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1888    1890

Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1889



SOJ to Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford

148 Charles Street1
     Boston
     February 17, [1889]

    Dear Mrs. Spofford:

     This morning I had an unexpected delight in a first reading of two new poems of yours! I was soberly reading some St. Nicholas proofs* when I saw at the bottom of one of the slips the impression of uninked type, and I began to puzzle it out and found your most beautiful "The King's Dust" and "A Worm,"2 and by getting a very good light I managed to read them to Mrs. Fields. I cannot tell you how exquisite we both thought them or how we enjoyed finding them in such curious fashion. I had to send them back but we shall be looking for them again in print presently. I suppose this slip lay under another on which your proof was printed. I wish I could tell you what A. F. said while she was praising them, but indeed she thought them most exquisite and full of truth. They were somehow a true joy this rainy day, your great little poems, and I could not help sending a line to say so.

     Yours most sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1 Annie Fields's Boston home, overlooking the Charles River. Miss Jewett considered this her second home and for almost three decades made a long annual visit during the winter. The two friends spent their time together reading, writing, entertaining, taking in concerts, exhibits, and the theatre, and engaging in philanthropic enterprises. Mrs. Fields's Saturday Afternoon, in the long Victorian drawing room crowded with books, pictures, and framed autographs of famous authors, attracted the best-known artists, writers, and wits of the day. Lowell, Holmes, Aldrich, Whittier, and Whipple were among those in frequent attendance. Foreign authors on an American tour usually dropped in for readings and conversation. For a full account see Mrs. Spofford's A Little Book of Friends, 3-17.

    2 "The King's Dust" was published in St. Nicholas, XVI (June 1889), 585, the same issue which contains the third and final installment of Miss Jewett's "A Bit of Color," later titled Betty Leicester in book form. "A Worm" was not printed until July 1890 (p. 748) and then under the caption "Wings."

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 F. Hopkinson Smith

     148 Charles Street
     Boston
     February 24, 1889

    Dear Mr. Smith:

     The little book is here and I thank you for so delightful and unexpected a gift! and for the kindness of some words written on the flyleaf. When I go down to Berwick to see the large paper illustrated edition, it will look surprisingly small to my eyes fresh from a sight of this. Mrs. Fields's copy of the same edition is quite an everyday sort of book, and my own stories are strangers and foreigners compared to this particular copy of Well-Worn Roads.* Well-Worn Leaves are these to be where you have put your story-pictures and they will lop open always to the story of the nun and the hint of rose-madder.

     The river is frozen over today and the gulls, all breakfastless, are flying about to keep themselves warm, and flapping their wings like coachmen there is such icy air a-blowing.

     I must thank you again for the pleasure you gave us the other evening. I hope that you can manage to come on again for the Authors' Reading.1
 
     Yours ever sincerely (with best regards to Mrs. Smith),

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1 In his James Russell Lowell (Boston, 1900), 11, 333-334, Scudder declared drily that by the winter of 1886 "the rage for Author Readings had set in, and under the guise of charity of one sort or another, society compelled its favorites to stand and deliver their old poems." During this period, however, the Readings were held for the benefit of the Copyright League, which was busily campaigning for international recognition of authors' rights.
     Miss Jewett seldom participated in large public functions of this sort. A notable exception occurred during the winter of 1887 when she consented to act as secretary to the committee which arranged an impressive Authors' Reading in the Boston Museum for the purpose of raising a Longfellow Memorial fund (see Lilian W. Aldrich, Crowding Memories [Boston, 1920], 255-262, and Colby Library Quarterly, VII [March 1965], 36, 40-42).


Editor's notes

Well-Worn Roads.  The first edition of Well-Worn Roads in Spain, Holland, and Italy: Traveled by a Painter in Search of the Picturesque appeared in 1887.  Jewett indicates that a new special edition has just appeared; further information is welcome.

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



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     [March, 1889.]

     Now this is a hopeful sign. I just looked out of the window and some boys have found a dry spot on the sidewalk and are playing marbles. The mud is still very deep and the snow-drifts very high, but the hills are like big leopards and tigers ready for a pounce at something, with their brown and white spots. I never was more glad to see the brown spots show themselves, and shouldn't you think the grass would be glad to have the snow go off, so that the sun can shine on it and the wind blow it? Once I should have been in a hurry to go racing off for hepaticas,* but it is too early at any rate, and I say to myself that I never did care very much for those flowers, and I find I am growing old and lazy and can let them bloom and wilt again without any sorrow. Hepaticas are like some people, very dismal blue, with cold hands and faces. I had to stop to think about wild flowers, and I believe there is nothing dearer than a trig little company of anemones in a pasture, all growing close together as if they kept each other warm, and wanted the whole sun to themselves, beside. They had no business to wear their summer frocks so early in the year.

     I am bewitched with a story, though I have nothing to say to you about it yet.

Notes

hepaticas: Hepatica americana. Wikipedia says: Hepatica ... is a genus of herbaceous perennials in the buttercup family, native to central and northern Europe, Asia and eastern North America. Some botanists include Hepatica within a wider interpretation of Anemone."

Anemone:  Wikipedia says Anemone "is a genus of about 120 species of flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae, native to temperate zones. The genus is closely related to Pulsatilla ('Pasque flower') and Hepatica; some botanists even include both of these genera within Anemone.

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



Celia Laighton Thaxter to John Greenleaf Whittier

 Shoals, April 11, 1889.

    You cannot know what a joy your dear letter is to me. I have read it again and again. Ah, my dear friend, you speak so kindly', But who in our time has given so much strength and refreshment as you have done, not only to your friends and your country, but to all the world, which has been bettered by your living in it?

    Yes, I had a quiet, lovely winter in Portsmouth. I did more writing than for years, and was well and content until about three weeks ago, when I was suddenly very ill, as I have been twice before, for no reason that anybody appears able to find out, except "overwork" the doctors say, in years past. I say as little about it as possible.

    I do not mind the thought of death, it means only fuller life, but there is a pang in the thought of leaving Karl.* But I know the heavenly Father provides for all. It may be I shall get quite well and strong again in this beautiful air. I hope so, but whatever befalls, I am ready and know that all is for best.

    Never did the island look so lovely in the early spring since I was a little child playing on the rocks at White Island.* Oh the delicious dawns and crimson sunsets, the calm blue sea, the tender sky, the chorus of the birds! It all makes me so happy! Sometimes I wonder if it is wise or well to love any spot on this old earth as intensely as I do this! I am wrapped up in measureless content as I sit on the steps in the sun in my little garden, where the freshly turned earth is odorous of the spring. How I hope you can come to us this summer! Every year I plant the garden, for your dear eyes, with yellow flowers. I never forget those lovely summers long ago when you came and loved my flowers. I am going to send you with this a little copy of an old picture of Karl and myself when we were babes together, he one year old, I eighteen.

    Thank you for the beautiful poem you enclosed. It is most lovely. You ask what I have been writing? A great deal, for me. I wish I had sent you the April "St. Nicholas," for in it is a version I made of Tolstoï's "Where love is there is God also."* I had such reverence for the great author's work I hardly dared touch it, but I did it with the greatest love. I called it "The Heavenly Guest." Dear Sarah Jewett has a sweet story begun in the April number, and my poem follows.

    Ever with deep, gentle, grateful love,

    Your C. T.


Notes

Karl:  Karl Thaxter, Celia's son, was injured at birth in 1852; he limped and suffered emotional problems, requiring constant care throughout his life.

Never did the island look so lovely ... White Island:  Thaxter writes from Appledore, which along with White Island, is among the Isles of the Shoals, off Portsmouth, NH.

Dear Sarah Jewett has a sweet story begun in the April number, and my poem follows:  Jewett's "A Bit of Color" began in April 1889 in St. Nicholas (16:456-463; 514-523; 572-580), April, May, and June, 1889, with illustrations by C. T. Hill.  She later expanded and published the story in book form under the title Betty Leicester.  Thaxter's poetic treatment of  Leo Tolstoy's story, "The Heavenly Guest" appears on pp. 564-5, following the first installment of Jewett's "A Bit of Color."

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



SOJ to
F. Hopkinson Smith

     148 Charles Street
     Boston
     April 20, 1889

     Dear Mr. Smith:

     The day your new book came into my hands, I was going down to the country and I did not have your address with me. Then I came back to town and said a great deal about the White Umbrella1 to my friends, but quite forgotten that thinking about a letter of thanks doesn't put it into the postbox and send it. Forgive me for such ungrateful carelessness for indeed I enjoy your stories more and more and I am one of the first to thank you for what you write. Nothing could be more charming than the dress of these Mexican sketches -- you make the little book as pretty as a picture!

     With best regards to Mrs. Smith from Mrs. Fields and myself, I beg you to believe me always

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1A White Umbrella in Mexico (Boston, 1889), one of Smith's typical sets of exotic travel sketches with illustrations by the author.

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 Annie Adams Fields

     Friday night, [Spring] 1889. 


I thought of you today, for I was over in the fields and found a brookful of delicious crisp water-cresses, but I shall let them grow until you come, for I don't think anybody cares much for them. I pulled two or three and washed them in the brook and thought there never were any so good. Some day we will take a piece of bread and butter and go there and have a banquet.

     There is a book I wish you would take to Manchester* for me, or is it there already? The life of Fox and somebody else. Since I read the Warren Hastings essay I have been wishing to pick up more about that time, and about Burke and Sheridan.*

     Last night I had a perfect delight rereading Dorothy Wordsworth's Tour in Scotland.* I finished it by hurrying a little at the end, but there is no more charming book in the world. It is just our book, and the way we enjoy things isn't it, when we are footing it out of doors?

     I was delighted to find so many birds to-day, golden robins, blackbirds, bobolinks, and only Sandpiper knows what else. It was beautiful in the fields, and so resting.

Notes

water-cresses:  Edible wild watercress should be harvested in middle to late spring, before it blossoms.  This letter, therefore, probably was written in the spring.

Manchester: Manchester, Massachusetts was summer home to many Boston intellectuals and literati, including Annie Fields.

the life of Fox ... Warren Hastings ... Burke and Sheridan: Warren Hastings (1732-1818) was the first British governor-general of India (1774-85). Edmund Burke (1729-1797) brought charges of impeachment against him when he returned to England in 1785. Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) was a British playwright. It is likely Jewett refers to a life of Charles James Fox (1749-1806), leader of England's Whig Party in the latter half of the 18th century. Perhaps the book was Henry O. Wakeman (1852-1899), Life of Charles James Fox (1890) or Sir George O. Trevelyan (1838-1928), The Early History of Charles James Fox (1880).

Dorothy Wordsworth's Tour in Scotland: Sister of William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855) finished Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland 1803 in 1805. It was published in the United States by Putnam in 1874. in an edition by John C. Sharp (1819-1885).

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 E. P. Clark, Esqr


[63 in another hand]*
148 Charles Street
Boston 4 May 1889

Dear Mr. Clark*

    I send a small contribution for the Welch Fund.  It is a most appealing story.  I will surely do what I can about it --

   Yours truly
Sarah O. Jewett



Notes

Mr. Clark:  Almost certainly E. P. Clark is Edwin Perkins Clark (1847-1903), a journalist and editorial writer for the New York Evening Post.  He was married to the author and lecturer Kate Upson Clark (Catherine Pickens Upson Clark, 1851-1935).  In her biography of her husband, A Soldier of Conscience (1903), she recounts his efforts to raise money for the education of the children of the humorist Philip Welch, who "passed away with such ghastly bravery -- the victim of cancer of the mouth, supporting his family by his jokes written between operations and sending in copy to the Sun reeking with anesthetics ...." (pp. 55-6, 71-2).

63:  The envelope for this letter provides the fuller name, E. P. Clark, Esquire.  At the top center of the front is written: "Sarah O. Jewett $5."  Probably this indicates the amount of her contribution.  "#63" is in upper left corner of the envelope, matching the number at the top of the letter.  This may indicate that this was the 63rd contribution received by Mr. Clark.

The manuscript of this letter is held by an unknown private owner.  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to J. Appleton Brown

     148 Charles Street
     Boston
     May 6, [1889]

     Dear Mr. Brown:

     I was so delighted with the picture of you and Roger when it came that I hate to be so late in thanking you for it. I stood it against the wall and had it for company, with many pleasant remembrances of the doggie and his master.

     I have had a very hard pull of illness and today I went out for the first time for a little drive and felt as if I had gone through with the battle of Waterloo* and had not beaten either! In a day or two I am going to Berwick and there I shall pick up faster, where one can get out of doors without preliminary arrangements! Mrs. Fields is going down with me, but when she comes back she hopes to see you and Mrs. Brown.1 The garden is lovely now, and a new double-flowering cherry tree is in bloom for the first time.2
 
     Will you please tell Mr. and Mrs. Shapleigh3 how sorry we were to miss seeing them and how glad we were to see the picture?

     With love to Mrs. Brown, believe me ever

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1 See J. Appleton Brown in Correspondents.

     2 Miss Jewett took especial joy in the extensive garden back of her house. She employed one full-time and one part-time gardener to maintain it in becoming condition. All townspeople who remember her affirm that she passed most of her leisure hours in this beautifully cultivated sanctuary.

     3 Mary A. Shapleigh, and Frank Henry Shapleigh (1842-1906), a painter best known for his New England landscapes. He kept a studio in Boston and one at the Hotel Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine, Florida, where Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields stayed several times, the first time being the previous late winter and early spring of 1888.


Editor's Notes

battle of WaterlooWikipedia says: "The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands."  Defeated by European coalition forces, Napoleon Bonaparte failed in his final bid to regain his position of domination in Europe.

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 J. Appleton Brown

South Berwick
 Maine

10 May -- [1889]1

My dear Mr. Appleton*

Since the picture reached Berwick and was hung in its place I like it a great deal better than ever, but I am afraid that I have never half thanked you for it.2 I enjoy it more and more every day and you do not know what a pleasure it it [repeated word] is -- I have often noticed this about Mr. Appleton Brown's paintings: people are sure they have renown [known?] the same bits of landscape! and it happens that there is a place 'downriver' which has grown dear to my heart, and which seems to have stood for this portrait. When Mrs Fields and I went to Richards'3 (a day before I saw you there) I showed her this likeness with great delight and we both went back to look at it again and again.

I must thank for a great deal else beside this picture: and this winter's talks and the little feasts with you have made me 'read between the lines' of your books -- I wish you a delightful summer on land and sea and I am

Yours sincerely

Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

1This letter has been dated "1889" in pencil by a Colby curator. See also SOJ to J. Appleton Brown, May 6, [1889].

2According to Richard Cary, "A delicate engraving of a river scene, dated June 29, 1886, and inscribed by Brown to Miss Jewett, hangs in her bedroom at the Memorial House in South Berwick."  See Correspondents. And see also SOJ to J. Appleton Brown, May 6, [1889].

3According to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, "The Doll & Richards gallery originated in Boston in 1866 as an art gallery and framing shop owned by Charles E. Hendrickson, E. Adam Doll, and Joseph Dudley Richards. The gallery was a well-known Boston establishment for over 100 years that represented William Stanley Haseltine, Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt, and Andrew Wyeth, among many other notable American painters, sculptors, and printmakers."

*It seems odd that in her previous letter of 6 May, Jewett addressed him as Mr. Brown, but here she addresses him as Mr. Appleton.

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.



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ



Amesbury
May [24 ?] 1889*
 
My dear Sarah Jewett

    I was delighted to hear from thee.  I should have written thee before, but I am suffering from pain in my head & eyes which makes it difficult for me to read or write{.}  It seems a very long time since I have seen thee,

[ Page 2 ]

and I have reached an age when long times are not to be depended upon{.}  Did thee go to Manchester with dear Annie Fields* on Saturday last?  I wish I could have helped you in your spring planting.  We have just got through with our Friends Quarterly Meeting, and I

[ Page 3 ]

am tired with the company & meetings, unprofitable and noisy.  For myself I prefer the old silent meetings leaving each to his or her own meditations.  I suspect thee have laid up a store of material for out of door sketches this spring{.}  Was Nature ever so lovely before?

    I enclose a bit of verse written by a young friend of mine in

[ Page 4 ]
 
Amesbury. I know nothing of music, but the poem seems to me rarely good. Miss Hume is one of thy warmest admirers and [ treasures ? ] thy book as her choicest possess [ deleted letters ] ions [so this appears]. I wish thee could get our beloved Annie Fields out of Boston, and her unceasing work, and her lovely home, but I suppose she will have her Manchester cottage full of visitors. Dr. Leslie* always enquires

[ Written up the left margin of page 4 ]

for thee as to my [ recognized word ] the [ careless / goddess ? ]. Good night my dear friend!  The Lord bless thee,

John G Whittier

Notes


1889:  A transcriber's note reads: May (2_?) 188 (4 or 9).  Examination of the manuscript persuades me that the date reads 1889, but the day in May remains uncertain.

Annie Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

Miss Hume:  Very likely, this is Elizabeth Fielden Hume (1855-1948).  Henry J. Cadbury in "Briefer Notices," Bulletin of Friends' Historical Association 29:1 (Spring 1940), says that Hume, "of Amesbury was a schoolgirl in the 1870's who spent her summers as did John G. Whittier and others of the town at West Ossipee, New Hampshire. Extracts from her letters, dealing with him and his circle, are now published in the Essex Institute Historical Collections 75 (1939), 313-325, under the title 'Summers with a Poet. Recollections of John Greenleaf Whittier'."  A notice from her in The New Outlook 54 (1896) reads: "MISS HUME (Wellesley) desires resident pupils for the winter in her Eastern country home. Literature, history, and music. Modern methods in pianoforte.  Address for particulars, Box 106, Amesbury, Massachusetts" (pp. 491, 529).
    It also seems likely that the verse to which Whittier refers is "At the Piano," or perhaps something similar.  At the Piano: Verses with a Whittier Prelude (1894) is described as "about a Moskowski piano piece."  A seller on E-Bay provides this sample from pp. 10-11.

I see within the dying fire
A gleam of minaret and spire,
Where from the Neva's banks afar
Stretch the vast snow-fields of the Czar,
And hear the zither's note arise
Tuned to weird tales of mad emprise,
As the dusky children of the Nile
Make melody of their long exile.

A softer tone, but clear and strong
Comes to the ear; the People's Song,
Borne on the gray Rhine's rushing flood,
Voices no wild Egyptian blood.
From fragrant vineyards on the steep,
From quiet hamlets half asleep,
It sings in smoothly flowing phrase
Of lives serene and homely ways.

    She also published "A Memorial Song: December Seventeenth, 1896," a four stanza lyric to be sung to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne."  December 17 would be Whittier's birthday, though he died in 1892.  While the lyric does not mention Whittier directly, it seems likely to be memorializing him as principal among "absent ones who in our hearts, / Live ever more enshrined."  One major clue is her line in the final stanza: "And Snow-bound be the wintry cold!"

Dr. Leslie:  Horace Ganville Leslie (1842-1907), a physician and poet, served as a surgeon in the Civil War.  See The Granite Monthly: A New Hampshire Magazine 39 (1907), p. 326.  He participated in the Amesbury "Memorial to Whittier" on 17 December 1892, following Whittier's death that year.

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

Two transcriptions
   
Note that these two versions of the letter suggest strongly that Fields has combined two letters in her version.

From the Maine Women Writers Collection


Thursday morning
[Decoration Day, 30 May 1889]*

Dearest Fuff  --*

            I am afraid that you wont get this letter until tomorrow.  I missed you last night so I hope to get one today.  There is going to be an un-wonted parade in honor of the day and I am glad for usually every body trots off to Dover or Portsmouth and nothing is done here except to put the pathetic little flags about the burying grounds.*  It seems to me that I have just begun to understand how grown people felt about the war in the  [illegible]  at any rate it brought tears to my eyes yesterday when John* said that over two hundred men went from this little town to the war.  You can see how many young sons of old farmers and how many men out of their little shops and people who had nobody to leave in their places went to make up that number.  Yesterday I went travelling in my own land and found the most exquisite place that ever was.  John had to see about some straw etc. and we followed a woods road to an old farm where I  [used?]  to go with father years and years ago  --  the first time I ever knew anemones* was there I remember.  It is high on a great rocky hillside and deep in the woods  --  and what I had completely forgotten was the most exquisite of glens.*  I am not going to try to describe it except to say that I never have seen a more exquisite spot  --  and I must certainly take you to see it.  It is so far off the road that I might be in the depth of the White Mountains* as to loneliness and it is much less often visited.  I remembered it vaguely as a little child when I saw it again but I had completely forgotten it.

            I must run to the postoffice.  Good bye dear Fuff and I do hope you can come down for a day or two or three it is so lovely just now, and I do wish for you so much.



Your Pinny*

 

From Annie Fields,  Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett

     Thursday morning, Decoration Day.

    

     There is going to be an unwonted parade in honor of the day and I am glad; for usually everybody trots off to Dover or Portsmouth, and nothing is done here except to put the pathetic little flags about the burying-grounds. It seems to me that I have just begun to understand how grown people felt about the war in the time of it, -- at any rate it brought tears to my eyes yesterday when John said that over two hundred men went from this little town to the war. You can see how many young sons of old farmers, and how many men out of their little shops, and people who had nobody to leave in their places, went to make up that number. Yesterday I went traveling in my own land, and found the most exquisite place that ever was. We followed a woods road into an old farm where I used to go with father years and years ago (the first time I ever knew anemones, was there, I remember).*It is high on a great rocky hillside and deep in the woods, and what I had completely forgotten was the most exquisite of glens. I am not going to try and describe it except to say that I never have seen a more exquisite spot, and I must certainly take you to see it. It is so far off the road that it might be in the depths of the White Mountains as to loneliness, and it is much less often visited. I remember it vaguely, as a little child, when I saw it often, but I had completely forgotten it.

     I did have the most beautiful time yesterday afternoon. I feel as if I had seen another country in Europe. Oh, a great deal better than that, though I only went wandering over a great tract of pasture-land down along the river. You would think it is such a lovely place, and I shall have to write about it one of these days, for I saw so many things. I never had known anything beyond the edges it before. It was the sweetest weather in the world, and Roger went. But last night there was a dismal time, for the bad bowwows got into the parlor together, and first thing I knew there was a pitched battle, and I was afraid the lamps and everything would be tipped over before I could get hold of anybody's collar, and Roger passed a suffering night with a lame paw and broke my rest all to pieces with his whining, and Browny's ear was damaged, and dogs are at a discount.*


Notes

Decoration Day, 30 May 1889:  The likely date of this letter is established by noting Jewett's reference to the glen she depicted in "The White Rose Road,"  See note below.
    Decoration Day was a holiday for honoring soldiers of the American Civil War, which later became Memorial Day (May 30), in honor of those who served in all American wars.   The original name refers to the custom of decorating the graves of veterans as among the rituals of the holiday.

Fuff: Nickname for Annie Adams Fields.    See Correspondents.

Dover or Portsmouth: Portsmouth and Dover are large New Hampshire towns south of South Berwick. York and Wells are among the frequently mentioned towns in Maine that are not far from South Berwick, from which Jewett often writes her letters. Jewett wrote at least two pieces on the value of small towns celebrating Decoration Day themselves, "Decoration Day" and "The Parshley Celebration."

John:  John Tucker, who appears as a Civil War veteran in "Peachtree Joe" (1893).  See Correspondents.

anemones: "A genus of plants (N.O. Ranunculaceæ) with handsome flowers, widely diffused over the temperate regions of the world, of which one (A. nemorosa), called also the Wind-flower, is common in Britain, and several brilliantly-flowered species are cultivated." (Source: Oxford English Dictionary).

most exquisite of glens:  Jewett refers to this glen in "The White Rose Road" Atlantic (September 1889).

White Mountains: Northern limit of the Appalachian Mountains in northern New Hampshire and western Maine. Jewett and her family frequently vacationed in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Pinny: Nickname for Sarah Orne Jewett.    See Correspondents.

Roger ... Browny:  See "Sarah Orne Jewett's Dog."

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

     Wednesday night. [Spring 1889]*


     I have had a lovely day. I felt tired and flustered with things to do, so I took John and two horses and skipped to "York Long Sands," and feel the better for it.* The road was muddy after the rain and the country was so green and fresh. I was really anxious to see old Miss. Barrell,* having heard that she very feeble. When I arrived, the house was orderly and so lonesome, and the good woman who takes care of the poor soul told me that she had not been sleeping for night after night, that her mind was gone and she could hardly speak. She asked if I would go up, and I said yes. There was the sunshiny great bedroom, looking out on the river, and the most minute, attenuated figure of my poor old friend in her great chair with her dinner, -- such a careful, good dinner! -- spread before her, and she seemed to be playing with it without eating, like a child. I went close to her and spoke to her, sad at heart with the change I saw, for she has evidently had a stroke which has dulled one side of her face. Then such a lovely flash of recognition! She took hold of me with her poor old bird's claw of a hand and kissed and kissed me and tried to talk; her eyes were full of life and of love, as if I had found her in the prison of her body and would understand. She tried to say things and really did manage a few short sentences, and I guessed at others, but alas I had to miss the rest; but the thought was all there, and she was so full of pleasure at seeing me, having me come to see her in prison, for I can think of it in no other way. Dear quaint little creature, nobody knows how appealing it was. You see I have to write you all about it. I dare say she doesn't always know people, and that often her mind is gone, but she did know me and I knew her, and I hated to take myself away from her at last. She always asked for Mother in the old days, and that was one of the things she said clearest today. All her touching little politenesses and acts of hospitality were evidently in her mind, but it was like listening to an indistinct telephone. I caught one flash of her old manner when I happened to speak of a family she disapproved. "Pack o' fools," she whispered, and we did have such a laugh, the last of all our laughs together, I fear me. It was dreadful when she said things that I couldn't make out, but I took refuge in telling her everything I could think of, that she might like to hear, speaking slowly and clearly, and she almost always knew and tried to answer. Nothing was really alive but her eyes, like Heine's.* I think she has had some new things to think of, in her prison. The good nurse hardly knew what to make of us, but she is very kind and capable. I dare say this was a sudden flicker of her old self, but wasn't it wonderful? Perhaps the shadow fell on her mind again directly, and she has been in the pitiful state they described; but you can't think how I rejoice to think I went to see her.

Notes

1889:  As seen in the note below, Jewett describes Mary Barrell in this letter.  That her sister, Elizabeth, is not present indicates that she has already died.  Mary's frailty suggests that she is near her death, which occurs in June of 1889.

John ... York Long Sands:  John Tucker.  See Correspondents. York Long Sands is one of two beaches at York Beach, ME.

Miss Barrell: One of the Barrell sisters, spinster friends of the Jewett family. See Paula Blanchard, Sarah Orne Jewett, especially p. 223.  Mary (c. 1804 - June 6, 1889) and Elizabeth Barrell (c. 1799 - November 12, 1883) lived in what is now the Sayward-Wheeler House in York Harbor, ME. for much of the 19th century.  See also James Henry Stark, The Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the American Revolution.

Nothing was really alive but her eyes, like Heine's: In an article, "The Poet Heine," on the German poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) in Century 29 (December 1884) 210-217, Emma Lazarus describes the long death of Heine from a "horrible disease of the spine, which chained him to his bed and gradually reduced his frame to the proportions of a child. His intellect remained active to the end...." A note at the end of the article offers a description Heine's appearance from "the German poet Weinbarg," giving considerable attention to his eyes: "Between his close-drawn eyelids, his well-cut eyes, which were rather small than large, were usually shadowed by a dreamy expression, the most distinctive feature of the poet. When he was animated, they were lighted by a merry, clever smile, with a spice of lurking mischief, but without any sting of malice."

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

     Wednesday morning. [Summer 1889]


     I wrote hard and fast yesterday morning, and in the afternoon, we all went to drive, and had the most delightful expedition to an old farm up in the wild country between here and the sea, where the rough woods come close to painfully cleared little green fields and pastures. Don't you remember my telling you about a charming waterfall? Well, it was there again that I went, but furthermore, to see a great view from the top of the high hill beyond. Then we took a wide sweep round into another road and so home, as Mr. Pepys says.* I must tell you about that farmhouse at the old place, near the brook and fen. It stands very high, but has no view of the country, in summer at least, and a mile and a half from the main road.

     We went in to see old Mr. G., who has been long ill and for a year bedridden, but was sitting up at last yesterday, looking down the lane up which so few people are likely to come; but it seemed a great pleasure because we ensued! and he absolutely cried when he saw mother! He is A good old fellow, who in old days brought the best of walnut wood and other farm-stores, and like all his kind, considered father and mother to be final! He has left, out of a large household, only one son and two orphan grand-children, and there they live in that solitary place. The house is bare and clean and looks as if men kept it, though just as we were coming away a little girl came out of a wood-path, home from school, in a pink dress, like a shy flower. She will soon grow. Listen to this, dear: the man's wife sat in that same bare room looking down the lane, thirty years, and for twenty-five she could not feed herself, a martyr to the worst sort of rheumatism and everything else.* One of the best souls in the world. It makes my heart ache to think of her and of all the rest of them; generations have lived there, and most of them die young. There is a swamp back of the house out of which the beauty of the waterfall comes like a mockery of all the pain and trouble, as if it were always laughing. But those people could hardly be persuaded to put their house in another spot; when the old one wore out thirty years ago or more, they built another on its cellar. There was a white rose-bush within reach of the old man's hand. Indeed, I call that region the White Rose Road,* for every farmhouse has a tall bush by its front door, and yesterday they were in full bloom. I didn't mean to write such a long chapter when I began, and I must fly to my work.

     Don't you think it would be nice for us to have the "Revue"# again this summer just for a few months? I have a feeling that I should like it, -- and as if I wished to get as near to France as possible, without going there. I have a curious sense of delight in the fragrance that blows out of Madame Blanc's letter every time I take it out of its envelope, it is so refined, so personal, and of the past.

     I have the greatest joy in reading Wordsworth lately. I can't get enough of him, and I take snatches of time for "The Leech-Gatherer," and the other short ones, and feel as if I had lived a week in going through each one of them.

Fields's note

#The Revue des Deux Mondes.

Notes

1889:  As Jewett's story entitled "The White Rose Road" has not yet been published in Atlantic, this letter must have been composed soon after her Decoration Day letter and some time before the sketch's appearance in September.

Mr. Pepys says
: Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) was an English diarist and civil servant, influential in the development of the British navy. He kept a famous, detailed diary of his life and of contemporary events in London from 1660-1669.

a martyr to the worst sort of rheumatism: Jewett herself suffered from rheumatism. Among the characters she represents so suffering are Nancy Gale in "The Life of Nancy" and Mrs Hight in "A Dunnet Shepherdess."

old Mr. G. ... White Rose Road:  Jewett refers to this glen in "The White Rose Road" (September 1889).  In The Placenames of South Berwick (2007), Wendy Pirsig indicates that "Mr. G" was Daniel Littlefield (pp. 208-9).  Daniel P. Littlefield (1821-September 1891) lost his wife, Mercy  A. Littlefield, (b. 1836) in 1888.  See also Find-a-Grave.

Madame Blanc's letter: Mme. Thérèse Blanc (1840-1907) wrote under the name of Th. Bentzon. She wrote more than thirty novels during a successful literary career. She made a specialty of translating American authors into French, including Mark Twain, Bret Harte, and Jewett. (Source: Cary, Sarah Orne Jewett Letters 111).

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


Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

 

June 16 (1889?).

     Just when I was in a curious trough of the sea, and when its bottom seemed so much nearer than the top, came that dear letter with love and faith in it -- not warranted, but maybe all the more sustaining, and comforted my soul. I have done more work this winter and at greater odds than usual, and that's all right: only there comes a moment when -- ah well, why do I use so many words?


Notes

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 Annie Adams Fields



[Summer 1889]*
Tuesday Morning

Dear Fuff*

        It was good to get the letter from Craigie House.*  I wonder -- since it cleared away here for a good while at midday [deleted letters] if you didn't get to see Fru Ole Bull's chateau* and if you didn't see Mabel,* or has she gone?  I should be delighted to do my part toward the Vaughan* present and I send you a signed cheque to which you can add the

[ Page 2 ]

same sum you think best to give, & send it to Alice --*

    -- I put the price on the Century story* $200 -- and I suppose it might have been more but that seemed right at the time. and I am taking the usual satisfaction in spending it!  My coffers were getting a little low -- as usual you will say, but the first of [this corrected] ^next^ month is not so productive as some others, & so I was glad to get the cheque --

    A Pinny had

[ Page 3 ]

to have a little [chof meaning cough ?] too, yesterday which will make you laugh but it is better today also a sore throat which made me feel quite mis'able -- but I suppose I got cold in fact I know I did but I wont tell you how for fear of being speaked of as foolish !!

    -- I was asked just as I began to write, to do an immediate errand and my conscience wont let me make this letter any longer so good by dearest little Fuff

[ Page 4 ]

with a heartfelt love -- I had a note from Helen Merriman* last night with a dear little pencil sketch of an old house I took to out in the Worcester country.*  I long to show it to you -- it is so characteristic I could go right to work & write a story!  Dear dear Fuff be careful of yourself in this [ foul ?] weather -- [fer meaning from your or yours ?]   P. L.*

[ Up the top left margin of page 4]

I have had three letters from editors for stories!  Business seems to be lively!


Notes


Summer 1889:  This letter seems to pair with and precede another in which Jewett reminds Fields that she has not yet described Mrs. Ole Bull's house and given news about Mabel Lowell.  That letter seems to have been written soon after Mary Rice Jewett departed for her trip abroad, which would have been in the summer of 1889.  However, this is complicated by Jewett indicating that she is spending the money she was paid for a story in Century Magazine.  Her first story to appear there was "In Dark New England Days" in 1890.  It is possible that the 2nd letter of the pair refers to a different Mary, not Jewett's sister.  These problems cannot currently be resolved, and so I have placed the pair in the summer 1889 until there is further enlightenment.
    Jewett' mother, Caroline, died in October 1891, and she was alive when the later letter was written, showing that the letters must come from before that date.

Fuff
:  One of the nicknames of Annie Adams Fields.

Craigie House
: Craigie House was the home of American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882).  After his death, his daughter Alice Mary Longfellow continued at Craigie House in Cambridge, MA.  A traveler, preservationist and philanthropist, Mary Longfellow, along with Fields, joined in the work of providing social occasions for working women of the Boston area.

Fru Ole Bull's chateau:  Ole Bornemann Bull (1810 - 1880) was a Norwegian violinist and composer.  Wikipedia describes Bull's second marriage:
In 1868 Bull met Sara Chapman Thorp (1850 - 1911), the daughter of a prosperous lumber merchant from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. On a return visit in 1870 (and despite their age difference; he was 60, she was 20), Bull began a courtship, and the couple was secretly married in Norway in June 1870, with a formal wedding in Madison later that year. They had one daughter, Olea (1871 - 1913). In 1871, he bought a summer home on a rise in West Lebanon, Maine which he named Ironwell. Sara traveled with Bull for the remainder of his career, sometimes accompanying him on the piano. In 1883 she published a memoir of Bull's life.
    Ole Bull bought the island of Lysøen in Os, south of Bergen, in 1872. He hired architect Conrad Fredrik von der Lippe (1833-1901) to design a residence on the island. Bull died from cancer in his home on Lysøen on 17 August 1880.
Jewett refers Sara Chapman Thorp Bull as "Fru Ole Bull," an American author and philanthropist.  According to Wikipedia, as a widow, Mrs. Bull made her home in Cambridge, MA, and summered at a cottage in Eliot, ME.  "After her husband's death ... she turned to philosophy, read the Bhagavad Gita and became a deeply spiritual person. She also developed an interest in Eastern religions, particularly of Vedanta philosophy after she became a disciple of Swami Vivekananda," whom she met in 1894.
    Presumably the "chateau" is the Cambridge home of Mrs. Bull, but this is not certain.

Mabel:   Very likely, Jewett refers to  Mabel Lowell (1847-1898), daughter of the American poet, James Russell Lowell.  Mabel married Edward Burnett; they had three sons and two daughters. Mrs. Burnett collaborated with Charles Eliot Norton on a Grolier Club edition of John Donne in 1895.

Vaughan present
:  This reference is unresolved. Assistance is welcome.

Alice:  Probably Alice Mary Longfellow, but possibly Alice Greenwood Howe.  See Correspondents.

the Century story
:  This reference casts doubt upon the letter date suggested by other internal evidence in the two letters here thought to be composed during Mary Rice Jewett's trip to Europe in the summer of 1889.  The first story that Jewett published in Century Magazine was "In Dark New England Days" (October 1890).  While it seems unlikely that Jewett was paid a year in advance for her first story in this magazine, that would be necessary if this date is correct.

Pinny:  P. L., Pinny Lawson, one of Jewett's nicknames.
 
Helen Merriman
:  See Correspondents.

Worcester country:  Worcester, MA is about 50 miles west of Boston, MA.

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

[ Summer 1889 ]*

South Berwick
Monday Morning
Dearest Fuff*

        [ ( added in another hand ]  We think that it is waiting a good while to hear from Mary but I dont doubt that a letter will come today{.}  It is two weeks since she landed* ---- (Dear Fuff while I think to speak of it, will you send me three or four black glove buttons from your hoard from for Mother?  I find that she is 'out' ---- )  It

[ Up the left margin of page 1]

You never said whether you saw Fru Ole's house! or Mabel.!* [Both punctuation marks appear.]

[ Page 2 ]

was a good old fashioned rainy Sunday yesterday and I was afraid that it was going to clear off in the morning, but it didn't! and I read a French history all the morning and sat up ^in^ the garret at one of the three dormer windows all the afternoon and read some delightful -- pathetic old letters of my elders and betters -- so that I have felt as if I were living in their

[ Page 3 ]

world and day.  There was a little package from Mrs Burroughs of Portsmouth* whom I [knew or know written over letters] only as a fairy-godmother looking, abrupt, quaint person, but these were touchingly beautiful letters out of an affectionate busy life.  It was an afternoon after my own heart.  I can see you smile Mrs Fuffatee! ---- Then there was [another written over letters] package written from Pensacola* by a young Surgeon in the Navy,* dead while I was a baby -- the poor fellow

[ Page 4 ]

having fallen ill there and longing to get home to die but at last gives up the hope and they send down a friend of his another young doctor to keep him company & nurse him.  And they both write in the ^same^ envelope back to Portsmouth with great good cheer which soon fades and then the poor fellow dies.  I have always had some of his books here -- his Gil Blas and his Wordsworths Excursion* and always wished that I knew more about him than these

[34 circled in another hand, bottom left corner of page 4.]

[ Page 5 ]*

rows of books in one of the old book cases could tell.  Father used to talk about him some times, they were young men together -- Their love letters and locks of hair still bright, and [unrecognized word, perhaps funny] account books of private expenses: altogether a deeply interesting [box ?] full to an idle and romancing Pinny.*

    Friday is our day then?  I am looking forward more eagerly than you are I am afraid but I

[ Page 6 ]

long to get you away from town now and I long to see you [unrecognized word -- bende ? followed by an added end parenthesis in another hand ].  I haven't sent a book to the little [ Shaw or Show ? the word has been altered].*  I always meant to have some copies prettily bound for such days, but alas!

---- I went that minute and found a pretty white copy of the White Heron* and it is all done up & ready for the mail -- I am so glad you spoke and it was such a pleasure to send it dear Fuff.  It is the thought that counts, not the cover isn't it?

    Good bye dear darling little Fuff. --
from your Pinny


[34 circled in another hand, bottom left corner of page 6.]


Notes


Summer 1889:  This letter seems to pair with and follow another in which Jewett asks Fields about Mrs. Ole Bull's house and about Mabel Lowell.  These letters seem to have been written soon after Mary Rice Jewett departed for her trip abroad, which would have been in the summer of 1889.  However, this is complicated by Jewett indicating in the first that she is spending the money she was paid for a story in Century Magazine.  Her first story to appear there was "In Dark New England Days" in 1890.  Jewett' mother, Caroline, died in October 1891, and she is alive when this letter was written.  The range for this letter, then, seems to be summer 1889 to summer 1891.

Fuff:  One of the nicknames of Annie Adams Fields, also Fuffatee.

Mary ... landed:  Mary Rice Jewett traveled to Europe in summer 1889.  While it is possible Jewett refers to a different Mary, this letter has been dated on the assumption that Jewett refers to her sister.

Fru Ole's house! or Mabel:  Jewett refers Sara Chapman Thorp Bull as "Fru Ole Bull," described in Wikipedia as an American author and philanthropist.  According to Wikipedia, as a widow, Mrs. Bull made her home in Cambridge, MA, and summered at a cottage in Eliot, ME.  "After her husband's death ... she turned to philosophy, read the Bhagavad Gita and became a deeply spiritual person. She also developed an interest in Eastern religions, particularly of Vedanta philosophy after she became a disciple of Swami Vivekananda," whom she met in 1894.
    Presumably the "chateau" is the Cambridge home of Mrs. Bull, but this is not certain.
    Ole Bornemann Bull (1810 - 1880) was a Norwegian violinist and composer. Wikipedia

Mrs Burroughs of Portsmouth:  It seems likely that Jewett has a package from Anne Peirce Burroughs (1794 - 1877), the wife of the Reverend Charles Burroughs (1787 - 1868), who lived in the Langdon House in Portsmouth, NH (1833-1877).

Pensacola by a young Surgeon in the Navy:  Information about this person is welcome.

Gil Blas and his Wordsworths Excursion:  Alain-René Lesage (1668 - 1747) was "a French novelist and playwright ... best known for his comic novel The Devil upon Two Sticks (1707) ... and his picaresque novel Gil Blas (1715–1735)." Wikipedia
    William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) was "a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication Lyrical Ballads (1798).... In 1814 Wordsworth published The Excursion as the second part of the three-part work The Recluse, even though he had not completed the first part or the third part, and never did." Wikipedia

Page 5:  This page appears to have been torn in half and then mended; page 6 is on the back side of 5.

Pinny:  Pinny Lawson (P. L.), one of Jewett's nicknames.

the little Shaw or Show:  This reference remains obscure.  Assistance is welcome.

pretty white copy of the White HeronWeber and Weber indicate that the first edition of Jewett's A White Heron and Other Stories had "White paper-covered boards, pale green decoration (sketch of a heron) and lettering on front cover, gray-green cloth spine with gilt lettering; top edges gilt."

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.



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ
 

July, 1889.

     The summer so far has been a matter of jobbing, and I have only guessed at the way the sky and the trees look. Presently I think I am to have a little time to myself; and if this is bestowed I shall retire into Nature and work as she dictates. You will be glad of this? And some day we shall meet again. I hope to speak of many things which have been a-laying in lavender for a long while, dear fellow pilgrim. Just now I am greatly involved with -----'s wedding,* and the young people who have gathered here for that event. One is full of joy and pain at beholding their youth and their ignorance.


Notes

----'s wedding: On July 2 1889, Sarah Wyman Whitman's protégée, Minna Elisa Timmins (1861 - 1897) married the author, John Jay Chapman (1862 - 1933).  Timmins was the adopted child of Martin Brimmer (1829 - 1926), first director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
    See also Report of the secretary by Harvard University. Class of 1884 (1899), p. 31.

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 Annie Adams Fields

[ July 1889 ]*

Sunday afternoon

My dearest Fuff*.

        I just wondered if Alice* were there now an{d} if she came this morning on her way from church.  It [must corrected] be a lovely day on the hill*  I am so glad, and I hope that you have had a dear time with your Mrs. Spofford and Mrs. Hopkins.*  How delightful and interesting they must be --  It is the place to see everybody at her best -- I think -- not a bit of fretting, and -- well Fuff knows how I love Manchester but when I think that my darling

[ Page 2 ]

gets tired of making it what it is to these people I dont feel so glad about it.  I have been writing to Marigold* to tell her how sorry I was not to see her anymore but I did indeed think much [about corrected] having another night and perhaps two at Manchester until I found Mother so poorly.  I am not going to start before Wednesday as I told you and I hope that Mother will be pretty well then.  She has had that miserable white look that always makes me anxious but it is gone and she seems like her well self today only poorly still.        I dont mean to

[ Page 3 ]

stay many days at Mouse Island{.}  I would rather be here again and then get to Manchester the sooner.  I must get after the Bit of Color work* if I mean to do it this summer.  Sometimes I [think corrected] that I will let it go for what it is worth -- but I was heartened up [deleted letters] in Gardiner by finding that the young Richards girls* liked it so much --  Carrie* is coming in to tea so I must stop writing and dress myself.  Oh I was so sorry about Marigolds not going to the wedding.*  It must have been very hard for you to go off without her{.}  I love to hear about it and the beautiful

[ Page 4 ]

girl.  I am so glad that you have seen Katharine again, dear old Katharine!  She is to my mind the best of the flowers of Florida!*  Do tell a nice Pinny* a few things about the oak tree and the cedar tree ^(all covered with flowers)^ as soon as you go that way --

Yours always
P. L.   


I send you one of three [pens ?] which Mary* sent me, with green little turned up toes. & I think perfectly delightful moral characters!  This note should have gone back to you before*

[ 33 circled in another hand, bottom left corner of page 4]


Notes

July 1889:  This date is inferred from Jewett mentioning that she is working on "the Bit of Color," which seems to have been published and read by the Richards girls.  That Jewett went to Mouse Island in 1889 also tends to confirm this date.  See notes below.

Fuff
:  One of the nicknames of Annie Adams Fields.

Alice:  Probably Alice Greenwood (Mrs. George Dudley) Howe, though possibly Alice Mary Longfellow.  See Correspondents.

the hill:  The Fields's summer home, Gambrel Cottage, in Manchester-by-the-Sea stood on Thunderbolt Hill.

Mrs. Spofford and Mrs. Hopkins: Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford.  See Correspondents.
    The identity of Mrs. Hopkins is not yet known. It is remotely possible that Jewett refers to Mary Frances (Sherwood) Hopkins, though by 1889 she had remarried and would have been Mrs. Charles Searles.  Assistance is welcome.

Marigold:  Mary Greenwood Lodge.  See Correspondents.

Mouse Island:  A small resort island east of Southport and south of Boothbay, ME.  See below, a letter to Fields from Mouse Island.

the Bit of Color work:  Jewett's "A Bit of Color" appeared in a three part serial in St. Nicholas, April,  May, and June, 1889.  In 1890, Jewett published a novel for younger readers, Betty Leicester, developed out of this material.

Gardiner ... the young Richards girls:  These are the daughters of Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards of Gardiner, ME.  See Correspondents.

Carrie: Caroline Jewett Eastman.  See Correspondents.

Marigolds not going to the wedding:  Marigold is the nickname of Mary Greenwood Lodge. See Correspondents.
    In July 1889, Sarah Wyman Whitman wrote to Jewett about the wedding plans of her protégée, Minna Elisa Timmins (1861 - 1897) to the author, John Jay Chapman (1862 - 1933).  Timmins was the adopted child of Martin Brimmer (1829 - 1926), first director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  The wedding took place on 2 July 1889.
    See Report of the secretary by Harvard University. Class of 1884 (1899), p. 31. Whether this is, indeed, the wedding to which Jewett refers is likely, but not certain.

Katharine ... the best of the flowers of Florida: Almost certainly, Jewett refers to Katharine Loring, the older sister of Louisa Loring.  See Correspondents.  She and Fields met the Loring family while traveling in the South for Fields's health in the spring of 1888.

Pinny:  Pinny Lawson (P. L.), one of Jewett's nicknames.

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

This note:  Fields and Jewett frequently send each other letters they have received from other 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

[ July 1889 ]*

Mouse Island
Friday Morning
Dearest Little Fuff*

        The exquisitely [beautiful corrected] weather of our first day or two has changed into gray mist, but to tell the truth I am a little tired and lame and am more than reconciled though far be it from me to tell Alice so -- the hardy and energetic Alice !!*  Fanny* and I pose for the weak & wicked members of the company -- We are reading a capital novel by Miss Edwards.  Lord Brackenbury* is its name

[ Page 2 ]

and it is most exciting to our minds.  It is really masterly at some points and full of pleasant description, but lags here and there or perhaps I got a little restless as I listened.  How good Miss Edwards's letter was!  I look forward with great pleasure to seeing her.

    ---- No yachts have turned up yet.  I suppose the weather prevents.  The harbor too is quite deserted and we have seen none of the charming flocks of white sails that we saw last

[ Page 3 ]

summer.  Today we meant to go up the reach somewhere to land and make a little camp for ourselves but it is too damp of course.  I have a notion now of going home on Monday but I want to see Mary Longfellow* -- & she does not come until then.  If the weather is going to keep on I would rather go home tomorrow but Al_ices [so written] feelings would suffer.  She was so funny going in swimming yesterday -- for she carries her head high and

[ Page 4 ]

dry & straight up -- as if she were simply walking about.  It was very funny to see it ride the low waves. 

    -- I had such a dear funny dream of your Judy* yesterday -- come home in such a big bonnet so that I thought she looked like Mrs. Carlyle!* and we were dreadfully fond of her and so glad to see, & it was a little Judy but an old bonnet.  Mrs. Vaughan wants the ink so goodby with dear love from Pinny.*

    They all send ever so much love & are always wishing you were here{.}

[ 30 circled in another hand, bottom left of page 4]


[ Up the bottom left margin of page 1]

I'm sure I do!


Notes

July1889:  Jewett's visits to Mouse Island generally took place in the summer, when swimming was possible in the North Atlantic, and the absence of yachts suggests this is early in the season, probably July.  The year is established in relation to Jewett's anticipation of meeting Amelia Edwards, who made a lecture tour of the United States in the winter of 1889-90.  See note below.

Fuff
:  One of the nicknames of Annie Adams Fields.

Alice:  In this case, one would suspect "Alice" to be Alice Mary Longfellow. Richard Cary says "Alice Mary Longfellow (1850-1928), daughter of the poet, was a friend of long standing. Jewett often visited with her in the summer at Mouse Island in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where Miss Longfellow annually filled in the season with a vigorous regime of walking, rowing, and sailing." 
    However, Jewett indicates clearly in the letter that Mary Longfellow has not yet arrived at Mouse Island.  Therefore, Jewett probably refers to Alice Greenwood Howe.  See Correspondents

Fanny:  Jewett and Fields knew several "Fannys."  A likely candidate in this case is Fanny Huntington Quincy, wife of Mark Antony De Wolfe Howe.  See Correspondents.

Miss Edwards ... Lord BrackenburyLord Brackenbury, a novel by the British writer and traveler, Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards (1831-1892), appeared in 1880.  "In 1882, she co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the Egypt Exploration Society) and became its joint Honorary Secretary. In 1889-1890, she toured the United States lecturing on Egyptian exploration."

Mary Longfellow:  Alice Mary Longfellow. See Correspondents.

Judy:  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.

Mrs. Carlyle:  Jane Welsh Carlyle (1801- 1866) was the wife of the Scots writer,  Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881).

Mrs. Vaughan: Though this has not been established, it is possible that "Mrs. Vaughan" is Anna Harriet Goodwin (Mrs. Benjamin) Vaughan 1838-1919, wife of the Cambridge, MA businessman, Benjamin Vaughan (1837-1912).  He was a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, which provides a biographical sketch in its Proceedings for 1912, p. 105.  They married in 1864.  The Vaughans had roots in Maine, notably the village of Hallowell, and they moved in the same circles as many of the Boston area friends of Fields and Jewett.  The Vaughans were the parents of Henry Goodwin Vaughan (b. circa 1868, Harvard 1890), who may be the same Henry G. Vaughan who married Elise Tyson in 1915.  See Emily Tyson in Correspondents.

Pinny:  Pinny Lawson, one of Jewett's nicknames.

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 Loisa Loring Dresel

 South Berwick
7 September [1889]1

My dear Loulie

I hope that I am not late with my letter for indeed I should like to have you find it at first, and to make it say plainly how glad I am to think of your coming home. I have missed you, and I was very sorry that so long a time had passed without a letter. I do not know whether you ever received mine with the interesting fortune-telling lady's note in it, but you have never complained of not getting it so I will not worry. I shall wish to hear more about her.  I am to be in Manchester from Wednesday until Monday and I hope to see you. Mrs. Fields is closing the house early this autumn for we have promised to make a visit to Vermont and she does not think it is worthwhile to come back afterward. My sister is still abroad [' apparently a stray mark] so that I could not promise to be with her (Mrs. Fields I mean!) You will find her so much better than you left her last year when you went away. It is really delightful to think how well she has been all summer. It will be so much pleasanter to tell you things when I see you that I am not going to write them now -- and I send this note just by way of saying how are you? to you and dear Mrs. Dresel,2 I am so glad to have you both back again!

Yours affectionately,
 S. O. J.

 I am deeply interested about Ellis's photographs.3 Your last letter was so interesting. Do not forget to give my love to the ladies King,4 it could  would seem quite good. Grammatical to say the three Princesses or strickly [meaning strictly] two Princesses and a Queen,  I always wish to change names for people, it is always a complatia to say die5 Pair children in town. And the Feer instead of the Foote's but we can continue this and make ourselves fair some day!


Notes

1 This letter is dated in pencil "1889."

2Anna Loring Dresel (1830-1896), Louisa's mother.

3Ellis Loring (1871-1925), brother of Anna Loring Dresel, her junior by seven years. He became a lawyer in international diplomacy and signed the Treaty of Versailles as a plenipotentiary, later serving in the American embassies at Berlin, Vienna and Berne.

4Louisa Dresel's aunts. One, Caroline Howard King (1822-1909) wrote When I Lived at Salem. 1822-1866 (Brattleboro, Vt. 1937).

5These words are completely illegible.

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.





An admirer to SOJ -- September 24, 1889, from an Admirer, postmarked Greenwich, Conn.

My Dear Miss Jewett,

    This sad September day I have been driving with you in the clear Sunshine of Early Summer on the White Rose Road.*  I am moved to tell you how much I have enjoyed this drive with you  After a Day ill-spent among little things, it has cleared the cobwebs from my brain, brought refreshing tears to my eyes, and carried me straight back into the heart of my childhood with all its simple loves and Golden ways.  Thank Heaven for a true interpreter of simple noble country life  Yours is the stamp of the genuine penny royal.  I will not trouble you with my name, but Sign myself,

    Your most Sincere and hearty admirer.

    Sept. 24th '89.


Note
s

White Rose Road:  Jewett's admirer refers to Jewett sketch of this title, which appeared in Atlantic (September 1889).

The manuscript of this letter is held in the Sarah Orne Jewett Collection, 1801-1997, of the University of New England's Maine Women Writers Collection: II. Correspondence, item 49.




SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel

South Berwick Maine
7 October
[ 1889 ]

Dear Loulie

    Thank you for your letters.  I am sorry that you didn't get mine because 'sorry' as it was by way of a letter.  I meant that it should be there to meet you and tell you how glad I was that you were at home again.  I was just thinking as I began this letter, how strange it must seem to have two roots and first grow with one and

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then with the other!  I who have only one can hardly understand it!  You see that I have no idea of allowing that you are entirely a [ deleted word ] German plant! ---- This figure might lead me into a vast letter if I only had the time, but we must both reflect further upon ^such^ a simile and the advantages and disadvantages of being double-rooted ----

    I hope to be in Boston late this week to meet my sister who is coming

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in on the Pavonia.*  I shall be there after Thursday morning so do try to find me, for though I am not sure of my time's [so written] and seasons the nearer it gets to Saturday the surer I am not to be far from the telephone and I do wish to see you so very much.  Mrs. Fields* wrote me about seeing you with great pleasure.  I shall surely get down to see Mrs Dresel if I can.  It is so good that she is better, but [I apparently written over another letter ] am so sorry that your father

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has not been feeling well.  Good bye dearest Loulie.  I shall be looking out for you!

Yours always affectionately
S.O.J.   

Notes

1889: In another hand in the upper left corner of page one appears: 1889.  As indicated below, this would seem to be the correct date.

sister ... Pavonia:  Mary Rice Jewett traveled to Europe on her own in 1889.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Columbia University (New York) Library in Special Collections, Jewett.  Transcription from a microfilm copy and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

Monday morning

[ 7 Oct. 1889 ]*

Dearest Little Fuff,*

    If you were here you would look out from your window into such a beautiful yellow tree!  Fuff would have to say things!  and Pinny* sees it when she wakes up in the morning & looks out of her window and hates to get up and leave the lovely sight!  "Any excuse for Pinny to stay in bed"?  --

    The company, all three, went away Saturday afternoon and evening so that we were alone yesterday.  I went to church in the morning and Mr. Lewis* preached a rambling hardworking sermon with many good things in it.  One of those sermons that ought to have been two!  I was hoping for a walk but I heard the rain drumming on the church roof while I sat there -- so I read almost all the afternoon and through a long evening.  Little old Miss Elizabeth Cushing* is dead at ninety-two after a miserable year or two when all of her has been dead but her small body.  I went down to see Mr. Hobbs,* her nephew, and found him as bereaved as possible.  I dont go into the old house very often -- but yesterday I was so moved by the sight of certain things and especially of an ottoman on which I used to sit very high in the air & perilous both & with a sense of the occasion & being off soundings as to the floor.  Such pound cakes as I have eaten on that ottoman!  Somehow all the hospitality of those days came back in touching contrast to the empty womanless room yesterday.  Miss Cushing has always been a recluse.  I have seldom seen her on the street and but a few times at church.  She would have been a nun in earlier days.  The bustling world was always too much for her.  Dear kindly soul that she was!  with a pair of beautiful childlike blue eyes, which  seemed forever young though I cant remember when her thin bent little figure didn't look old.  She always hid away from the gayeties of the house.  Her mother was a kind of little old duchess with great social facility a friend of Lafayette* in the war times so that on his royal progress he took pains to come to see her.  I used to hear the call related with great particularity when I was a little girl.  These were Boston Cushings originally, and were for a long time new comers! having moved to Berwick in '95!  When Berwick, though small, was as proper a place to live in as Boston, "at least so thinks" Madam Cushing!

    I must not forget to tell you that Miss Elizabeth said a year or two ago when that base-looking Methodist church* was building near by. "Charles! is that a ship [words illegible] going to launch?" --  It was a curious memory of her childish visits at the old Wallingford house, her grandfather's!*  which stood across the river from the Hamilton house.* When ships were built there and the river, so quiet now, was a busy place. --

    Too much of Miss Elizabeth says a patient Fuff, but I am always delighting in reading the old Berwick picturesque as it was, under the corner of the new life which seems to you so dull and unrewarding in most ways.  "Where every prospect pleases" etc. ought to be Fuff's hymn for Berwick!*  the which I don't suggest unmercifully but rather companionately, and with a plaintive feeling at heart.

    I dont know when I have had such a delightful day of reading  as I had yesterday.  Parts of Rousseau's Confessions* were perfectly enchanting, the bits about his walks, and whatever he writes about he is never disgusting to me, as many of his age are.  I never began to know the Confessions before.  --[illegible words] --  It was my first time as Mrs. Bell* says.   I also read a good bit in Daniel' s Poems* and was so snug and lazy by a big fire in the fireplace.  John* suggests the furnace, being evidently tired of getting in enough big walnut logs for all the fireplaces every morning, but I beg off selfishly.  The house never seems half so pleasant when the fireplaces are cold.  Give my dear love to Marigold* when you see her.  I know she will like it better in town now that the piazza is windy and I hope she will feel better for coming.  Good bye dear.

Your own   P. L.*

I went down river in the canoe Saturday morning & wished for you.  Miss Grant's* red apples are redder this year than usual and we picked up some of the [illegible] where they had dropped inside a [illegible].


Notes

7 October 1889 ... Miss Elizabeth C. is dead at ninety--two: The date of the letter is inferred from the date of Miss Cushing's death. 

Fuff ... Pinny:  Fuff is one of Jewett's affectionate nicknames for Annie Adams Fields. Pinny, Pinny Lawson, and P.L. are nicknames between Fields and Jewett for Jewett.

Mr. LewisReverend George Lothrop Lewis, Sr. (1839-1910).  He was pastor at the First Parish Church (Congregational) in South Berwick, ME, 1874-1910.  He read Jewett's funeral sermon.

Miss Elizabeth Cushing ... Mr. HobbsElizabeth Cushing (6 October 1797- 5 October 1889).   Elizabeth Cushing's cousin, Mary Hamilton Cushing married Hiram Hays Hobbs, and one of their children was Charles Cushing Hobbs (1835-1917).  See The Harvard Graduates' Magazine 26 (1917) p. 277, and The Genealogy of the Cushing Family.

friend of Lafayette:  Elizabeth Cushing's mother was Olive Wallingford (c. 1758-1853), daughter of Colonel Thomas Wallingford, whose widow became a fictionalized main character in Jewett's 1901 novel, The Tory LoverOlive and John Cushing resided in Boston during the American Revolution, where they became acquainted with the Marquis de Lafayette, the French military officer known for his service to the American army in the Revolution.  During his 1825 tour of the United States, Lafayette visited South Berwick and called briefly upon Olive Cushing.
    See also two accounts of the 1825 visit by General Lafayette to Madam Cushing in South Berwick and the Charles Cushing Hobbs Talk.

base-looking Methodist church: This may be the Methodist Episcopal Church that stood at 36 Main St. in South Berwick. Built in 1837, burned in 1849 temperance unrest, then moved in 1888.  Perhaps Miss Cushing referred to the moving of this church?  Or she may have referred to the School Street Methodist Church, which was built in 1877. 

the old Wallingford house ... Hamilton house
: The houses of Thomas Wallingford and the Jonathan Hamilton house both figure prominently in Jewett's 1901 novel, The Tory Lover.   Everett Stackpole in "South Berwick: The First Permanent Settlement in Maine" locates Madam's Cove on the west side of the Salmon Falls River between the mouth of the Great Works River and Hamilton House. (See also, Thompson 134 and Catalfo 257). Stackpole adds in "Sligo and Vicinity" that deep water in this cove was called "Hobbs' Hole" and that Thomas Wallingford's house stood "about two or three rods from the river and near a wading place close to the foot of Little John's Falls. After Wallingford's death, in 1771, his widow lived here many years and the cove in the river near by took the name of 'Madam's Cove'" (31).

"Where every prospect pleases,"
: This phrase is from the "Missionary Hymn" (1819) by Reginald Heber (1783-1826). Perhaps his best known hymn is "Holy! Holy! Holy!" (1827).

Rousseau's "Confessions": Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), French philosopher and social critic, published his autobiographical Confessions in 1781-1788.

Mrs. Bell: Probably Helen Olcott Choate Bell.  See Correspondents.

Daniel's poems: Samuel Daniel (c.1562-1619) was an English poet and dramatist.

John suggests the furnace:  John Tucker.  See Correspondents.

Marigold:  Close friends of Mary Greenwood Lodge nicknamed her "Marigold."  See Correspondents.

Miss Grant's:  Olive Grant.  See Correspondents.

P.L.:  Pinny Lawson, one of the nicknames Fields and Jewett gave to 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.

Annie Fields included selections from this letter in her Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett (1911), and she made a number of editorial changes.  Here is the Fields transcription.


     Monday morning.

     Little old Miss Elizabeth C. is dead at ninety-two, after a miserable year or two when all of her has been dead but her small body. I went down to see her nephew, and found him as bereaved as possible. I don't go into the old house very often, but yesterday I was so moved by the sight of certain things, and especially of an ottoman on which I used to sit very high in the air and perilous, both with a sense of the occasion, and being off soundings as to the floor. Such pound-cakes as I have eaten on that ottoman! Somehow all the hospitality of those days came back in touching contrast to the empty, womanless rooms yesterday. Miss C. has always been a recluse. I have seldom seen her on the street and but a few times at church. She would have been a nun in early days. The bustling world was always too much for her. Dear, kindly soul that she was, with a pair of beautiful childlike blue eyes, which seemed forever young, though I can't remember when her thin bent little figure didn't look old. She always hid away from the gayeties of the house. Her mother was a kind of little old duchess with great social faculty, a friend of Lafayette in the war times, so that on his royal progress he took pains to come to see her. I used to hear the call related with great particularity when I was a little girl. These were Boston Cushings originally, and were for a long time newcomers, having moved to Berwick in 1795, when Berwick, though small, was as proper a place to live in as Boston, "at least so thinks" Madam Cushing. I must not forget to tell you that Miss Elizabeth said a year or two ago, when that base-looking Methodist Church was building near by, "Charles, is that a ship I see? when are they going to launch?" It was curious memory of her childish visits at the old Wallingford house, her grandfather's, which stood across the river from the Hamilton house, when ships were built there and the river, so quiet now, was a busy place. Too much of Miss Elizabeth, says a patient friend, but I am always delighting in reading the old Berwick, picturesque as it was, under the cover of the new life which seems to you so dull and unrewarding in most ways. "Where every prospect pleases," etc., ought to be your hymn for Berwick, the which I don't suggest unmercifully, but rather compassionately, and with a plaintive feeling at heart.

     I don't know when I have had such a delightful day of reading as I had yesterday. Part of Rousseau's "Confessions" were perfectly enchanting, -- the bits about his walks; and whatever he writes about, he is never disgusting to me, as many of his age are. I never began to know the "Confessions" before. It was my first time, as Mrs. Bell says. I also read a good bit in Daniel's poems, and was so snug and lazy by a big fire in the fireplace. John suggests the furnace, being evidently tired of getting in enough walnut logs for all the fireplaces every morning; but I beg off selfishly. The house never seems half so pleasant when the fireplaces are cold. Give my dear love to Marigold# when you see her.
 

Fields's note

#Mrs. James Lodge.



***
SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

 

Sunday afternoon
[ 20 October 1889 ]*

Dear Mary

I have finished work on Betty Leicester* and I shall send it  by express tomorrow as that will be quicker Monday.  Will you please take it over to Sarah Leah* in the evening if you can, for I want her to get it done in a week so that I can have it Tuesday (27th) when I can go over it & send it off before I start eastward.  I hope she had got her typewriter mended -- it was out of repair ten days ago but she was going to have it put to rights next day.  If she couldn’t just bring the book home and I can sacrifice it having another copy and let them set up the type from it.

Yesterday was passed in friendly intercourse: we went to S.W.’s* to a pretty luncheon, and saw many friends.  There is a very nice Lord Gough (and his wife) who are cousins of the Arbuthnots* who have sent a letter about them and so we were glad to meet and have words together.  Lord Gough who is Mr. A’s cousin and much more like Mrs. A! is a member of the Legation at Washington.*  Of course “the twins” were there & the Higginsons* and it was all very nice and pleasant.  S.W. is going to North East Harbor on Tuesday, so I dont expect to see her again.  Katy Coolidge* is going away for a change -- to Paris for two months which we all hail with delight!  She has decided suddenly, S.W. says.  It was so nice to hear every thing you told about the day at York -- how much you managed to do -- but I am bustling with questions, especially for Sister Carrie.*  Mrs. Lee wrote Mrs. Cabot* with such pleasure about seeing her.  I have about decided to go to spend two days with Mary Garrett* next week which involves my leaving home on Wednesday morning but I hope to get home from the Mountains on Monday.  You see I shall have to spend the night in Rockland any way and I should like to see Mary* before she goes abroad.  Oh Mrs. Cabot is so well and nice and funny with every particular, and so glad to have friends with her.  Now that I am done with this piece of work which I have been going over very carefully and thinking a good deal about, I shall be freer minded but I am having a very nice time & so is A.F.*  We are in opposite ends of the house.  She has three rooms and I two! -- and we take time for visits while Mrs. Cabot has her afternoon nap.  Katherine Loring* has just been here, & yesterday we went to see the Kings, & Loulie* is also neighbourly.  With ever so much love

Your Seddie*

Notes

20 October 1889:  A typed and handwritten note on this transcription reads: /1890/ ?  However, the date of this letter seems precisely determined by Jewett completing a stage of work on Betty Leicester that will then go to her typist in South Berwick, in the hope that it will be returned by "Tuesday (27th)."  Jewett would have to write this letter on Sunday 20 October 1889, then express her manuscript to Mary to deliver to Sarah Leah in the hope that she can return it to Jewett by Tuesday 27 October.

Betty Leicester: Jewett's Betty Leicester. A Story for Girls appeared in 1890 with an 1889 copyright, indicating that it probably was released at the end of 1889 for the holiday market.

Sarah Leah:   Sarah Leah, apparently of South Berwick, worked as Jewett's typist and is mentioned in several letters.  However no details about her identity have been discovered as of this writing. 

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

Lord Gough (and his wife) .. cousins of the Arbuthnots ...  Mr. A’s cousin and much more like Mrs. A! ... Legation at Washington: Hugh Gough, 3rd Viscount Gough (1849-1919) married Lady Georgina Pakenham (1863 - 1943) in October 1889.  His mother was  Jane Arbuthnot (c. 1816 - 1892).  According to Wikipedia, he gained his title upon the death of his father in 1895.  According to Cracroft's Peerage, he served in the British diplomatic corps, including in Sweden (1888-1894) and Washington, D.C. (1896-1901).  It should be noted that Jewett's information about him seems not precisely accurate.  In 1889, he would not have been serving in Washington, though he might well have visited, and he would not yet have been Lord Gough.  Perhaps Jewett met his father, George Stephens, 2nd Viscount Gough, but he was a military man, not known to have served in the diplomatic corps.
    Mr. and Mrs. A are Lilian Woodman and Thomas Bailey Aldrich.  Their twin sons, Talbot and Charles, are mentioned below as "the twins."  How Lord Gough and Aldrich are related has not been discovered.  Assistance is welcome.

Higginsons: See Ida Agassiz Higginson in Correspondents.

Katy Coolidge:  Katherine Scollay Coolidge (1858 - 12 February 1900).  She was the daughter of Francis Parkman and author of a volume of poems, Voices (1899), and, posthumously, of selections from her diaries and letters -- Selections (1901).

Sister Carrie: Carrie Jewett Eastman. See Correspondents.

Mrs. Lee wrote Mrs. Cabot: Probably Elizabeth Perkins Cabot (1823-1909), sister of Sarah Perkins Cabot Wheelwright and wife of Henry Lee (1817-1898), Boston Banker and author of a pamphlet, "The Militia of the United States." A Civil War veteran, he was the son of the economist, Henry Lee, Sr., also a successful international merchant.
    For Sarah Wheelwright and Susan Burley Cabot, see Correspondents.

Mary Garrett: See Correspondents.

Mary:   Presumably, Mary Garrett.

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

Katherine Loring: Katherine Peabody Loring. See Correspondents.

the Kings, & Loulie:  Loulie is Louisa Dresel, and the Kings presumably are her great aunts.  See Dresel and Caroline Howard King in  Correspondents

Seddie:  One of Jewett's family nicknames.  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 73, 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 Louisa Loring Dresel

South Berwick Maine
First of November -- 1889

Dear Loulie

    I seem to be most ungrateful for your last dear letter which has brought you nearer to me than ever before.  But I really wished to thank you at once and then was prevented by three things -- first too much work and then too much rheumatism and then the expectation of seeing you when I went to town for a day or two and meant to get to see you and your mother.  I was hardly well enough to go and had

[ Page 2 ]

to be careful in order to do some necessary things about my new book.  Then I hurried home to meet some friends here, so all the time has gone.  However I shall soon be going up again and then we will see each other and say many things that one cannot write.  Believe me dear I am most grateful and glad to think that I play -- though so bunglingly, the part of a friend to you.  I hope as time goes on that we shall always be caring more and more for each other and that

[ Page 3 ]

the years I have lived through will make me more helpful while your unproved future and your possibilities and hopes will always be full of inspiration for us both -- I am just beginning to take it in that I am out of my own girlhood! and in writing Betty Leicester* I have made many things plain to myself.  I am very eager to see how you like the little book -- Now that it is done I wish that it were much better -- it seems to me that I ought to have worked this whole winter on

[ Page 4 ]

it, and one [ deleted word ] thing you can do for me is to make me take time enough for my work even though the Riverside Press opens its mouth wide enough top swallow all Boston!

    I must say good by but it is good to have this word with you and to know that there is room enough for a great deal of love in this small envelope.

Yours ever faithfully and lovingly

S.O.J.   

Notes

Betty Leicester: Jewett's "story for girls" appeared first as "A Bit of Color" in three issues of St. Nicholas during the spring of 1889.  Jewett expanded it into a novel for Houghton Mifflin's Riverside Press that appeared in time for the Christmas trade late in 1889.  The novel's copyright date is 1889, but its publication date is 1890.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Columbia University (New York) Library in Special Collections, Jewett.  Transcription from a microfilm copy and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     Monday. [Autumn 1889]*

  

     The big ash tree in front of the house is so nearly dead that it must come down, and the big elm between here and Carrie's, the dearest tree of my childhood and all my days, is all hollow and all the weight of it is toward the house, so that after much consultation we are afraid to let it stand through the winter, and that must be chopped down, too. I shall be glad when they are done and cleared away. I dread it so much that it quite haunts me, but I was shocked to find the other day in what a dangerous state the old tree was. It wouldn't be pleasant to have it prod through the roof; in fact, I begin to feel as if it were holding itself up just as long as it could, in a kind of misery of apprehension, poor old tree! It seems as if it must know all about us. Then one of the spruces is also to be slain to let in more light; that will meet your approval. . . . Today I have been reading, for one thing, Mrs. Oliphant's "Royal Edinburgh,"* a most delightful book, -- particularly the chapter about Mary Queen of Scots and John Knox, and the last chapter about Sir Walter, which we really must read together some time. It is a beautiful piece of work.

     You will be much amused to hear that the funny old man in the linen duster whom I caught sight of at Chapel Station has really been the making of the "Atlantic" sketch. I mean to begin him this morning and get well on with him before the girls come. His name proves to be Mr. Teaby,* and he is one of those persons who peddle essences and perfumery and a household remedy or two, and foot it about the country with limp enameled cloth bags. What do you think of Mr. Teaby now? Teaby is the name, and he talks with sister Pinkham about personal and civic matters on a depot platform in the rural districts. Don't you think an editor would feel encouraged?

Notes

1889:  Dating this letter is somewhat problematic.  As the notes below indicate, Jewett's story, "The Quest of Mr. Teaby" appeared in January 1890, making it unlikely that the letter was composed any later than October of 1889.  But Jewett reports reading Mrs. Oliphant's new book, which has a publication date of 1890.  While it is possible that the Oliphant book appeared before its official publication date, it also is possible that this is a composite of two letters.

Mrs. Oliphant's "Royal Edinburgh" ... Mary Queen of Scots ... John Knox ... Sir Walter: Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), prolific Scots author, published Royal Edinburgh; Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets in 1890. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (1542-1587) was imprisoned and beheaded as a dangerous rival by Queen Elizabeth I. John Knox (1513-1572) was a Scots Calvinist writer and preacher. His History of the Reformation of Religioun within the Realme of Scotland (1587) includes an account of Mary Stuart in Scotland. Sir Walter is Sir Walter Scott.

Chapel Station ... Teaby: Jewett's "The Quest of Mr. Teaby" appeared in The Atlantic in January 1890. It is possible that Jewett refers to Chapel Station in Brookline, MA, which in 1890 served the Boston and Albany Railroad and a division of the New England Railroad.  See Elias Nason, A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts (1890), pp. 207-10.

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 Loring Dresel

Saturday morning
[ November 16, 1889 ]

Dear Loulie

    When Miss Edwards* returned from New-Haven yesterday and entered the library her eyes fell upon the drawing, and she was more amused and delighted than I can say.  It was very clever of you, in both the English and New English senses of the word!* -- I was sorry that I forgot my

[ Page 2 ]
 
[Sant' Maria ?] at the last minute  especially after Mr. Dresel had been so kind as to get it for me.  Perhaps now I had better leave it until I come up to town, and Miss Cary* can have "her first" --

    In haste with much love.

S.O.J.   

Notes

November 16, 1889:  This date appears in another hand in the upper left corner of page 1.  As the notes below indicate, this seems a likely date.  16 November fell on a Saturday in 1889.

Miss Edwards: The British novelist and travel writer,  Amelia Edwards (1831-1892) made a lecture tour of the United States in the winter of 1889-90, and she seems to have been a guest of Annie Fields during part of her visit, when she lectured in the Boston area.

clever:  Jewett may be referring to the difference between the more common use of the word before the 19th-century to mean skilled or talented and the more recent common meaning: intelligent, quick in understanding.

Sant' Maria:  Saint Mary, mother of Jesus.  However, Jewett seems to be referring to a material object, perhaps a work of art or a photograph.

Miss Cary:  Emma Forbes Cary (1833-1918) and Sarah Gray Cary (1830-1898) were younger sisters of Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz. See Correspondents. All three sisters were close family friends of Mrs. Dresel.  Presumably, Jewett refers to Sarah, the elder of the unmarried sisters.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Columbia University (New York) Library in Special Collections, Jewett.  Transcription from a microfilm copy and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



     SOJ to Andrew Preston Peabody

     South Berwick, Maine
     December 6, 1889

     Dear Doctor Peabody:

     I should be most ungrateful if I did not say at once how heartily I thank you for your kindest of letters. I had already a thousand good reasons for thanking you, but the things you say about my little story book1 will be a continual pleasure and inspiration. I hoped that you might find some familiar glimpses of the old river towns that we both know and love, but I am sure that the reader brought more to the book than the writer; the one having so much more to bring than the other! and being a master of translation beside!

     Believe me, with my best thanks

     Ever most gratefully yours,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1 In a four-page letter (Colby College Library) dated December 4, 1889, Dr. Peabody tells Miss Jewett expansively that "a man of nearly fourscore has been instructed and impressed" by her Betty Leicester (1890), a story for young girls. In keeping with the custom of that era, books published with an eye to the Christmas trade were predated to the year ahead in order to impart a sense of brand-newness.

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 Thomas Bailey Aldrich

[ 1889 ]

My dear Friend

            I thank you many times for Wyndham Towers,* such a beautiful book outside and in -- in fact more beautiful than I who delights so much in your poems, had expected, and that is saying a great deal!  The dedication is one of your best pieces of prose and that is saying a great deal too!

            I wish that I could ever tell you what a constant pleasure it is to have you for my friend and playmate, or how grateful I am for all the help you have given me about my work, and seeing how carefully you do your work is always one of my best lessons.  I cant help thinking how pleased Lilian* must be about this new book, and then I am pleased all over again!

Yours affectionately

S.O.J.


Notes

A handwritten note on this transcription reads: Aldrich.

Wyndham Towers:  Thomas Bailey Aldrich's poetry volume, Wyndham Towers, appeared in 1889.  It was dedicated to the American actor, Edwin Booth (1833-1893): "In offering these verses to you, I beg you to treat them (as you have many a time advised a certain lord chamberlain to treat the players) not according to their desert. “Use them after your own honor and dignity; the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.”  Aldrich alludes to Act 2, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's  Hamlet, in which Hamlet instructs the chamberlain to see to the comfort of a troupe of actors.

Lilian: Lilian Aldrich.  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 74, 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 Louisa Loring Dresel

Saturday
[ After Christmas 1889 ]*

Dear Loulie

    I am grieved to think that you haven't had one word from me about your dear kindness and the most charming of cups and such* a spoon!  I thought that I might see you yesterday but I had news in the morning that made me change all my plans and gave me


[ Page 2 ]

a long hurrying day.  I shall not try to see you now until I come up again within ten days and then I shall say many things.  I was so sorry to miss you{.} I wanted the cup and you too, and I have such growing pleasure in what you wrote about Betty.*

[ Page 3 ]

    I can only send this line but there is much more love that later you must remember.

Yours faithfully
S. O. J.

Notes

After Christmas 1889: In another hand in the upper left corner of page one appears: October (?) 1889.  While the rationale for this date is not clear, it is a reasonable speculation, except that there is a letter from Jewett to Dresel dated First of November, 1889, that suggests Dresel has not yet read about Betty Leicester.  See the notes below.  Furthermore, this letter also suggests that Jewett and Dresel have exchanged Christmas gifts.  For these reasons, I believe the letter was composed near Christmas of 1889.

such:  Jewett has underlined this word at least three times, and has drawn beneath the last partial underline a line of dots and other marks town to the bottom of the page.

Betty:  It seems likely that Dresel has written to her about Jewett's character, Betty Leicester.  Jewett first presented this character in "A Bit of Color," a serialized story in  St. Nicholas magazine, in April, May, and June 1889.  This story developed into Jewett's 1890 novel, Betty Leicester: A Story for Girls, which actually appeared for the Christmas trade late in 1889.  This letter combined with that of First November 1889 suggests that Dresel first read of Betty Leicester in the novel rather than in the magazine serial.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Columbia University (New York) Library in Special Collections, Jewett.  Transcription from a microfilm copy and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



Celia
Laighton Thaxter to Bradford Torrey

47 State St., Portsmouth, December 27, 1889.

    Thank you for the second beautiful book* which came on Christmas Day. I am reading it very slowly, because I enjoy it so much, and go back and read over again, and am miserly about the pleasure of it, and make it last as long as I can, and after it is all done what a lovely mood it leaves one in! There are few books, in these latter days at least, that I wish to take up again and again for the refreshment they bring; and it is the finest kind of a compliment that can be paid to a writer, this of real love for his work, -- a wish to make a companion of it, and to keep it always at hand for the pure enjoyment of it. I heard the hermit thrushes in South Berwick woods. Sarah Jewett drove me down into the woods  just after sunset, and we sat in the carriage and listened. I had never heard them before. What an experience it was I leave you to guess. What you say about them is most interesting, and how true it is that a single movement of Beethoven's is better than a whole world of Liszt's transcriptions! I don't know the brown thrush's song, at least as such. Does n't Burroughs say somewhere that the jay has a delicious love song?*  Do you know it? I have not yet come to it, perhaps.


Notes

the second beautiful book:  Bradford Torrey's (1843 - 1912) published four titles that might have qualified as his first and second "beautiful" books for Thaxter: Birds in the Bush (1885), A Woodland Intimate (1887), A Rambler's Lease (1889), and, perhaps available in time for Christmas of 1889, June in Franconia (1890).

a single movement of Beethoven's ... Liszt's transcriptions:  In Birds in the Bush (1885), Torrey says: "Regarded as pure music, one strain of the hermit thrush is to my mind worth the whole of it; just as a single movement of Beethoven's is better than a world of Liszt transcriptions"  (118-9).  Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) "was a German composer. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers."  Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886) "was a prolific 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger, philanthropist and Franciscan tertiary" (Wikipedia).

Burroughs .. the jay has a delicious love song:  John Burroughs (1837 - 1921) "was an American naturalist and nature essayist, active in the U.S. conservation movement" (Wikipedia).  The source of his statement about the jay love song is unknown; assistance is welcome.

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



Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.



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