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1890    1892

Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1891



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

January 6, 1891.

      A message of the New Year with its trembling hopes, its intimations, its retrospect. The year always comes as a person to me; and this one has a gentle look and perhaps will lay a soft hand on us. At all events one can live and love in it, and so one turns to and rallies on one's abstract propositions.

Notes

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



SOJ to Louise Chandler Moulton


South Berwick Maine*
6 January 1891

Dear Mrs Moulton

    I thank you sincerely for your kind words; it gives me great pleasure to think that you like the stories of my Strangers and Wayfarers,* and "have made no strangers of them" as we say in the country!

    I hope that you have come

[ Page 2 ]

 
back from your pleasant summer, feeling quite well and strong.  You see that I feel quite sure of it having been pleasant!

    I send you most cordial good wishes for the New Year{.} That's my best thanks for your note, and beg you to believe me

Yours most truly

Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

Maine:  There are several numbers in the lower left corner of page 1, apparently identification marks for Library of Congress.  With this letter in the LOC folder is a matching envelope, addressed to 28 Rutland Square, Boston, and cancelled 6 January 1891.

Strangers and Wayfarers:  Jewett's story collection of this title appeared in 1890.

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
Mrs. George D. Howe

     South Berwick, Maine

     January 9, 1891

     My dear Alice:

      You were very good to remember me in sending such a pleasant invitation, but I am afraid I shall not be in town for a long time yet as my mother has been very ill again and I am staying at home almost constantly this winter.

     Everybody is most delighted at the news of the Fogg Library.1 You may be sure that nobody is more pleased than I am.

     With my best thanks for the invitation, believe me ever

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett

Notes
     1 A tablet in the Fogg Memorial Library, a wing of Berwick Academy, states: "This building was erected AD 1894 in memory of William Hayes Fogg. Born in Berwick, Maine, Dec. 27, 1817. Died in New York City, March 29, 1884." Although Miss Jewett refers to him as "a former pupil" in "The Old Town of Berwick," New England Magazine, n.s.x (July 1894), 604, he is not listed as such in A Memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of Berwick Academy (July 1, 1891). Fogg left Berwick as a young man and accumulated a fortune in the China and Japan trade. A large legacy left to the school by his widow was announced at this time. Miss Jewett concerned herself with the planning and construction of the building, and Sarah Wyman Whitman designed the stained glass windows and directed the interior decoration.

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 afternoon, 17 January, 1891.

     This is a short word for you to read on Monday morning, written at the close of a dark and stormy afternoon. I have been sitting in mother's room, reading your big Rumford book,* which I somehow have taken into my head again. He was such a charioteer! What do you think that he did once but have every beggar in Munich arrested! and then sorted them out after careful examination, giving work to those who needed it, and helping all deserving, and dealing with the naughty ones. There was a huge work-house, for instance, where they were put at trades. You would be much pleased with the accounts, and some time we must talk about it. I have felt a little tired and clumsy-handed, and the Rumford book was just the thing. The count was really such an interesting man. Oh, if this young republic could have had his practical wisdom!

Notes

your big Rumford book: Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753-1814). According to the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, the American born scientist left the colonies in 1776, because he opposed the American rebellion, and was knighted for service to England in 1784. He then "became aide-de-camp to the elector of Bavaria. During his 11 years in Bavaria, Thompson reorganized the Bavarian army, abolished mendicancy in Munich, and established workhouses for the poor. In 1791 the elector made Thompson a count of the Holy Roman Empire." The "big" Rumford book is very likely, George E. Ellis (1814-1894), Memoir of Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1871).

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 Frederic Allison Tupper

    South Berwick, Maine
 
     January 20, 1891

     My dear Sir:

      I am sorry to be so late in thanking you for your kindness in sending me your book, Echoes from Dream-Land.1 It was unfortunately mislaid for some time and has only appeared on my desk again today. I am sure that the writing of these pages must have given you much pleasure and I wish to thank you for the pleasure which the verses called "The Poet's Boyhood"2 have given me. I believe that I care more for them than any of the others which I had time to read yet.

     With best acknowledgments of your kind attention, believe me

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett

Notes
 
     1 A volume of some eighty-five poems, among them several class odes and baccalaureate hymns, but predominantly nature lyrics in simple Wordsworthian strain; published in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, in 1890.
     2 A seventeen-quatrain reminiscence of his immersion in nature and emergence as a poet of its moods, unfolded in a series of familiar bucolic images and one Aeschylean epithet.

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 Dana Estes

     South Berwick, Maine

     January 22, 1891

     My dear Mr. Estes:

      Will you give my best thanks to your committee and say that I regret very much that I cannot accept their polite invitation to the Dinner of the Pine Tree State Club1 on the twenty-eighth of January. Nobody at the feast will be more proud and fond of his native state than I am of what Whittier has called our "hundred-harbored Maine."2
     Believe me ever

     Yours sincerely,
     Sarah Orne Jewett

Notes

     1 An organization of native Maine men living in and around Boston which convened periodically for intellectual and social fellowship.
     2 Miss Jewett's long friendship with Whittier came about through his association with publisher James T. Fields. Whittier looked forward to his meetings with Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields in Boston, Amesbury, and South Berwick, and maintained correspondence with them even when they went abroad. His letter to Miss Jewett on Deephaven vies in ardor with Emerson's to Whitman on Leaves of Grass. In 1888 Miss Jewett dedicated The King of Folly Island "with grateful affection" to the gentle Friend.
     Whittier wrote the sonnet "Godspeed" for "my friends Annie Fields and Sarah Orne Jewett" on the occasion of their first departure for Europe in 1882. Not to be outdone, Miss Jewett eulogized him in "The Eagle Trees," Harper's, LXVI (March 1883), 608
     The allusion to Maine is from Whittier's "The Dead Ship of Harpswell":

      From gray sea-fog, from icy drift,
     From peril and from pain,
     The home-bound fisher greets thy lights,
     O hundred-harbored Maine!

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 Dana Estes

       South Berwick, Maine

     January 22, [1891]

     Dear Mr. Estes:

     After writing my note of this morning I have remembered that Mrs. Richards of Gardiner1 is probably in town at 241 Beacon Street, and that you will undoubtedly like to have her asked to your dinner. I am very sorry that I was compelled to decline, but I am kept here this winter by the serious illness of a member of our family,2 and it is impossible for me to count upon going to town even for a day. If all the Maine-born people are as proud of Mrs. Richards -- the child of Maine's adoption -- as I am, then they are very proud indeed! I hope that I am right in thinking that she is available for your dinner company on the 28th, but you are likely to know, since she is of your publishing household.3
 
     Believe me, with best regards,

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes
 
    1 Laura Elizabeth Richards (1850-1943), daughter of Julia Ward Howe, was a prolific poet, biographer, and novelist, best remembered for her two series of juvenile stories, the Toto and the Hildegarde books. Mrs. Richards came to Gardiner, Maine, in 1876 with her husband and resided there until her death.
    2 During this period Miss Jewett makes repeated reference to the fatal illness of her mother, Caroline Frances Perry Jewett, who died on October 21, 1891.
    3 Estes had already published eight of Mrs. Richards' books, one of which was her most durable novel, Captain January. No less than forty-four others appeared under the imprints of Estes & Lauriat and D. Estes & Company in the next twenty-two years.

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

January 31, 1891.

      I am led to wonder if time given to acquaintances and enemies is really worth as much towards one's everlasting salvation as if friends were allowed to come into the scheme of organization a little more freely.


Notes

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



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

          Saturday morning, [January 1891]


     I was busy writing most of the day yesterday, but went up the street for an hour to the funeral of a little grand-child of one of our neighbours. The mother had died of consumption not long ago, and this delicate little thing was brought to the old grandmother to take care of. So it was a blessed flitting, and a solemn little pageant of all the middle-aged and elderly neighbours going to the funeral and sitting in the room where the small coffin was, and that old, wise, little dead face, which made one feel one's self the ignorant child, and that poor baby an ancient wise creature that knew all that there was for a baby to know, of this world and the next.

     There is a quaint archaic touch in Louise Guiney's poem to Izaak Walton, and I do so like Craddock, -- # who takes time, and is lost to sight, to memory dear, and writes a good big Harper's story. So does Sister,# with one for the "Atlantic" called Felicia;* so does not S. O. J.,* whose French ancestry comes to the fore, and makes her nibble all round her stories like a mouse. They used to be as long as yardsticks, they are now as long as spools, and they will soon be the size of old-fashioned peppermints, and have neither beginning or end, but shape and flavor may still be left them, and a kind public may still accept when there is nothing else. One began to write itself this morning called "The Failure of Mr. David Berry"; I have written a quarter, and it goes very well indeed, and seems to have its cheerful points*

     I read "Madame Bovary" all last evening, though I only took it up for a few moment) and meant to do some writing afterward. It is quite wonderful how great a book Flaubert makes of it.* People talk about dwelling upon trivialities and commonplaces in life, but a master writer gives everything weight, and makes you feel the distinction and importance of it, and count it upon the right or the wrong side of a life's account. That is one reason why writing about simple country people takes my time and thought. But I should make too long a letter for this short morning. Flaubert, who sees so far into the shadows of life, may "dwell" and analyze and reflect as much as he pleases with the trivial things of life; the woes of Hamlet absorb our thoughts no more than the silly wavering gait of this Madame Bovary, who is uninteresting, ill-bred, and without the attraction of rural surroundings. But the very great pathos of the book to me, is not the sin of her, but the thought, all the time, if she could have had a little brightness and prettiness of taste in the dull doctor, if she could have taken what there was in that dull little village! She is such a lesson to dwellers in country towns, who drift out of relation to their surroundings, not only social, but the very companionships of nature, unknown to them.

     Was there ever anything so delicious as Carlyle's calling Margaret Fuller "that strange lilting, lean old maid!" I think "lilting" is too funny, and how many times do you suppose he "laffed" after he wrote her down? I never loved the Carlyles before as I do in this book. Don't you wonder at him more and more? Froude is always the lover of his heroes, but I can't help thinking he is only just to Carlyle.* I wish we may have a chance to go to the Athenæum next month, and see some of the English reviews of the book. I want to read about it. The Carlyle makes other books seem trivial, as books, just now. That cross Scotchman seemed to carry an exact, inexorable yardstick, and to measure with it as if he were a commissioner from the Book of Judgment, though everybody else ran about with too short yardsticks and too long ones.

     I think better of the Lord Houghton book, as I see it more, just as you did. What an exquisite letter that is of Tennyson's, when R. M. M. was cross at him, and what a dear kind old pat on the shoulder our reverend Sydney Smith gave him, when R. M. M. thought he had been called names of the "cool of the evening," etc., etc. And I do so like Carlyle's first long letter, from Fryston to his wife.*


Fields's notes

# Charles Egbert Craddock is the nom de plume of Miss Mary N. Murfree.

# Miss Murfree's sister.


Notes

January 1891:  Fields gives this letter a positive date: 12 October, 1890. However, given the notes below, this seems unlikely.  Jewett could not have read a publication of Guiney's poem until the appearance of the February 1891 issue of Harper's Monthly.

Louise Guiney's poem to Izaak Walton,... Craddock ... so does Sister, with one for the "Atlantic" called Felicia: Louise Imogen Guiney's (1861-1920) "For Izaak Walton" appears in Harper's New Monthly Magazine 82 Issue 489 (February, 1891) p. 441.  The poem was collected in: Happy Ending: The Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen Guiney, New Edition (1907). A text appears below.
     Isaak Walton (1593-1683) was the British author of The Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation (1653). After he retired from business, he lived in Winchester.
    Charles Egbert Craddock is the nom de plume of Mary Noailles Murfree (1850-1922).  Also in the February 1891 Harper's was her "In The 'Stranger People's' Country," pp. 359-384.  She is remembered for In the Tennessee Mountains (1884).
    M. N. Murfree sister, Fanny Noailles Dickenson Murfree (1846-1941) was the author of Felicia (1891), a novel that began in July 1890 in The Atlantic.

For Izaak Walton  by Louise Imogen Guiney

Can trout allure the rod of yore
In Itchen stream to dip?
Or lover of her banks restore
That sweet Socratic lip?
Old fishing and wishing
Are over many a year.
Oh, hush thee, Oh, hush thee! heart
              innocent and dear.

Again the foamy shallows fill,
The quiet clouds amass,
And soft as bees by Catherine Hill
At dawn the anglers pass,
And follow the hollow,
In boughs to disappear.
Oh, hush thee, Oh, hush thee! heart
              innocent and dear.

Nay, rise not now, nor with them take
One amber-freckled fool!
Thy sons to-day bring each an ache
For ancient arts to cool.
But, father, lie rather
Unhurt and idle near;
Oh, hush thee, Oh, hush thee! heart
             innocent and dear.

While thought of thee to men is yet
A sylvan playfellow,
Ne'er by thy marble they forget
In pious cheer to go.
As air falls, the prayer falls
O'er kingly Winchester:
Oh, hush thee, Oh, hush thee! heart
             innocent and dear.
 

so does not S. O. J:    Pieces of hers do appear early in the year, such as her two-part holiday story in Ladies' Home Journal: "Mrs. Parkinson's Christmas Eve."  But she does not publish in Atlantic until May, with "A Native of Winby."

"The Failure of Mr. David Berry"Jewett's story appeared in Harper's in June 1891.

Madame Bovary ... Flaubert: Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) published his novel, Madame Bovary, in 1857.

Carlyle's calling Margaret Fuller "that strange lilting, lean old maid!": In volume one of Thomas Carlyle: A History of His Life in London, Chapter 15, James Anthony Froude (1818-1894) quotes Carlyle's report of meeting Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), American journalist and essayist. Carlyle describes her: "a strange, lilting lean old maid, not nearly such a bore as I expected."

I think better of the Lord Houghton book, ... letter that is of Tennyson's, when R. M. M. was cross at him, ... Sydney Smith gave him, when R. M. M. thought he had been called names ... Carlyle's first long letter, from Fryston to his wife: Sir Thomas Wemyss Reid's (1842-1905) biography Richard Monckton Milnes (1809-1885) is The Life, Letters, and Friendships of Richard Monckton Milnes, First Lord Houghton (1891). The Tennyson letter is in v. 1, pp. 179-80. See v. 1, pp. 213-215 for the Smith letter. The Fryston estate was Milnes's home. Carlyle's long letter to his wife is in v. 1, pp. 255-58.

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 Francis Hopkinson Smith*

South Berwick Maine,
1 February 1891

My dear friend    the Author of Colonel Carter of Cartersville!*

            I have wished to write you every time the first of the month has brought me The Century to thank you for the great pleasure I am taking in your most delightful story. Indeed I like it more and more as it goes on. I shall be so glad when I see you again, and can tell you many things that I believe about your rendering of such an enchanting hero, better than I can ^tell you^ here with pen and ink. Pray give my kindest remembrance to Mrs. Hopkinson Smith and believe me ever with best thanks and regards,

Yours sincerely,

Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

Colonel Carter of Cartersville:  Colonel Carter of Cartersville (1891) is a short humorous novel in which a Virginia gentleman, Colonel Carter, finds himself stranded in New York with no money.  Jewett read the story as a serial in Century Magazine November 1890 - April 1891.

The manuscript of this letter is held in the Autograph Collection at the Loyola University  (Chicago) Archives and Special Collections, item 1470, and may be viewed at Loyola University Chicago Digital Special Collections.  Original transcription by Sarah Morsheimer.  Slightly revised transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.


William Dean Howells to SOJ

To Miss Sarah Orne Jewett
184 Commonwealth Avenue,
Feb'y 1, 1891.

DEAR MISS JEWETT:

     I had written about your book for some far forthcoming Study,* and when I took it up just now to read something over again in it, I thought I had thanked you for it. Thank you now and always.

     I opened and read The White Rose Road, which I had left because I always want to read Mr. Teaby and Going to Shrewsbury whenever I am in eyeshot of these. But "The W. R. R." is beautiful, and it made the tears come to my eyes out of the everlasting ache in my heart for all that is poor, and fair and pitiful.

     You have a precious gift, and you must know it, and can be none the worse for your knowledge. We all have a tender pleasure in your work, which there is no other name for but love. I think no one has shown finer art in a way, than you, and that something which is so much better than art, besides. Your voice is like a thrush's in the din of all the literary noises that stun us so.

     I hope your mother is better, and that we shall see you before long in Boston.

     Give my love to your nephew, and our united affection to all your house.

Yours sincerely,
W. D. HOWELLS.
 
Notes

some far forthcoming Study:  The stories named in the second paragraph appear in Strangers & Wayfarers (1890):  "The White Rose Road," "The Quest of Mr. Teaby," and "Going to Shrewsbury."  Howells wrote of these stories in his review of the collection in "The Editor's Study," the column he wrote as editor of Harper's New Monthly Magazine (1888-1892): 82:491 (April 1891) 804-805.

This letter comes from Life in Letters of William Dean Howells, edited by Mildred Howells. New York: Doubleday, 1928. v. 2, pp. 15-16, 41, 146, 391-2. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Horace Scudder

       South Berwick, Maine

     February 28, [1891]

     Dear Mr. Scudder:

      I think that you are right about using the name of a state. I can change Iowa to Wi-owa or Kan-sota and I will not forget it when I see the proofs.1
 
     Yours truly,
     S. O. Jewett


Notes

     1 The Honorable Joseph K. Laneway is presented as a Senator from the state of Kansota in "A Native of Winby," Atlantic Monthly, LXVII (May 1891), 609-620; collected in A Native of Winby and Other Tales.

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
     March 4, 1891

     My dear Loulie:

     I hear of your flitting Southward and I am sending you a line to assure you of my good wishes, but also my vain regrets that you can't go this time to my beloved and beautiful St. Augustine! You will find a good part of your way very monotonous, but it is only after one comes back from a strange country that one can fully take the strangeness of it in. And our America is so different from Europe -- you see everything on a larger scale, that makes England, for instance, a country in miniature. The immensity of America strikes me more and more as I grow older -- the Great South -- the Great West with their unlimited possibilities waiting to be moulded and shaped and decorated by the hand of man and turned into such crammed and perfectly developed sections of the globe as any across the sea. But most of us feel more at home with a tamed and civilized part of the world -- it is still a little dreary to me to hurry all day across a piece of Southern Country that looks nearly as much alike as if the cars stood still!

     I am coming back to town next week for some days and I shall miss seeing you. I have been looking forward with great pleasure to seeing Bernhardt1 and I do hope that Mrs. Fields will be well enough to go too. My dear mother has been ever so much better for a week or more which is a great joy, you can believe.

     I am sending you a little book which may be old to you but I wished you to have a copy that I gave you. I have for years made it my chief counsellor and consoler and inspirer in the way of a book. My friend Ellen Mason2 gave me a copy of Fénélon -- why it must be twenty years ago, and it is the religious book of my life -- so ready for everyday need and so modern and completely unaffected and unsuperstitious it seems to me. Of course there is only a brief selection in this edition3 but it was all I could get hold of, and I have been keeping it some time to send to you when I was next visiting. I do hope that you find the kind and wise 'Bishop of Cambray' as helpful a friend as I have found him.

     Do give my love to Miss Sarah Clarke!4 It was a great pleasure to me to meet her last year, and a real inspiration. I can imagine what a pleasure it will be to her to have you and Mrs. Dresel come down to her neighborhood, and I hear that Mrs. King is going too, which will be so dear for all of you.* I shall hope to hear from you! and if you stay late enough you must stop in the Natural Bridge regions as you come North.5

     There is such a great blowing snowstorm today as if winter were beginning all over again. I quite envy you the miracle it always seems to those who go far South quickly out of our Northern winter. I never shall forget what a miracle it seemed to me the first time I did it! You feel as if you had been let out of jail and as if it must be impossible to play out of doors!

     I must say good bye with much love and many good wishes to you and 'Mamma.'

     Yours affectionately,

     S. O. J.
 

Cary's Notes

     1Sarah Bernhardt, on another triumphal tour of the country with her French company, was scheduled for one week at the Tremont in La Tosca, La Dame aux Camélias, and Cléopatra. Tickets were being sold at auction, and Jewett wrote Annie Fields: "the harder they are going to be to get the more I wish to get them! ...  I am going to pawn my best clothes and get some tickets by hook or crook. I do wish very much to see Cleopatra."

     2Ellen Francis Mason (1846-1930), who lived on Beacon Hill in Boston, devoted much of her time to charitable enterprises and to sponsorship of the arts, particularly music.

     3François de Salignac Fénélon (1651-1715), appointed to the see of Cambrai by Louis XIV whose grandson he tutored, produced some thirty-five volumes on religion, education, and mysticism. Jewett revered him as "a seer of character," saw threads of his influence in Maeterlinck, and distributed copies of Selections from Fénélon (Boston, 1890) to several of her friends.

     4 [Jewett refers to her in a later letter: May 16, 1898]*

     5A continuing tourist attraction, the Bridge is a limestone arch spanning ninety feet of Cedar Creek in Rockbridge County, western Virginia, near Lexington.

Editor's Notes

Mrs. King:  The identity of Mrs. King remains unknown.  Possibly she is related to Miss Caroline Howard King, a mutual friend.  See Correspondents.

Miss Sarah Clarke:  Though Cary points out that she is mentioned in another letter, he does not identify her.  That she resides in the south suggests the possibility of Sarah Freeman Clarke (1808-1896), a step grand-daughter of James Freeman Clarke, after whom she was named.  Born in Massachusetts, she became a painter, studying and working in Italy.  In 1879, she returned from Italy and eventually located in Marietta, GA, where she took up the cause of founding a local library, which opened in 1893.  See  Georgia's Remarkable Women: Daughters,Wives, Sisters, and Mothers Who Shaped History by Sara Hines Martin, 2015, pp. 19-32.

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



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     Sunday evening, Autumn. [20 December 1890 / March 1891]*

  

     I hope that you have had a good day. I have been to church myself for a wonder, since from one reason or another I have not been preached at for some months! This afternoon, after the communion service, I had a great pleasure in seeing the very old church silver which is not often used, and some time I wish to show it to you. One exquisite old flagon is marked 1674, and the cups are such beautiful shapes. They keep it packed away in the bank, -- very properly, -- and usually use a new set bought thirty or forty years ago. I dare say that some of the old came from England, -- it is really so interesting with all the givers' names and inscriptions put on in such quaint pretty lettering.

     Yes, it is quite magnificent about the copyright bill,* and I like to have my country honest at last about the Spoliation Claims. I told Mother yesterday that she must buy a piece of plate and have it marked French Spoliation Claims, 1891, and have it handed down.*

     You never saw such a lot of snow in your towny life as is now piled up in this single hamlet. It is really a huge lot, and so drifted and tumbled about, and every little while to-day the northwest wind would blow, and the air would be full for awhile. Jocky seems to think it is a very hard winter.*

     Mr. Putnam has just got back from London, and I find that I shall probably begin my proofs# within a fortnight. I am forgetting the worrisome detail a little now, and dread taking it up again, but perhaps they will hurry through and shorten my miseries. "Vanity Fair"* is read through, a very great book, and for its time Tolstoi and Zola and Daudet and Howells and Mark Twain and Turgenieff and Miss Thackeray* of this day all rolled into one, so wise and great it is and reproachful and realistic and full of splendid scorn for meanness and wickedness, which scorn the Zola school* seems to lack. And the tenderness and sweetness of the book is heavenly, that is all I can say about it. I am brimful of things to say.

Fields's note

#The story of the Normans.

Notes

20 December 1890 / March 1891:  Dating this letter is confusing.  It may be a composite of 2 letters.  Jewett's letter from George Haven Putnam regarding proofs for the British edition of The Normans is dated 17 December 1890.  However, the copyright bill did not pass through Congress until March of 1891, at about the same time as the first of series of acts to pay French Spoliation claims.  It appears, therefore, that part of this letter was written in December 1890 and part in about March of 1891.

the copyright bill: In March 1891, The United States Congress passed copyright legislation that extended protection to periodicals.

French Spoliation Claims, 1891: These are the French Spoliation Claims arising from the French Revolution, during which France blockaded England and caused losses to American shipping in 1793-1798. In an agreement, the Convention of 1800, the United States effected an exchange of favors by which the U.S. Government took over responsibility for the claims. After much discussion and delay, the government agreed to a settlement of these claims that involved paying a portion of them over the period between 1885 and 1925. The first Congressional act to authorize payment of these claims passed in March 1891.

Jocky: this unidentified "personage" is likely a dog.

Mr. Putnam: Probably George Haven Putnam (1844-1930), who was an editor at G. P. Putnam's Sons, publisher of The Story of the Normans.  In December 1890, Jewett completed revisions for a British edition of The Normans. However, in this paragraph it appears she has not yet completed those revisions.

"Vanity Fair": William Makepeace Thackeray, an English fiction writer, published Vanity Fair in 1847-8.

Daudet and Howells and Mark Twain and Turgenieff and Miss Thackeray: Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897), French novelist and author of sketches. William Dean Howells (1837-1920) was the American author of The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), and served as editor at The Atlantic and Harper's. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens, 1835-1910) was the American author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883) was the Russian author of Fathers and Sons (1862). Miss Thackeray is William M. Thackeray's daughter, also a novelist, Anne Isabella Thackeray, Lady Ritchie (1837-1919).

the Zola school: Émile Zola (1840-1902) was considered the leader of a French school of naturalistic fiction.

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




SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel

South Berwick
14 April [1891]1

 Dear Loulie

I am so sorry to hear indirectly of your being so ill in New York but I hope that you will soon get home and feel better! -- I do so wish that I had had a chance to show you St, Augustine!2

 -- It is very disappointing isn't it? to see almost nothing of the South one read about -- the great plantation houses and all that sort of things but they are these -- as one may find after searching! These eyes have seen Monticello!3

I have been ill myself with such a bad cold which seemed to be amost at least first cousin to the grippe. I feel quite shaken! Next week I hope to go to write you a long letter now, only to send you an affectionate word of greeting with love.

Yours ever faithfully

S. O. J.


Stoddart's Notes

1 This note is dated "1891" in pencil,

2Oldest city in the United States, located in St. John's county, Florida. Jewett and Fields traveled there in 1888 and 1890.

3Home of Thomas Jefferson, located in Albemarle county, Virgina.


Editor's Notes

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



SOJ to John Greenleaf Whittier


South Berwick
Sunday 3rd of May [1891]*


My dear friend.

 It seems such a long time since I heard of you directly, and longer still since I saw you.  I kept thinking that I should find a chance to go to see you while you were at Newburyport, but though I went to Boston twice or perhaps three times, it always happened that I had to hurry to town and hurry home again at the beginning and end of each of the visits.  The last time I saw our dear A. F.* she seemed much better and that made me better contented to come away.  I think that she was meant for a child of the tropics for in these bright hot spring days when others wilt, she only blooms and is possessed of more energy than usual.  I have not much news to tell you.  My mother is very comfortable just now, compared to her more suffering state in the winter.  She gets out to drive now and then which always makes the long day go faster and a better sleep at night.  We are very busy about our Academy Centennial* which comes off the first of July.  Aren't you glad that you never come [came?] to Varvik* to school, or they would be making you write a poem.  I wish that I could have written one for I have a great feeling about the old school house on the hill, but it grows almost impossible for me to write verses as I grow older, while when I was a child everything sung itself into verse in my mind and a composition was an awful object of first dread, and then failure.  It was just as hard for me to write prose at first as it is to write verse now.  However there is a good old gentleman, Mr. Amos Pike (one of the old Parson Pike family of Rollinsford)* who has a gift that way and I put in for him to write the poem, and he was pleased about it.  You would like him, he has been a farmer & school teacher all his days and wears a parsonish coat and might be a Scottish dominie.

     I wonder if you read my May story in the Atlantic?*   I hoped that you would like it, but I wrote a new one in a day last week when I ought to have been in “meetin”.  It would be written, and is all about a country father who wished his little girls to see something of the world and how other folks do things so he takes them to Topsham Corners, sixteen miles, and they have a great day.*  It made me cry a little now and then, somehow it brought back the feeling I used to have.

    I wish to get it copied and printed just as quick as I can and send it to you to read.

    I hope that you are feeling pretty well this spring, and that winter has been kind to the trees and bushes at Oak Knoll* and in your Amesbury garden.  I should like to see the old pear trees in bloom, You must write about their white flowers some day.  My love to the More's & Phebe* and to you from Sarah.

 
Notes

A transcriber's note with this text reads: [Whittier].

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

Academy Centennial:  Richard Cary says: "The centennial celebration of the founding of Berwick Academy, of which Miss Jewett and her sister Mary were alumnae, was to be held on July 1, 189l."

Varvik:  Jewett is likely referring to an archaic spelling and pronunciation of "Berwick."  See her essay, "The Old Town of Berwick."

Mr. Amos Pike (one of the old Parson Pike family of Rollinsford):  For the celebration, Amos W. Pike provided "The Centennial Hymn" of four stanzas, which was to be sung to the melody of "Old Hundred."  See A Memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of Berwick Academy, p. 3.

May story in the Atlantic:  Jewett's "A Native of Winby" appeared in Atlantic Monthly (67:609-620), May 1891.

great day:  The transcriber identifies this story as "The Hilton's Holiday," which appeared in Century Magazine (24:772-778), September 1893.

Oak Knoll ... More's ... Phebe:  The identity of the "More's" has not yet been discovered.  Assistance is welcome.
    Richard Cary says: "In 1875 Whittier's cousins, the Misses Johnson and Abby J. Woodman, purchased a farm of sixty acres in Danvers and invited him to make his home there whenever he wished. The place was notable for beautiful lawns, orchards, gardens, and grapevines. Whittier suggested the name of "Oak Knoll," which was immediately adopted.... Phebe Woodman Grantham was the adopted daughter of Whittier's cousin Abby J. Woodman. In her childhood she lived at Oak Knoll and was the object of much affection by Whittier, who wrote the poem "Red Riding Hood" for her. She became extremely possessive of Whittier in later life and, from accounts in Albert Mordell's biography and a letter by Miss Jewett to Samuel T. Pickard, could be un­seemly sharp in defending her interest."
    Whittier's birthplace and childhood home, which he also maintained through his life was in Amesbury, MA, about 25 miles north of Danvers.  Cary says: "George Washington Cate (1834­1911 ) came to Amesbury as a lawyer in 1866, was appointed judge ten years later. He served in the Massachusetts Senate and locally as trustee of several civic organizations. He married Caroline C. Batchelder of Amesbury in 1873. After Whittier went to live at Oak Knoll, the Cates occupied the Amesbury residence and kept it open for him and his friends until the end of his life."

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Undated Letters, Folder 75, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




 SOJ to Hamlin Garland


South Berwick Maine
 6 May 1891

Dear Professor Garland

 You were very kind to think of taking trouble to secure me a place at the Herne play* and I wish that I could avail myself of your kindness. I am to be in town for Thursday night but unfortunately my engagements do not leave me free. With my best thanks. I am

Yours sincerely

 S. O. Jewett

Notes

Herne play: Nagel identifies this play as James A. Herne's Margaret Fleming, "which had opened two days earlier, on 4 May, in Chickering Hall in Boston." The play did not fare well in Boston, presumably because "the problem of marital infidelity was treated with freedom and candor" (p. 422).

Transcriber James Nagel says "This letter is Item 225 in the Hamlin Garland collection of the University of Southern California Library, Los Angeles, CA." Nagel published and discussed his transcription in "Sarah Orne Jewett Writes to Hamlin Garland." The New England Quarterly 54.3 (September 1981), pp. 416-23. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

Reprinted by permission of the New England Quarterly.


 
SOJ to Andrew Preston Peabody

     South Berwick, Maine

     May 11, 1891

     My dear Doctor Peabody:

      My sister is just sending you an invitation to our Great Day,1 and we hope that you can find it possible to say yes. So many persons in town beside ourselves have wished for the honour of your presence. Dr. John Lord has written a delightful historical address, and the early days of the old Academy were most interesting, even if some of the later ones have not been!2
 
     My mother and my sister and I hope that you will give us the pleasure of coming to stay with us. I hope that you will not say that South Berwick is near Portsmouth, and so deprive us of a little visit!

     Believe me, ever with great regard,

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett

     Please give my love to Carrie.3 I wish that it were not so long since I saw her last. Perhaps she can come with you?


Notes
 
     1 The centennial celebration of the founding of Berwick Academy, of which Miss Jewett and her sister Mary were alumnae, was to be held on July 1, 189l.
    2 For this occasion A Memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of Berwick Academy, South Berwick, Maine was published. A volume of 118 pages, it includes contributions by the school's most illustrious graduates: a "Preface" by Miss Jewett, "The Historical Address" by the Reverend Lord, and "The Oration" by the Reverend William Hayes Ward. The Reverend Peabody provided the opening "Prayer."
     3 Caroline Eustis Peabody (1848-1932) was one of Dr. Peabody's eight children. From his letter (Colby College Library) to Miss Jewett on July 3, 1891, it appears that Carrie did not attend, and that the "arrangements were superlatively good, and were carried through admirably."

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


 
 SOJ to F. Hopkinson Smith

     South Berwick, Maine

     May 15, 1891

     My dear Mr. Hopkinson Smith:

      I spent a delightful evening with our valued friend Colonel Carter who arrived yesterday morning from Virginia.1 I have such sympathy for his charm and nobility of character that it delights me to think that you can always help him out of any trouble he may fall into through generosity and loyalty to the traditions of the past. Seriously, you must never let him come to want, you must stand ready to write him into good fortune at any moment!

     The story makes a charming little book. I congratulate you upon giving so much real pleasure and I hope that Colonel Carter may wake this very morning and find himself famous like Byron, but I shall always count myself one of the first and best of his friends.2
 
     With my best thanks, and regards to your wife, believe me ever

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes
 
     1 Colonel Carter of Cartersville (Boston, 1891) was the first book to bring widespread public attention to Smith. A devotée of his work, Miss Jewett had written to him about his two earlier books (see Letters 29, 33, 34).
    2 Of Miss Jewett's reaction to his books, Smith wrote (Colby College Library): "Next to the pleasure of writing a story like the Colonel -- and it has been an exquisite pleasure -- is the delight of receiving such letters as yours. Especially yours for you know, which is everything, and you tell me so cheerfully and heartily, which is best of all."

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

May 26, 1891.

      I wish I had a pansy to put here in memory of this day, -- my little Gemma's;* forever an open window into Heaven.


Notes

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 Mabel Lowell Burnett

  South Berwick

Sunday night 7th of June [1891]

My dear Mabel
 
            -------------- Mrs. Fields* has gone to Manchester and seems to have got on very well in moving without me.  I mean to go over as soon as I can, but that world-amazing day, the Berwick Academy Centennial Celebration, * draws near, and my sisters and I are in a great state of excitement and feel ourselves to be of much importance.  Dr. Peabody* is to be here and to stay with us.  He used to know the old school when he lived in Portsmouth. ------------

 

                                                            Yours most affectionately

                                                                        S. O. J.

 
Notes

1891:  This is the year of the Berwick Academy Centennial Celebration mentioned in the letter.
    A note with this text reads: [Mabel Lowell Burnett].  The linse of hyphens presumably indicate omissions from the manuscript.

Mrs. Fields: Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

Berwick Academy Centennial Celebration:  Richard Cary says: "The centennial celebration of the founding of Berwick Academy, of which Miss Jewett and her sister Mary were alumnae, was to be held on July 1, 189l."

Dr. Peabody:  Andrew Preston Peabody.  See Correspondents.  Dr. Peabody gave the official prayer that opened the celebration's "Exercises in the Church"; see A Memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of Berwick Academy, p. 1

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Undated Letters, Folder 75, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     Saturday. [4 July 1891 ]*

     I had a perfectly delightful evening from old Dr. Lord last night.* I wished for you. He really is so interesting now. He was talking about his English experiences at the time he lived there three or four years and married his wife. He knew Cardinal Wiseman and Archbishop Whately, and Carlyle, about whom he talked enchantingly. It made me feel as if I had gone to the door in Cheyne Row and had "Mrs. Carlyle herself" come to open it, "a beautiful woman with delightful manners," and Carlyle come scolding downstairs (though he had made the appointment himself) and grumbling that Americans were all bores and he liked the Russians, a sober, thinking and acting people, and then he would grow very good-natured, and after a while take his company for a long walk; -- cross old Dean Gaisford also appeared with that group of Oxford men.* You could have drawn out much more, but indeed it was very interesting to me. Egotism is the best of a man after eighty. He is chiefly valuable then for what he has been, and for the wealth of his personality, and what is silly self-admiration at forty is a treasure of remembrance. The stand-point has changed.

     I must say good-bye, but what savings we shall be telling over pretty soon. Don't forget things.


Notes

4 July 1891:  This date is tentative, based upon Dr. John Lord's attendance at the July 1, 1891 celebration of the Berwick Academy Centennial.  I speculate that he stayed in South Berwick during the week following the event, leaving on Thursday 9 July.

Dr. Lord
: The Lords were a prominent family in South Berwick. Jewett recounts portions of the family history in "The Old Town of Berwick."
    Jewett probably is speaking of Professor John Lord (1810 - 15 December 1894) an American historian and lecturer, specializing in history of the ancient world, upon which he published a number of books.  Wikipedia says: "In 1843-46, he was in England giving lectures on the Middle Ages, and on his return to the United States continued to lecture for many years in the principal towns and cities, giving over 6,000 lectures in all. In 1864, he received his LL.D. from the University of the City of New York. From 1866 to 1876, he was lecturer on history at Dartmouth College."  According to Nathan Franklin Carter in The Native Ministry of New Hampshire, Lord's first wife was Mary Porter, whom he married in London on May 30, 1846.  He died at Stamford, CT, where he resided 1855-1894 (640).

Cardinal Wiseman and Archbishop Whately ... Cheyne Row ... Dean Gaisford: Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) and his wife, Jane Welsh, moved from rural Scotland to Cheyne Walk in Chelsea in 1834 after the appearance of Sartor Resartus. There he became known as "the sage of Chelsea." Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman (1802-1863) was a cardinal. Richard Whately (1787-1863) was Archbishop of Dublin. Thomas Gaisford (1779-1855) was Regius Professor of Greek and Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.

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



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields
  

Wednesday morning
[ 8 July 1891 ]*

Dear Fuff*

            What a lovely day for us to go to walk along the shore to see Alice* and all!  and to sit down in a warm corner out of the wind among the bayberry bushes.  It is quite wonderful how well this weather makes one feel.  I didn't get sound asleep until five but I feel as brisk as a bee this morning .  Tomorrow Dr. Lord is going away, and I shall miss the old man very much.  He has been very interesting and companionable and lives in books rather than with people.  He was enchanted with the Murray biography,* knowing or having seen ever so many of the men in it . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 
Notes

8 July 1891:  This date is tentative, based upon Dr. John Lord's attendance at the July 1, 1891 celebration of the Berwick Academy Centennial.  I speculate that he stayed in South Berwick during the week following the event, leaving on Thursday 9 July.  It is possible as well that this letter was written on July 1, the morning of the celebration.  That Jewett had an almost sleepless night on June 30 could be explained by her anticipation of the following "big day."  However, this would imply that Dr. Lord ended his South Berwick stay on Thursday 2 July, making it impossible for him to talk with Jewett on Saturday 4 July.  Another possibility is that he arrived in Berwick a week before the celebration and that the talk Jewett reports in her 4 July letter took place on 27 June.
    The ellipsis at the end of the transcription indicates that this is a selection from the manuscript.

Fuff
:  Nickname for Annie Adams Fields.    See Correspondents.

Alice:  Of the two Alices Jewett most likely refers to, Alice Greenwood Howe seems more likely than Alice Longfellow.  Jewett seems to be responding to Annie Fields having walked to the Cliffs to visit Alice Howe.  See Correspondents.

Dr. Lord: Jewett probably is speaking of Professor John Lord (1810 - 15 December 1894) an American historian and lecturer, specializing in history of the ancient world, upon which he published a number of books.  Wikipedia says: "In 1843-46, he was in England giving lectures on the Middle Ages, and on his return to the United States continued to lecture for many years in the principal towns and cities, giving over 6,000 lectures in all. In 1864, he received his LL.D. from the University of the City of New York. From 1866 to 1876, he was lecturer on history at Dartmouth College."  According to Nathan Franklin Carter in The Native Ministry of New Hampshire, Lord's first wife was Mary Porter, whom he married in London on May 30, 1846.  He died at Stamford, CT, where he resided 1855-1894 (640).

the Murray biography:   While it is difficult to be sure which book Jewett refers to, in 1891, one title that would likely have interested both her and Dr. Lord was a biography of John Murray (1741-1815), who was the founder of the Universalist denomination in the United States: The Life of Reverend John Murray (Boston 1891) by Judith Sargent Murray, John Murray, and G. L. Demarest.

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


 
Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

  July 8, 1891.

      I have wanted awfully to write to you, dear My Fellow Traveller; yet somehow at bad moments couldn't, and at good ones fell to dreaming instead. . . .

     It's been somehow a difficult kind of a time, with one shining spot for which to be everlastingly grateful, thirty-six hours at Niagara! E. L.* asked me long ago to stay with her there, and I did not want to miss all this period of solemn and tender experience with her, so I went just for this, instead of the fortnight.

     When once I saw that supreme sight before I knew it was an altar; and all I had felt came home to me, a thousand fold: and I shall dream forever of the picture which must be painted there. Someday we will speak of it, and of the rainbow which came and "stood round about the throne." With this letter was the following sonnet.

     SURSUM CORDA

      Behold an altar radiantly fair
Lit with white flames drawn from the heart of things!
     Here pour oblations of majestic springs
Fed by the sky in some wide upland air;
     Here rises incense warm with scent of dawn.
Gold with the sunset, purple with the night,
     Here shines a snowy pavement dazzling bright
For saints and little children and the worn
     Footsteps of martyrs who have gained their palm.
O God! of Thee alone this splendor tells.
     In power, in continuity, in calm;
In air ineffable where color dwells,
     Or in still voices where are borne along
Strains of an incommunicable song.

      Niagara, July 2, 1891.


Notes

E. L.: It is likely that this person is Elizabeth Chapman Lawrence (1829-1905), one of Whitman's correspondents.  See E.L., The Bread Box Papers: a biography of Elizabeth Chapman Lawrence, (1983) by Helen H. Gemmill.  She was married to the diplomat, Timothy Bigelow Lawrence (d. 1869).  Her home was the Aldie Mansion in Doylestown, PA.

stood round about the throne: See Revelations 7:11.

Sursum corda: Latin. Upward, hearts!

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 Mary Lanman Ferris

     South Berwick, Maine

     August 8, 1891

     Dear Mrs. Ferris:

      You will find in my volume of stories for children, called Play Days, some verses -- "Discontent"1 -- which have been used sometimes for a like collection* to your own.2
 
     There are some other slight verses in the earlier volumes of St. Nicholas, one which I remember just now about four-leaved clovers.3 Perhaps you mean to use prose selections and these you will find, beside the Play Days stories, a number of others in St. Nicholas and Wide Awake.4
 
     But of course you will have to speak with the publishers about these as my permission alone will not be enough. Messrs. Houghton Mifflin & Co. have always been willing to allow the use of "Discontent," but I don't know what they would decide about the sketches.

     Believe me, with thanks,

     Yours sincerely,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes
 
     1 Appeared originally in St. Nicholas, III (February 1876), 247; collected in Play Days and in Verses; quoted in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 11th ed., 1938.
     2 In Grace Townsend (editor), The Youth's Companion at Home and School (Chicago, 1891), 73-74.
     3 "Perseverance," St. Nicholas, X (September 1883), 840-841; collected in Verses as "A Four-Leaved Clover."
     4Wide Awake, edited at this time by Ella Farman Pratt and Charles Stuart Pratt, was a juvenile journal that catered to the same audience as St. Nicholas. Miss Jewett had contributed half a dozen short stories and one poem to it.

Editor's Notes

collection:  Cary writes about this letter: "Mrs. Ferris published a number of uncopyrighted brochures of juvenile rhymes and stories, but it is uncertain whether the project discussed in this letter came to fruition."

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.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



James Russell Lowell to Constable, Jewett's London Publisher

[ Summer 1891 ]*

    I am very glad to hear that Miss Jewett's delightful stories* are to be reprinted in England. Nothing more pleasingly characteristic of rural life in New England has been written, and they have long been valued by the judicious here. They are probably idylls in prose and the life they commemorate is as simple in its main elements, if not so picturesque in its setting, as that which has survived for us in Theocritus.

     Miss Jewett has wisely chosen to work within narrow limitations, but these are such only as are implied in an artistic nature and a cheerful compliance with it. She has thus learned a discreet use of her material and to fill the space allotted without overcrowding it either with scenery or figures. Her work is narrow in compass, like that of the gem-cutter, but there is always room for artistic completeness and breadth of treatment which are what she aims at and attains. She is lenient in landscape, a great merit, I think, in these days. Above all she is discreet in dialect, using it for flavor but not, as is the wont of many, so oppressively as to suggest garlic. She has a gift of quiet pathos and its correlative, equally subdued humor.

     I remember once, at a dinner of the Royal Academy, wishing there might be a toast in honor of the Little Masters such as Tenniel, Du Maurier, and their fellows. The tiny woodcuts traced by those who gave rise to the name attract an affectionate partiality which the spacious compositions of more famous contemporaries fail to win. They are artists in the best sense, who could make small means suffice for great ends. It is with them that I should class Miss Jewett, since she both possesses and practises this precious art.

Notes

Summer 1891:  Mathiessen says that Jewett believed this letter was one of the last things Lowell wrote before his death in August 1891.

delightful storiesThe 1891 date indicates that Russell is speaking of Tales of New England (1890).

The manuscript of this letter has not been located.  Francis Otto Matthiessen presents a transcription in his biography, Sarah Orne Jewett, 1929.



Death of James  Russell Lowell
August 12, 1891
Close friend of Jewett and Annie Fields.



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     Wednesday night, August 12,1891.
  

     What sad news from Elmwood, dear! It makes me so heavy-hearted to think of our loss of such a dear friend, and of poor Mabel's sorrow.* What must not this lovely hot, bright day have been to her! I don't know of any one who could feel such sorrow more keenly. I think and think of her, and so must you, I am sure, and how we should talk about dear Mr. Lowell if we were together. Here he is only the "Lowell" of his books, to people, and not a single one knows how dear and charming he was, and how full of help to one's thoughts and purposes in every-day life. I wrote to Mabel most truly that I was as fond of him, almost, as if I belonged to his household and kindred. And I suppose that the last bit of writing for print that he may have done was that letter for me. I have been looking over two or three of his letters or notes to me, which I happen to have here, with such affection and pleasure. How you will like to look over your great package! And how I treasure that last time I saw him, and the fringe tree in bloom, and Mabel gone to Petersham, and he and I talking on and on, and I thinking he was really going to be better, in spite of the look about his face! I suppose you will go up to the funeral; you must remember what people say, and every little thing that we should care about together, to tell me. And yet I say to myself, again and again, how glad I am that the long illness is ended.

Notes

sad news from Elmwood ... Mabel's sorrow: James Russell Lowell died on August 12, 1891. His daughter Mabel Lowell Burnett (1847-1898), was his only surviving child. Elmwood was Lowell's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

fringe tree in bloom ... Petersham: The Fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus, has fragrant white flowers. Petersham is in north central Massachusetts.

that letter for me:  "Reading for Young Women," with letters from Jewett and Lowell appeared in Chicago Weekly News, December 3, 1891.  The piece says "An association of literary young ladies in a western city recently deputed one of their number to write to their favorite authors in both hemispheres, requesting them to favor her with some words of wise counsel and advice by which she and her associates might profit."  Jewett suggests here that she obtained the letter from Lowell that was included in the piece and, therefore, that she was more than simply one of the contributors.  Perhaps she even was the "one of their number," though she was not resident in a "western city."
    Lowell's letter in the piece was titled "A Voice from the Grave" and was dated "ELMWOOD, CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 30, 1891."

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
     September 9, 1891

    Dear Mr. Scudder:

     I thank you for your letter, and promise as far as the business part is concerned to keep the story in mind.

     We had heard of Mrs. Scudder's mother's death by way of our friends in North Hampton1 and I was sorry for you both in such a change and loss as must have fallen upon you. My mother's weary illness still goes on. I hoped that the bright autumn weather would do her good, but she has been very ill and uncomfortable of late, I am sorry to say.

     It is pleasant to hear of your life at Chocorua!2
 
     Yours sincerely,

     S. O. Jewett

     Please remember me very kindly to Mrs. Scudder and Sylvia.3


Notes

     1 The family of Miss Jewett's mother resided throughout this southern sector of New Hampshire, including Exeter, Rye, and Little Boar's Head.
     2 A small community of summer homes in the White Mountains of New Hampshire populated in the latter half of the nineteenth century largely by persons of literary or artistic prominence: painters Benjamin Champney and J. F. Kensett, philosophers William James and William E. Hocking, poets William Vaughn Moody and Edwin Arlington Robinson, editors Horace E. Scudder and Ferris Greenslet, educators Abraham Flexner, Francis J. Child, George F. Baker. Henry James and William Dean Howells came often to stay with William James, and Whittier and Lucy Larcom vacationed in nearby Ossipee. Miss Jewett used to visit the Reverend Treadwell Walden, rector of the Episcopal Cathedral in Boston, at his cottage in Wonalancet.
     3 Scudder's daughter, later Mrs. Ingersoll Bowditch of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

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       

Sept 16, 1891

My dear Friend

A great many thanks for thy welcome letter!  It seems a very {long} time since I have seen thee.  Dear Annie Fields* called on us at Newburyport on her way to South

[ Page 2 ]

Berwick.  As she was to stop at the forlorn Junction,* I feared she would find no conveyance and be obliged to walk in the hot sun.  I was glad to see {her} looking so well and bright.  I knew thee would feel the death of Lowell.*  He was an admirer

[ Page 3 ]

and good friend of thine.  His death is a great loss to us all.  It leaves Dr. Holmes* & myself quite alone.  The Dr. came to see me last week, and we had a pleasant hour together.  He feels the death of Lowell but is still his old self, bright and cheerful.  He has written

[ Page 4 ]

a poem on Lowell which will appear in the Atlantic.* 

    The story thee spoke of sending me I suppose went to Newburyport.  I have been here two weeks and I have missed it, much to my regret, for reading what thee write is next best to seeing thee.  With a great deal of love, ever thy old friend

John G Whittler

Notes

Annie Fields.   Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.

forlorn Junction:  In traveling between Newburyport and South Berwick, it appears that train passengers often found themselves enduring long waits for connecting trolleys in a "Car Barn" along the route.  See SOJ to William Dean Howells, May - June 1905.  This may be the junction to which Whittier refers.

death of Lowell:  James Russell Lowell died 12 August 1891.  Whittier died 7 September 1892. See Correspondents.

Dr. Holmes: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. died 7 October 1894. See Correspondents.

poem on Lowell ... Atlantic:  Holmes's tribute poem, "James Russell Lowell. 1819-1891," appeared in Atlantic Monthly 68 (October 1891), pp. 552-3.

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



John Greenleaf Whittier to SOJ



Oak. Knoll

Sept 23 1891

My dear friend

    Miss Freeman* who has just called here tells me that thy dear mother* is very ill.  I am so sorry to hear of it.  I know how thee and thy sister* must feel & and the sad

[ Page 2 ]
 
hopeless waiting for the inevitable. I know what it is.

    One night Mr Phillips* told me he lunched at Manchester and that Mrs Fields* {was} a guest and looking well.  I have had a lovely letter from the dear woman, whom we both know how to prize.


[ Page 3 ]

    I write just to express my deep sympathy, and love.

Ever affectionately thy friend

John G. Whittier


Notes

Miss Freeman:  This person has not been identified.  There is some possibility that Whittier refers to his close friend Alice Freeman Palmer (1855-1902), but she had married in 1887, and she was no longer Miss Freeman at the time of this letter.

dear mother
: Caroline Frances Perry died 21 October 1891. See Correspondents.

thy sister:  Probably Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Mr Phillips: This person has not been identified.  Assistance is welcome.

Mrs. 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.


Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

October, 1891.

     I have come here from Trinity where the Consecration Service* made a great and moving and uplifting period; a wonderful beauty lay in it all; centering in Mr. Brooks and communicating itself to all beholders.
     It is a great office this of Bishop; but its greatness only really becomes apparent when it is filled by a great man, and so there comes in now a strange new recognition of all that may come out of this new splendor. . . .
     I have not seen A. F.* nor indeed any one, since my three days in Williamstown, the most charming town set in the midst of the most genial and beneficent landscape I have ever seen in America.


Notes

Consecration Service: Phillips Brooks was elected Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Massachusetts in 1891.

A. F.: Annie Fields (1834-1915), close mutual friend of Jewett and Whitman, a correspondent with both.

Williamstown: This northwestern Massachusetts town is the home of Williams College (Founded 1791).

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 Edwin W. Morse


    
South Berwick, Maine
     October 6, 1891
     To the Editor of The Book Buyer

     My dear Sir:

     I thank you for your very kind note, but I am sorry to say that it will be impossible for me to promise to do even so short and pleasant a bit of work as the notice of Mrs. Jackson's book.1
 
     May I take the liberty to suggest that you ask Miss Sarah C. (Susan Coolidge) Woolsey2 (93 Rhode Island Avenue, Newport) in my place? She has been so closely associated with Mrs. Jackson and her works and ways* that I think she would write the notice charmingly.3
 
     Yours very truly,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Cary's Notes

     1 Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) was noted for her poetry and philanthropy as well as for her novel Ramona. Miss Jewett is referring to her A Calendar of Sonnets, published posthumously by Roberts Brothers in Boston, 1891.
     2 Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (1835-1905) used the pen name "Susan Coolidge," attaining most of her fame through the juvenile What Katy Did stories. She made her home in Newport, Rhode Island, as did Mrs. Jackson for a time, and they traveled to California in 1872. Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields visited Miss Woolsey annually at her Newport home, Liberty Hall, and all three attended the Chicago World's Fair together in 1893.
     3 The Susan Coolidge review of Mrs. Jackson's A Calendar of Sonnets appeared in The Book Buyer Christmas Annual of December 1891.

Additional Notes

works and ways:  In her letters, Jewett several times repeats this phrase, sometimes within quotation marks.  The actual phrase does not appear, as one might expect, in the King James Bible, though it is suggested in several places: Psalms 145:17, Daniel 4:37, and Revelations 15:3.  In each of these passages, the biblical author refers to the works and ways of God.  Jewett may be quoting from another source or from commentary on these passages, which tend to emphasize that while God's ways are mysterious, they also are to be accepted humbly by humanity.

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 Agnes Bartlett Brown
    

     South Berwick, Maine

     October 17, [1891]

    Dear Mrs. Brown:

     I wonder if you still have that painting of the high green hillside in the twilight with the moon rising? I find myself thinking of it wistfully from time to time. Will you tell me if you have it, or if I can! -- and the price? It was in your last spring's exhibition.

     I am sorry that I have seen you so very little this summer. I was very glad to spend those unexpected few minutes with you in the Newburyport station. It has been such a sad summer to me with my mother's illness growing worse and worse. She is very very ill just now and I think that the last few days have been worst of all. You can understand all this and the long nights and days.

     I am not sure whether you are still in Newburyport, but whether you are there or in New York, I send much love to you and Mr. Brown and my best regards to your sister.

     Yours affectionately,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Note

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




21 October 1891
Death of Jewett's mother
Caroline Frances Perry Jewett



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ 

October, 1891.

     My thoughts and love have been yours, ever since I saw the brief word which told that your dear Mother had been taken into heaven,* and the love stays with you now saying no word because no word is deep, or sweet, or rich enough . . . but I wish my steps might tend Eastward rather, and so find you in the old places, with the pain of loss everywhere and yet with a diviner gain beside.


Notes

your dear Mother: Sarah Orne Jewett's mother, Caroline Frances Perry Jewett, died on 21 October 1891.

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 Louisa Dresel

     South Berwick, Maine
     October 28, 1891

     My dear Loulie:

     Thank you for your dear letter. It is a great comfort to know that my dear mother's illness is ended1 but the loss falls just as heavily in our hearts -- perhaps more so because all her pain and suffering brought us closer than anything else ever did. These last few weeks have been most hard to bear but as I look back I find some of the dearest and best minutes that my mother and I ever had together scattered along the way. I miss her and miss her: it seems impossible that she should be gone. A. F.* came at once from Manchester and was the best of comforts. I don't know what we should have done without her.

     Give my dear love to Mrs. Dresel and I send my love to you Loulie dear with thanks for the book which I shall read presently. I know about it and am so glad to see it.

     Yours ever affectionately,

     S. O. J.
 

Notes

     1Housebound from protracted ailments, Mrs. Caroline Perry Jewett died on October 21, 1891. Jewett wrote frequently and glowingly in letters about her father but usually restricted remarks about her mother to a sentence or so on her vacillating condition. This is Sarah's most extended revelation of feeling about her mother to appear in print.

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

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


 
SOJ to an unknown recipient

Friday
[ November 1891 ]

……….…I always remember dear Ellen Mason's* writing me that we always feel like a child as long as our mothers live and then feel as if we were left alone to face the world for the first time.

 
Notes

November 1891:  Because this fragment expresses Jewett's feeling about her mother's death, it seems likely to have been composed soon after October of 1891.

Ellen Mason:  See Correspondents.

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Undated Letters, Folder 75, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to George E. Woodberry



          South Berwick, Maine, 1 November, 1891.

     My dear Mr. Woodberry, -- I wish to thank you most heartily for your essay upon Mr. Lowell in the "Century."* I do not know when I have read anything with such delight and admiration. I only wish that it had been printed in spring instead of autumn, -- but if it comes too late for his own eyes to see, at least the eyes of other Americans will read it clearer now.

     I hope that I shall see you some day. I have always wished to thank you for the pleasure I have had in your use of your beautiful gifts in poetry and prose, but this essay leaves me more grateful than ever.

Notes

Mr. Woodberry ... essay upon Mr. Lowell in the "Century": George E. Woodberry (1855-1930) published "James Russell Lowell" in The Century 43: 1 (Nov 1891), pp. 113-19.

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
     October 29, 1891

    My dear Mr. Scudder:

     My sister and I thank you sincerely for your kind letter. It is of course a great comfort just now to think that my mother's long illness is over, but the loss of her presence is very hard to bear, and these are most sad days to us.1
 
     It was very kind in you to write, and we both send our kindest thanks to you, and to Mrs. Scudder for her messages.

     Your most truly,

     S. O. Jewett

Notes

     1 Miss Jewett's mother died October 21, 1891.

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 Silvanus Hayward

South Berwick Maine
10 November 1891

Dear Mr. Hayward

     My sister and I feel most grateful to you for the kindness and sympathy of your letter. It is a great comfort to know that my dear mother's pain and weariness are ended, but we miss her more than I can say. We have grown more dependent upon her and she upon us in all these long months. I need not tell you how great a change and how sad a change it makes in our lives to have her gone.**

     I wish to thank you too for sending me the History of Gilsum.* I have been reading it with real pleasure and admiring all the way the pains you must have taken. I seem to know the town now almost as well as if I had been there; next to the story of a man's life comes the story of a town's in interest and human value, and I think that you have done a beautiful piece of work in the Gilsum Biography. I wish that you would take the Three Berwicks next!* I often wish that we had at least some part of the interesting records and traditions of that dear old town. Believe that I appreciate the value of such a present as this you have given me, if only in proof of your kind friendship. I find many touching pages -- the patience and hardship of the early settlers, the ['vaudoo'?] of the little town charge, the shining [bits?] of garnet in the village street and much beside for which I should like to thank you most particularly. Please give my love to Bell and do not forget that I am

     Yours sincerely and with great regard

     Sarah O. Jewett
 
 

Notes

have her gone: Jewett's mother, Caroline Perry Jewett, died on 21 October 1891 after a long illness.

Gilsum: Silvanus Hayward published History of the Town of Gilsum, New Hampshire from 1752 to 1879 in 1881.

Three Berwicks:  Jewett's home village of South Berwick, ME is near two other villages: North Berwick and Berwick.

vaudoo: An alternate spelling for voodoo.

Bell:  Hayward's eldest child by his first marriage. See Correspondents.

The ms. of this letter is held by the Berwick Academy Archives, item: 1996.0196.  The transcription appears here with the permission of the Archives.  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.


Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

November, 1891.

     To-day I am making a sad little pilgrimage to Lowell, whence has suddenly departed one who was oh so good to me when I was a little child.* The leaves fall fast from the tree of earthly life, and one has to live on a sort of military basis: going to the grave with muffled drums, and returning with the flag flying yet once again.


Notes

Lowell ... suddenly departed one who was oh so good to me: Lowell, in northeastern Massachusetts, is Whitman's birthplace. The person who has died is unknown. Assistance is welcome.

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 Mary Rice Jewett

Thursday morning

[ 12 November 1891 ]

Dear Mary

What a beautiful tale of going to the farm! but I am afraid that you liked the road less than usual by what you say of the sleighing.  You might have said who you went with but it sounds as if it were Dicky!* -- I had a long visit from Cora* yesterday afternoon and she was in great spirits and I very steady minded.  I talked so long that I wheezed, subjects came up!  There were those that had Brother Boylston* to lunch, he being in town to a meeting of The Loyal Legion* and a great little yeast was provided which I shared though I left them to themselves and didn’t go down.  We had a nice time in the library afterward.  Rose came at six and then they parted away to Faneuil Hall and sat together with Annette* and friends and had a great time, and Mrs. Fields* didn’t get home until so late that I had to speak to her, I having been asleep and well tucked up.  She says that both Lady Henry & Miss Willard* are perfectly beautiful speakers, with so much charm of voice and manners, not speak of good sense and dignity.  I quite wanted to go with A.F. & Rose when they were starting out.  Dr. Morton came in later and then Mr. Millet* for a little while so I got me to bed feeling that I had had a bustling day.  I asked Rose to come down to Berwick next summer and she was pleased with the thought, and promptly mentioned that we might go to Greenacre.*  Thank you for seeing about the bank -- did Becca* happen to say what was in the savings bank? -- Mr. Barker wrote me from Atlanta* that there had been some delay about getting the title in the loan for which I sent the money down but if it wasnt all right he would look up another as good.  I havent much news today it being early yet.  I think it is nice about Annie Lord.*  Love to all from Sarah.  I think I shall get at my great heap of letters today, but I mean to save a nice heap to do at Mrs. Cabot’s,* where Maud Scott* is always wanting to write for me, and seems to like the change.  Sister must be thinking of whist.!’ [so transcribed ]

 

Please tell Helen Sewall that the Atlantic is paid for ’95.*

  

Notes

1891:  A handwritten note on this transcription reads: winter of 1884-5?  However, this letter clearly refers to the Wednesday 11 November 1891 convention of the WCTU in Boston as indicated in the notes below.  Almost certainly, then, this letter was composed on the following day.  Another dating complication is the post script, which suggests that a payment has been made to Atlantic Monthly for an 1895 subscription, though perhaps it has quite another meaning.

Dicky: A Jewett family horse, named in letters of the 1880s.

Cora:  Cora Clark Rice.  See Correspondents.

Brother Boylston: Probably, this is Annie Fields's brother, Dr. Zabdiel Boylston Adams, Jr. See Fields in Correspondents. For an account of his life, including his Civil War service, see Rita Gollin, Annie Adams Fields, pp. 13-14.

the Loyal Legion:  Presumably, this is the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, a patriotic organization of Union officers formed at the end of the American Civil War in 1865.

Rose ... Annette ... Mrs. Fields:  Rose almost certainly is Rose Lamb.  For her and Annie Adams Fields, see Correspondents.
Annette probably is Annette Rogers, about whom little is yet known.  Her name is listed with contributors to and officers for the Overseers of the Poor for the City of Boston, where Annie Fields also was active.  She helped to organize the Howard Industrial School for "colored" refugees from the Civil War in Cambridge, MA.  See Lydia H. Farmer, What America Owes to Women (1893, p. 365).

Lady Henry & Miss WillardLady Henry Somerset (1851-1921) was a British philanthropist who focused on women's rights and temperance.  With Frances Willard (see Correspondents), she formed part of the leadership of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.  They first met at the first convention of the World Woman's Christian Temperance Union at Faneuil Hall in Boston on 11 November 1891.  For an account of this convention, see A Brief History of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (1907), by Katharine Lent Stevenson, pp. 61-2.

Dr. Morton ... Mr. Millet: Richard Cary identifies Dr. Morton: Dr. Helen Morton (d. March 12, 1916) had offices successively on Marlboro, Boylston, and Chestnut streets in Boston. Jewett once characterized her as "touchy {touching?} in her doctorly heart and more devoted in her private capacity as a friend."
    It is likely that Mr. Millet is Francis Davis Millet (1848-1912), an Americn painter, sculptor and writer who died aboard the RMS Titanic.

Greenacre:  Jewett may refer to the Greenacre house in Farmington, ME, a famously ornate Victorian home.  Or perhaps she refers to the Moses Farmer home in Eliot, ME, which in 1894 became a center for interfaith religious meetings and activity, under the leadership of Farmer and his daughter, Sarah Jane Farmer (b. 1847).  Eventually the site became the Green Acre Bahá'í School.

Becca ... in the savings bank ...  Mr. Barker wrote me from Atlanta: The Jewetts' friend Rebecca Young was treasurer of the South Berwick Savings Bank.  Mr. Barker's identity and the nature of the business he is handling for the Jewetts remains unknown. See Correspondents.

Annie Lord:  The Lord family in New England was extensive, making it almost impossible, without more information, to know to which Ann or Hannah Lord this letter refers.

Mrs. Cabot’s ... Maud Scott:  For Susan Burley Cabot, see Correspondents.  
    Miss Maud Scott is listed as a resident at the Bellevue Hotel in Clark's Boston Blue Book (1895), p. 84.  Other letters indicate she is available for typing manuscripts and sometimes provides this service to Jewett. No more about her has been discovered.  Assistance is welcome.

Helen Sewall ... the Atlantic is paid for ’95:  Probably Jewett refers to a South Berwick neighbor, Helen D. Sewall (1845-1922), who was sister to Jotham and Jane Sewall.  See Pirsig, The Placenames of South Berwick, p. 75.
    The Atlantic reference seems to say that the 1895 subscription has been paid, but that does not square with the explicit references to events of November 1891.  More information is welcome.
This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Folder 73, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Preparation by Linda Heller.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Louisa Dresel

     South Berwick, Maine

     Sunday November 22, [1891]

     Dear Loulie:

     I spent nearly a week in town, but I was not well and had to keep myself very quiet, so that I thought about you but did not send you word that I was there as I meant to do. Now that I am at home again I am better and begin already to think of what I shall do when I go to town again.

     Mrs. Fields did not get home from Baltimore* until Monday morning and then I was so sorry to give up doing some things that we wished to do together, but there were very dear things in the visit after all.

     I hope that you are feeling much better again? Do find time to read the Journal of Sir Walter Scott!1 It is the most enchanting and appealing of books, though I am not sure that "Mamma" won't care more for it than you will. I think that it belongs to our day more than to yours! but, I do not speak slightingly with all my pride and appreciation - ! -- !

     Yours most affectionately,

     S. O. J.
 

Cary's Note

     1The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, from the original manuscript at Abbotsford, was originally published in two volumes in 1890. Harper & Brothers issued a popular edition in one volume in 1891. A copy of the New York 1901 edition is in Miss Jewett's library.

Editor's Notes

Baltimore:  Fields often visited Baltimore, MD where her sister, painter Elizabeth (Lissie) Adams (1825-1898) resided.

  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 Agnes Bartlett Brown 

     Wednesday morning
     [November-December 1891]

    My dear friend:

     I send you this cheque because I have a feeling that you would not like it so well if I changed the amount as I should really like to do. I feel as if you 'had it your way' and gave me the dear little picture! and I thank you most warmly. I care very much for your beautiful work and I wish that I could give you half so much pleasure with mine.1 I wish too that I could make you understand how sincerely and affectionately I am ever your friend
     S. O. J.


Notes

     1 As a young girl Miss Jewett dreamed of a career in art. She turned out numerous pen and ink drawings, and kept her hand in desultorily at watercolors and oils until late in life.

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

Editor's Note

It is not clear whether Cary meant to imply that Jewett hoped to please Brown with her drawing or painting rather than with her writing.  What picture Jewett bought from Brown has not yet been determined.  Cary notes elsewhere that Jewett bought at least one painting from Brown's husband, John Appleton Brown.  See Correspondents.




SOJ to Thomas Bailey Aldrich

          Hotel Brunswick, New York.
            [ November - December 1891 ]

          My dear Friend, -- I am writing this letter to thank you for your beautiful poem in memory of Mr. Lowell,* -- but how can I find words to say what I wish to say about it! To me it speaks of him as his own presence used to speak, and brings him back again as if he came back with the old life and the new life mingled, as indeed they are, and then I feel the loss afresh, and somehow wake from the reading of the poem to know how great and how lovely a poem it is, and to be prouder of you than ever, and of your always reverent and happy use of your beautiful gift. I wish that I could indeed tell you how much I thank you, and how straight this last poem has gone to A. F.'s* heart and mine.

     A. F. is reading "My Cousin the Colonel,"* and bursting into laughter now and then as one seldom hears her. I always say that she is a poor supporter of story-writers, but it is not true now that she can get hold of something of yours again.

     We have had a delightful week, and it has been good for both of us. Day before yesterday we had a great pleasure in Mr. Booth's sending for us to come and have tea with him, and then showing us all the Players' Club!* But every-day things have reminded me of you and Lilian. We are to go home on Tuesday. Forgive this bad pen that writes so blunderingly what was in my heart to say, but I cannot tell you with any pen how much I care about "Elmwood."

Notes

poem in memory of Mr. Lowell ... "My Cousin the Colonel":   Aldrich's poem in memory of Lowell appeared in December 1891:  "Elmwood -- In Memory Of James Russell Lowell," Scribner's Magazine 10: 6 (December, 1891). pp. 787-790.  Aldrich's story, "My Cousin the Colonel" appeared in Harper's in December 1891 and was collected in Two Bites at a Cherry, with other Tales (1893).

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

Mr. Booth's ... the Players' Club
: Edwin Booth (1833 - June 7, 1893) was a founding member of the New York Players Club in 1888.  Booth was an internationally famous American-born Shakespearean actor, a member of the circle of friends in which Jewett moved. His brother, John Wilkes Booth (1835-1865), assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

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 Miss Gilman*

South Berwick Maine
5 December 1891

Dear Miss Gilman

        It is uncertain when I shall be in town again, -- possibly next week for a day or two, -- and so I must wait before I can send you a definite word --  Perhaps it would be better if you wrote me here if it is anything about which

[ Page 2 ]

you feel hurried.  I shall be glad if I can be of any use.

    Pray believe me

Yours sincerely
Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

Miss Gilman:  Identifying Miss Gilman is difficult.  The Massachusetts Historical Society's catalog entry for the Gilman family papers gives no dates or family relationships for the sisters, Julia and Hannah Gilman.  The Gilman Family Papers include correspondence and other papers (1857-1937) of the sisters, "relating to their teaching and the establishment of the Gilman School (later Miss Choate School), Boston, Mass."  In the same collection of papers is correspondence of the educator Arthur Gilman (1837-1909), who with his wife, Stella Scott Gilman, founded the Harvard Annex, which eventually became Radcliffe College.
    Arthur Gilman was an editor of the Putnam's Sons series of historical books, "The Story of the Nations" to which Jewett contributed The Story of the Normans (1887).
    According to the Scheslinger Library, in 1886 Mr. and Mrs. Gilman also "founded the Gilman School for Girls in Cambridge, later the Cambridge School of Weston."  While this suggests that Arthur was closely related to Julia and Hannah, on-line genealogical information indicates they were not siblings.  Arthur was the son of a prominent abolitionist banker, Winthrop Sargent Gilman
    On-line genealogical searching leads to the sisters, Julia Gilman Newell (1838- ?) and Hannah Gilman (1842-1923), daughters of Benjamin Brown Gilman and Sally Gilman.  Whether these are the sisters who are associated with the Gilman School has not been verified.  If they are, then this letter would be addressed to the elder sister, Julia.  Assistance is welcome.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Massachusetts Historical Society in the Gilman Family Papers, Ms N-1291, Correspondence of Hannah & Julia Gilman, 1857-1937. The letter is collected in an autograph album labeled "Gilman Family; Hannah and Julia Gilman 1879-1926."  Transcription by Terry Heller, Coe College.



from George Bainton, The Art of Authorship.  New York: Appleton, 1891, 177-8.
Bainton solicited letters from authors about the art of writing.

SARAH ORNE JEWETT is one of the best literary artists amongst the American writers of short stories Her composition is simple, yet full of force; while the pictures she paints of village life are inspired by a deep-felt sympathy with the common people. "I hardly know what to say about my early plans," she writes, "and especially about any definite study that I gave to the business of writing. I was not a studious child, though always a great reader, and what individuality I have in my manner of writing must be a natural growth and not the result of study or conscious formation. Of course, at one time, I, like all young people, was possessed of great admiration for different authors, but I do not remember trying to copy their style in any way, excepting that I remember thinking that if I could write just as Miss Thackeray* did in her charming stories I should be perfectly happy. I tried to model some of my own early work on her plan. I see very little likeness, I am sorry to say, as I read it over now! I believe very much in reading English books like Walton's* and others of his time; though I think I have learned as much from the telling of simple stories and character sketches in the 'Sentimental Journey'* as from anything. They were great favourites with my father, and were easily impressed on my mind; the monks, and the starling, and the peasants' dance in particular."
 
Notes

Miss Thackeray:  British novelist William M. Thackeray's daughter, also a novelist, Anne Isabella Thackeray, Lady Ritchie (1837-1919).

WaltonIzaak Walton (1594 - 1683), the English author of The Compleat Angler.

'Sentimental Journey':  A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (1767) is a novel by Laurence Sterne (1713-1768).



SOJ to an unknown recipient


  South Berwick, Maine
[ 1891 ]


….…I was so pleased to find that Tales of New England* had gone to a second edition in London.

 

  Notes

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

Tales of New England:  Jewett's volume of previously collected stories appeared in 1890.  WorldCat lists a London edition in 1893, but does not specify which edition it is.  I have tentatively placed this letter in 1891, as the earliest likely date for a second British edition.

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Undated Letters, Folder 75, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.



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