show you more than one bit of a prose page that was verse to begin with!2 and I think that I have gained rather than lost. But sometimes when verses make themselves it is a great joy, and for the moment lifts one to a higher level of literary companionship. There is one sure thing, one should try to write verses now and then to teach himself to properly value a true poet. What a dear good talk we might have about all this!

     I am afraid that you will be gone to town when I next drive up the Beverly road but we will make the most of town by and by.

     Give my love to Mrs. Dresel and remember to give Miss Brockhaus* a message from me when you are writing.

     Yours affectionately,

     Sarah O. Jewett
 

Cary's Notes

     1For several months in 1868-1869 Jewett visited with her uncle John Taylor Perry in Cincinnati, with some trips to Kentucky from there. In the seventies she journeyed to Chicago and to the Oneida Indian reservation in Wisconsin. "Tame Indians," Independent, XXVII (April 1, 1875), 26, is a dramatized account of the latter visit.

     2Almost five years later Jewett wrote: "I was still a child when I began to write down the things I was thinking about, but at first I always made rhymes and found prose so difficult that a school composition was a terror to me, and I do not remember ever writing one that was worth anything. But in course of time rhymes themselves became difficult and prose more and more enticing, and I began my work in life" ("Looking Back on Girlhood," Youth's Companion, LXV [January 7, 1892], 6).

Editor's Notes

Miss Brockhaus:  Marianne Theresia Brockhaus.   See Correspondents.
 
The manuscript of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Am 1743 (50).  This transcription by Richard Cary appeared originally in "Jewett to Dresel: 33 Letters," Colby Library Quarterly 7:1 (March 1975), 13-49, which gave permission to reprint it here.  Notes are by Cary, with additions by Terry Heller, Coe College. 




SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     Sunday evening, [Autumn] 1887.* 


     I have been reading "Pendennis" with such pleasure. What a beautiful story! I long to read some pages to you, for the humanity -- the knowledge of life and the sympathy with every-day troubles is more and more wonderful. It all seems new to me, and to follow Thackeray through the very days when he was at work upon it, as we can in the Scribner letters, is such a joy. I got "Law Lane" in proof yesterday in excellent season for the Christmas number, one would think. Mr. Burlingame hoped that I could shorten it a little,* and I have been working over it. He has great plans for his Christmas number and there are many things to go in. He seems pleased with "Law Lane," so is its humble author, but you are not to tell. I have not been out today, except to the garden to pick myself a luncheon of currants.

Notes

Sunday evening, 1887: Fields dates this letter to 1889.  However, internal evidence shown in the following notes indicates that this letter probably is from 1887 rather than 1889.

Scribner Letters: William Makepeace Thackeray's (1811-1863) novel Pendennis appeared 1848-1850. Jewett may have been reading A Collection of Letters of Thackeray, 1847 - 1855 published by Scribner in 1888, though this complicates the problem of dating this letter.

Mr. Burlingame: Edward Livermore Burlingame (1848-1922) was editor of Scribner's (1887-1914). Jewett's "Law Lane" appeared in Scribner's in December 1887 and was reprinted in The King of Folly Island in 1888.

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 Annie Adams Fields

     Later. 


     I am almost through "Pendennis." I do wish you would read it pretty soon! perhaps next winter! And a story which has been lagging a good while is beginning to write itself. Its name is "A Player Queen,"* and it hopes to be liked. Miss Preston's article looks very interesting in the "Atlantic,"' about the Russian novels,* but I have not found the right half hour to read it. Oh, my dear, it is such a comfort to think of you in the dear house, with the sea calling and all the song sparrows singing by turns to try and make you sing, too.

     I was much moved by your news about poor Mr. R--. I am glad that the old man is likely to be released; but there is a little round world of two people going to fall to pieces. All the better for them in some ways, too, but with all their provoking narrowness there is something very appealing in their relation to each other, and she is going to find life very hard alone, simply because it has been so narrow, and she has no great outlook or preparation for unselfish usefulness. I dare say you are going to be able to help her by and by, but now all that anybody can do for her is to try to make her feel that there are a few kind hearts that are truly sorry for her.

Notes

"A Player Queen": "A Player Queen" was published in America 1 (July 28, 1888) 6-8.  It was missed in later bibliographic studies and rediscovered by Philip B. Eppard, who reprinted it with his short essay, "Two Lost Stories by Sarah Orne Jewett," in Gwen Nagel, ed., Critical Essays on Sarah Orne Jewett (1984).

Miss Preston's article ... about the Russian novels: Harriet Waters Preston's "The Spell of the Russian Writers" appeared in The Atlantic in August 1887, pp. 199-213. This would seem to confirm that this and the previous letter are from 1887.

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 Louisa Dresel


     South Berwick, Maine
     November 13, 1887

     My dear Loulie:

     I have been considering the photographs and wondering which I like best! Indeed I think that they are much better than the pomps of Dresden* which you know I never would accept at all. I believe that of these two I like the profile but I must see the other one before I quite make up my mind.

     I was very sorry not to see you when you came to Charles Street.1 I only stayed a little while after we came up from Manchester and I was so busy with put-off shoppings, etc{.}, that I did not find the days any too long. I may be in town again before I 'move'* but it will only be for a day or two; I count upon these November days and have been much grieved because a bad cold has had the better of me almost ever since I came home.

     I have been reading a good deal though and one book I am sure Mrs. Dresel will like -- The Coleorton letters -- written by Coleridge, Wordsworth, Scott and Southey, and especially my beloved Dorothy Wordsworth, to their friends the Beaumonts.2 You don't know how delightful the pages are until you read them! I am just beginning now an Irish story called Ismay's Children3 which beguiles me very much as Ireland always does. I must have had an Irish grandmother way back in the prehistoric times.

     I have been watching the papers most eagerly these last two or three days, for the arrival of the Pavonia with dear Mrs. Lodge.4 I am so glad for Mrs. Fields's sake that she is coming home again.

     Now Loulie, was it not "The Landscape Chamber"5 that I was to send to Miss Brockhaus? and how shall I manage it unless you help me, for I don't know her address. I will order one sent to you: no, I will wait until I come and then get you to add the house number; for if I let you direct it, how will our friend know that it is sent by another!!

     Please give my love to Mrs. Dresel. Tell me how the painting gets on! You know how unconvinced I am of the mirror frame (!) but how affectionately I am always, most sincerely your friend

     S. O. J.
 

Cary's Notes

     1Mrs. Fields's Boston home at No. 148 overlooking the river, a veritable salon frequented by most of the English and American authors published by her husband, and by many others eminent in the arts.

     2Memorials of Coleorton (Edinburgh, 1887), 2 vols., edited by William Knight, being Letters from Coleridge, Wordsworth and his sister, Southey, and Sir Walter Scott, to Sir George and Lady Beaumont of Coleorton, Leicestershire, 1803-1834. Beaumont, a wealthy patron, met Wordsworth in the home of Coleridge in 1803 and favored him generously thereafter.
    The Editor adds that while these volumes appeared in 1887, they were not reviewed in Atlantic until February 1888.  This suggests that this letter could have been composed in 1888.  See also below the note on "The Landscape Chamber," which first appeared in the November 1887 Atlantic.  While Jewett could have obtained and read these materials as soon as they appeared, it seems likely that more time would have passed.

     3These sketches of life in Dublin by May Laffan Hartley were published anonymously, "By the author of Hogan, M.P., Flitters, Tatters, and the Counsellor, etc." (Macmillan & Co.: London, New York, 1887). Not unlike Jewett's sketches of life in Maine, "the photographic literalness of commonplace detail," said the Dublin Review critic, is "redeemed by the glow of poetic imagination." Hence the attraction, which may have been more deeply subconscious than Jewett realized.

     4Mrs. James [Mary Greenwood] Lodge (1829-1889) was fulsomely eulogized by the Boston Evening Transcript on January 3, 1890 as "the Queen Vashti of Persia, as she was, too, Priscilla of the Puritans." She was in fact a woman of considerable presence, wit and learning, who compiled A Week Away from Time (Boston, 1887), new stories, translations, and verses, to which Mrs. Fields and Owen Wister contributed. She had a keen sympathy for the poor and outcast, active with Fields in founding and operating the Associated Charities of Boston. Jewett nicknamed her "Marigold" and dedicated Betty Leicester "With love to M. G. L., one of the first of Betty's friends." Jewett's eagerness about the Pavonia was based not solely on her fondness for Mrs. Lodge but also on the fact that rough weather had delayed its scheduled arrival for two days. Lowell and Louise Chandler Moulton were among the other passengers.

     5One of Jewett's sketch-stories in a mood of Gothic mystery and veiled terror, first published in Atlantic Monthly, LX (November 1887), 603-613; collected in The King of Folly Island and Other People (Boston, 1888).

Editor's Notes

pomps of DresdenDresden, Germany was among the places Dresel visited while in Europe, the residence at some point of her German friend, Marianne Theresia Brockhaus.   See Correspondents. 
   
What are the pomps of Dresden is unknown; assistance is welcome.

before I 'move':  Sarah and Mary Jewett moved from the house where they grew up into the house next door, now known as the Jewett House, in 1887, after the death of their uncle William Jewett.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Am 1743 (50).  This transcription by Richard Cary appeared originally in "Jewett to Dresel: 33 Letters," Colby Library Quarterly 7:1 (March 1975), 13-49, which gave permission to reprint it here.  Notes are by Cary, with additions by Terry Heller, Coe College.



[Printed letterhead]

16. St. Giles.

Oxford

 

[to the right of the letterhead]

November

20th, 1887

 Dear Madam,

            I forget what I could have said to make you say that you have found Eremburga.* There can be no doubt about her as Count Rogers second wife, quite distinct from Judith his first, though Geoffrey Malaterra makes it a little confusing by leaving out Judiths death and Eremburgas marriage. But there is no doubt about it. I have given a long note to it. But what can be the use of

[page 2]

of [repeated] Hares Cities of Southern Italy and Sicily.  I tried it but hes worthless [there?] on the spot. I don't believe He has ever [been?] at Spoleto. Murrays volume (by George Dennis) is far better and [Grell-fels?] better again.

            Maurice must be some odd confides confusion with [unknown word] or [McGrice?], or both. It never does to trust second-hand writers. I don't want anybody to trust me. Even in this little Sicily, where I shall not be able to give definite references, I shall give

[Written sideways on the other side of the folded sheet.]

a heading of authorities to each chapter.

            Believe me yours faithfully

            Edward A Freeman [The three parts of his name are connected into one word.]

 

Notes

Eremburga:  Freeman refers to their correspondence about her work on The Story of the Normans (1887).  Freeman's book in the same series as The Story of the Normans was The Story of Sicily (1892).

Malaterra:  According to Wikipedia, Geoffrey Malaterra "was an eleventh-century Benedictine monk and historian, possibly of Norman origin."

Dennis:  According to Wikipedia, "George Dennis (21 July 1814 in Ash Grove, Hackney, Middlesex - 15 November 1898 in South Kensington, London) was a British explorer of Etruria; his written account and drawings of the ancient places and monuments of the Etruscan civilization combined with his summary of the ancient sources is among the first of the modern era and remains an indispensable reference in Etruscan studies."  
            Probably, Freeman refers to A handbook for Travellers in Southern Italy and Sicily: comprising the description of Naples and its environs, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius, Sorrento; the islands of Capri and Ischia; Amalfi, Pæstum, and Capua, the Abruzzi and Calabria; Palermo, Girgenti, the Greek temples, and Messina.  Originally published in 1853 by Octavian Blewitt; the seventh edition of 1874 listed George T. Dennis as co-author.

Maurice:  Jewett refers to Freeman solving the mystery of Maurice in a card she received from him in her letter of December 1888.  See letter 20 in Fields.  However, what this was about has not yet been determined.

The ms of this letter is held by the Houghton Library of Harvard University: MS Am 1743 (68) Freeman, Edward Augustus, 1823-1892, 1 letter; 1887.  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel

South Berwick
5 December 1887

My Dear Loulie

    I take my nearest pen in hand to thank you for your dear letter which gives me a real [ ' perhaps a stray mark] pleasure.  I am so glad that you have liked Law Lane.*  To tell the truth I am quite overset myself every time I come to "Oh git me home Mis' Powder!"*

[ Page 2 ]

and it was a very pleasant story to write.  Dont you think that some of the illustrations are good?

    -- I am so much interested in this winter's painting and I hope to know very soon just what you are doing.  I am going to town as you know for a day or two this week and then I shall be at home again until just

[ Page 3 ]

before Christmas.  Then we must begin to play together. 

    Dear Loulie I cant stop to write a long letter but I could not help saying how gladly I listen to all that you have to tell me, and [that written over what] I always thank you for writing, even when I don't [say possibly underlined] so at once.  I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Dresel's illness.  I have found it an excellent

[ Page 4 ]

season for early rheumatic [kinks ?], but on the whole I have been getting on very well -- and have had some good pasture tramps, which are always my delight you know -- [ink blot]

    With best love to Mrs. Dresel{,} dont  forget how affectionately I am always

Yours affectionately
S. O. J.



Notes

Law Lane ... Mrs. Powder:  Mrs. Powder is the protagonist of Jewett's "Law Lane", which appeared in Scribner's Magazine (2:725-742), December 1887, with eight illustrations by W. L. Taylor.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Columbia University Libraries Special Collections in the Sarah Orne Jewett letters,  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College, from a Columbia University Libraries microfilm copy of the manuscript.




SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

[ Early December 1887 ]
Friday evening
My dear Fuff*

        I think this is such a charming letter from Mrs Dugdale.*  I long to have you go to see her and to smuggle in a nice Pinny!*  The Author of Law Lane* if you please which came tonight and looks very uncommon good and there is a poem of Edith Thomas!* in the last of the magazine

[ Page 2 ]

which I liked very much but I haven't half read it.  I am delighted with the Law Lane pictures.  I have been writing a little this afternoon, and sewing a good deal.  You will like my waist and little black dress, and look it right off my back I fear, in spite of a weeping Pinny.  I did not tell you that I got some braid trimming for it at

[ Page 3 ]

Stearn's* one of the mornings when I was downtown.  Fuff ought to have seen!  No reading today to tell you about, but if I only can I am going to write and write!  Alex McHenry* comes tomorrow for Sunday.  Always a pleasure to the whole family.  Alex is a little one you know.  A dear note from the Linnet* but he doesn't like A Player Queen,* that is he thinks


[ Page 4 ]

it "charming and clever, but not the kind of story which nobody else can tell" which was consoling of the Linnet.  I am curious to know whether he will like the next.  It is very real and solemn.  The name is Miss Tempy's Watchers{.}  I dont believe I ever told you.

    Good night my dear Fuff.  I hope little Smithy will be better and I am your own Pinny.

Notes

Early December 1887:  This date is based upon Jewett indicating that her story "Law Lane," published in December 1887, has just appeared.  See notes below.

Fuff:  Jewett's nickname for Annie Fields. See Correspondents.

Mrs Dugdale:  Alice Frances Trevelyan (1843-1902) was the wife of William Stratford Dugdale (1828-1882), who died heroically attempting to rescue miners after a British mine explosion.  He was a beloved pupil of Benjamin Jowett at Oxford, who maintained a friendship with Mrs. Dugdale after her husband's death.  See The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (1897).

Pinny:  Nickname for Jewett. See Correspondents.

The Author of Law Lane:  Jewett's story, "Law Lane," appeared in Scribner's Magazine (2:725-742), December 1887, with eight illustrations by William Ladd Taylor.

a poem of Edith ThomasEdith Matilda Thomas (1854 - 1925) was an American poet.  Her poem, "Atys" appeared in Scribner's Magazine (2:767-792), December 1887.

Stearn'sWikipedia says:  "Richard Hall Stearns (1824 - 1909) was a wealthy tradesman, philanthropist, and politician from Massachusetts whose self-titled department store became one of the largest department chains in Boston and the surrounding area."  He established his store in the 1840s and it continued well into the twentieth century.

Alex McHenry ... a little oneTracing Jewett genealogy is quite complicated, but it seems clear that the Jewett sisters were connected with some McHenrys through their grandmother, Sarah Orne.  It appears that the Odiorne Bible (pp. 16-17) was passed to Sarah Orne, daughter of Sarah Moore Orne, upon her death in 1875, then to her daughter, Roxalene Orne (1818-1887), who had married Alexander R. McHenry (1814 - 1874).
    Their second son also was Alexander R. McHenry (1849 - 1899), of whom no marriage is known.  Why he would be called "little" Alex is unknown, as he is the same age as Jewett, but he may be the person mentioned here. 
    Another McHenry son was 
Edward Orne McHenry (1855-1910); his spouse was Hannah Mason Smyth McHenry (1863 - 1917).  Their known children were Edward and Kathryn. 
    The identity of "little" Alex, therefore, remains uncertain.  Assistance is welcome.

Linnet: The Jewett-Fields circle's nickname for Thomas Bailey Aldrich who, in 1887, was editor at Atlantic Monthly.  See Correspondents.

A Player  Queen:  "A Player Queen" was published in America 1 (July 28, 1888) 6-8. It was missed in later bibliographic studies and rediscovered by Philip B. Eppard, who reprinted it with his short essay, "Two Lost Stories by Sarah Orne Jewett," in Gwen Nagel, ed., Critical Essays on Sarah Orne Jewett (1984).

Miss Tempy's Watchers:  Jewett's "Miss Tempy's Watchers" appeared in Atlantic Monthly (61:289-295), March 1888

little Smithy:   The identity of this person is unknown.  Perhaps this is one of the clients of the Associated Charities of Boston with which Fields worked?  Assistance is welcome.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.  Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909. 40 letters to Annie (Adams) Fields (no date). Sarah Orne Jewett additional correspondence, 1868-1930. MS Am 1743.1 (117).  Transcribed and annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

[ December 1887 ]*

Saturday

Dear Fuff*

        I had a prosperous journey -- that is a very nice fast train to come by.  And I reached home to find a [splendid corrected] occasion of Cousin Frances Gilman of Exeter with [ with is double underlined ] Cousin Alice* and so we had a beautiful evening and spoke much of the past!  This morning

[ Page 2 ]

I was too lazy to get up for breakfast but I mean to make up for it presently.  I thought Mary* would be going down street early so I would be sure to have my letter read.  I hope you had a good time last evening and that Jessie* will be there tonight.  Do give my love to her!  I put in a postcard, so if she doesn't appear it wont be that!

[ Page 3 ]

    -- Mary just came up for a crack o' conversation and has been sitting on the foot of the bed talking Christmas and other things.  Her latest discovery is an excellent time keeper of a watch in one of the old desks! and for [whom corrected] ^now in eternity^ it once kept time nobody can imagine.  Mary being now the virtuous owner of four beside her own watch is a splendid sight -- but isnt it strange to be the ones to whom all the treasures and belongings of so many people come

[ Page 4 ]

sifting down!  It is a vast thought to a comfortable Pinny* in bed, with live company down stairs!  Well, good bye dear Fuff with ever so much love from your own affectionate

Pinny

Notes

December 1887:  This date is highly speculative.  It is based upon the fact that Jewett's sister Mary has found a watch, bringing her collection to five.  In SOJ to Annie Adams Fields [ December 1887 ] below, Jewett reports that Mary is being teased about her possessions as she prepares for Christmas.  At this point, the other earliest mention of Jessie Cochrane, a frequent Fields guest, is in the letters of 1894.  This letter may well be from a year later than 1887.

Fuff: Jewett's nickname for Annie Fields. See Correspondents.

Cousin Frances Gilman of Exeter ... Cousin Alice:  Though it is known that Jewett was related through her mother to the Gilman family of Exeter, the identity of Frances Gilman has not been established.  Cousin Alice probably is Mrs. Alice Dunlap Gilman.  See Correspondents.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Jessie:  Jessie Cochrane.  See Correspondents.

Pinny:  Nickname for Jewett. See Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.  Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909. 40 letters to Annie (Adams) Fields (no date). Sarah Orne Jewett additional correspondence, 1868-1930. MS Am 1743.1 (117).  Transcribed and annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

[ December 1887 ]*

Thursday evening

    My dear little Fuff*

            It has been a good day and a good walk over "the other hill" where we went once, and across the country to the Junction road* and so home as Mr. Pepys says!  I [had corrected] a nice time with Carrie* and we managed to have some fun and amused

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our companions which was good -- I have been sewing a little and thinking a good deal and we planned our little plans and were altogether friendly and comfortable together all of us -- Mary* has begun her Christmas work.  It is a great pleasure just now to tease Mary about her possessions as you know --


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------  Dear Fuff I wonder if you are at home yet from [ Judys ?] * and if you wished for Pinny* when you came in? -----

------  I feel better today, last night I had a bad time with my aching legweg, but it seemed to disappear by daylight and I hope that this tiff of [rheumatism ?] is over and that I shall be let alone for a while.

    -- I am going to say goodnight

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partly because my ink bottle is almost dry and partly because I am sleepy --  I shall be so glad to get your letter tomorrow.

Your own Pinny

To think I forgot my beach bag.

Will you please ask Katy ^Christy to give the clothes I left to George for Mary to wash?*

[24 circled, in another hand, lower left corner of page 4.]

[ Up the left margin and down the top margin of page 1]

I have got the "newspaper notices" to the Landscape Chamber* and they are really amazing good and make much of it.  [That all would believe! ?] I asked them at Houghton to let me see them{.}


Notes

December 1887:  This date is inferred from Jewett reading notices of the November 1899 publication of her story, "The Landscape Chamber."  See notes below.

Fuff:  Jewett's nickname for Annie Fields. See Correspondents.

Junction road:  Though it is not certain which hill is Jewett's "other hill," presumably this is a hill east of the Jewett homestead on Portland Street in South Berwick, ME.  The Junction Road branched off eastward from Portland Street, north of the Jewett homestead, to the South Berwick Junction Depot.  See Pirsig, The Placenames of South Berwick (2007), pp. 223-235.
    Jewett recounts an almost identical tramp in almost the same words in SOJ to Annie Adams Fields, Wednesday morning. [Summer 1889].  It is unlikely, however, to be the same walk as that one takes place in summer and this one apparently as Christmas is approaching.

Mr. Pepys Samuel Pepys (1633 - 1703) "was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is most famous for the diary that he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man."  The phrase "and so home" occurs with some frequency in his Diary of Samuel Pepys (1660-1669).

Carrie:  Caroline Jewett Eastman.  See Correspondents.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Judys:  While this has not been confirmed, it seems likely that this is Judith Drew Beal, stepdaughter of Annie Fields's sister, Louisa Adams Beal.  See Annie Fields in Correspondents.

Pinny:  Nickname for Jewett. See Correspondents.

Katy ... Christy ... George ... Mary: Katy is deleted because she probably was a Jewett employee at the time of this letter, whereas the other three are likely employees or associates of Annie Fields.  Katy may be the long-time Jewett servant, Catherine Drinan. See Correspondents. Further information is welcome.

Landscape Chamber:  Jewett's story, "The Landscape Chamber," appeared in Atlantic Monthly (60:603-613), November 1887.  Various publications at this time would describe other magazine issues as they appeared.  It seems likely that Jewett has asked to see clippings of these notices, to see whether her stories are mentioned.



SOJ to Louisa Dresel

     Saturday morning [Christmas season 1887 ]*
     South Berwick

      My dear Loulie:

     IT
     was
     SUCH
     a
     stocking

     I began to eat my way down with the prune and then curiosity and appreciation got the better of appetite and when I came to my silver clasp I had a great moment. I needed it so bad for my best everyday cloak. I shall now go to Salem in proper trim. And the smaller the bundles grew the more beautiful they were after that: I am not sure that there aren't several too small for my fingers to find, and more beautiful than any yet. I am hoping to keep on the right side of the seated figure with long red hair, she being a witch person but well disposed. The four-leaved shamrock and the frizzy wig and the nice cat will be my allies.

     I send you my, love and thanks (wish you happy Christmas next year!).

     Dear A. F.1 was so delighted and touched at the heart by the Sappho. I like to tell you though I know she will. Yours with many thanks,

     S. O. J.

     I put my stocking all in again and showed to those here who were good enough last night.
 

Cary's Note

     1Annie Adams Fields (1843-1915), widow of the publisher James T. Fields, became Jewett's inveterate companion after his death. They traveled frequently together in the United States and Europe, and Jewett spent a good part of each winter and summer in the Boston and Manchester-by-the-Sea homes of Mrs. Fields. Shortly after Jewett's death Mrs. Fields edited Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett (Boston, 1911).

Editor's Notes

1887:  Dating this letter is difficult.  The clue that Louisa Dresel has given Fields a text of Sappho suggests the possibility that she chose a recently published translation.  WorldCat lists two likely titles.  Sappho: Lyric Fragments translated by T H Rearden and William E Loy, published in San Francisco, appeared in 1886.  Sappho, Memoir, Text, Selected Renderings and a Literal Translation by Henry Thornton Wharton was published in London in 1887.

  The manuscript of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Am 1743 (50).  This transcription by Richard Cary appeared originally in "Jewett to Dresel: 33 Letters," Colby Library Quarterly 7:1 (March 1975), 13-49, which gave permission to reprint it here.  Notes are by Cary, with additions by Terry Heller, Coe College.




Undated Letters Probably from 1887



SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel

[ 1887. in upper left corner of page 1, probably in another hand]*

Monday evening --

Dear Loulie

    I must send a word of thanks at once for these two nice letters which have come in the same envelope.  I am very glad to read what Miss Brochhaus* says -- it is really a great help to have such clear sighted eyes come to ones aid.  Do tell her when you write, how her

[ Page 2 ]

letter has interested and pleased me. -- I am very sorry not to have seen you yet but I unfortunately caught a cold last week and have been shut up entirely against my will -- It is a barking cold which makes

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me feel like a little naughty dog.  Roger* looks up with astonishment, as if to say that it is bad manners to bark in the house!

    Goodbye, with thanks from both A.F.* and me for the letters --

Yours ever
S.O.J.



Notes

Brochhaus:  Marianne Theresia Brockhaus.  See Correspondents.

Roger:  A Jewett family dog, an Irish Setter. See Sarah Orne Jewett's Dog (1889).

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

The manuscript of this letter is held by Columbia University Libraries Special Collections in the Sarah Orne Jewett letters,  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College, from a Columbia University Libraries microfilm copy of the manuscript.




SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel

[ 1887? in upper left corner of page 1, probably in another hand]*


Wednesday morning

Dear Loulie

    I have enjoyed the letters very much.  Especially the second one which is by the Loulie I know best -- Mrs. Fields* is better again (having had a second pull-down since I saw you --)  She sends her love to you & Mrs. Dresel and returns this little

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pin which has been waiting to go back to its owner many days but I always forgot it when I saw you and Ellis* too --

    I am going to Berwick for two days as soon as I can cheerfully think that A.F. is almost well again, but when I come back I am going to see you{.}

Yours ever affectionately
S. O. J.   

Notes

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

Ellis:  Ellis Dresel, Louisa's brother. See Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Columbia University Libraries Special Collections in the Sarah Orne Jewett letters,  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College, from a Columbia University Libraries microfilm copy of the manuscript.



Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.



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