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Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1890



SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel

Tuesday
[ 28 January 1890 ]*

Loulie

    I am sorry to say I must give up the pleasure of the luncheon and of seeing you and the sketches, (the luncheon should not have been mentioned first!)  Mrs. Fields* has had another cold and now we are ordered South ignominiously by the doctor ^(to go tomorrow night)^ -- There is a very

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[ omitted great ? ] deal for her to stay at home for, but it is no use to go on as she has been doing lately, and we hope that we need not stay very long as it is far safer to come North in February than in April.  We both like St Augustine* ever so much so it is not so bad as it might be.  Do send a line some day and will not Mrs. Dresel too?  it would be such a joy to A. F.

Yours ever faithfully
S.O.J.

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The address is
The Ponce de Leon*
St. Augustine Florida


Notes

28 January 1890:  This date does not appear on the manuscript, but on the cataloging cover page.  As 28 January fell on a Tuesday and because it is known that Jewett and Fields were in St. Augustine, FL in February and early March of 1890, this date seems probable.

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

St. Augustine:  Jewett and Fields spent about 6 weeks in Florida in 1890.

Ponce de Leon: Jewett and Fields had enjoyed their stay in this newly constructed winter tourist hotel in St. Augustine during their winter trip in 1888.

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 Louisa Loring Dresel

St. Augustine 1 February [1890]
Hotel Ponce de Leon*
Dear Loulie

    I thank you so much and so does Mrs. Fields* for the lovely violets you brought the day we came away.  I wish that I could have seen you before I left (and indeed we did not mean to start until Thursday night, which would have kept me from missing the luncheon with you.) but I found that we could not get the stateroom we needed in the "through car" unless we

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grabbed it next day, which we did!  You can imagine what a scurry it gave us to get ready!

    -- I am now sitting, as writers from Southern hotels always say, "by an open window, with a bouquet of roses"!  I wish indeed that you could see this lovely place, an ancient Spanish palace in good repair is what I call it.  My window looks out into the great courtyard with its fountain and palms and magnolia and all their kindred, mixed with the familiar nasturtiums and bright red geraniums.  Yesterday I saw a tall white hollyhock

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in one of the gardens which gave me a Rip van Winkle* feeling as if I had slept over into August.

    Dear A. F. already feels better and looks better and hardly coughs at all -- I think the change has done her a great deal of good if it were only to make her forget the crowd of duties and engagements and so little strength to meet them with.  It is quite impossible to be energetic here in the same way as at the North, and yet you never forget that it is sea air and there is a delicious freshness in it that cannot be described.  I feel like writing

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here just as I did before, and so I hope to get my work well along.

    The stories I promised long ago for "winter numbers" are one and all dreadfully behind hand.  I begin to think that coming away was a great thing on my part --

    I have been thinking what a good sketch you would make and how much material you would find here.  It is a wonderful place for artists -- more foreign than a great many towns abroad and so full of color.  Mrs. Fields sends love and is going to answer a [ deleted word ] from Mrs. Dresel very soon --  I am always affectionately

S.O.J.   

You might kindly write a little letter someday !!!


Notes

1890 ... Ponce de Leon: Jewett and Fields had enjoyed their stay in this newly constructed winter tourist hotel in St. Augustine during their winter trip in 1888.  The year 1890 is added by another hand to the upper left corner of page 1.  Because Jewett and Fields are known to have spent about 6 weeks in Florida during February and March of 1890, this date probably is correct.

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

Rip Van Winkle:  From the 1819 short story, by the American writer Washington Irving (1783-1859), about the American who magically sleeps in the mountains for 20 years and then returns home to find his village transformed in the passage of time.

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 Charles Edgar Lewis Wingate

     Hotel Ponce de Leon
     St. Augustine, Florida
     February 3, 1890

    Dear Mr. Wingate:

     I am afraid that the necessary delay in my receiving your note of the 28th January will make the enclosed opinion of no use to you but I take pleasure in sending it. I should be glad to send fresh readers to Mr. Lowell's fine essay,1 at any rate, and I think in this case he has the final word.

     I hope that what I have written will serve your purpose. If I have written too much, I think you had better begin with the second paragraph, but I hope that you can find space for the whole question. I should like very much to see the result of your work when it comes in print. Mrs. Fields and I are not having the paper sent regularly.2

     Yours very truly,

     S. O. Jewett


Notes

     1 A check of morning and evening editions of the Boston Journal and of the Critic for this period reveals no word about Lowell by Miss Jewett, so her communication did probably arrive too late to be utilized. Reference may be to Lowell's address to the Modern Language Association, published in PMLA, V (January 1890), 5-22, and collected in his Latest Literary Essays and Addresses (Boston, 1892), 131-159, as "The Study of Modern Languages." Here Lowell applauds the growth of modern language teaching and refutes the attitude that masterpieces could only be written in the classical languages.
     2 An item from the Critic, n.s. XIII (February 22, 1890), 96, conveys the flavor of the Jewett-Fields relationship: "Mrs. James T. Fields and Miss Sarah O. Jewett are, I was about to say, summering at Saint Augustine, Fla., not simply because the weather there suggests the butterfly season, but because wherever these close literary friends are they diffuse a genial social warmth. Miss Jewett, whose home is in South Berwick, Me., amid the scenes which she has invested with such picturesque interest, is in the habit of visiting Mrs. Fields during the winter in Boston, and they enjoy taking trips together wherever their fancy leads them."

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.



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

 
February, 1890.

     Things are many and pretty dull, albeit they include much work and a little play; refusing to see folks at the studio door of mornings and bowing and bending at them of evenings (but most times declining to go where bowing and bending is in order). ----- has been making aphorisms of late, on the typewriter, so that they are more than usually fundamental in their effect! and is dealing damnation out against what she calls the "deep spiritual sin of the ."*


Notes

deep spiritual sin of the mind-cure: The mind cure was a movement similar to Christian Science. Charles William Post (of Post cereals) began his career operating a mind-cure based health resort in Battle Creek, Michigan. For further information see Gail T. Parker, The Mind Cure in New England (1973). Research: Gabe Heller.

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



SOJ to Horace Scudder

     148 Charles Street
     Boston
     March 15, 1890

    Dear Mr. Scudder:

     I will send you an answer to your note of this morning so that you shall have it early on Monday. I have not managed yet to get time to look through the stories.

     I wished to ask you at once if it would not be better to push this book through and let it come out before summer, since it simply makes one of a series, and if I should make up another volume of short stories in the autumn they might get into each other's way and 'trip up!' You see, I betray a sad lack of confidence in my children! You do not express any disapproval of the title which I put on the cover: Tales of New England.1 It says itself well and easily and perhaps will do as well as another, though I was not sure of that first. You do not think it is too ambitious? But what are they Tales of, if not ----? --------! says

     Yours sincerely,

     S. O. Jewett


Notes

     1 This book was published under that title by Houghton, Mifflin & Company in May 1890 as one of the Riverside Aldine Series. It contained eight stories culled from four of her previous collections. Despite her qualms, it was reprinted four times in the next six years. The other volume she refers to is Strangers and Wayfarers, eleven stories gathered from the Atlantic Monthly, Scribner's, Harper's, and Century, published in November 1890.This too achieved multiple editions in a short time.

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 Louise Chandler Moulton


Boston, March 19th
[ 1890 ]
    [ Letterhead with superimposed initials, SOJ ]

My dear Mrs. Moulton

    I had just come come tired out with a long half-day's hurrying about, when your dear book* and dearer note were brought to me.  I am so glad you like the roses for I sent them with a message.  I am sure they gave it to you for [ there ? ] are some flowers that one

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can always trust:

    I thought while I was with you yesterday that I was very sorry you were going away, but today I am somehow sorrier still, and it seems very strange that I have not seen you more when it was so easy a thing to go to you if I had only known{.}  I do not like to think of waiting so long, but

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there is a great deal to remember which it would take me longer than one summer to forget and I think of  you over and over again for many things I have heard you say, and for your kindness which has come straight to my heart -- You say that I shall know you better if I read your poems.  And that is true enough, but you already are no stranger

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and is it not the truth always that one is never so confidential as when one speaks to the whole world = Here is a bit of verse* I wrote not long ago which seems to be part of this letter and I cannot help sending it to you.  I will not say good-bye to you for I shall think of you very often and so you will not really go away.  And indeed I shall always be your sincere and affectionate

Sarah O. Jewett
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Why do I love you?  If I told you why
Then you would know the secret that was made
The law that Love has from all time obeyed,
And I should understand a mystery.
From the four corners of the earth have I
Gathered into my heart, all unafraid
The friendships that are mine.  This price I paid:
I gave myself for them most willingly.
The life in me a part of all Life is!
One great power moves the whole world on its way;
When I am happiest is when I find
The next of kin to me in hills or seas
Or trees that grow, or flowers that bloom in May
Or you dear love my friend so true and kind.

Notes

dear book:  It is likely Moulton has given Jewett a copy of her 1890 title, Stories told at Twilight (1890).

bit of verse:  This sonnet is transcribed by John E. Frost, appearing in his Sarah Orne Jewett, p. 116. 
    Jewett's characterization of the author's confidentiality may be an echo of the opening paragraph of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Custom-House: Introductory to The Scarlet Letter."

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



SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel

Monday morning
[ Late March 1890 ]

Dear Loulie

    I find that I can come to luncheon on Thursday, so I say yes with great pleasure -- .

    Mrs. Fields* asks me to say that she wishes very much that you and Miss Cronyn would dine with us this evening, very quietly, at

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quarter before seven.  Do say yes at once! we hope ever so much that you can come.


In haste

Yours affectionately

S.O.J.   

Notes

Late March 1890
:  In the upper left corner of page 1, in another hand appears: March 1890.  The rationale for this choice is not known.  If the letter is from March of 1890, then it must have been written late in the month, after Jewett and Fields returned from Florida.

Mrs. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

Miss Cronyn: It is probable that Jewett refers to the soprano Elizabeth A. Cronyn (1852 - 1921?), the daughter of Dr. John Cronyn (1827-1898), a founder of the Medical Department of Niagara University.  In addition to her music degree from D'Youville College in Buffalo, NY, she studied with Otto Dresel, Louisa's father, in Dresden, Germany.

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 Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin

[Top left corner of page 1 in another hand: wc ]
148 Charles Street
Thursday evening
[ Spring 1890 ]*

Dear Mrs Claflin
   
    Pray do not feel bound by our, or rather my, abrupt request this afternoon.  I did not explain that only a limited number of people are to join in giving the souvenir of Boston to Miss Edwards

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as there is not time to manage a large subscription.  There are many  who stand ready however to join, so that you must just act your pleasure and feel perfectly free to say no.

    I have made two visits at home since I got back from the South,* but I

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shall now settle down and be a "stiddy meetin'er" for a while.

Yours affectionately
S. O. Jewett

    I spent Monday morning with Mr. Whittier* and found him in better health and spirits than I expected, but he has evidently been

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very poorly --

Notes

Spring 1890:  This date is inferred from the letter's reference to Amelia Edwards touring the United States and to Jewett having recently returned from travel in the South.  See notes below.

Miss Edwards: Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards (1831-1892).  "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."

from the South: Jewett and Annie Fields had spent February 1890 in St. Augustine, FL  They had returned by 15 March.

Mr. Whittier:  John Greenleaf Whittier.  See Correspondents.

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


SOJ to Louisa Dresel

     Friday morning
     [March 21, 1890]

     Dear Loulie:

     I have claimed my own! but I must let the little picture live here for Mrs. Fields likes it so much. I hope you will show her the larger one of Hospenthal1 some day too. Thank you very much for giving this to me, it is a bit of real life and country. I feel as if I had been in at all the doors.

     I had a very good and dear little visit at home. Berwick was snowy but very sunshiny until the day I came away.

     I hope you are not too tired by this time with the bags? I forgot to say that you must mark the three-handled jar sold. I quite look forward to buying it at the fair!! and it will look so fine on your table. I am not sure that I shall not bring it home for a pretty present to Mrs. Fields and have such a lark and may you be there to see!

     But I must not stop to write any more this busy morning. Yesterday I went to hear Patti,2 who was in exquisite voice and all ready to sing charmingly, but the audience was so big and so sober minded that it didn't even take much notice of a ballet between the acts and really didn't seem to know that Patti was on the stage until she sang "The Last Rose of Summer" in a divine way. Then it did make a noise, but no bravos, no wild approval, only sedate clapping. Somehow it was all very funny, but I never shall forget some notes in her voice when she sang that song. I have never heard her sing so before.

     Goodbye, with love from

     Sarah

     My love to Miss Croniger. I hope she is still with you and that I shall see her again. Perhaps you can come tomorrow afternoon with her.
 

Cary's Notes

     1An ancient fortified village on a crag of the St. Gotthard Pass in central Switzerland, now a popular holiday resort for winter sports. The heavily wooded landscape, with baroque church and picturesque castles, lent itself to the painter's eye.

     2Adelina Patti (1843-1919), coloratura soprano born in Spain of Italian parents, came to the United States as a child, early achieved international fame, and became the most highly paid singer of her time. On this occasion she was making her first appearance in three years -- a series of six operas at the Mechanics' Building Grand Hall -- in von Flotow's Martha.

Editor's Notes

Items remain unidentified in this letter, for which assistance is welcome.  What fair were the women preparing for?  Who is Miss Croniger?

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



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

May 26, 1890.

     She fought so long, my little Gemma,* and this morning she went forth in the sunrise. It was so peaceful and beautiful with her that one can only feel as she felt; but the human heart cries out in pain and must cry, yet knowing that God is greater than our hearts and will console and bless.


Notes

my little Gemma: Sara Gemma Timmins was the niece of Martin Brimmer, first director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (founded 1870). Joel Poudrier explains that Gemma died in 1890 at the age of 28. Gemma's sister, Minna, was especially close to Whitman, but both sisters were artists and protégées of Whitman. A number of other letters on her death appear in the Whitman letters collection, and at the end is a Whitman poem addressed to Gemma. Source: Raguin, Sarah Wyman Whitman 1842-1904 (pp. 133-4).

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 Horace Scudder

     South Berwick, Maine
     June 20, [1890]

    Dear Mr. Scudder:

     Your news1 takes my breath away, and I confess to something like the feeling I once knew when I had written "The Shipwrecked Buttons" and, for the pride of my heart, was kindly asked for another story which proved to be "The Girl With the Cannon Dresses."2 Indeed, I send my warmest good wishes to the Atlantic and its editor. I hope that you will find double the pleasure and satisfaction you arc looking for in these new duties which are after all neither new nor untried.

     I thank you very much for your kind and cordial note and I will certainly try to have a story ready, though I am ashamed to say that I have hardly got back yet to industrious habits. Will you let me know how much time I can have, please? And pray believe me always

     Yours faithfully and sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett

Notes

     1 Scudder succeeded Thomas Bailey Aldrich as editor of the Atlantic Monthly in April 1890.
    2 Twenty years before, Scudder had published these stories in the Riverside Magazine (see Letters 1, note 1; 6, note 1).


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.



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ
 

June 28, 1890

     This last fortnight, which has been a time of almost absolute silence; and a period of great peace and refreshment when one could sit still and listen to the voices, I have worked in town by day and gone down and sat by the shore and seen the stars shine; sometimes even the dawn come up, and have found it very good.


Note

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




SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     Saturday morning, [June 1890]*

     I am waiting for your letter to come, and it seems a long half hour. A thriftless person when there are so many things to do, but somehow I did not get to sleep last night, except for two or three naps which were rather too uneasy for comfort. I had one most beautiful time which was after your own heart. It began to be light, and after spending some time half out of the window hearing one bird tune up after another, I half dressed myself and went out and stayed until it was bright day-light. I went up the street and out into the garden, where I had a beautiful time, and was neighborly with the hop-toads and with a joyful robin who was sitting on a corner of the barn, and I became very intimate with a big poppy which had made every arrangement to bloom as soon as the sun same up. There was a bright little waning moon over the hill, where I had a great mind to go, but there seemed to be difficulties, as I might be missed, or somebody might break into the house where I had broken out. Weren't you awake, too, very early? I thought so, and I was equally certain that other people were asleep. Really, so much happened in that hour that I could make a book of it -- I had a great temptation to go to writing.*

     I have done so many things today that I should like to write down them and see what they were. There was a piece gone off the top of the three gilded feathers on the breakfast room looking-glass, so I carved a feather top out of pine wood and stuck it on and gilded it most satisfactorily, and then I set Stubby* and an impoverished friend who needed money for the Fourth* to digging plantains out of the grass at fifteen cents the hundred, whereupon they doubled their diligence until they got 1.65 out of me at dinner time!! And I transplanted a lot of little sunflowers and put hellebore* on the gooseberry bushes and wrote a lot of notes for the "Berwick Scholar" on account of the Centennial arrangements,* and went down street twice and -- but I won't tell you, yes, I will -- the little Beverly doggie came by express! and is ardently beloved by Stubs, and that took time, and after dinner I went to Beaver Dam* with John about a carriage painter and another errand, and then I dressed me all up and went and made two elegant calls, and then I came home and wrote this.

Notes

1890:  Fields dates this letter 1889, but it almost certainly is from 1890.  The Berwick Academy Centennial Celebration took place on July 1, 1891, which also is the publication date for the memorial booklet that Jewett edited, supplying a preface.  Nephew Stubby (Theodore Eastman), born in 1879, is raising money for the July 4 celebration, indicating that the holiday is not far in the future.  It is possible that Jewett was preparing notes in June of 1891, but these probably would have had to be completed in the previous summer to make it possible to meet the July 1891 date.  See also her March 1891 publication of plans for the celebration in The Berwick Scholar.

to go to writing: Jewett recounts a similar incident in "The Confession of a House-Breaker," in The Mate of the Daylight. A version of this sketch also appeared anonymously in The Atlantic (September 1883: 419-22).

Stubby: Jewett's nephew, Theodore Eastman.

hellebore: dried and powdered extract from false hellebores (Veratrum) is used as an insecticide.

the Fourth:  American July 4 or Independence Day holiday.

"Berwick Scholar" ... Centennial arrangements: The Berwick Academy centennial took place in 1891, the academy having been founded in 1791. See Jewett's "The Old Town of Berwick." Jewett contributed several pieces for The Berwick Scholar, the school magazine founded in 1887. She helped with the Centennial arrangements of her alma mater, contributing to the Scholar an article, "The Centennial Celebration" in v. 4 (March 1891) and editing a memorial booklet of the occasion.

Beaver Dam: Beaver Dam is a section of the town of Berwick, about half way between Berwick and North Berwick on State Route 9. There is private Beaver Dam Campground there now, and also a summer theater, the Hackmatack Playhouse, and at one time there was a Beaver Dam Grange in this section. Research: Art Stansfield of Lexington, Ky.

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

July, 1890.

     Strangely enough that impulse for out of doors work has not yet taken me in its thrall. By this time, usually, of a summer I am dying to be out in it and at it; but the deep solemn inner living of this year has kept me in a place apart; and I am still there, though the routine life goes on, and I apparently with it.


Note

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


SOJ to Horace Scudder

     South Berwick, Maine
     July 3, 1890

    Dear Mr. Scudder:

     I wish that you would be kind enough to look over this sketch and see if you think it is worth printing. I wrote it some months ago and then put it by. But Mr. Aldrich1 insists that I don't know the best work I can do when I see it, and never has ceased to speak of my undervaluing "The Dulham Ladies!"2
 
     I should not send this, however, 'on the chance' unless I were very doubtful about finishing another sketch which I began for you. My mother has been very ill in these last two weeks and now that she is getting better I don't feel quite in condition for my work and I am half afraid that, if I went on with the new sketch, it wouldn't be so good as this one that I send. So I boldly risk being a rejected contributor at the start!!3
 
     Yours ever sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1 Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907) was editor of the Atlantic Monthly from 1881 to 1890. The Aldriches lived on Beacon Hill during his active editing days and became quite friendly with Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields. Miss Jewett visited them at their summer home in Ponkapog, Massachusetts, and exchanged playful letters with both Aldrich and his wife Lilian. In 1895 the Aldriches rented a little cottage, The Crags, at Tenants Harbor, Maine, and enjoyed the company of Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields, who were vacationing at Martinsville. In 1896 all four took a cruise of the Caribbean islands (see Letter 78, note 3).
    2 In the Atlantic Monthly, LVII (April 1886), 455-462; collected in A White Heron. Although Aldrich's comparative values are questionable -- he said in a letter to Miss Jewett, "I believe, for example, that Hawthorne's pallid allegories will have faded away long before those two little Dulham ladies" -- his verdict on public opinion has been sustained by time. Over the years, "The Dulham Ladies" has been the most consistently anthologized of Miss Jewett's stories.
     3 Since Miss Jewett had already appeared over thirty times in the pages of the Atlantic Monthly, she was of course alluding to Scudder's "start" as full-fledged editor. Scudder did reject this unidentified sketch (see Letter 41).

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.



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ

Eliot*

July 18, 1890

My dear Friend,

I am glad to be almost in hailing distance of thee, at this charming house overlooking the Piscataqua & the green farm-lawn of Eliot, only wishing I felt able to ride over and see thee. I am not well but I am here under favorable circumstances, and as far as neuralgia will let me I shall like Falstaff "take mine ease in mine own inn.{"}*  Will thee not, as thy mother's health improves, come and see us?  I have not heard from our beloved Annie Fields* for some time.  Perhaps she will visit thee and come with thee.

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That last story of thine in the Atlantic was one of thy best -- true to the old life in N.E..  The pathos of it brought tears to my eyes.  I have got two old women, who ran away from the Amesbury poor-house, to take care of as far as I can.  Sarah Famer who is as much of an angel as humanity allows of is very kind ^and^ neighborly, and my friend Atwood is with us from Providence.  He loves  thy work, and would be glad to see thee.

    With a great deal of love thy friend

John G Whittier



Notes


Eliot:  In Life and Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier (v. 2, p. 747) Samuael T. Pickard says, "A few weeks of the summer of 1890 were spent by Mr. Whittier at a quiet and pleasant place on the Piscataqua River, in Eliot, Maine, known as "Green Acre."
    This letter is on lined paper.

Falstaff "take mine ease....":  See William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1, III,3, where Falstaff asks, "Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn, but I shall have my pocket picked?"

Annie Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

Amesbury poor house: The two old women running away from the poor house point toward Jewett's story, "The Flight of Betsy Lane," which appeared in Scribner's Magazine in August 1893, after Whittier's death.  Therefore, Whittier almost certainly refers to "The Town Poor," which appeared in Atlantic Monthly in July 1890.

Sarah Farmer:   The Farmer family owned Green Acre, from which Whittier writes.  In 1894, Sarah Jane Farmer (1847-1916) founded the Green Acre Bahá'í School on the farm.

friend Atwood: Probably Reverend Julius W. Atwood, who frequently spent extended time with Whittier in summers after 1884.  Julius Walter Atwood (1857-1945) was born in Salisbury, VT and studied at Middlebury College and The Episcopal Theological School at Cambridge, MA.  His wife was Anna Richmond (d. 1907).  In the 1890s, he was rector of St. James' Church in Providence, RI.  In 1911-1925, he served as missionary bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona.  Find a Grave and Who's Who in Arizona (1913),  p. 421.

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 Louisa Dresel

 [ 25 July 1890 ]*



My poor little girl I know it all, and I send you [honest ?] sympathy and hold you close to my heart.  Give my love to your dear mother and Ellis.  I say that I know the sorrow but thank God! I know the comfort too that comes only to those who

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mourn.  For the first time too, you will feel as if you really knew and loved and understood your dear father.  You will find him closer to you than ever.  I hope to see you very soon.  God bless you dear Loulie and make you more than ever a blessing.

Yours faithfully
S.O.J.



Notes

1890:  Dresel's father, Otto, died on 25 July 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 Lilian and Thomas Bailey Aldrich

          South Berwick, Maine, 23 July, 1890.

     My dear Friends, -- I began a letter to you the very week you went away, but I did not finish it, for my mother has been most dangerously ill, and only just now begins to seem as if she were getting well again. We have felt very anxious all these long weeks I really am in a great hurry now to know where you are and what you have been doing. I was so overwhelmed when I got word of the change in the "Atlantic's" fortunes* that I don't feel free to express myself even yet! But this I can say, that I am most grateful for and unforgetful of all the patience and kindness which my dear friend the editor has given me in these years that are past. One day I saw in the "Nation" that "one has learned to look for Miss Jewett's best work in the pages of the 'Atlantic'; but I could read something deeper still between those lines and gladly owned to myself that it was due to many suggestions and much helpfulness that my sketches have a great deal of their (possible) value. I have been taught so many lessons and been kept toward a better direction than I could have found for myself. If I were not looking eagerly for your new work, dear Mr. T. B. A., and were not thankful that your time was your own now for your work's sake, I should lament more loudly than I do over the magazine's loss.

     I wonder if you will go to Paris, and if you will see Madame Blanc? I had a delightful letter from her not long ago, written in the South of France, and sounding like one of George Sand's, say from the second volume of her Correspondence!* She sent me a volume of S.O.J. all in French, which caused such pride of heart that no further remarks are ventured upon the subject!

Notes

change in the "Atlantic's" fortunes: Aldrich left the editorship of the Atlantic Monthly in April 1890, to be replaced by Horace Scudder (1838-1902), who served 1890-1898. (Source: Cary, Sarah Orne Jewett Letters, pp. 64-5). Jewett's relations with Scudder were less cordial than those with Aldrich; see Ellery Sedgwick, "Horace Scudder and Sarah Orne Jewett: Market Forces in Publishing in the 1890s" in American Periodicals 2 (Fall 1992), pp. 79-88.

George Sand ... Correspondence
: Probably George Sand's Correspondance 1812-1876 (Paris 1882), in six volumes. WorldCat's earliest listing for Madame Blanc-Bentzon's translation of Jewett's A Country Doctor is Le roman de la femme-médecin ; suivi de Récits de la Nouvelle-Angleterre par Sarah Orne Jewett; préface de Th. Bentzon. Traduction autorisée,   J. Hetzel (Paris) 1890.

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 Horace Scudder

     South Berwick, Maine
     July 24, 1890

    Dear Mr. Scudder:

     I send you this sketch, "By the Morning Boat,"1 which I am pretty sure you will like better than the other which is good (and tame!) enough but never belonged to the Atlantic. I should not have sent it to you under other circumstances, or if I had not wished so much to be in your first number. The House has paid me fifteen dollars a page or thereabouts, on acceptance, in these later years of a long and industrious career, but I continue to make believe that I am still beginning in the Riverside! You and Miss Francis2 must be kind as you begin to discover signs of decadence, but I perceive that I take too mournful a strain for a business letter!

     Yours ever sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1 Atlantic Monthly, LXVI (October 1890), 518 -- 525; collected in Strangers and Wayfarers.
    2 Susan Moore Francis (1839-1919), graceful essayist and book reviewer, came to the Atlantic as editorial assistant during the incumbency of James T. Fields and served the five succeeding editors in similar capacity. Reputed to have an uncanny flair for judging manuscripts, she is credited with suggesting to Fields that he invite Bret Harte to contribute to the Atlantic, but she is also said to have turned down David Harum because it was "vulgar."

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 Horace Scudder

     Manchester, Mass.1
     August 1, [1890]

     Dear Mr. Scudder:

     I had given up the idea of making up a new book of stories this autumn because I thought that Tales of New England would in a measure take the place of it. But if you think that it would be a good plan, and a better piece of business than to wait until the spring, I shall be glad to abide by your judgment. There are more than enough stories for a volume and I could put them together with very little trouble.2 I shall be leaving here Monday morning and I can go into town and see about it at any hour between a little after ten o'clock and three.

     I thank you for your kind note and I am very glad that you liked the sketch.3
 
     My sister enjoyed seeing you and Mrs. Scudder very much indeed. I think that it must be pleasanter than ever this summer at Little Boar's Head,4 for she has so many pleasant tales to tell!

     Believe me
     Yours faithfully,

     S. O. Jewett

     I shall be at South Berwick after leaving here and I will remember to keep you advised on account of the proofs.


Notes

     1 This popular resort which came to be known as Manchester-by-the-Sea was the site of Mrs. Fields's summer home, Gambrel Cottage, on Thunderbolt Hill. Miss Jewett began visiting her friend here in September 1880, when Mr. Fields was still alive. He admired her instantaneously and spoke of her as an ideal companion for his wife, which she became after his death in the following year. Here, as at 148 Charles Street, gathered the elite of literature and the arts, and the time was passed in comfort, conversation, and projects.
     2 Scudder advised Miss Jewett to get the volume together posthaste. Strangers and Wayfarers, a collection of eleven short stories from the Atlantic Monthly, Scribner's, Harper's, and Century, appeared in November 1890.
    3 "By the Morning Boat."
     4 A showplace of southeastern New Hampshire about half a mile from Rye, where Miss Jewett's maternal aunts had a summer home. The Scudders rented houses at Little Boar's Head for several years, and Mrs. Ingersoll Bowditch (Scudder's daughter Sylvia) recalls Mary Jewett visiting there.

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 Horace Scudder

     South Berwick, Maine
     August 8, [1890]

    Dear Mr. Scudder:

     Will you please send me the first sketch which I sent you?1 I meant to have taken it the other day and so to have saved you this trouble. I was sorry not to find you, but I did not know what days you were in town, and I had not given time enough for an answer to my letter
.
     In making up the new book of stories (which I mean to call Strangers and Wayfarers) I meant to put in my new sketch, "By the Morning Boat," for the last or next to the last, so, when the Atlantic proof is ready, will you be so kind as to ask the printers to send me duplicates in order that I may have one to keep?

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett

     I am sending this note to Little Boar's Head because I think it is possible that the sketch may be there. Please give my very kindest remembrances to Mrs. Scudder.


Notes

     1 See Letter 40, note 3 in Sarah Orne Jewett Letters.

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.



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ

 
Oak Knoll   
 Danvers*

8/11  1890

 My dear Friend,

    How sorry I am that I was not at Green Acre* to welcome thee & thy sister* when you called!  I dont blame thee for not driving over to {the} lawn party that terribly hot day, but I looked anxiously for thee{.}  It was ^a^ pleasant affair, but it lacked

[ Page 2 ]

thee.  Somehow I do not see so much of my adopted daughter as I could wish.

    The Grand Army* 50 or 60 strong has just interrupted my letter, and my hand trembles from so much shaking.  Boston has given [corrected from giving] the veterans a grand welcome, and they are loud in its praise.

    I had a line from dear Annie Fields* last night.  She says she shall ride over to

[ Page 3 ]

Oak Knoll soon.  I hope thee will be with her.

    I thank thee for thy care of the old broken-legged image. If thee have got him on his feet it must have been a rare piece of surgery{.}

Always thy affectionate friend

John G.Whittier


Notes


Danvers:  Where Whittier writes from is somewhat confusing.  Though the letter is dated from Danvers, the location of Oak Knoll, Whittier implies that he actually writes from Boston.   Though Danvers is near Boston, presumably this village did not experience the crowds of veterans in the streets of Boston for the National Encampment (see notes below).

Green Acre:  In Life and Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier (v. 2, p. 747) Samuel T. Pickard says, "A few weeks of the summer of 1890 were spent by Mr. Whittier at a quiet and pleasant place on the Piscataqua River, in Eliot, Maine, known as 'Green Acre'."  Green Acre was a hotel/retreat operated by the Farmer family.

thy sister:  Probably Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Grand Army:  The 24th National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic took place in Boston during 11-16 August 1890. See Unofficial Proceedings (1891); the schedule of encampment events appears on pp. 52-3.

Annie Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

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



SOJ to John Geenleaf Whittier

South Berwick

August 12, [1890]

 

My dear Friend:

     I was so sorry when I went to Eliot1 to find that you and dear Mr. and Mrs. Cartland* had flown. I tried to get to the lawn party but although I came home from Manchester in good season to drive down it was so hot and so showery by turns here that I was forced to give it up. I thought that you were going to stay longer and I miss you very much, besides hoping that after Miss Kimball's2 week was over you could come up here for a day or two. I wasn't going to tease! but I was going to appear with a very comfortable carriage and sit before the door and indulge my hopes!!

     But you must find it delightful at Oak Knoll, and when I get back to Manchester by and by I shall drive over. I don't like to trust your graven image to the express but I must pack him in soft cotton and send him soon. He went to Eliot yesterday and came home again in an envelope box. We had (Mary and I) a very pleasant call on Miss Farmer3 who seems to miss you all a good deal. Goodbye, dear friend, and give my love to Phebe and the ladies and keep a good share that belongs to yourself.

Yrs,

Sarah

 
Cary's Notes

1. Eliot, Maine, was a purely rural town on the Piscataqua River famed even "across the ocean" as a summer vacation spot. Whittier spent several weeks at a quiet hotel, "new, neat, and comfortable, and not near enough to a railroad to be crowded." (Pickard, Life and Letters, II, 747.) Eliot is a short drive from South Berwick.

2. Harriet McEwen Kimball (1834-1917), author of numerous mediocre religious lyrics, was a friend of Whittier's from the sixties. Typically, he lauded her poems as "better than anything of Vaughan or Herbert, excepting a very few pieces of the latter." (Pickard, Life and Letters, II, 486.)

3. Sarah Jane Farmer was the only daughter of Professor Moses Gerrish Farmer, distinguished inventor of many practical electrical devices, who retired to Eliot. Miss Farmer established the Greenacre Assembly in 1894 and the Monsalvat School in 1896 for the study of comparative religion.

Additional notes

Richard Cary says that Joseph Cartland (1810-1898) and Gertrude Cartland (1822-1911) accompanied Whittier on his summer vacations in Maine and New Hampshire for five decades, and Whittier lived in their home at Newburyport, Massachusetts most of his last fifteen winters.

This letter was transcribed and annotated by Richard Cary, and first published in  "'Yours Always Lovingly': Sarah Orne Jewett to John Greenleaf Whittier,"  Essex Institute Historical Collections 107 (1971): 412-50. This article was reprinted at the Sarah Orne Jewett Text Project by permission of the library of the American Antiquarian Society and the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.


Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ
 

August 14, 1890.

     This Summer seems to give little room for what one needs most. By this I do not mean to blame fate: only to recognize some of the conditions which attend the ordinary life we live, and which at a time of special stress keep one's feet in the road, while one's heart is in the sea or the sky.

     Perhaps those skyey windows will report themselves some day in renewed working impulses, though as yet I can't count them.


Notes

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




John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ


Amesbury Mass
Nov 18  1890

My dear friend,

    It was good -- -it was like thy dear self to write me.  I was feeling a little lonely when it came -- an old friend of mine, a near neighbor* is lying very ill, and must soon pass away.  He was a plain farmer

[ Page 2 ]

but a great reader and thinker and we have been always fast friends.

    I am glad to hear that thy mother is more comfortable.  I have never got over the loss of my mother.  I had a letter from A.F.* a short time ago.  She is looking forward to thy coming to Boston.  What a sweet little poem [ was ?] hers "In a

[ Page 3 ]

green nook by the sea!{"}*  I am anxious to see thy new book;*  meanwhile I look over the old ones.

    I hope thee will stop here on thy way to Boston. It will be a great pleasure to me to see thee again.  I dread the coming winter and the snow storm of yesterday looked very dismal, to me.  But, I suppose it will all be well

[ Page 4 ]

-- nothing is so bad as we fear it will be; and the dear Lord is over all.

    In spite of the wet weather there are times, I hope thee have enjoyed the uncommonly fine colors of the season.  I never saw the leaves so gorgeous before at Oak Knoll.  An English tourist called on me at their brightest, but he could see nothing worthy of ^his^ attention.

    Always affectionately thy fr.

John G Whittier

Notes


near neighbor:  The identity of this neighbor is not yet known.  Assistance is welcome.

A. F.   Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

green nook:  Annie Fields's poem, "Revisiting a Green Nook," appeared in Scribner's Magazine 8 (October 1890, p. 472). It is not clear in the manuscript whether Whittier closes this quotation.

new book:  In 1890, Jewett published three books: Strangers and Wayfarers, Betty Leicester and Tales of New England. The last appeared in the spring of 1890, so presumably, Whittier anticipates one of the first two.  While Betty Leicester is a "story for girls" and seems the less likely alternative, it is set in Riverport, a renamed South Berwick, and might well interest Whittier for its depiction of local scenes familiar to him.

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 Horace Scudder
 

     South Berwick, Maine
     August 19, 1890

    Dear Mr. Scudder:

     I notice that in the proof of my sketch the title is changed to "By the Morning's Boat." Do you think best to let it stand so and was it your change? I liked the common phrase the Morning Boat as one hears it down the Coast, like 'morning sky' and 'shining morning face!' Unless you have a preference in the matter I should like to let the first reading stand. But I leave the final decision to you -- being my editor!1
 
     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett

     Do not give yourself the trouble to answer this note.

     [On 4th page]

     25th August

    Dear Mr. Scudder, this note turns up among the papers on my (disorderly!) desk. Is it too late? I am very sorry that I forgot to post it.

Notes

     1 Scudder acceded to Miss Jewett's preference. The title was rendered without the offending apostrophe s in the October issue of the Atlantic Monthly and was so reproduced in Strangers and Wayfarers.

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 William Hayes Ward

South Berwick Maine
21 August 1890

My dear Mr. Ward

    I am tempted to make a suggestion through you to The Herald* in regard to the late accident at Quincy.*  I seems to me that such an accident is inevitably made worse by the use of such heavy iron car seats, which

[Page 2]

shut together in a horrible way and then are impossible by their own weight and interlocking to pry apart.  Could The Herald suggest something lighter; in a sense more destructible?  for although the bruises and injuries of every sort would be innumerable in a suddenly stopped car the poor victims would not all be help in vices as it were and exposed to steam and fire -- [ deleted word ]  Do not take time to send any reply to this note, but take the idea, if it is worth anything!

And pray believe m
with high regard
your sincerely

Sarah O. Jewett

Notes

The Herald:  Jewett is known to have read several Herald newspapers, including from Portsmouth, NH, Boston and New York. Mr. Ward seems more likely to have had connections in Boston and New York.  Given that the train wreck occured near Boston, perhaps the Boston Herald is the more likely choice.. 

accident at Quincy:  Jewett refers to the Quincy, MA train wreck of the Cape Cod and Woods' Hole train on 19 August 1890, in which at least 16 people died and many others were injured.

The manuscript of this letter is held in the Abernethy Collection; Special Collections and Archives, Middlebury College Library, Middlebury, Vt. aberms.jewettso.1890.08.21.  It may be viewed here.  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel

Sunday morning
[ September 1890 ]

Dear Loulie

    I now make you a present, (as kindly requested) of Tuesday afternoon, leaving here by the 1.40 train!  I hope that you will see your way toward accepting so slight a boon!  Please do not take the trouble to write ___________ yes, on the whole I should like a post card.

[ Page 2 ]

My roses have, every one of them, come to full bloom, and I cant tell you how we have enjoyed them, but perhaps of all the flowers I liked my white gillyflowers best.


Yours affectionately

S.O.J.   

Notes

September 1890:  In the upper left corner of page 1, in another hand appears: Sept. 1890.  Without a rationale for this choice and with no telling internal evidence, I have accepted this date.

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 Louisa Loring Dresel

Thursday
Manchester
 [ September 1890 ]


Dear Loulie

    Thank you and Mrs. Dresel so many times for these lovely flowers which blessed all the house yesterday when I came.  It was very dear of you both.

    I hope to see you soon, and indeed

[ Page 2 ]

I should like to come up to dinner.  Shall I not see you first?  Do drive down very soon.
 

Sarah.

It was a dear birthday.


Notes

September 1890:  In the upper left corner of page 1, in another hand appears: Sept. (?) 1890.  As Jewett's birthday falls in September, which may have been the occasion for the mentioned gift of flowers, there is some rationale for the guess of the month.  Recognizing the lack of further evidence, I have accepted the speculative date.

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 S. Weir Mitchell
  

 

Manchester by the Sea

15 September 1890

Dear Doctor Mitchell

    I wish that I could have thanked you before I came away from Newport for the words that are written in the book you gave me.  I cannot tell you what a pleasure it was to see you – as if I were seeing an old friend for the first time!  A great doctor is always a great hero to me, 

[ Page 2 ]

and believe that I am always your delighted reader and look for your lead in my own line of march. -----  I cannot tell you how much I have thought of the new poem;* it seems to me in many ways the strongest and most beautiful of your shorter poems and full of touches -- as if that prison wall held field flowers in its crannies and even the iron bars were grown with vines.  It is as

[ Page 3 ]

beautiful as it is awful.

    I am sorry that I could not see Mrs. Mitchell* again.  I should like to tell her what a good time I had at the dancing-party.  I saw your daughter and wished that I might know her some day  --   I am going to send her my Betty Leicester* when I go to town again because I find myself wishing to!

[ Page 4 ]

and you must make some kind excuse for me if she wonders why the story-book should come!

    Pray believe me ever with best thanks to you for  many things

Yours sincerely

Sarah O. Jewett

Mrs Fields wishes me to add her best regards and hope of seeing you if you should come to Boston.

[ Added diagonally at bottom right of page 4, seemingly in haste with errors ]

I read to Mrs Mrs [written twice] Marsh and Miss Ticknor on [ omitted reading?] for the first time The Centurion*

 

Notes

new poem: Mitchell's narrative poem about Christian martyrdom in the Roman Circus Maximus, "In the Valley of the Shadow: The Centurion," was collected in his volume of poems, In War-Time (1895). There it is dated 1890.  Jewett apparently did not see it in a magazine, for no such publication has yet been documented.  Perhaps Mitchell gave Jewett a handmade copy of the poem.

Mrs. Mitchell:  For Mitchell's second wife, Mary, and their daughter, Marie, see Mitchell in Correspondents.

Betty Leicester: Jewett's "story for girls" was published in 1890.

Mrs Fields:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

Mrs Marsh... Miss Ticknor:   While this is speculative, a likely candidate for "Mrs. Marsh" is Caroline Crane (Mrs. George P.) Marsh (1816-1901).  Her husband, George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882) was an American diplomat, philologist, and conservationist.  She was a translator and poet, the author of Wolfe of the Knoll and other Poems (1860).
     Richard Cary identifies Miss Ticknor: "Anna Eliot Ticknor (1823-1896), eldest daughter of the American historian George Ticknor, also consorted with Jewett in the Northeast Harbor-Mt. Desert region on the Maine coast. Miss Ticknor was one of the editors of Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor (Boston, 1876), and sole editor of Life of Joseph Green Cogswell (Cambridge, Mass., 1874)." Wikipedia credits her with founding the Society to Encourage Studies at Home, the first correspondence school in the United States, an early effort to provide post-secondary education for women.

The manuscript of this letter is held in the Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Houghton Autograph File to S. Weir Mitchell  #6. Transcription by Linda Heller; annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Louisa Dresel

     South Berwick, Maine
     October 1, [1890]

     Dear Loulie:

     I was glad to get your two nice letters, the first was full of delightful things to a person in my business! I am so glad that you are having such a delightful time. I thought you would! and the second letter quite proves it. I envy your playing so much with dear Nelly Hale.1 It seems a great while since I saw her. I am indeed glad that you feel so much better. I was sure of that too, and dear Loulie, how the truth comes to us as we grow older that one gets something out of simple country life in the green fields that one never does anywhere else! It is very natural that I should have a prejudice in that direction!

     You see that I have left Manchester, but I hope to go back again for the last few days of Mrs. Fields's stay and be moved to town as I was moved down! Mr. Sargent2 is still there and we have enjoyed him very much. It is always such an interesting world to me, the picture world, and he is such a serious man as my dear old grandfather3 used to say, and so intent and wholehearted about his work. I am sure that you would find great pleasure in what he says and is. I wonder if Nelly has not known him.

     I must say good morning with much love to you and Nelly and 'Mamma,' and here are best thanks for your letters.

     Yours always affectionately,

     S. O. J.
 

Notes

     1Ellen Day Hale (1854-1940), daughter of Edward Everett Hale, studied with William Morris Hunt and at the Julian Art School in Paris. Later she established a studio in Boston and became notable for her portraits, landscapes, and genre paintings.

     2John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), able and fashionable American painter, stayed at Mrs. Fields's Gambrel Cottage "while he paints a person or persons in the neighbourhood" -- listed in his biography as Mrs. Augustus Loring, Miss Louise Loring, and Portrait of a Lady. [The editor adds that according to Rita Gollin, Sargent painted Annie Fields's portrait in 1890 (252).]

     3Dr. William Perry (1788-1887) raced spirited horses along the beach at Exeter, New Hampshire, in his eighties and performed surgery in his nineties. A strongminded and outspoken man, he early egged Jewett toward a serious commitment to work. She dedicated The Story of the Normans to him.

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




SOJ to William H. Rideing

     148 Charles Street
     Boston
     October 24, [1890]

    Dear Mr. Rideing:

     I thank you for your very kind note and I must say that your plan for a series of autobiographical sketches interests me very much. I should like to make certain points in mine about the value that simple country surroundings have had in my life simply because I was taught to be interested in things close at hand. So many young people imagine that it is their surroundings that help or hinder them.

     I make it a rule not to do work of this sort for less than a hundred dollars unless in exceptional cases. I do not mean work of this character -- but when I am asked by a magazine to do a special thing, I know very well that a magazine must have some regard to the length of a paper! But I find, on the author's part, that fifteen hundred words usually give me more work than four thousand, and when I break into other work I must consider that. But it is foreign to my wish to drive a hard bargain, and I promise to send you the sketch.1
 
     Believe me with best regards

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett

     Please to address me at South Berwick, Maine.

Notes

     1 "Looking Back on Girlhood," Youth's Companion, LXV (January 7, 1892), 5-6, was the first in a series of six reminiscent essays by prominent authors of the day. In the opening paragraph, Miss Jewett paraphrases her oft-repeated theme of this letter: "In giving this brief account of my childhood, or, to speak exactly, of the surroundings which have affected the course of my work as a writer, my first thought flies back to those who taught me to observe, and to know the deep pleasures of simple things, and to be interested in the lives of people about me."

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

     Saturday night. [Autumn 1890]*

     Dearest, -- The letter by Mr. Collyer* was from a person who sought to know my opinion of the novel of the future! But he never will.

     I copied for him those two wonderful bits of Flaubert, -- "Écrire la vie ordinaire comme on écrit l'histoire"; and the other, "Ce n'est pas de faire rire -- mais d'agir a la façon de la nature, c'est à dire de faire rêver."* I keep these pinned up on the little drawers at the back of the secretary, for a constant reminder.

     I now humbly apologize for presuming to suggest "Wanda,"* but I thought it would amuse you and waste a day or two's time just as it has done! It grows dull at the last, but it is nice and picturesque at the beginning. I don't believe that you are any the worse for it -- you aren't quite equal to hard reading and you must be doing something on account of your grand-mother's having been a May.* I hope after this humility to be reinstated in your respect and affection. Novels are good as they go along. It is only when they stop that you take it in that the pretty bubble is made of a spatter of soap suds! (Please to remember this nice simile!)

     As you say, what a delightful thing it is to have the mood for books on one and the chance to give up everything for it, but with me it doesn't last many days, that enchanting and desperate state of devouring cover and all.

Notes

1890:   It seems likely that Jewett refers in her first sentence to an article by Foster Coates (1855-1914), eventual city editor of the New York Evening Journal.  His "The Future of the Novel" appeared in The Author 3:3 (March 1891) pp. 47-49, reprinted from the Springfield Homestead.  The article consists of quotations from a number of contemporary writers on "the novel of the future."  The authors included are:  Richard Henry Stoddard, Octave Thanet, Edna Dean Proctor, Charles King, George W. Cable, Thomas Nelson Page, Charles Dudley Warner, Noah Brooks, Mary J. Holmes, Marion Harland, Amelia B. Edwards, Rose Terry Cooke, S. G. W. Benjamin, and William Dean Howells. Jewett is not quoted.

Mr. Collyer:  Richard Cary, in  "Jewett to Dresel: 33 Letters," Colby Quarterly 11 (March 1975) 13-49, identifies "Brother Robert" Collyer (1823-1912) a New York City Unitarian minister, writer and close friend and correspondent of Annie Fields and Jewett. For an account their relationship, see Blanchard, Sarah Orne Jewett, p. 310.

Flaubert ... "Écrire la vie ordinaire comme on écrit l'histoire"; and the other, "Ce n'est pas de faire rire - mais d'agir a la façon de la nature, c'est à dire de faire rêver": The first quotation is from a letter to Louise Colet of March 27 (Easter Sunday), 1853: "To write ordinary life as one writes history" (Translation by Carla Zecher).  The whole sentence, as translated by Francis Steegmuller (Selected Letters of Gustave Flaubert. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1953, pp. 148), reads:  "It is perhaps absurd to want to give prose the rhythm of verse (keeping it distinctly prose, however) and to write of ordinary life as one writes history or epic (but without falsifying the subject)." 
    The second quotation is from Flaubert's letter to Louise Colet of 26 August, 1853.  "It is not to evoke laughter --  but to act in the manner of nature, which is to say, to cause to dream." (Translation by Carla Zecher).  The whole passage as translated by Steegmuller (pp. 163-4) is: "What seems to me the highest and the most difficult achievement of Art is not to make us laugh or cry, or to rouse our lust or our anger, but to do as nature does -- that is, fill us with wonderment."

"Wanda": Wanda, Countess von Szalras (1883) is by Ouida (pseud, of Louise de la Ramée, 1839-1908).

a May: One of Annie Fields' grandmothers was a member of the old abolitionist and reforming May family. See Blanchard, p. 126.

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

     Monday evening. [Autumn 1890]*


     Such a heavenly day. I do wish that you could have played out of doors in the sun as I did. After dinner I stole away to my fence-corner and spent a beautiful season of peace and quietness. Jock followed me,* but the distant sound of a gun scared him, and so he crept close to my petticoats. I had my little old "Milton's Shorter Poems" in my pocket and read "Lycidas"* with more delight than ever before; and then I did nothing for awhile, and finally took to aimless scribbling, and I don't wonder that you so dearly like to do your work out of doors. You never would believe how beautiful the country looked; and yet after a while I had a consciousness that something strange was going on, and looked up to see a great white and grey trail of fog, like a huge reptile all along the course of the river past the town, and so I knew that there was a noble sea-turn on its way inland, and scrambled to the top of the hill to find all the eastern country a great grey lake, Agamenticus,* hidden (for once, you will say), and in fact the edge of the low cold cloud was uncomfortably near, so Jock and I raced it home and beat, for it was only a minute or two before the village was all a mist.

     Madame Blanc's picture* came tonight, and I forgot to tell you that a little note from her, heralding it, came yesterday. She must have given it to some friend to bring across. The engraving is signed by Amaury Duval and is very sweet to look at. When it was taken, twenty years ago, she says it took the medal at the Salon.* I think it is a little large to bring to you, but perhaps not.



Second Transcription

Monday evening  [189-]


Dearest Fuff

            Such a heavenly day!  I do wish that you could have played out of doors in the sun as I did.  I took Cousin Sarah and afterward Carrie* to drive this morning and after dinner I stole away to my fence corner and spent a beautiful season of peace and quietness.  Jack [Jock] followed me but the distant sound of a gun scared him and so he crept close to my petticoats.  You never saw such a little 'fraid cat as he is!  -- I had my little old Milton's shorter poems in my pocket and read Lycidas* with more delight than ever before and then I did nothing for awhile and finally took to aimless scribbling though I dont wonder that you so dearly like to do your work out of doors.  You never would believe how beautiful the country looked and yet after awhile I had a consciousness that something strange was going on and looked up to see a great white and grey trail of fog like a huge reptile all along the course of the river past the town and so I knew that there was a noble eas-turn [so transcribed] on its way inland and scrabbled to the top of the hill to find all the eastern country a great gray lake, Agamenticus hidden (for once! you will say)  and in fact the edge of the low cold cloud was uncomfortably near, so Jack and I raced it home and beat, for it was a minute or two before the village was all a mist . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pinny*

 

 Notes

Autumn 1890:  The earliest mention so far known of Jewett being in contact with Madame Blanc / Bentzon is when she mentions having a letter from Blanc in the summer of 1889.  Richard Cary in "Miss Jewett and Madame Blanc." Colby Library Quarterly 7 (1967): 466-488, speculates that this letter comes from 1890 (p. 473). 

"Milton's Shorter Poems" in my pocket and read "Lycidas": John Milton (1608-1674), English poet and essayist is most famous for his verse epic, Paradise Lost (1667). Among his shorter poems is the pastoral elegy on the death of a student friend, Edward King, "Lycidas" (1638).

Agamenticus: The highest point in the South Berwick area.

Amaury Duval ... at the Salon: The engraving of Madame Blanc that Jewett received is likely the same one that appeared in Blanc's The Condition of Woman in the United States (1895 in English).




However, it has not yet been established that this is the one by the French engraver Amaury Duval (1808-1885), who was the author of L'atelier d'Ingres (1878) and Souvenirs (1829-1830) (1885).

Fuff: Nickname for Annie Adams Fields.    See Correspondents.

Cousin Sarah ... Carrie:  Caroline Jewett Eastman.  See Correspondents. Jewett's Cousin Sarah has not yet been identified.  Assistance is welcome.

Pinny: Nickname for Sarah Orne Jewett.    See Correspondents.

Jock
:  F. O. Matthiessen in Sarah Orne Jewett (1909) identifies Jock as one of Jewett's dogs.

This letter appears in Annie Fields, Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett (1911),  Transcribed by Annie Adams Fields.  The second partial partial transcription appears in a collection of transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Folder 72, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Preparation by Linda Heller.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Louisa Dresel

     South Berwick, Maine
     November 10, 1890

     My dear Loulie:

     I hear by the way of Charles Street that you have been ill and I write to say that I hope you are fast getting well again and to flaunt it in your face that I am very well myself! But very busy, which is apt to lead to a season of depression of body and especially of mind. It never has seemed to me that I was meant for an Ornament alone, but trying to be useful and energetic is not apt to be successful either to judge from certain standpoints. This sounds very self-contemplative and shallow, but forgive a well meant effort to amuse you.

     I have been going on very quietly since I wrote you or saw you last. My mother has been a very great deal more comfortable until yesterday when through a sudden chill or the change of weather she had to go back to bed again.* But she has been well enough to really enjoy her drives, all wrapped up in furs and taking the "way of the wind," and so the autumn weather has proved kind to us, gray as it has sometimes been. My sister Mary1 has been away on some visits and I have had a very dear quiet time helping my dear mother to keep house and playing that she still could do it all. Then I have been writing a good deal and riding a little and going down river one lovely afternoon and coming up with the tide and being quite Betty Leicester-like!2 in my pleasures of outdoor life.* You would have laughed one day when my nephew Theodore3 and I were far out of town among the pastures, and began to play at scouting for Indians which much occupy his eleven year old mind. You can imagine how we saw feathered heads peering over the hills and rode for our lives, and then discovered the campfire of these deadly savages and were relieved at discovering that they were not a war party but had their squaws with them and were on their way to the mountains to cut tent poles, their own, fastened to their ponies, being worn to stubs!! The quiet pastures never knew such works, but indeed I can "play" as well as ever I could, and I could be dead in earnest with sand piles if occasion offered. Let us try next summer?4

     Have you seen the new paper that is started for the Girls' Clubs? Far and Near? I think it promises very well. I will send you a copy with a story which I gave them,5 and had to write in a great hurry, but it turns out pretty well if only I could have corrected it enough. It is not always the pieces of work that one works over most that are most satisfactory to the reading public!

     Next week I hope to go to town for a day or two and I shall try to see you, so please to Get Well at once!

     Yours affectionately,

     S. O. J.
 

Notes

     1Mary Rice Jewett (1847-1930), her elder sister, to whom she dedicated A White Heron and other Stories.

     2Heroine of two Jewett stories: Betty Leicester: A Story for Girls (Boston, 1890); Betty Leicester's English Xmas (Privately printed, 1894), reprinted by Houghton, Mifflin & Co., as Betty Leicester's Christmas (Boston, 1899).

     3Theodore Jewett Eastman (4 August 1879 - 1931), only child of Jewett's younger sister Caroline, the last descendant in the direct line, was graduated from Harvard College and Medical School. Jewett nicknamed him "Stubby" and dedicated The Tory Lover to him.

     4Jewett's inexpungeable streak of puerility is frequently evidenced in her letters to friends and in her public writings. See Eugene Hillhouse Pool, "The Child in Sarah Orne Jewett," Colby Library Quarterly, VII (September 1967, 503-509; also Fields, Letters, 50, 125, 252, also "Grown-Up," Independent, XXIV (September 26, 1872), 2, Jewett's own interesting study of her tendency to regress.

     5The National League of Women Workers, New York, initiated this magazine in November 1890. Jewett's story, "Miss Esther's Guest," appeared in that first issue, vol. I, pp. 10-12. The Jewett bibliography erroneously lists it as first appearing in A Native of Winby and Other Tales (Boston, 1893).

Editor's Notes

mother:  Caroline Frances Perry Jewett died on 21 October 1891.

Betty Leicester:  Jewett's writing about Betty Leicester first appeared as "A Bit of Color" in St. Nicholas (16:456-463; 514-523; 572-580), April,  May, and June, 1889.

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




SOJ To The Editors of the Independent

South Berwick Maine
12 November 1890

Editors of the Independent

    Gentlemen*

I thank you for your note but I shall have to decline to make any more engagements just at present. It is a bad plan I find, to write less and promise more!

Your sincerely
S. O. Jewett


Editor's Notes

Gentlemen:  The formality of this note seems somewhat mysterious, as Jewett was well acquainted with William Hayes Ward, editor of The Independent, her friend and neighbor in South Berwick.   She had published more than 30 pieces in The Independent by 1890.  See Correspondents.
    However, it is possible that this letter is addressed not to the national weekly, but to the local South Berwick and Salmon Falls newspaper, also The Independent.  Whether Jewett ever published anything in this newspaper is not known.

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 Terry Heller, Coe College.




John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ


Amesbury Mass
Nov 18  1890

My dear friend,

    It was good -- -it was like thy dear self to write me.  I was feeling a little lonely when it came -- an old friend of mine, a near neighbor* is lying very ill, and must soon pass away.  He was a plain farmer but a great reader and [thinker ? ] and we have been always fast friends.

    I am glad to hear that thy mother is more comfortable.  I have never got over the loss of my mother.  I had a letter from A.F.* a short time ago.  She is looking forward to thy coming to Boston.  What a sweet little poem [ two unrecognized words ]"in a green nook by the sea."*  I am anxious to see thy new book.*  Meanwhile I look over they [ so transcribed, meaning thy] old ones.

    I hope thee will stop here on thy way to Boston. It will be a great pleasure to me to see thee again.  I dread the coming winter and the snow storm of yesterday looked very dismal to me.  But I suppose it will all be well -- nothing is so bad as our fear It will be; and the dear Lord is over all.

    In spite of the wet weather there are times I hope thee have enjoyed the uncommonly fine colors of the season.  I never saw the leaves so gorgeous before at Oak Knoll.  An English tourist called on me at their brightest, but he could see nothing worthy of his attention.

    Always affectionately thy fr.

John G. Whittier

Notes


near neighbor:  The identity of this neighbor is not yet known.  Assistance is welcome.

A. F.   Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

green nook:  Annie Fields's poem, "Revisiting a Green Nook," appeared in Scribner's Magazine 8 (October 1890, p. 472).

new book:  In 1890, Jewett published three books: Strangers and Wayfarers, Betty Leicester and Tales of New England. The last appeared in the spring of 1890, so presumably, Whittier anticipates one of the first two.  While Betty Leicester is a "story for girls" and seems the less likely alternative, it is set in Riverport, a renamed South Berwick, and might well interest Whittier for its depiction of local scenes familiar to him.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the South Berwick Public Library, South Berwick, ME.  From typescript of an unknown transcriber.  Annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College.


SOJ to Louisa Dresel

     Friday
     November 28, [1890]

    Dear Loulie:

     I don't like HIS looks at all. You will frighten me into saying no to everything and everybody and I shall never write any more little stories "at all mirover" as the people say in Black's novels. By the way, have you read A Princess of Thule1 lately? It is always such a delightful book to reread -- you find it so much nicer than you expected every time.

     I had already made a vow, before I read your note of admonition that after I copied a story and finished a very brief sketch and got my paper on "Sarah, Countess of Rumford"2 off my mind, that I wouldn't get in for any more writing. Yet this very day one flashed clear and bright into my mind, and I know by the way I see it that it will be written. The name is "The Paley Twins,"3 and so there is half a winter's work. The "Countess of Rumford" is really worth doing. Perhaps you don't know that the famous count left a daughter, New England born and bred, who came back from her gay life in Munich and Paris and London and spent the last of her years in a quiet New Hampshire town. A countess of the Bavarian Court and Concord are such a funny pair of thoughts to put together! She was a near relative too, of some of my connections and I have always been hearing about her, yet never thought of writing about her until within a few years. I must tell you a great deal about her some time.4

     Dear Loulie I hope that you are better, but if you still feel your throat I wish that you would go away for two or three weeks. At this time of year one doesn't dare to go out of doors much and colds are things of the house. I shall preach from this text for I hope to see you next week when, as the plan is now, I am to go to town again. Love to your mother.

     Yours affectionately,

     S. O. J.

     I am so glad that you liked the St. Augustine story.5
 

Notes

     1Five of William Black's novels about his native Scotland highlands are in Jewett's library, including A Princess of Thule, first published in 1874, and described as "one of the most popular of a popular novelist's novels." Jewett derived the name of her favorite horse, Sheila, from the heroine of this book.

     2Among Jewett's papers in the Houghton Library is an unfinished holograph manuscript of some twenty-five odd sheets, the ink and handwriting testifying that they were written at different intervals, with plethoric alterations, entitled "The Countess of Rumford." There is no evidence of a fair copy or of publication.

     3As above, there is no record of this story in the Jewett bibliography. She may never have written it, it may never have been accepted for publication, or it may one day be discovered in a remote newspaper or magazine, as have several others unlisted.

     4Sarah Thompson (1774-1852) was depicted by Jewett as a grande dame, an ornament to both European and American societies. After her return to Rumford (now Concord), New Hampshire, she involved herself deeply in philanthropies for children, widows, orphans, and the insane.

     5 "Jim's Little Woman," Harper's LXXXII (December 1890) 100-110; collected in A Native of Winby and Other Tales (Boston, 1893), one of Jewett's few contrived stories, is about an exemplary Maine girl who marries an attractive, reckless sailor fond of drinking and carousing.

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



SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

 

 Wednesday morning
[ Winter 1890 ]

Dear Mary

            There is a little snow-storm all over the frozen ground which is enough to dull the noise: it has been growing worse and worse these past few days.  But no sleighing yet.  I never saw so plain a snowstorm hanging in the sky as yesterday -- when I went out it was already beginning, but out came the sun presently.  I had been bespoken on Friday by H. M. & Co.* but all affairs were seriously attended to in a long session yesterday morning.  I wish there were one person there who cared about books.  Most of them might as well be keeping up a hardware business and instead of being proud to print the great books as Mr. Fields* and the old publishers used to be -- they love to have Kate Douglas Wiggin & Hopkinson Smith.*  All well enough, but they bring standards down, and in the mean time the great books of thirty years ago are still as good paying property as publishers could wish.  But they are all looking for sensations in spite of that.

I felt quite tired but I had half an hour to spare and went in to see Mrs. Cabot* who was delightful, but she has had another turn of cold and was on the couch in her room reading the English papers, and looking quite pale and 'wistful’!  Brother Robert* went off without great enthusiasm and when he saw the snow beginning, he gave notice that if it kept on he should come right back from Brother Cuckson’s* without going to Salem.  I think he is to be expected this afternoon so that I must be in, though I doubt if A. F.* gets out to the conference.  She feels much better today and had the doctor yesterday she felt so bad, and thats all I can say in this moment.  She looks a good deal better than she has for some days.  Yes, old Helen* was a noble sight but I know she was foolish to come down by the eight o’clock train and romp all day: she had a headache for it sure as the world.  I know old Helen’s tricks & manners.  I hope dear Aunt Mary* is nicely again.  A little grog is excellent for a sore throat.  She can take it as a medicine and then it wont taste as bad to her as if she called it a pleasure.  Mrs. Fields sends her love to you all.  My best respects to Aunt Gilman*

                                                                                                Sarah

Give my love to Cousin Fanny & the Boys.  I wish I were there!  Sarah

 


Notes


Winter 1890: This tentative date is based mainly upon Jewett complaining about Houghton Mifflin adding Kate Douglas Wiggin and Francis Hopkinson Smith to their publication list; they became Houghton, Mifflin authors in 1889.

H. M. & Co.:  Jewett's publisher, Houghton, Mifflin &Co.

Mr. Fields: James T. Fields, husband of Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

Kate Douglas Wiggin & Hopkinson Smith: For Wiggin and Francis Hopkinson Smith, see Correspondents.  According to Wikipedia, Wiggin was added to the Houghton, Mifflin book list in 1889.  WorldCat lists Smith's first Houghton publication in 1889, as well.

Mrs. Cabot: Susan Burley Cabot. See Correspondents.

Brother Robert: Dr. Robert Collyer. See Correspondents.

Brother Cuckson’s:   This is probably John Cuckson (1846-1907), Unitarian clergyman and author, pastor of the Arlington Street Unitarian Church in Boston (1892-1907).

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

old Helen: Richard Cary identifies "Old Helen" as Helen Bigelow Merriman.  See Correspondents.

Aunt Mary: Mary Olivia Gilman Long. See Correspondents.

Aunt Gilman ... Cousin Fanny & the Boys: It is not yet clear whom sister Mary will see among the aunts.  Jewett may refer to Alice Dunlap Gilman or to Helen Williams Gilman.  See Correspondents.  Aunt Helen often is associated with Fanny, who has not been identified.  Aunt Alice, however, had two sons, of whom Charles was a favorite cousin.

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.



[Printed letterhead, centered on left margin.]

G. P. Putnam's Sons

27 & 29 WEST 23rd STREET

NEW YORK

 

LONDON, 25 HENRIETTA STREET

                COVENT GARDEN

                                                                                                                        12/17/90

Dear Miss Jewett,

            Mr. Unwin, the London publisher of the "Story of the Nations" series, has finally offered to take a set of the plates of the "Story of the Normans" at a small advance on the cost of reproducing these. –

            We are desirous, for more reasons than one, that this volume should not continue to be omitted from the London list of

[Page 2]

the series, and we have therefore accepted Mr. Unwin's offer and shall plan to ship his set of the plates early in the New Year.

            The margin of profit on this shipment, amounting to £35.0.0. , we shall divide with the author, passing to her credit £17.10.0.

            Kindly send us , as early as convenient, a list of such corrections as seem to you important, and we will have made (at our own cost) all that may not entail any exceptional outlay.

            We can secure no allowance from Mr. Unwin for the cost of correcting the plates for his English edition, and we shall wish, therefore, to keep the expense of these corrections as moderate as possible.

            We shall send you in January February, statement showing sales to date of the book.

                                                                                                Yours very truly

                                                                                                G. H. Putnam

Miss S.O. Jewett,

               Charles st. Boston.

 

Notes

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library of Harvard University: MS Am 1743 (185) Putnam, George Haven, 1 letter; 1890.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Horace Scudder
 

     South Berwick, Maine
     December 18, [1890]

    Dear Mr. Scudder:

     I wish very much that you could print in the Atlantic a paper that I heard Mrs. Whitman1 read on "Colour" the other evening. It is very full of suggestions. I think that no one could fail to be wiser and to find his power of enjoyment vastly increased. No one who read it or heard it would go away ungrateful. Of course it would need working over in certain places to change it into magazine shape. I am sure that you would make allowance for this in the first looking over. I write without having said anything to Mrs. Whitman, but I hope that you will ask her to let you see the paper and that she will not say no!2 I tried to find you at your office a few days ago wishing to speak of this, but you had gone out of town.

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1 Sarah Wyman Whitman (see Correspondents).
     2 Either Mrs. Whitman or Mr. Scudder said "no." No paper of this description made its appearance in the Atlantic Monthly.


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 Louisa Dresel

     South Berwick, Maine
     December 22, [1890]

     Dear Loulie:

     I am sorry to have only these two photographs to send you with the book and my most affectionate Christmas wishes. I have put away my negatives in such a safe place that I can't find them to have more printed. But I think that the Oldfields burying-ground1 ranks highest as a work of art! and the dear old house where I was born and where I now sit writing to you (near the window over the porch) will be as interesting to you as any others of the little pictures. The perspective of the house is quite queer! but I expect great things from the next developing of sixty.

     It is not very certain whether I shall be in town this week. At any rate it will only be for a night and part of a day tomorrow night or Christmas night. An old cousin of ours here, of whom we are very fond, is, I fear, dying, and this makes my mother very depressed and she as not been quite so well lately at any rate. Then there is a wedding of one of my cousins in Exeter tomorrow!2 It is a strange hurried week altogether.

     Dear Loulie I am sure that you will have many thoughts beside those of Christmas merrymaking, but after all the best of Christmas is that one feels free even in repressed and undemonstrative New England to be as good as one knows how to other people and to give them all the pleasure one can. I can wish you a happy Christmas if not a merry one, and I do most heartily with much love.

     Your ever affectionately,

     S. O. J.
 

Notes

     1Area adjoining the Piscataqua River in the north section of South Berwick, "between its great forests and open fields." A photograph of the Goodwin House and the burying-ground is reproduced on page 594 of Jewett's "The Old Town of Berwick," New England Magazine, X (July 1894), 585-609.

     2Jewett's cousin was Helen Bell (not to be confused with Helen Choate Bell), the youngest daughter of ex-governor of New Hampshire, Charles Henry Bell who had twice married into the Exeter Gilman family, maternal cousins of the Jewetts. On the 23rd Miss Bell married Dr. Harold North Fowler, professor of Classics in Phillips Exeter Academy. The wedding company was described as "a large, brilliant assembly," including two of the Harvard senior faculty and "many people of prominence" from several states.

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




SOJ to Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin


South Berwick
Saturday 28 [or 26] December
[1890 ]

Dear Mrs. Claflin

    I thank you for this little book which came yesterday from town.  You are always very kind to remember me at Christmas time.  I am very fond of reading The Tent on the Beach, and it seems natural to associate something of Mr. Whittier's with you.*

[ Page 2 ]


We had a great deal of Christmas pleasure in spite of everything!  The family feast was given up, but my Mother came down to dinner with Mary* and me, and we had a great opening of Christmas bundles in the morning with Carrie and her household.*

    I wonder if you know

[ Page 3 ]

that Cousin Mary Nealley* died this week?  We shall miss the dear little affectionate soul very much, my Mother has depended so much upon her almost daily visits, and she was the last left of the the three households -- four households -- that I remember in childhood in my father's family.  Mother seems left quite alone and of course

[ Page 4 ]

[ the bottom right corner of a rectangle seems to be drawn on the right side of the top of page 4]

we all feel that a good deal.

    I hope that you had a happy Christmas -- and I wish you a happy New Year.

Yours affectionately

Sarah O. Jewett

Notes

The Tent on the Beach ... Mr. Whittier's:  John Greenleaf Whittier.  See Correspondents.   His volume, The Tent on the Beach and Other Poems appeared in 1867,

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Carrie and her household:  Carrie Jewett Eastman.  See Correspondents.

Cousin Mary Nealley:  Richard Cary says: "Mary Elizabeth Jewett Nealley (1817-1890) died on December 23. She was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Lord Jewett, and the wife of the Hon. John B. Nealley, a lawyer in South Berwick and a member of the Maine State Senate. They lived adjacent to the Cushing house on Main and Academy streets, a few hundred feet from the Jewett home."

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




SOJ to Louisa Dresel

     South Berwick, Maine
     Saturday afternoon
     [December 27, 1890]

     Dear Loulie:

     Your pillow did not get to me until last night, owing to the storm and also a little I suppose to my being away from town. I think it is a dear. I like it VERY much, and I send you as many thanks as will make three to each of the stitches. It is to go on an old couch covered with blue and white chintz with shepherdesses and other persons for a pattern, and I hope that some time you will put your own head on it for I do not like to think of your having parted from such a pillow forever!

     I thank you for your kind Christmas thought, dear Loulie -- indeed I thank you for all your kind thought that lasts me the year round.

     I spent Tuesday night in town in a whirl of busy-ness and got home again Wednesday evening. A dear quaint little old cousin of ours, a great friend of my mother's, has died this week, which has been a real sorrow -- as in addition to our missing her at any rate my mother will particularly miss her visits -- she had a brisk little cheerful way of "running in." I must tell you more about her some day when we are talking together.1

     I have just finished some teasing work, the anxious revision of the Normans book which is to be put into an English edition.2 I have felt hurried with it and of course there could hardly be a more distracting week of the year to undertake it in! But I am sending off the papers today, and feel much relieved in mind.

     Give my love to Mrs. Dresel and keep much for yourself, dear child, from

     Your most affectionate and grateful,

     S. O. J.
 

Notes

     1Mary Elizabeth Jewett Nealley (1817-1890) died on December 23. She was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Lord Jewett, and the wife of the Hon. John B. Nealley, a lawyer in South Berwick and a member of the Maine State Senate. They lived adjacent to the Cushing house on Main and Academy streets, a few hundred feet from the Jewett home.

     2The Normans, Told Chiefly in Relation to Their Conquest of England, No. 29 in The Story of the Nations series, was published by T. Fisher Unwin (London, 1891). The first edition was brought out by G. P. Putnam's Sons (New York, 1887).

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



Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.



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