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1894    1896

Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1895

SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett and Carrie Jewett Eastman

[ Boston 10 January 1895 in another hand ]
Wednesday Night

Dear Sisters

    I has been a pleasant and quiet day with much reading of pritty [ so spelled ] books and one or two ladies stepping in besides A.F.* on her way to the Charity Building with a party tonight of Miss Anne Lever?*  to play whist, also Dodds:* Sister taking the first rubber, but not being so excited as some with the pleasures of the game.  Mary, you hurts your sister's poor feelings and

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she hasn't been in her usual health which makes it seem more unkind.  She has never been asked to Worcester even by way of compliment except to say in a general way "When are you coming!" -- others are preferred before she and every plan set forth.  And she has got more pride than to push herself and feels it more because Mis' Merriman* used to be different ........  Sister Carrie wouldn't have passed such

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remarks to her even though she hasn't been a Sister near so long -- but I dare say you didn't mean it !!!!  The poor little Duchess's* letter seemed quite cheerful to me with but little attention paid to stops.  I wonder if Lizzie* will come up but I dont suppose so before spring.

    I seem to have so little to tell though my visit is so serene and pleasant.  Mrs. Cabot* is as kind as can be, and quite touching{.}  She

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is so pleased to think I am here.  There are ever so many nice things to read and every comfort as you may suppose and I dont [ feel may be underlined ] so fretted as I did about [things may be underlined ] that are undone.  I begin to feel now as if I had been pretty sick, but I always have to wait until I am getting better to have much sense of it.  I have been working on my letters slowly, but I can't seem to get at Thérèse's paper* yet.  I was so glad to get

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both your letters today.  I sent a note to Hetta Ward* last evening but I haven't got any answer yet.  Maud Scott* the little secretary boards at the Bellevue and she took it for me, but she hasn't been here today.


Such a morning!  I suppose we must be going to have a before it is nice weather again.  Mary, do you happen to remember where my little black jacket that Becca* made me was put away?  We couldn't find

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it when I moved, but one was lent me with smiles of pleasure to come with -- --

    There are those that are having two old women make black lace for petticoats like that of Minnies.*  So if either of you are in need you can bear it in mind.
    With ever so much love    Sarah.

The Marlborough pie* was so beseemed!  Dont you remember I brought one?

[10 JAN 1895    2 of 2 in another hand ]


10 January 1895:  10 January fell on a Thursday in 1895.

A.F.: ... the Charity Building:  Annie Adams Fields worked with the Associated Charities of Boston, located in the Charity Building on Chardon St., Boston

Miss Anne Sever:  Whether Jewett wrote Sever or Lever is difficult to determine.  It appears there was an an Anne Lever, an artist believed to have been working in the 1880s in Boston.  However, no further information about her has been found.     
    It seems more likely that Jewett refers to Anne Dana Sever (1828-1896) a long-time resident of the Back Bay in Boston.  The daughter of John and Anna Dana Sever, she lived with her sister, Emily at 376 Marlborough St.

Dodds:  The Dodds have not been identified.  It would be interesting if this were Walter James Dodd (1869-1916) and his wife Margaret Lea (d. 1951), who were residents of Boston and at one time resided in the Back Bay area.  Though he eventually completed a medical degree, in 1894, he was an apothecary at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he pioneered the use of x-rays.  While the Dodds cannot this couple, because they did not marry until 1910, little has yet been discovered about whether Dodd lived with other relatives and socialized in the Back Bay area before his marriage.
    It is possible that Jewett refers to the family of William Goodell Dodd, a Boston banker who died in 1872.  His wife was Eliza Fay Dodd, and they had at least one child, Harriet Isabella.  However, no evidence has been found that Mrs. Dodd was living in the 1890s or resided with other family members, though she did live in the Back Bay Area.

Little Duchess: Probably Jewett refers to Lilian Aldrich, her affectionate nickname being the Duchess of Ponkapog.  See Correspondents.

Lizzie: Typically, when Jewett refers to Lizzie, she means a frequent Jewett employee in South Berwick, Lizzie Pray, or Elizabeth Jervis Gilman.  However this reference may be someone else. See Correspondents.

Thérèse's paper:  Jewett aided Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc in translating and placing in American magazines several of Blanc's essays.  Assuming that the date of this letter is correct, Jewett most likely was working on"About French Children" or "Family Life in America," both of which appeared in 1896.

Hetta Ward:  Sister of William and Susan Ward.  See Correspondents.

Maud Scott:  The Hotel Bellevue in Boston was a residential hotel.  Miss Maud Scott is listed as a resident there in Clark's Boston Blue Book (1895), p. 84.  It seems clear that she is available for typing manuscripts and sometimes provides this service to Jewett. No more about her has been discovered.  Assistance is welcome.

Becca:  Rebecca Young.  See Correspondents.

Minnies:  This may refer to Minnie Lord Weeks Goodwin.  See Sophia Elizabeth Hayes Goodwin in Correspondents.

Marlborough pie: The transcription is uncertain, but Jewett may refer to Marlborough pie, a variety of dessert pie made with a  mixture of sweet and tart apples, according to New England Food Today.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Historic New England in Jewett Family Papers: MS014.02.01.  Transcribed and annotated by Terry Heller. Coe College.

SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett and Carrie Jewett Eastman

[ Boston 12 January 1895 in another hand]*

[ Begin Letterhead ]

34 Beacon Street.*

[ End Letterhead ]

Dear Mary & Carrie

    Your two nice letters were such a pleasure this afternoon and I laughed as much as Carrie expected over the story: it somehow was terrible pleasing!  I have passed a quiet day as you may suppose but a drive is being arranged to take place tomorrow, and I daresay it will be pleasant to go out again as Tuesday was the last available day.  I do seem to have so little to tell and so my letter may be as long and sleepy and stupid as

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the one I wrote last night!  I send you one or two things that have come.  The Reverend Mr. Twombly's* letter is very parsonish it strikes me, and I am afraid he isn't the right man to give any distinction and flavor to a little book about Dr. Lord.*  I have written him that I will send him a copy of the Berwick paper in the N. E. Magazine* -- where I said what I could of Dr. Lord's time and of his family in the best way I could.  Dr. Lord's last letter is on my desk somewhere in the heap at the right hand but he wont come to those later things

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yet awhile. -- What I do feel in a hurry about is finding some of Sandpiper's letters:*  there must be a good many in the drawers of my desk where I have put what letters I cared ^most^ about keeping.

    I had such a beautiful present that morning, a box of lace that belonged to dear Miss Howes* that [Mrs corrected] Cabot* sent up.  You will both love to see them ^such lovely things!^ and a box of crape and lace shawls for A.F.* which I long to see her open!

    You ask about my coming home Mary, but I think it would be safer

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to ask Fanny Linton* and to count on my going back when you do.  I should think by that time I might be in a reasonable state of repair!* but I can't manage even yet to sit up all day though I am so much better particularly in the evening.  I dont get up until ^near^noon and lie down a good deal then by way of getting along!  I suppose it is partly from being shut up so long.  I have not a new pen which seems to assist in recovery!!  That other old long [pin ?] pen was so distressing and I never could seem to get round to changing it.

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

I have my troubles you see as well as Sister Carrie with her ink!  Good night with ever so much love to both of you and Stubby*
from Sarah


1895:  The rationale for this date is not known, but it coincides well with Jewett's bout of bronchitis which began in December 1894 and was long in clearing up, and with other dates referenced in the letter, the publication of "The Old Town of Berwick" and the death of Professor John Lord.

34 Beacon Street: The address of the Boston home of Susan Burley Cabot.  See Correspondents.

Reverend Mr. TwomblyAlexander Stevenson Twombly (1832-1907) was the author of The Life of John Lord (1896).

Dr. Lord: 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 Berwick paper in the N. E. Magazine:  Jewett's "The Old Town of Berwick" appeared in July 1894.

Sandpiper's letters:  Celia Thaxter. See Correspondents.   Thaxter had died on 25 August 1894.  Annie Fields and Rose Lamb were gathering Thaxter letters for possible inclusion in their book, Letters of Celia Thaxter (1897).

dear Miss Howes ... Mrs.Cabot: Miss Howes must be a relative of Susan Burley Howes Cabot, perhaps a recently deceased relative.  However, her identity has not been discovered. See Correspondents.

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

Fanny Linton:  This person is has not been identified.  A possibility is the Fanny Linton who operated a millinery business in South Berwick, ME in 1877.  Whether she remained in business as late as 1895 is not known.  Nor is it known whether she is the same as Frances Jane Linton (1838-1902) of nearby Dover, NH., daughter of Lucina (1802-1885), sister of Anna Linton Waldron (1835-1901) and Mary A. Linton (1840-1902).

state of repair:  In December of 1894, while in Boston, Jewett had suffered so serious a case of bronchitis as to require hiring a nurse to care for her.

Stubby: Theodore Jewett Eastman. See Correspondents.

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

SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

Friday morning

[ Winter 1895 ]

Dear Mary

I waked up feeling better than I have at all, but I have had to give up the idea of getting home today or tomorrow the weather is so bad even if I felt strong enough to start.  I am sorry for I had quite set my heart on coming.  Perhaps it is better to feel that there is no chance just now, than to be wondering whether I ought or ought not.  I felt the storm “somewhat” as Cousin Alice* would say, by pains before it came and such a funny stiffness yesterday so that I stepped like our often quoted hens with their beak feathers but wasn’t lame at all.  In all the storm Katharine Loring* appeared again and we had a nice time.  There were those who had a busy morning and at half past three they got a cab and when out, as the storm had abated.  There was a mysterious air about the enterprise and when she returned late she had been to play with Mary Dorr,* one of the most happy occasions on record, and Mary Dorr sent the same splendid carnations and thought the War Debt* was a beautifly [so transcribed ] story, and there were such tales, and in short a great play and fine sense of satisfaction.  I wish you had been here!  Mrs. Dorr did not get back from the Country until some time this month.  I had the dearest letter from Auntie which I send to you, it pleased me so much.  Here come [ so transcribed ] the morning mail with something to look over for Therese a little paper about Madame Feuillet* which I shall see about as fast as I can with help from A.F.*  Did Sister Carrie* feel she could get to the fire?  Hearing about the baby being most smothered makes me feel as if she must have been on the spot, even though in poor health!!  You mustn’t run risks dear Sister Carrie.  I am writing in bed and begin to feel as if it were time to get up so I must say bood-be* with much love to all from



Winter 1895:  A handwritten note on this transcription reads: 189-.  This date is based upon Jewett indicating that her January 1895 story, "A War Debt" has recently appeared, while Blanc's July 1895 paper on Madame Feuillet:has not yet found a publisher.

Cousin Alice:  Alice Dunlap Gilman.  See Correspondents.

Katharine Loring:  See Correspondents.

Mary Dorr:   Mary Gray Ward Dorr (1820 - 21 October 1901), wife of Charles Hazen Door (1821-1893).  They had residences in Boston and in Bar Harbor Maine.

the War Debt:  Jewett's story, "A War Debt," first appeared in Harper's Magazine (January 1895).

Therese ... Madame Feuillet:  Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc. See Correspondents.  Under the name of Th. Bentzon, Blanc published her essay, "The Romantic Life of Madame Feuillet," in Ladies' Home Journal (July 1895).

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

Sister Carrie:  Carrie Jewett Eastman. See Correspondents.

bood-be:  So transcribed.  Presumably baby-talk for "good bye," connected with the reference to Carrie and the almost smothered baby?

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.

John Howard Wills to SOJ

Ala. Polytechnic Institute
Auburn, Ala. Jan 20, 1895

Miss Sarah Orne Jewett
Care of Harper & Brothers,
New York.

Dear Madam,

     Permit me as a native born Virginian and in behalf of a little colony of Virginians thrown together by the whirligig of time in this almost deserted village to thank you for your story -- A War Debt -- in the January Harper's. I do not know when I have been more pleased and touched than I was by this just and deserved tribute to the old time Southern lady and gentleman. That this compliment is from a Northern source adds to its charm and renders it more graceful and pleasing. I can not but hope that you will shortly allow the agreeable hero to meet the lady who was "the queen of her little company" and that we may be permitted to be present.

Very sincerely,

John Howard Wills

Lieutenant U.S. Army.


Jewett's "A War Debt" appeared in 1895 and was collected in The Life of Nancy.

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library of Harvard University: bMS Am 1743 (239).  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to Sarah Chandler Perry  

  South Berwick, Maine
     January 25, 1895

     Dear Aunt Sarah:

     I should be ashamed to write my thanks for your kindness so long after Christmas, if you did not know that I had a pretty good reason for silence. My croaking voice recovered some time ago but something has seemed to be the matter when I tried to use a pen! I have had to neglect a great many letters before Christmas as well as after. But I liked your pretty Whittier spoon very much and I shall keep it in my possession as long as I can and not let it seem to lose identity among the family stores of tea spoons. Mary and I happened to come upon some of Mr. Whittier's letters yesterday and one of them was written upon a sheet of paper with a picture of the birthplace at top. It is wonderful how much the silversmith contrived to get on the little space of the spoon.
     I came home on Monday with Mrs. Fields for company, and Mary got home next day from Worcester where she has had a delightful visit. We so seldom have a winter visit from Mrs. Fields that we are enjoying it very much but I am sorry to say she must go away today.
     I have got well very slowly and walked about the yard after I got home for the first time since the first week in December that I could go out afoot. It has been a tiresome siege, but now I really begin to think about my dusty stories again.
     We have been so sorry to hear that Auntie was ill. I hope that you and Uncle John will take good care of yourselves.
     With much love to both
     S. O. J.


This letter was transcribed 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
     February 3, [1895]

    Dear Mr. Estes:

     I cannot refuse to let my name stand on such a committee, but I am afraid that I cannot promise to do much service. I am still very far from well, and find it most difficult to take up my affairs again. You give me great pleasure by what you tell me of Miss Hersey's1 interest and kindness in speaking of my work and for reading "Decoration Day."2 In fact the newspaper reports, brief as they were, gave me much pleasure. I do not stand exactly in the position of most of the members of the projected society of Daughters of Maine,3 as I count myself entirely a Maine person and not a (transplanted) Boston citizen even though I may spend many weeks of the winter within the limits of Ward Nine!
     I thank you for your kindness and interest and I congratulate you on the success of the Maine Dinner.
     Yours very truly,
     S. O. Jewett


     1 Heloise Edwina Hersey (1855-1933), born in Oxford, Maine, was a professor of English at Smith College and a Browning scholar, an editorial writer for Youth's Companion, and a popular lecturer. At this time she was conducting a school for girls in Boston.
     2 Harper's LXXXV (June 1892), 84-90; collected in A Native of Winby. Miss Jewett once told Laura Richards that, if she were remembered for any of her stories, she hoped it might be this one.
     3 The Daughters of Maine Club was organized in Massachusetts in January 1892 and incorporated in July 1895. One stipulation of its constitution: "Membership in this Club shall be restricted to women who were born in the State of Maine." This society was the female counterpart of the Pine Tree State Club.

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 Mrs. Rogers

     148 Charles Street
     February 7, [1895]

     Dear Mrs. Rogers:

     You left me a lovely gift of flowers and I have been enjoying them so very much that I wished to thank you by break of day! When one loses the great pleasure of being well and keeping at work there seems to be a kind of beggary of happiness set in, which can only be relieved by the kind thought of one's friends! Somehow these lovely pinks brought me a very great pleasure.
     I hope to see you soon, but I shall long be sorry about missing the luncheon.
     Believe me
     Yours sincerely and affectionately,
     Sarah O. Jewett


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

Tuesday morning

[ 19 February 1895 ]*

Dearest Annie

            Your Sunday letter I missed yesterday so I am looking for it with double eagerness this morning.  I had the most enchanting drive yesterday.  Mary and I went out with John* and when we were going along the Great hill road* with great calmness he suddenly turned into a wood road and we went a mile or two through a lovely wild bit of country where the choppers were at work, but discreetly, and it was all so picturesque with a dark bit of pine forest that had grown up so crowded that all the under boughs were dead and gray and mossy but there was a nice thick roof where the high tops were green overhead.  But when we were out of that we caught sight of a sledding track on the Great Works river*  (We were near Mr. Shaw's the egg man's* if you remember where that is)  and so we came miles down river toward home in places where I never was before.  It is a swift little river in places, so that it takes unusual cold to make the ice safe for heavy teams but one bank there is the finest forest I ever have seen for ever so many years.  I must go up the river in a boat early this summer for the great pines and hemlocks and oaks lean out over the water and must make it perfectly beautiful.  It is a hard place to get to except as we did yesterday, but when I asked John how it happened that the woods had been left and looked so splendidly he said that it was town land and part of our poor farm property* which is quite a magnificent estate!  and that they only cut these great trees as they were needed for bridges etc.  (You know we are always poor by reason of so many bridges!) and so they never have stripped that great tract as almost every other piece of land has been.  The trees looked fully grown most of them but none of them going back as John would say!  and so I hope they will last a good many years at any rate until I have time to show them to you.  Talk of travelling in Europe!  Berwick is still undiscovered by me though I think I know it pretty well.  We must go boating a good deal this summer if you come down and you promise.  Do tell me all you can about the Winters Tale.*  I forget what night you are going or is it day?  With dear love

P.  L.

Tell Alice* the shadows were lovely on the snow.



19 February 1895:  This guess at the composition date is based upon the speculation that Jewett refers to the Boston Saturday Morning Club's production of "The Winter's Tale" during the week of 18 February 1895.  See notes below.

Mary ... John
:  Mary Rice Jewett and John Tucker.  See Correspondents.

Great hill road: This road, north of South Berwick, runs past Great Hill, which stands over the Great Works River.  See Pirsig, The Placenames of South Berwick, pp. 214-22.

Great Works riverWikipedia says: "The Great Works River is a 30.6-mile-long (49.2 km)[1] river in southwestern Maine in the United States. It rises in central York County and flows generally south past North Berwick to meet the tidal part of the Salmon Falls River at South Berwick."

Mr. Shaw's the egg man's: Mr. Shaw the egg man has not yet been further identified.  A clue may be found in Pirsig's The Placenames of South Berwick, in a map that shows the location of the dwelling of Andrew Shaw and Aunt Sallie Shaw (p. 188).  An Andrew R. Shaw (1824-1891) is buried in South Berwick.

poor farm property: Wendy Pirsig, in The Placenames of South Berwick, describes the Town Farm property: "100 acres on both sides of Kinght's Pond Road -- some cultivated, some forested -- stretching from Knight's Pond to the Great Works River" (pp. 227-9).

Winter's Tale:  William Shakespeare's play, The Winter's Tale, (c. 1611) was performed at Copley Hall, Boston, in February 1895 by the Saturday Morning Club, with a cast of women only.  While one cannot yet be certain that this is the performance to which Jewett refers, it is at least likely.  The Bostonian 2 (April 1895) presents a detailed, illustrated description of this production (pp.  1- 16).  The catalog of the records of the Club, held by the Schlesinger Library at Harvard, lists a number of Jewett friends associated with the Saturday Morning Club, including its founder, Julia Ward Howe, as well as Phillips Brooks, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Alice Longfellow, Louise Moulton, Sarah Wyman Whitman, and Annie Fields.

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

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

SOJ to Annie Adams Fields  

Thursday evening
[ February 1895 ]*

Dearest Fuff*

            (What a dinner party chez Mrs. Dorr!*  and Pinny* to laugh and kind of chuckle too 'cause she wasn't there and doesn't want to go to any dinner parties any way, but would like to see her A. F. very much . . .   Also Katy* to whom I have been meaning to write but some how I have a great pull getting my letters written . . . )   Miss Hayman's funeral* was yesterday and I saw it go by with much sorrow.  The bell tolled in an old fashioned drowsy way.  I dont know why drowsy but it was!  --  After thinking it was gloomy and old fashioned some years ago they stopped tolling but of late it has begun again, and I think it is village like and good.  The last time I heard it was when General Grant died* and then it had been  stopped for some time, but I went after the sexton and made them both toll that day!  (It is delicious winter weather and I had a little drive today which was quite exciting.   John had Princess* out and she was werry gay.  Oh dont have another calling day unless it is mild!   It is such a way to get tired and get cold.)

            . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



February 1895:  This tentative date is based on the likelihood that Jewett refers to the funeral of Sarah Hayman in South Berwick, which took place in February of 1895.  That the Jewett's had a horse named Princess as late as 1894, also would tend to support this possible date.
        The ellipses in the transcription indicate that this is a selection from the manuscript.

Fuff: Nickname for Annie Adams Fields. as is A.F.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Dorr: Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr. See Correspondents.

Pinny: Nickname for Sarah Orne Jewett. See Correspondents.

Katy: To whom would Jewett write letters addressed to Katy?  Presumably not to one of her household employees.  Among other likely candidates are Mary Katherine Horsford (see Eben Norton Horsford) and Katharine Peabody Loring.  See Correspondents. Assistance is welcome.

Miss Hayman's funeral:  The only female Hayman known to have been buried in South Berwick during Jewett's lifetime was Sarah Hayman (c. 1814 - 11 February 1895).  She shares a headstone in the Old Fields Cemetery with Edward Hayman (1813- 8 March 1871).  Whether this is the person to whom Jewett refers is unknown.  Assistance is welcome.

General Grant died: Ulysses S. Grant (1822 - July 23, 1885), in addition to being general of the Union Armies at the end of the American Civil War (1861-1865), was the 18th President of the United States (1869–77).

John had Princess:  For John Tucker, see Correspondents. Princess, according to Blanchard in Sarah Orne Jewett (2002), was one of the Jewett family horses (117).  The latest date so far that Princess has been mentioned in a Jewett letter is in 1894.

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

SOJ to Arthur Griffin Stedman

25 February 1895
South Berwick.

Dear Mr. Stedman

    I send you the story for Messrs. Bacheller & Co.* and I hope that it serves their purpose --  I chose this scheme rather than one or had in hand, bearing in mind Mr. Bacheller's special message about "action & excitement" and that "the story would be printed in instalments of about  2000 words."  Two, or three, of these four chapters will go two or three hundred words beyond that -- but I hope the story will be manageable -- in every way! and pray do not let it be reckoned as over the 8000 words of the original contract!

    This fortnight's work has been the first after my illness, which has been even longer and more hindering than I feared when I wrote you. {and} I thought within a month even, that I must give up all my engagements. But since I have have been getting out I have quickly picked up strength and now after five or six weeks in the country I shall soon be going back to town. To pervert Dr. Johnson a little: "Sir, when you have seen one snow field you have seen all snow fields.  Sir I like to look upon men.  Let us walk down Charles Street!"*  Yet there never was a more beautiful winter in this bit of Country, and now that the elms look browner and the sky bluer I am sorry to go away again. Shall we not see you in Charles St. this spring? -- and may I venture to send a message of great regard to your father* at the end of this letter which seems to have wandered far from business. I wish to thank you at this late date for sending me your report of the Bryant Centennial Celebration.* What a dusty friendly delightful day it was, and how clearly you brought back my two last impressions of it and made me quite forget the dust! I hope that we shall not forget to talk about it some day. Mr. Warner's "Study" paper* which recalled it was full of wisdom -- did you not think so?

Yours most sincerely

 Sarah O. Jewett.


story for Messrs. Bacheller & Co.:  Green points out that the story Jewett has submitted was "A Dark Night."  He adds that this was one of at least eight that Jewett contributed to the Bacheller Syndicate for publication in more than 50 American city newspapers.  Though Edmund Clarence Stedman was the "official" literary consultant for the syndicate, the elder Stedman delegated much of the work to his son, Arthur.

down Charles Street:  Jewett refers to the home of Annie Adams Fields on Charles St. in Boston. See Correspondents
    Jewett's revision of British author Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) may be based on an apocryphal anecdote.  It has proven difficult to find an exact statement of this idea in his published works or biography.  Green points to a colleague's suggestion of Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson, (1786) by Hester Lynch Piozzi. This passage reports Johnson saying while traveling through the countryside, "A blade of grass is always a blade of grass, whether in one country or another: let us if we do talk, talk about something; men and women are my subjects of inquiry; let us see how these differ from those we have left behind" (p. 100).  Perhaps based upon this anecdote, a number of sources, some contemporary with Jewett, attribute the following quotation to Johnson, without providing a source for it: "Sir, when you have seen one green field, you have seen all green fields; sir, I like to look upon men.  Let us walk down Cheapside."  See, for example, Notes and Queries (1894), p. 337.  Jewett may have seen the anecdote in George Henry Lewes, A Biographical History of Philosophy (1845), p. 199.

your father:  Edmund Clarence Stedman.  See Arthur Stedman in Correspondents.

Bryant Centennial Celebration: Green's note on this says: "The Bryant Centenary," Dial 17 (1 Sept. 1894), pp. 107-108. The celebration took place at Cummington, Massachusetts, on 16 Aug. 1894. 

Mr. Warner's "Study" paper:  Green's note on this says: See "Editor's Study," Harper's Magazine 89 (1894), pp. 960-64, especially 962 63.

At the time of publication, the manuscript of this letter was held by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  The transcription is by David Bonnell Green, who presented it in "Sarah Orne Jewett's 'A Dark Night'." Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 53 (1959): 331-334.   He expresses gratitude to R. Norris Williams, 2nd, and the historical society, for permission to publish the transcription.  Notes are by Terry Heller, Coe College, and draw in part upon Green's own notes and contextualization of the letter in his essay.

Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ


April 3 (1895?).

     The great event of the Library has come and passed, and still one goes to view the scheme, and see how immense the Sargent decoration is. I shall not talk of it at all until I talk of it with you on the spot, and then we will say great swelling words of pride, and some of criticism too, for some chances are missed, inevitable in such a new departure.


the library ... the Sargent decoration: The Boston Public Library opened in 1895. John Singer Sargent's (1856-1925) "Judaism and Christianity" is among the murals that decorate the upper floors. Whitman refers to this work in other letters as well.

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 Arthur Stedman

148 Charles Strett
11 April 1895

Dear Mr. Stedman

    I shall send you a little story.*  You may count upon it by the twenty-fourth and sooner if I can get it in order.  I am so glad that you do not ask me for a long one!

Your sincerely
S. O. Jewett


story:  Jewett evidently promises to provide Stedman with a story for the Bacheller Syndicate  for which he acted as agent.  Jewett had already submitted "A Dark Night" to Stedman in February.  Three more of her stories were syndicated in 1895: "Little French Mary," which first appeared in June, "The Night before Thanksgiving" in November, and "An Empty Purse" in December.

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

SOJ to Miss A. O. Huntington

     148 Charles Street, Boston, 15 April, 1895.

          My dear Miss Huntington, -- I am very sorry that your first letter to me should have have been lost or overlooked. I thank you for this second letter, which gives me much pleasure.

     I am very glad that you like "Deephaven" and that your friend likes it too,* and I send this little page which I have just copied for you to give to her, as you say that you should like to do. As for the characters, Miss Chauncey is the only one who was a real person, and I made the first visit to her one afternoon just as I have described. Very little of that chapter is imaginary (or of the chapter called "In Shadow"). I do not like the picture of her, because I remember her much more ghostly and not such a brisk and determined person as the artist drew.* This Miss Chauncey looks much too aggressive, while the real one was most appealing and a little bewildered as you may imagine. However, I like all the rest of the pictures so very much that I ought not to find fault with Miss Chauncey!


Huntington:  Annie Oakes Huntington (1875-1940) was the author of books and articles on trees of New England.  See Correspondents.  Her acquaintance with Jewett has not yet been documented.  It is clear from this letter that Huntington wrote to Jewett about Deephaven, when Huntington was about 20 years old.  In the book of her letters published after her death, Testament of Happiness, she speaks briefly of meeting and socializing with Jewett in 1901.  It is possible that they met in 1895 or at some time before 1901.  One opportunity was when Huntington stayed with Ellen Louise Tileston (Mrs. Charles P.) Hemenway, (1836-1914) the recently widowed philanthropist, August 12-19, 1895.  Ellen Tileston Hemenway was both sister and sister-in-law to Mary Porter Tileston (Mrs. Augustus) Hemenway (1820 - 1894).  Both women were neighbors of Annie Fields in Boston and in Manchester by the Sea.  Fields was acquainted with Mary Hemenway as early as 1886, mentioning her in an August 18, 1886 letter.

your friend:  It is possible that this friend was Jeannette Payson, Huntington's life-long companion.  Their life together is documented in Testament of Happiness.

the artist drew: Dawn Helser points out that the drawing of Miss Chauncey is by Marcia Oakes Woodbury. (1865-1913). Born like Jewett in South Berwick, Maine, Woodbury studied painting in New York and Paris. Her paintings, "Triptych" and "Mother and Daughter," belong to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. She and her husband, Charles H. Woodbury (1864-1940), also an artist, were friends of Jewett. Together they designed illustrations for a Holiday Edition of Deephaven that appeared in 1893 (Cary, Sarah Orne Jewett Letters, p. 85). A note in the Old Berwick Historical Society edition (XIV-XVI) indicates that Marcia Woodbury was responsible for the drawing of Miss Chauncey, which appears on p. 271.

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

[ Late spring 1895 ]*
Friday afternoon

Dear Fuffy
[Fuffy has been scratched over in pencil, presumably by another hand]

        It was perfectly beautiful yesterday driving down to Kittery - Point -- coming home we heard the thrushes for the first time and the farms were growing green and the river shining in the sun.  I wish you had been with me.  Indeed there isnt another such bit of country in the world -- As for the sea, it was as blue as it was the last day we went to Manchester

[Up the left margin of page 1; whether the parentheses are in Jewett's hand is not certain.]

(Have you thought of sending a circular to Mr. Mifflin?  85 Marlborough?)*

[ Page 2 ]

and we ^Mary & I^ walked down to the beach with the boys* and found "wreckwood" enough for the summer's fires --  All the coasters go very near and they are always losing laths and boards overboard and sticks of wood as they come up from the lumber mills down toward the Provinces* -- [ ) inserted apparently in pencil]  To-day we are planting -- and I have been so sunburnt that I shall not grow to look like a white person again until late in the fall.

[ Page 3 ]

[ ( inserted apparently in pencil, presumably by another hand]  I don't have enough poppy seed -- and I am going to write [ to Farquhar's corrected ]* this afternoon{.}  So many things were winter killed [that corrected] we are [quite grieved corrected] to the heart.  I have been thinking that you will never know about the weeding at Manchester [unless corrected] I am there to say where the seeds are.  I am important to the well being of two gardens this summer -- [ ) drawn through summer ] I keep thinking of the paints but I have been too tired and unsettled

[ Page 4 ]

ever since I came home even to finish the Christmas story which ought to be in Mrs. Dodge's hands* this minute -- that is the cheque ought to be in mine. I dont hear from the Wide-Awake yet -- but Pinny* to be good and not grumble.

    Oh I must tell you one beautiful thing we did, yesterday -- we went down to Miss Anne Rice's house* by the river just opposite Portsmouth where we used

[33 in another hand, circled in bottom left corner of page 4.   The letter ends here, without a signature. ]


Late spring 1895:  If Jewett was indeed preparing "Betty Leicester's English Christmas" for publication in St. Nicholas, this letter would have been written in 1895.  See notes below.

y:  One of the nicknames of Annie Adams Fields.

a circular to Mr. Mifflin ...  85 MarlboroughGeorge Harrison Mifflin (1845-1921) was a long-time partner in the Houghton Mifflin publishing company.  Mifflin and his wife, Jane Appleton (Phillips) Mifflin, resided at 85 Marlborough Street in Boston, MA after 1878.  The purpose of the circular remains unknown.

Mary ...the boys:  Mary Rice Jewett. One of the boys almost certainly is Theodore Jewett Eastman, their nephew, but the identities of any others are not yet known.  See Correspondents

the Provinces:  The Maritime Provinces of Eastern Canada, north and east of Maine.

Farquhar'sR. & J. Farquhar Company of Boston, MA sold seeds and gardening supplies by mail order.  The company was founded Robert Farquhar (1848-1934), who came to the United States from Scotland about 1865.  The catalog business operated from at least 1894 until 1934.

Christmas story:  Mary Mapes Dodge (1831 - 1905) was editor of St. Nicholas magazine.  The only Christmas story Jewett published there was "Betty Leicester's English Christmas" (December1895 - February 1896).

Wide-Awake:  These circumstances are obscure.  The final story Jewett placed with Wide Awake magazine was "Peg's Little Chair" (August 1891).  Perhaps she was still awaiting payment four years later, or perhaps a new submission was not accepted, or perhaps she refers to quite different events.

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

Miss Anne Rice's house:  In Sarah Orne Jewett (1994), Paula Blanchard identifies Anne Rice as an elderly relative of Jewett, heiress to a wonderful house that became the setting for Jewett's story, "Lady Ferry" (1879) .  Blanchard says that Miss Rice owned a fearsome dog (pp. 39-40).

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

SOJ to Frederick M. Hopkina 

     South Berwick, Maine
     May 27, 1895

     Dear Sir:

     You will have to say that Miss Jewett was seriously ill the greater part of the winter (after an attack of the nature of pneumonia) and has been forced to lay aside her writing affairs. There will be a story in one of the summer numbers of the Century, written last year or earlier.1 The sketch published in Harper's, May 1892, called "Decoration Day," has kept its hold surprisingly and is making part of the exercises of the day this year. It was translated into French last summer and figured in the Revue des Deux Mondes.2
     I am sorry that I can only think of these few most meagre notes but perhaps you can use them as suggestions that will serve your purpose.
     Yours very truly,
     S. O. Jewett
     It would be very good if you could find room to speak of the really charming book of Celia Thaxter's Letters edited by Mrs. J. T. Fields and Miss Lamb.3 It is a book so vitalized by a delightful and vigorous personality that its readers must lay it down with the feeling of having made a new friend. The refinement of the editing is a contrast to much biographical work that has been done of late. The portraits are inadequately reproduced, but as for the work of the editors and printers nothing better could be asked. It is understood that Miss S. O. Jewett is to prepare a volume of Mrs. Thaxter's stories for children4 for the press later in the season.
     (Mrs. Thaxter's letters are just published and I should like very much to have you print the above notes. Please do not quote from me in using them,5 and may I count on you destroying this letter altogether, for such things which serve a friend's purpose in their day have a very different sound and misconstruction later. I am indeed sorry to send you such untidy pages.)6


     1 "All My Sad Captains," Century, L (September 1895), 736-748; collected in The Life of Nancy.
    2 "Le Jour de la Décoration," Revue des Deux Mondes, CXXIV (August 1, 1894), 650-663.
     3 Celia Thaxter (1835-1894), popular poet and writer of juveniles, was a close friend of Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields, both of whom visited her regularly in her Appledore Island home in the Isles of Shoals. Although barren, this set of seven islands ten miles from Portsmouth harbor attracted authors, painters, musicians, philosophers, and academicians all year round.
     Miss Jewett almost always alluded to Mrs. Thaxter as "Sandpiper," after her well-known poem of that name, and Mrs. Thaxter reciprocated by signing her letters with a sketch of the small bird. As a matter of fact, Miss Jewett's clique was addicted to pet names. Mrs. Thaxter called Miss Jewett "Owlet"; Louise Imogen Guiney [Thomas Bailey Aldrich] was "Linnet"; Mary Greenwood Lodge was "Marigold"; Louisa Dresel answered to "Loulie," and Georgina Halliburton to "Wags"; in most letters Miss Jewett called Mrs. Fields "Mouse," "Fuff," "Fuffy," and occasionally "Fuffatee"; Miss Jewett was dubbed "Sadie Martinot" by the Aldriches but preferred her own invention of "Pinny Lawson" -- "Pinny" because she was "so straight and thin and her head no bigger than a pin," and "Lawson" after Harriet Beecher Stowe's raconteur, Sam Lawson of Oldtown Folks.
     Letters of Celia Thaxter (Boston, 1895) was edited "by her friends A. F. and R. L." -- Annie Fields and Rose Lamb.
     Rose Lamb (1843-1927) was a Boston neighbor of Mrs. Fields and a member of her group, particularly active in philanthropic work. A pupil of William Morris Hunt, she attained some renown as a water colorist. She spent numerous summers at the Isles of Shoals and traveled extensively in Europe.
     4 Mrs. Thaxter's Stories and Poems for Children (Boston, 1895) contained an untitled, one-page preface signed "S. O. J." Miss Jewett also wrote a four-page preface to the Appledore Edition of The Poems of Celia Thaxter (Boston, 1896).
     5 Hopkins had undoubtedly solicited material for the "Literary Chat" department of Munsey's Magazine. In the September 1895 issue appears a recognizable paraphrase of Miss Jewett's recommendation. After praising the "beauty and naturalness" with which Mrs. Thaxter invested her poems with a sense of mountains, salt breezes and surf, the item goes on to say: "In her letters we find, as we might expect, the same thrill of the sea that pervades her verse, the same tremendous, overwhelming love of nature. It is a genuine treat to read these letters, so ably and sympathetically edited, for in the reading we are brought very near to a personality our literature could ill afford to lose" (681). No mention of Miss Jewett's activities was made at this time.
     6 Miss Jewett had obviously not recovered from the serious illness to which she refers. The handwriting of this letter is uncharacteristically infirm.

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

     148 Charles Street
     [June 6, 1895]

     Dear Loulie:

     I found a mysterious box waiting for my coming and I hasten to take my pen in hand to endeavor (tho' with difficulty) to express my sentiments of fond emotion on receiving this new proof of your affection and taste. My heart leaps like the pretty rabbit, and I shall be ever eager to return in some way the pleasure you have afforded me. Believe me, esteemed Louisa, that I shall never hop the graceful bunny without a tender thought of her who offered him on the shrine of Friendship. These things give rise to thoughts far too deep for expression, but you will gather from my hasty words that this last gift has affected me more perhaps than any of the lovely tokens that have been heretofore so fondly cherished.

     I am ever yours most affectionately,

     S. O. J.

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.

SOJ to Fred Holland Day

     July 2, [1895]

    Dear Mr. Day:

     I see that there is a new volume of Mr. Francis Thompson's poems.1 Will you be so kind as to send me two copies? I should like to have one of the posters for Miss Brown's Meadowgrass2 if you have one to spare and I [don't ask for it too la] te.3
     I wish that I had asked you the other day if you had any other books beside the Atalanta from the Kelmscott Press.4 When you are sending the little package with Miss Brown's stories, etc., will you please put in anything else that you think that I might like to have, and I can return them at once if they are not to be kept.
     Mrs. Fields (who is here) was delighted, as I was, with the memorial to Stevenson by L. I. G. & A. B.5 I wish that Mr. Copeland's beautiful Atlantic essay6 had as fine a setting!
     Believe me
     Yours very truly,
     S. O. Jewett


     1 A fifth edition of Francis Thompson's Poems (Boston, 1895) published by Copeland & Day.
     2 Alice Brown, Meadow-grass: Tales of New England Life (Boston, 1895) published by Copeland & Day.
     3 Five words are conjecturally supplied; the letter is torn here.
     4 Algernon Charles Swinburne, Atalanta in Calydon (Hammersmith, 1894).
     5 Robert Louis Stevenson: A Study (Boston, 1895) by A. B., with a prelude and postlude by L. I. G., published by Copeland & Day. "A. B." is Alice Brown (1857-1948), who wrote novels and short stories mainly of New England rural life; "L. I. G." is Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920), Boston poet and essayist.
     6 "Robert Louis Stevenson," Atlantic Monthly, LXXV (April 1895), 537-546, by Charles Townsend Copeland (1860-1952), Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University from 1892 to 1928, who was born in Calais, Maine. While still a Boston journalist, he became a regular visitor at 148 Charles Street, eventually introducing Mark A. DeWolfe Howe to Mrs. Fields and Miss Jewett in their "shrine of associations." Copeland admired the simple force of Miss Jewett's work and gave "A White Heron" high place in his repertoire of public readings.

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.

T. F. Upham to Mary Rice Jewett

[ Begin letterhead ]

Duluth Securities Company

F. A. Whiting, Prest.
N. J. Upham. V. Prest.
A. St. J. Whiting, Treas.
T. F. Upham, Secy.

    Eastern Office, Lowell, Mass.        Duluth, Minn.
[ Date handwritten: July 2d 1895]

[ End letterhead ]

Miss Mary R. Jewett
    South Berwick, Maine

Dear Madam:-

    The Est. [Gaullains ? ] loan owned by Caroline A. Eastman* matured on the 1st of July.  The interest & taxes have been somewhat delinquent and we were about to write you advising foreclosure when we obtained a deed for the property from the owner who preferred to deed it rather than be sued.  The property is in fairly good condition and is worth in the neighborhood of $1400 at the present time.  We enclose herewith a statement of the taxes which should be paid as the greater part of the amount bears interest at the rate of twelve per cent.  If not convenient

[ Page 2, with the same letterhead ]

to pay them now it is not absolutely necessary, however.  We will see the tenants and advise you later as regard to rents.  The building is in fair condition.

    It is better to accept a deed to the property than to foreclose as in the latter case there would be extra costs amounting to about $80 besides taxes and loss of any income during the year allowed the owner for redemption.

    We have seen Mrs. Nelson again & find that she will be unable to pay up & the only step you can take in that case is foreclosure.  It is not very pleasant to lose interest on both of these loans but we believe without question the [ deleted word ] principal is secured & if not redeemed

[ Page 3, with the same letterhead ]

the properties will prove good investments.

    In regard to the paper sent you on the [ Goulan ?] loan it is a matter of delinquent tax which we are looking over carefully & will [protect ?] & write you fully about in a few days{.}

Very respectfully
    T. F. Upham*


Caroline A. Eastman:  Sarah and Mary's younger sister.  See Correspondents. It appears that Mary is acting on behalf of her widowed sister, Carrie, in this matter.
    The context of this letter is unknown.  It seems that Carrie or her husband, before his death, had invested in loans on two buildings, and that the owners of the buildings -- perhaps an unnamed person for one and Mrs. Nelson for the other -- have been unable to make their loan payments and to pay property taxes.  As a result, one owner has surrendered the deed, turning the building over to Jewetts' agent, Duluth Securities Company.  To secure this deed, the Jewetts need to pay the delinquent taxes.
    If there is indeed a second building owned by Mrs. Nelson, it appears the company is suggesting foreclosure.
    Where these buildings are located and all other details about these transactions currently are unknown.  However, as the next note indicates, the Duluth Securities Company officers were Duluth, Minnesota businessmen, and it seems likely the properties were in that city.  Indeed, N. J. Upham also headed a real estate company in Duluth.

T. F. Upham:  The identity of Mary Jewett's correspondent is not yet certain.  He may be Thomas Francis Janeway Upham (1869-1945).  His older brother was Nathaniel Janeway Upham (1865-1942).  Their initials match those listed on the letterhead, and both were businessmen in Duluth, MN during the last two decades of the 19th century.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Historic New England in Jewett Family Papers, MS MS014.01.04.68.  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.

Annie Adams Fields to Mary Rice Jewett

148 Charles St.
Friday Eveg

[ Summer 1895 or later ]

Dear Mary:

    Your roses are so beautiful tonight that I regret you cannot be here to see them.

    What a pity you could not come to see the pictures and [enjoy many things ?].

    Yours with thanks and many regrets that you are not here

-- Annie Fields

[ Down the right margin. ]

I thought you would surely come!


1895 or later:  Though this letter provides no clear clues about its date, as of this writing, the earliest letters we have from Fields to Mary Jewett are from 1895.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Historic New England in Letters from Annie Fields to Mary Rice Jewett, Jewett Family Papers: MS014.03.02.  Transcribed and annotated by Terry Heller. Coe College.

Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ


July 23, 1895.

     . . . Not my plans, but the arrangements and expectations of others make up all my days, so far this summer, which I say not by way of complaint, but just of statement. I take refuge in dreams; a little more thick and fast than usual just now, because my eyes have been well for three weeks and because that means a more thumping beat of the old pulse. But I can only look and long yet awhile, so far as getting the dream on foot is concerned. . . .
     Have you read Symonds' Life and Letters? He sends out such a brave courageous cry and heartens those who hear him. And somehow it made me feel afresh some of the weak spots in the Christian Science scheme that refuses to allow pain to be a minister by refusing its existence. I guess we must re-adjust the new dogmas nearer to the heart's necessities. Grief indeed "makes the young spring wild," but grief endured and dimly understood, seems to smite into one some of the deepest recognitions of the human Spirit. . . . You see I am wishing and needing to see you very much.


Symonds' Life and Letters: John Addington Symonds (1840-1893). Horatio F. Brown's John Addington Symonds: A Biography Compiled from his Papers and Correspondence was published in 1895.

Christian Science scheme: The Encarta Encyclopedia describes Christian Science as a "religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, in particular the healings attributed to him in the New Testament. According to Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), the founder of the faith, Christian Science grew out of her lifelong study of the Bible. Eddy's belief that God is the loving and all-powerful Father of all people impelled her to question the fundamental reality of the evils and frailties of human life. Eddy was born in Bow, New Hampshire, in 1821 to devout parents. She attributed her sudden recovery from a severe injury in 1866 to her 'glimpse of the great fact' that life is in and of Spirit (God). She believed spiritual life to be the sole reality of existence. Eddy spent the remaining 45 years of her life searching for a fuller understanding of her insight and its practical applications. Throughout her search she remained convinced that salvation included obedience to Jesus's command to heal the sick. Eddy believed that Jesus's healings were not miraculous interruptions of natural law, but the operation of God's power, seen as spiritual law. . . . In 1875, Eddy published the first edition of her textbook, Science and Health (in later editions Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures). In 1881, two years after founding her church, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts. The membership of the church grew rapidly, and a substantial church building was completed in 1895, with a much larger extension completed in 1906." The mother church remains in Boston.

Grief ... "makes the young spring wild": In "Adonais" (1821), Percy Bysshe Shelley's (1792-1822) elegy to John Keats (1795-1821) appear the lines:
     Grief made the young Spring wild, and she threw down
     Her kindling buds, as if she Autumn were.

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 a Fan

        August 29th 1895
        Isle au haut, Maine

My dear Sir
    In answer to your questions I must say that my characters have been with very few exceptions imaginary, and that I do not arrange my stories beforehand into chapters [unreadable mark] but let them take form as they progress.  I have never been in the habit of of [repeated word] dictating to a stenographer
        With thanks for your kind wishes believe me
    Yours very truly
        S. O. Jewett


The manuscript of this letter is held in the Sarah Orne Jewett Collection, 1801-1997, of the University of New England's Maine Women Writers Collection: II. Correspondence, item 141.

Annie Adams Fields to Mary Rice Jewett

Sepr 2d 1895

[ Begin letterhead ]

The Anchorage,
Martinsville, Maine.

[ Eng letterhead ]

My dear Mary:

    Sarah* will have written you "the true story" of our housekeeping here, nonetheless I must add a few words to say that I trust you will be making up your mind to come down during the month for a week or two after your guests have gone.  We have the whole world to ourselves and a most picturesque world it is! wide pastures and great sea, to make [ two or more unrecognized words ]

[ Page 2 ]

of in the direction of view from life and out-of-door [ unrecognized word, ____ment ].  It is not a [locale ?] for [unrecognized word ] driving but for endless tramps and boating.

    And now I am going to add to your [present ?] duties and 'cares' by asking you to put up a package for me and send to Miss Henrietta Marion Grew
    The Sumachs.*

Sarah says that there is a

[ Page 3 ]

[ unrecognized word ] (or several she thinks) of [ 2 or 3 unrecognized words ] Books at South Berwick and that she will be glad to have [ unrecognized word ] take one.  The book has been out of print and as the young lady is to be married on the 18th I do not like to defer sending on a chance.  I am most sorry to give you all this trouble but Sarah has over persuaded my reluctance.  I know indeed that you are ready to do a kindness, therefore,

[ Page 4 ]

am going to beg this 'new one' at your hands.

    You would have been pleased to see us [ shaking ? ] house into our little abode. We had scarcely arrived when the rain fell in torrents lasting all night, but in the height of the storm in the [ midst ? ] of the [ unrecognized word ] Sarah's [ 6 unrecognized words ] we had a bedstead carted away in order to leave us room.  I am sure our neighbors must have been alive with excitement at such goings on.

    I hope it will [ seem to you ? ] worthwhile to come as soon as you are free.  If the weather is good I think you will enjoy it.  [ Unrecognized word ] to you and Carrie [ a meaning and ? ]

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

Theodore* from your Annie Fields. Tell Carrie please -- that her pincushion seems to have been created for this [ purple ? ]!  We all have to wait our opportunities !!  do not fail to give my best regards to Mrs. Tyler* and Miss [unrecognized name ]


Sarah: Sarah Orne Jewett. See Correspondents.

Henrietta Marion Grew ... The SumachsHenrietta Marion Grew (1872-1957) married Stephen Van Rensselaer Crosby (1868 - 1959) on 18 September 1895 in Manchester, MA.  Their children included Henry Grew Crosby (1898-1929) and Katharine Schuyler Crosby (1901-1959).  She lived in Manchester-by-the-Sea at the time of her death.  Her parents were Henry Sturgis Grew (1834-1910) and Jane Norton Wigglesworth (1836-1868).  A successful Boston businessman, Mr. Grew had homes in Boston, Hyde Park, and Manchester by the Sea.  The Manchester home was the Sumacs, on Masconomo St.
Carrie ... Theodore:  Carrie Jewett Eastman and Theodore Jewett Eastman.  See Correspondents.

Mrs Tyler:  Augusta Maria Denny Tyler. See Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Historic New England in Letters from Annie Fields to Mary Rice Jewett, Jewett Family Papers: MS014.01.04.  Transcribed and annotated by Terry Heller. Coe College.

SOJ to Carrie Jewett Eastman


                Tenants Harbor


[ September 1895 ]

Dear Carrie

…………..…Tell John* that I paid for the band to go to Emery's Bridge* and he must tell Mr. Adams* and have him settle it.  --  perhaps it would be better now to wait for the moon, but he can see.


Seawoods:  According to George Carey's "The Rise and Fall of Elmore," "William Richardson, known to his intimates as “Will Dear” ...had made a small fortune when he invented the clothing snap, the popular forerunner of the zipper, and with some of his money he built Seawoods, a 13-room house that faced the ocean. Richardson’s sister-in-law married Thomas Bailey Aldrich, the editor of The Atlantic Monthly, and soon his large rambling cottage, The Crags just to the north of Seawoods, was drawing to Elmore such literary luminaries as Mark Twain and Sarah Orne Jewett."

September 1895:  As other letters from September 1895 show, Jewett and Annie Fields stayed in Tenants Harbor, ME during this month.
    The line of points presumably indicates an omission from the manuscript.

John: John Tucker. See Correspondents.

band to go to Emery's Bridge: The details of Jewett arranging for a band to play at nearby Emery's Bride in September of 1895 are not yet known.  It is not clear that South Berwick had a local band.  Assistance is welcome.

Mr. Adams:  This person has not been identified.  This will be difficult without knowing more about the band performance Jewett has paid for.

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 Louisa Dresel


     The Anchorage
     Martinsville, Maine
     September 4, 1895

     Dear Loulie:

     I don't know whether you would find this a good sketching ground but it is certainly a dear untroubled corner of the world.1 The house stands in a green field that slopes to the sea and we have three families of neighbours and two empty little old houses pretty near and some other neighbours -- the Dwyer family -- a little farther off. One Dwyer child brings the mail for fifteen cents a week and the boy catches cunners and lobsters (small ones two cents each) and other Dwyers do other things and are a heritage from the last people who were here. And this is a story-and-a-half house and I sleep in the little back corner bedroom and look out from my bed at a stonewall across the lane and a little field where men in blue overalls have been digging potatoes and beyond them are the dark pointed firs that cover most of this coast of Maine. Dear A. F. and I say "let's go out doors" and after we have stayed2

     1Martinsville is a hamlet at the end of one of Maine's myriad "points" that jut out into the Atlantic Ocean, several miles south of Rockland. Seeking "peace and quiet" after a nagging attack of pneumonia, Jewett accompanied by Fields, rented The Anchorage from a Boston doctor. In these idyllic surroundings, with a view of the Monhegan Light ten miles out at sea, Jewett caught up with some editorial work, walked, rode. and visited extensively, soaking up the atmosphere of the area, which has arresting resemblances to the locale of The Country of the Pointed Firs, serialized in the Atlantic Monthly starting January 1896.

     2This unfinished, unsigned note was enclosed in the following letter, dated Tuesday.

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

Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ


September 5, 1895. (Day after Labor Day.)

     Well, there is one thing to be said of this summer, it has been "all of a piece;" and to those who demand continuity as a prime factor in affairs, I doubt if any scheme of events could suit better. It would make you merry if I might rehearse the history of yesterday, par exemple; beginning with a series of breakfasts for a series of blood-relations; and at 9.30 flying to the Roman Catholic Church to witness the wedding of Ford the gardener's daughter. It was by the way a very extraordinary spectacle to one who stepped in off a simple Beverly Farms highway,* and found a little glittering mass of candles and incense and holy water and genuflecting men and boys. Seven prelatical persons and a large choir did it take to marry Louisa Ford! and the lace and little acolytes made a middle-age picture so strange as never was; and I seemed in the space of that hour to think through more facts about the human heart and life and death and all things, than in years of less acute meditation. O how wonderful it all is, and how the pulse of humanity is beating like a trip-hammer in every crevice and under every tree. Well, that is the way my day began, but I must take you through its convolutions. Suffice it to say that in the early morning I had asked myself why this new festa had not been called felicitously Play Day; but in the stilly night I perceived that the Fathers were wiser than I; for a day more full of Labor (there were so called "Sports" going on for hours) I had never known. . . . Also there was a sound of coming Bourgets* in the air; and a sort of Gallic stir within me, as well as a New England fear of all the consequences involved by their approach. . . . Just now I am returning from a morning of jobs of an altruistic sort, with one little shy at the glass-work thrown in.


Beverly Farms highway: The Old Place, Beverly Farms, between Beverly and Manchester-by-the-Sea in MA., was the location of the Whitman summer home.

Bourgets: This may refer to the family of Paul Bourget (1852-1935), who was elected to the French Academy in 1894. His Discourse de Réception à l'Académie Française appeared in 1895. It has not be determined whether he visited the U.S. in 1895. 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 Carolyn Jewett Eastman and Mary Rice Jewett

[8 September 1895]*

Sunday morning


The Anchorage

Martinsville, Maine.


Dear Mary & Carrie

      I have now returned from Mrs. Bacheller's* have returned the aforesaid cinnamon & nutmegs which were borrowed yesterday, and had a beautiful call and been given a handful of sweet peas. She is going to Tenant's Harbor this afternoon to her uncle's funeral: he died very sudden with a heart complaint --  She was coming in to see us yesterday [late written over something] and picked the blackberries to bring (we had them in a little glass dish for breakfast.) but she was prevented. We have been looking forward to a call, but everybody goes to Mrs. Bacheller for everything. ^When^ A. F.* stepped for [for may be underlined] the cinnamon 'a lady' had come to get Mrs. Bacheller to help her with a dress and it was a [cutting ?] out on a table. You will have words about the garden with her Mary. She has got all ther her window ledges full of things in cups


and tin cans so that none of them look as if they could be opened….

     I am glad that there are any prospects in regard to the Upham things -- and I sent Becca a cheque so that there will be money enough over for my part;  though I have spent Miss Betty Leicester* in a way that was more pleasing. She was always a nice little girl and ready for what was wanted of her!

      Now, I should like to do something about [Mr. ?] A. F. Kelley!* I think that it is unforgiveable not to make any report of your money, which has been waiting so long and mine which has been waiting interest & new investment since July. I think we had better get Mr. Yeaton to look into that and ask him as our lawyer to get a statement of the things in his hands “for reference”.* He may have got more and more careless but that is one road to being swamped. If I had my money [now ?] I should do something else with it, but the difficulty is to get it.


and I shall never give him anything else for I hate to be bothered so.

      I am dying to hear about the yacht race but in this far corner of the world it takes news a long time to get about.

     What a nice time you all must have had going to Dover Point!*  I wish I had been there to make one more. Tell Annie.  I should have eaten a great part of the supply, that's one certain thing. I am so glad Carrie is going to Little Boars Head.* I think it will be a beautiful time to her and little Mary!* They never fail for words when they are together and you can say so with my blessing dear little girls! but not to put more on the horse than they ought though such a willing horse and a good roader. One part of the country is as good as another when the conversation be well kept up. For example we are contented to sit like hopper toads here at Martinsville, speaking from time to time and dwelling in the sun among the goldenrod. I wonder if it would be asking too much


for you to bring my camera when you come by and by.  There are some pretty things to take.
             Oh how I should like to see Mrs. Tyler and Hattie this morning!*  I wonder if you are all going to meeting; we are very remote from the meetin' house but you see the steeple of it like the [near well ? ] from 'Sam's* only there is water between instead of marshes.  I shall have to wait until tomorrow night to get word about the Friday company. I don't believe Maggie Baker will be different only look older.*
             Don't forget to give Mrs. Tyler a piece of plumb cake, if her conduct warrants it that is !!
             And no more at present
             from your affectionate Sister.

[No signature]


8 September 1895:  This date is penciled in on the first page of the manuscript, upper right.

Mrs. Bacheller:  This person has not been identified.  One should notice her similarities to Mrs. Todd, the narrator's landlady in The Country of the Pointed Firs, upon which Jewett may have been working during this stay in Martinsville.

A. F.:  Annie Fields.  See Correspondents.

Upham things  ... Becca ... Miss Betty Leicester:  "The Upham things" presumably refer to the Jewett sisters' communications with the Duluth Securities Company.  See above on July 2: T. F. Upham to Mary Rice Jewett.
   Becca very likely is Rebecca Young (1847-1927).  In Sarah Orne Jewett: her World and her Work (2002), Paula Blanchard says: "Rebecca Young, who lived a few doors from the Jewetts, was an old classmate of the [Jewett] sisters from the days of Miss Raynes's school and Berwick Academy and an intimate friend of both Mary and Carrie.  She was for many years treasurer of the South Berwick Savings Bank" (p. 203).  She was riding with Sarah Orne Jewett on 3 September 1902, when a stumbling horse threw both of them from the carriage.
    Jewett's Betty Leicester: A Story for Girls (1890) apparently still was paying royalties in 1895, or, perhaps, she speaks of advance payment for "Betty Leicester's English Christmas" on which she worked during this summer and which appeared in St. Nicholas (December1895 - February 1896).

A. F. Kelley:  This reference has not been identified.  However, in the early 1890s, there was a case in South Berwick of apparent mortgage fraud, involving the firm of Austin F. and Louis E. Kelley of Minneapolis, MN.  Whether and how the Jewetts were connected with the Kelley firm is not yet known.

Mr. Yeaton
:  George Campbell Yeaton (1836-1918) was a prominent South Berwick attorney, known locally for his prosecution of Louis Wagner in the Smuttynose murder case on the Isles of the Shoals, about which Celia Thaxter writes in "A Memorable Murder," which appeared in Atlantic Monthly, May 1875
    According to Dennis Robinson, Mr. Yeaton "was born in South Berwick, studied law when a young man, received a degree from Bowdoin College and was admitted to the York Bar in May, 1862. Thirteen years afterward he was made county attorney and attained widespread fame for his work in convicting Wagner, assisted by Attorney General Harold M. Plaistead, who afterward became governor of Maine."

Dover Point:  Dover Point in Dover, NH is at the confluence of the Bellamy and Piscataqua rivers.

Annie:  This seems clearly not to be Annie Fields, who is with Jewett at Martinsville, ME.  She may be a Jewett family employee.  Assistance is welcome.

Carrie ... Little Boars Head ... little Mary:  Carrie Eastman Jewett. See CorrespondentsSarah Almira Gilman (1827-1850), a Jewett relative from Caroline Perry Jewett's side of the family, had married the politician, Charles Henry Bell (1823 - 1893). Their daughter was Helen (Mrs. Harold North) Fowler (1848-1909).
    C. H. Bell's second wife, Mary E. Gray Bell (1826-1894), was the mother of Mary Persis (Mrs. Hollis Russell) Bailey (1864- ).  It appears that Mary Persis at least sometimes was called Persis. They and their daughter, Gladys Loring Bailey, b. 1887), eventually settled in Cambridge, MA.
     Bell built for his second wife a summer home, the Cove, in 
Little Boars Head, NH.
     Of all the possible Marys, "little Mary" probably is Mary Cabot Wheelwright.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Tyler and Hattie: For Augusta Maria Denny Tyler and her sister Mary Harriet Denny, see Correspondents.

'Sam's:  This reference is obscure.  There is today a Sam's Lane between York and South Berwick, from which a landmark in either town would be at some distance.

Maggie Baker:  This may be Jewett's early friend from her 1869 stay in Cincinnati, OH, with whom she spent a good deal of time in the first months of 1869, mentioning her often in the 1869 diary.  Maggie's father apparently owned Baker's Store in Cincinnati.  Further information is welcome.

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

SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett and Carrie Jewett Eastman


[ 8 September 1895]

[ Begin letterhead ]

The Anchorage

Martinsville, Maine*

[ End letterhead ]

Dear Sisters

        You would not think from this fine paper that Martinsville* was so plain and bushy a little place, but I suppose it is a relic of the big house that was burnt.  I feel as if it were a good while since I wrote before -- but what do you think happened just after I had sent down my letter Friday night, but the sound of Mary Garrett's* mild voice out in the entry and it proved that when she got to Camden* by the electric car there was no [ deleted word ] wind whatever so she conversed with the skipper and made arrangements and got the rest of her basket of luncheon and came back again.  It was only half past eight but I was just going to put on my nightgown, the gas being bad and other

[ Page 2 ]

occupation failing after I had looked at the newspaper.  Mary was in great spirits and luckily I had two nightgowns and bestowed the best upon her though I had slept in it one night at Isleboro* in her dear best bed.  Then we  had a nice time and parted and dont you think I heard a great rattling [a line inserted between lines ^as if the carts were going down to the Boston boat^] and waked up with a start and looked at my watch -- five o'clock says I! and they have forgotten to call us! and I scuttled the best as I could and was all but ready to go down when I looked at the watch again and found that I had mistaken the hands with sleepy eyes and it was twenty five minutes past twelve. (a poor sister never was very bright to [deleted word] tell the truth!)  The morning I was going to Isleboro they routed me at four and you never can tell what time the little bay steamers get off.  However I retired and slept my appointed time and Mary and I went down to the

[ Page 3 ]

steamer wharf and found A.F.* who was having a nice [time corrected] in the cabin of the Silver Star* with Cassie & Margaret* who is one of the nicest girls {,} as neat with her cooking as Cassie would be ^and a very nice cook I think^ -- Mary could only stay a little while and I saw her to the Juliette*and then off we started down the bay and it soon blew clear and dry.  The Linnet* was on the wharf to meet us and ^was^ prepared to take us up, girls & all, to have breakfast.  He & A. F. walked up by the little path and we did have such a nice time & beautiful breakfast.  They were going to town later in the day but the house isnt to close for a few days.  They are gong to New York to the Yacht races.  The [Linnet corrected] being tres amiable and better than when we were here.  & Lilian ever so nice.  The boxes

[ Page 4 ]

with provisions hadn't come from the big boat to the little one, so you can imagine what benefactions of delicious butter etc. ^Lilian^ heaped upon us.  The little house looked very pleasant as we drove up and we soon made it look very nice and quite our own, inside, & Margaret & Cassie like it as much as we do.  I found two proper mushrooms this morning and they are going out with a basket this afternoon with high hopes.  Crabby* slept some in the night, we dont know whether he was only lonesome or saw a mouse in the kitchen.  I was so glad to get your letter yesterday -- and to hear about Stubby's* going for a sailor.  it rained hard all yesterday afternoon, pelting, and we thought it was the north-easter but today has been perfectly lovely so bright with a blue sea.  Do tell Becca* that I ate one pear at four & one at

[ Written across left and down the top margins of page 1 ]

five a.m. and called them early pears.  They were so good -- and the others I brought also served purposes{,} one being given away, tho' with some regret.  Do tell Lizzie* both of you how sorry I was not to see her again.  Mrs. Fields sends love to both.  I hope you will excuse this letty with a pin pen* as have not got going at my own desk.

with much love


I shall have a beautiful birthday* and get out my [fine ?] presents & have them all [ new ?].


Martinsville:  Martinsville, in St. George, ME, has long been a summering spot for artists and writers.

Mary Garrett's:  Mary Elizabeth Garrett.  See Correspondents.

Camden ... Isleboro:  Mary Garrett has been visiting Jewett in Martinsville and has taken an electric car to Camden, about 25 miles north to catch a sailing vessel, perhaps to Isleboro, another summer colony, which is about 10 miles further northeast across West Penobscot Bay.

A. F ... Silver Star ... Cassie & Margaret:  Annie Adams Fields. See Correspondents.  She has brought with her two of her employees, Cassie and Margaret.  Further information about them is welcome.
    The Silver Star, with Captain I. E. Archibald, was a steamer in the Rockland and Friendship Line, leaving at 7:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays in  the1895 season, serving: High Island, Spruce Head, Tenant's Harbor (near Martinsville), Clark Island, Port Clyde, and Friendship. Round-trip tickets were $1.50.

Linnet:  Thomas Bailey Aldrich.  With him, is his wife, Lilian.  See Correspondents.

Juliette: The Juliette with Captain Ralph H. Crockett, was one of a pair of steamers in the Bluehill & Ellsworth Steamboat Line. These steamers left Rockland on the arrival of boats from Boston, daily except Mondays, with a stop at Isleboro.  The Rockland to Ellsworth trip was about 65 miles and, with stops, took about 10 hours.  Probably, there was a Camden stop, though this is not listed in the 1895 advertisement. 

Crabby:  A Jewett family dog.

Stubby:  Theodore Jewett Eastman.  See Correspondents.

Becca:  Rebecca Young. See Correspondents.

LizzieLizzie: Typically, when Jewett refers to Lizzie, she means a frequent Jewett employee in South Berwick, Lizzie Pray, or Elizabeth Jervis Gilman. See Correspondents.

pin pen:  This term may be of Jewett's invention.  It seems clear that she usually uses a fountain pen, and this is a different kind of pen, which, by implication is smaller.  It is possible that she refers to a ball point pen, which was patented in 1888.

birthday:  Jewett's birthday was actually several days before this letter, on 3 September.

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

SOJ to Louisa Dresel

     [South Berwick, Maine]

     Dearest Loulie:

     In getting into an old corduroy jacket I found this beginning of a letter to you in the pocket and it brought back that nice out of door time so vividly that I am obliged to send it on. I don't know why it never got done, perhaps it was mislaid!

     I hope that this bright sun is shining for you -- in all ways -- as it is for me. I feel much better today and we have two dear elderly cousins making us a little visit. I can hear them chirping together down in the library.

     I send you much love dear, and many a thought.

     S. O. J.


  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. 

SOJ to Sarah Wyman Whitman

     Sunday, September 8, 1895,
     The Anchorage, Martinsville, Maine.

     You would not think from this handsome and large paper what a small plain bushy corner of the world this letter comes from. The golden-rod is all in bloom, and there is a lighthouse (Monhegan) off the coast, and the Anchorage is a nice story-and-half house that stands in a green field that slopes down to the sea. I sleep in a little back bedroom whose window gives on a lane and a stone wall and a potato field, where the figures of J. F. Millet* work all day against a very unFrench background of the pointed firs that belong to Maine, like the grey ledges they are rooted in. I don't think you would like it very well unless you fell to painting and then -- Oh my! -- I don't wish for you as I do in most places -- perhaps it is because the landscape is usually without figures -- in spite of the potato field. But oh! I have found such a corner of this world, under a spruce tree, where I sit for hours together, and neither thought nor good books can keep me from watching a little golden bee, that seems to live quite alone, and to be laying up honey against cold weather. He may have been idle and now feels belated, and goes and comes from his little hole in the ground close by my knee, so that I can put my hand over his front door and shut him out, -- but I promise you and him that I never will. He took me for a boulder the first day we met; but after he flew round and round he understood things, and knows now that I come and go as other boulders do, by glacial action, and can do him no harm. A very handsome little bee and often to be thought of by me, come winter.

     Did you read Bourget's address on his admission to the Académie? I have had it for ever so long, waiting for the right day; there was so much of the cramped newspaper type, that wind, weather and the planets had to be all right. It is wonderfully interesting, quite a noble speech, I think, and quite his own heart and hope talking out loud, as if there were no people there. Thus he says once: "Tant il est vrai que le principe de la création intellectuelle comme de toutes les autres reside dans le don magnanime et irraisonné de soi-même, dans l'élan attendri vers les autres, dans la chaleur de l'enthousiasme, et que le génie de l'artiste est comme toutes les grandes choses du monde: un acte de foi et d'amour." Some day I wish we could talk about this address of Bourget's. There are things about it which touch one's heart very much.


J. F. Millet: Jean François Millet (1814-1875), French painter.

Bourget's address on his admission to the Académie: Paul Bourget (1852-1935) was elected to the French Academy in 1894. His Discourse de Réception à l'Académie Française appeared in 1895. He says: "So true is it that the principle of intellectual creation, like all others, consists in the magnanimous and unreasoned gift of one-self, in the compassionate impulse toward others, in the warmth of enthusiasm, and that the genius of the artist is like all the great things of the world: an act of faith and love." (Translation by Carla Zecher)

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

Carrie Jewett Eastman to Mary Rice Jewett and SOJ

[ 1895 ]*

Dear Sisters,

    Its quite early, but I cant seem to sleep!  I was so glad to get your letter Mary and that Sarah is getting on so well.  She must be glad to have you up with her.  Before I forget it, your little Guiney book didn't come from Estes & Lauriat* neither did my [Peary corrected ] Journal,* so I must think of something else for B. Jacqués.*  I hope to go once to Hansons* today, and see if I can pick up anything.  I didn't feel like it yesterday, and wanted to go awfully.

[ Page 2 ]

and then I guess I will have a dinner with Frances,* and I can see to some of the things over there, and what there is.  Its, of course, harder, to go sort of half way, as I have had to do, than if I could have gone right through the list.  I shall get the little thing done for Annie Barker,* and I long for you to see it.  Theodore* has it in mind to go to Exeter today.  He came home wild over the play at the Academy* last night.  He said it was full, and evidently a great
[ Page 3 ]

success, he and [unrecognized name Tourpy?]* being ushers, and had "all they could do."  I sent you a little box & letter from Newark.  [Noonians ?]* yesterday.  I hope you got Thiders umbrella [ case / cane ?], but I haven't opened it yet.  Becca goes today, as Lizzie comes, and Elsie & Millie* are expected for the day, on account of Dentist, and pleasure -- and she is overset, feeling she ought to ask them for Sunday, but knows Lizzie don't want them, being tired &c.  So I guess Lizzie's feeling will conquer.  Tous.* is vary [intended very]

[ Page 4 ]

active, all over the bed, banging everything in high spirits.  The best thing I have got to tell, is of the call from Mrs. Rollins late yesterday afternoon.  And she had a struggle to get here, on account of Miss Simpson being very [jealous of ?] the Jewetts [and she dodging here ?] to get in by herself.  She had a nice [little letter ?] from Frank who had actually been to the funeral, and another from Harriett, saying how pleased they were ^to have Frank^ -- and that Annie hoped to come on here to Aunt Ellen,* a season after she gets

[ Page 5 ]

settled.  Isn't that nice, for a sister, and every body elses{?} [Lottie Thorne ?]*  is going there for a little while.  I don't know when she may ever come, only it pleased poor Mrs Rollins beyond anything to think she was the one Annie was to flee to, as she has hard feelings -- you know, and Annie right in the midst of all her trouble now, was thoughtful enough to send me word.  Mrs Rollins should have her barrel.  Even [tho ?] it had to be a little late.

[ Page 6 ]

But Mrs. Rollins* had had a fearful time with Simpson ^and ugly^, who [underlined and unrecognized word cursed ?] her on account of having Annie* come, and she couldn't have her at all.  I said horrid things, being curious & jealous.  Yesterday morning Mrs Lewis* was here a long time, and wants me to write Liddy* to know of a boarding place for Phil.* in Brunswick,* as he is going to study medicine, only they dont want to be talking about it yet.  In the afternoon I had a long call from Matildy,* and

[ Page 7 ]

her, Matildy only being up for two nights -- or one night -- I guess.  I couldn't really find out anything of [ Walter ? ].  They or [else ?], seems to feel he is a little stronger.  Becca* seems to be washing unduly, by the noise in her room! before going home.  I think she seems to have got more cold, as she is stuffed & coughs much more but one can't speak of it, Mary.  Last evening Helen [Unrecognized name]* called, looking so  pretty, and is happy at a 3 weeks vacation.  When I was just coming up to bed, being

[ Page 8 ]

dead tired, when Mrs Mower and Kate Sanborn came -- and sat till 9.  Sammy having the fever, as you may know.  I was just about dead.  Frances has been in & out.  Mr. Tucker* has had an offish fit for a few days, & yesterday appeared to tell me of Robbies* being awfully sick [unreadable insertion] with two bad fits, and I guess came near dying -- so that has been the matter.  He had one the day before you went, but "didnt tell Mary," and another since.  As far as I could find out, it must have been indigestion.  But Kings [ babe or baby ? ] had 3, and no more so John has hopes, poor soul --

Love for you both from Carrie

[Bottom right margin of page 4.]  Forever love.


1895:  This year of composition is inferred from the reference to Philip Lewis beginning study toward the medical degree he completed in 1898.  The reference to Peary's journal, which appeared in 1895 supports this inference.  However, it is possible that this letter was written at almost any time in the 1895-spring 1896 period, when Theodore Eastman is known to have been a student at Berwick Academy, making it likely that he would usher at a drama performance.  See notes below.

little Guiney book ... Estes & Lauriat: Estes and Lauriat was a 19th-century Boston publisher and bookseller.  See Dana Estes in Correspondents. It is difficult to know which of Louise Guiney's books is meant (see Correspondents).  Here are the likely choices:
    A Roadside Harp (1893, poetry)
    A Little English Gallery (1895, essays)
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1895, biography, with Alice Brown)
    Lovers' Saint Ruth's and Three Other Tales (1895, short stories)
    Nine Sonnets Written at Oxford (1895, poetry)

Peary Journal: Probably refers to My Arctic Journal (1894) by the American explorer, Robert E. Peary (1856-1920).

Hansons: In the late 19th century, Hanson's was a South Berwick pharmacy.

B. Jacqués: This person is as yet unknown.  Assistance is welcome.

Frances:  The Jewetts were acquainted with many women of this name.  It would seem reasonable to guess that this is "Fanny Gilman" of Portland.  See Mrs. Helen Williams Gilman in Correspondents.

Annie Barker:  Paula Blanchard in Sarah Orne Jewett (2002) identifies Barker as a Jewett friend and neighbor (p. 45). She is mentioned frequently in Jewett's 1869 diary.

Theodore: Theodore Jewett Eastman, later referred to as Thider. See Correspondents.

the play at the Academy: It is not yet known at what productions Theodore Eastman might have served as an usher.

[unrecognized name Tourpy?]  As the name has not yet been puzzled out, identifying this person remains impossible.

Newark.  [Noonians ?]:  Jewett's acquaintance in Newark is not yet known, and the unrecognized name remains untraceable.  Assistance is welcome.

Becca ... Lizzie:  "Becca" usually refers to Rebecca Young. See Correspondents. But this context suggests the possibility that Becca has been working for the family, but will cease upon Lizzie's return, in which case, this could be Lizzie Pray, a long time Jewett family employee.  Assistance sorting this out is welcome.

Elsie & Millie:  These individuals remain unidentified.  Assistance is welcome.

Tous:  Apparently a Jewett family dog, possibly Touser.

Frank ... Harriet ... Annie ... Aunt Ellen: These individuals remain unidentified.  Assistance is welcome.

Mrs. Rollins ... Simpson ... Annie:  Richard Cary says: "Ellen Augusta Lord Rollins (1835-1922) lived at Main and Young streets in South Berwick, within sight of Miss Jewett's home." Miss Simpson remains unidentified.  Annie presumably is the Annie Barker mentioned earlier in the letter.

Mrs Lewis ... Liddy ... Phil ... Brunswick:  Katharine Lewis was the wife of the long-time Congregational pastor in South Berwick, George Lewis. See Correspondents.   Their son, Philip Prescott Lewis (1870-1926), like his father, studied at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME., completing a medical degree (1898), and practicing in Gorham, ME.  Presumably, then, Caroline plans to write to her cousin, Elizabeth (Liddy) Jervis Gilman in Brunswick for help in finding room and board for Philip.

Matildy ... Walter:  Caroline's topic here is difficult to discern.  Her association of Matilda and Walter suggest she may be reporting about Matilda Travers and her husband, Walter Gay.  See Susan Travers in Correspondents.

Helen:  In the absence of a recognizable last name, this person remains unidentified.

Mrs Mower and Kate Sanborn ...  Sammy having the fever: For Annie Elizabeth Caldwell Mower (1848 - 1932), see CorrespondentsKate F. Sanborn (1848-1915), a South Berwick neighbor, was the daughter of Dr. Caleb Sanborn (1814-1871). The identity of Sammy remains unknown.

Mr. Tucker ... Robbies ... Kings:  John Tucker was a Jewett family employee and Robby was a Jewett family dog.  Perhaps Caroline means that the Kings have a dog that has survived three fits, or that a puppy of a dog named King so suffered?  If the Kings are neighbors, they have not been identified.   See Correspondents.

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

SOJ to Louisa Dresel

     The Anchorage
     Martinsville, Maine
     September 28, [1895]

     Dear Loulie:

     I began a long letter to you when I first came and here I am just going away and it never got finished! But I have thought of you many times and wished that you could see this bit of country which to the eyes of my imagination is even better than such a place as Folly Cove.2 I have had a little shop going, a nice smallish table, right in front of the window of my nice little back bedroom, and I sit there now looking down a dear lane with stone walls, toward the bay.3 There are two masts of a schooner just at the end and there are some wind bent trees growing just at the right place at the highest point of the lane where you seem to be able to jump over into the water! We have been very contented and have liked our little housekeeping so much. I have been busy with proofs and with a little writing but I have not got done anything like what I hoped as much I mean! However, I hope to be very busy after I get settled down at home. My sister Mary has been here this last week and we have sailed and walked a great deal and had most lovely weather.

     There does not seem to be much chance of our coming to Manchester as I think the Eatons4 will stay so late in Mrs. Fields's house that they will close it themselves and save her the trouble! Mrs. Fields is coming to Berwick for awhile and so I doubt if we go to the Shore again -- I mean go to Thunderbolt Hill. We are all the more glad to have had our lovely week in August. It was so nice to see you Loulie dear and I look back to the day with you and your mother when we had luncheon and saw the sketches with very great pleasure.

     With ever so much love, dear Loulie,

     Yours ever affectionately,

     S. O. J.


     1Jewett has written either the wrong day here or the wrong date on the next line. Friday was September 27 in 1895. The postmark on the envelope containing this letter is clearly 1895.

     2Folly Cove is on Ipswich Bay, Rockport, Cape Ann, Massachusetts, not far from the Dresels' summer cottage in Beverly.

     3Muscongus Bay, to the west of Martinsville.

     4W. S. Eaton was listed in the local newspaper as a Summer Resident at Thunderbolt Hill from August 31 to October 19 in 1895.

  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.

Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

September 17, 1895.

     I make little fugitive sketches of things seen from car windows as I fly back and forth from glass and marble shops - or of a belated moon which waits for the game of billiards to be over and then comes creeping from the rim of earth, smoky with earth's vapors, but burning with O such inward fire!
     These things console me; and I so report to you. This is one of the summers when there is nothing to tell unless you tell everything. I think I have felt more molten within, if you'll forgive so clumsy a term, than in any summer I ever spent, yet it would puzzle me to mention any one incident. If fact there have been none, only persistent tumultuous feeling, highly controlled as must ever be and non-resultant, save perhaps for some inner mobilization.


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

Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

October 8, 1895.

     O wasn't I disappointed and am I not disappointed still! and thanking you for your kind letter, but still feeling that Literature had no Claims which Friendship ought to respect! But seriously, beloved friend, I knew just how it was and I like to hear of the work singing in your head to be done, and I hope every falling leaf makes contribution to the Theme, and each white star approves the same. . . . I haven't written because I have been at it in such a relentless fashion. People have penetrated every corner of my being, there have been book-covers . . . and Dr. Holmes' memorial tablet,* and pastel heads of growing infants, and moans of memory, and meetings, and all the other innumerable happenings of the Fall. Which I now perceive is all Summer and all Winter squeezed together!
     Thus even my letter becomes a catalogue, and I am somewhat ashamed even to write to you at all, but nevertheless I love you well enough not to mind these infringements of the proprieties of friendship and so shall despatch this silly sheet.


there have been book-covers ... Dr. Holmes' memorial tablet: Whitman designed covers for several of Jewett's books, including Strangers and Wayfarers (1890), which Jewett dedicated to her. Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) was a poet and author of The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). Trained as a physician, he was the father of the Supreme Court Justice, Oliver W. Holmes, Jr. There is a memorial tablet to Holmes in King's Chapel, Boston, with an inscription provided by President Charles Eliot of Harvard.

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 Mellen Chamberlain

South Berwick, November 1, 1895:

            I have just received your very kind note at the moment when you will be waiting for me at the Library. I came home some days ago and I thought that I told Mr. Putnam and Mr. Knapp [the Keeper of Bates Hall] that I should only be working at the Library for two or three days -- but even if I did there is no reason why they should have charged their minds with remembering it!
            I am so sorry that you should have had the trouble of going to the room and being kept waiting, all to no purpose.
            I shall not be in town again before the middle of the month; per­haps I can write you then and ask if I may come some day when you are to be at your Library room at any rate ? . . .

            I wish that we might sometimes see you. I have not been in town this winter however except for some brief visits.


This letter, transcribed by John Alden, originally appeared in Boston Public Library Quarterly 9 (1957): 86-96.  It is reprinted here courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.
    Alden introduces this letter: "Miss Jewett again visited the Boston Public Library in the fall of 1895 -- Chamberlain had resigned as Librarian in 1890, but a note to him from his successor, Herbert Putnam, of October 25, refers to her researches there on John Paul Jones."  Jewett at this time was working on The Tory Lover (1901), in which John Paul Jones is a featured character.  Jones (1747-1792) was a captain in the American revolutionary navy.

SOJ to Arthur Stedman

148 Charles Strett
6 Novr 1895

Dear Mr. Stedman

    I was beginning to feel worried about the little Thanksgiving (which I forgot to have registered)* and now I have seen it advertised so that I know that you received it --

    It has always been your

[ Page 2 ]

most kind custom to write at once on the receipt of a manuscript so that I wonder if I have missed a letter from you.  I was away last week and my letters had to follow me about

[ Page 3 ]

I ordered a copy of my new book of stories* to be sent to you which I hope you have received.  Please do tell your father* that I spent last evening most delightfully with his new Anthology.*


story ... registered:  Jewett speaks of her story "The Night before Thanksgiving," which appeared under distibution by the Bacheller Syndicate  for which Stedman acted as agent.  It appears that Jewett usually submitted her stories by registered mail, in order to have notice of their delivery.

book of stories:  Jewett's new book in late 1895 would be The Life of Nancy.

your father:  Edmund C. Stedman.
See Correspondents.

new Anthology:  Edmund C. Stedman edited the Victorian Anthology (1895), a collection of poetry which provided important reading during the 1896 winter cruise on which Jewett, Fields, and T. B. Aldrich were guests on the yacht of Henry L. Pierce.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Columbia University (New York) Library in Special Collections, Jewett.  Transcription from a microfilm copy and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.  A note appearing with this manuscript says that this letter has had the signature cut off.

Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

November 12, 1895.
In the train for Newport.

     I have indeed had a wonderful little vacation, seeing the landscape which is always to me the largest, the most full of intimation; and at Newport the "passion of Autumn" is more felt than anywhere I think in the world! The sea turns from violets into pansies; the great clouds entrench themselves in more substantial ramparts. And I am full of gratitude for having a few days of wonder before the actual and immediate come rattling about my ears.


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

Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

November 22, 1895.

     I fell to work and began thinking of the winter, a thought I have not hitherto allowed myself because that way madness lay! But now I grow bolder and venture to plan somewhat for things to be. And to think of the Window* in a thousand different ways, a way of thinking through which I must pass before I decide upon one way. And I have now had definite talk with the powers at Trinity and there is no doubt that the Class will be allowed to put its memorial to Mr. Brooks there, in the triple window which we have in our own room. So that is for the immediate future, and I guess not much portrait painting this year, except that it is never safe to prophesy! But enough of Shop.
     I have been this evening to dine at Shady Hill with that hot, pulsing and amazing creature R. Kipling; and he was exceedingly interesting, real and full of talk. He seemed in fact like a focus of creative energy, with that dark imaginative eye behind the glass. I had never seen the Banjo Song which he recited in a sort of still, molten way, and which I think the most humane and large word, albeit couched in the short syllables of a sort of refrain, he has ever written. It all made me feel very strangely as I came into town again under a gray sky . . . . I think Mrs. Ward has given a fresh turn on the wheel, so far as strength and texture in the fabric of her work goes. Sir George Tressady opens with a stout clutch on her material and firm and easy movement. It seems a very live world to me to-night, as you see, my friend; and I am dying for talk and those things which come with speech and companionship when one knows there is everything to be said. A hot silence has some gleams of delight in it, but one is left rather like a crater thereafter.
     But my one word is made of many syllables and I must reduce it to two and say good-night.
     Shall I not say also God bless you?


the Window: Whitman probably refers to the Brimmer window, destined for the transept of Memorial Hall at Harvard University, for which she received the commission in 1895.

the Class ... its memorial to Mr. Brooks: Almost certainly this refers to the Phillips Brooks Memorial Window that Whitman designed for the Parish Room at Trinity Church, Boston. According to Virginia Raguin, this window was a gift of Whitman and her Bible Class, and was installed at Easter, 1896. (Sarah Wyman Whitman 1842-1904, p. 190).

Shady Hill ... R. Kipling ... Banjo Song: Shady Hill was the family home of Charles Eliot Norton (1827-1908) in Cambridge, MA. He was co-editor of the North American Review (1863-1868) and then professor of literature and art at Harvard University. Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) published "The Song of the Banjo" in 1894. It begins:

     You couldn't pack a Broadwood half a mile -
     You mustn't leave a fiddle in the damp -
     You couldn't raft an organ up the Nile,
     And play it in an Equatorial swamp.

Research: Gabe Heller.

Mrs. Ward ... Sir George Tressady: Mary Augusta Ward (1851-1920) wrote a number of novels including Lady Rose's Daughter (1903); she was best known for Robert Elsmere. Her grandfather was Thomas Arnold of Rugby, her father Thomas Arnold, inspector of schools, her uncle Matthew Arnold. Married to Thomas Humphry Ward, an Oxford don and later a newspaper man, she was involved in the intellectual and spiritual excitement following the Oxford Movement. Sir George Tressady appeared in 1896.

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 Alfred Ernest Keet

     148 Charles Street
     November 18, [1895]

     My dear Mr. Keet:

     I send you Madame Blanc's paper1 which I have had translated as well as possible and worked over to the best of my own ability, wishing all the time that the charming style of the original manuscript could be better kept. The proofs may be sent to me at this address, when they are ready. For the present I shall be still in the country (at South Berwick, Maine) and I beg that you will call upon me at any time if I can do anything further about the paper.
     Yours very truly,
     Sarah Orne Jewett


     1 Marie Thérèse Blanc wrote under the name "Th. Bentzon" (see Correspondents). This article, "Family Life in America," appeared in the Forum, XXI (March 1896), 1-20. It is a condensation of her series "upon the condition of women in the United States," published in the Revue des Deux Mondes during 1895.

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

SOJ to Mr. J. S. Lee

South Berwick, Maine [Letterhead]

4 Decr

Dear Sir

             I suppose that you mean by 'an autograph fiend' a person who troubles a busy person unnecessarily -- for his own profit. I must say, that since there are dealers in autographs in all our large cities who can supply specimens of writing at small cost, I believe that it is much more considerate, not to say dignified, for collectors to deal with them directly.
            Letters are like questions which one delights ^to answer^ if they show real interest and hates if they are simply urged by curiosity; I am afraid that I must confess to a belief that most requests for autographs come under the latter ignoble heading.  Certainly the time taken up in asking for them and in replying on the author's part does not seem very well spent ^on either side^ -- and you would do well in your paper to remind young people to think seriously what it means to gather a collection of autographs from strangers: whether they should think it quite courteous to ask for time ^+ trouble^ or their equivalent, on any other grounds.*

            In haste yours very truly

                        S. O. Jewett

            Mr. J. S. Lee


The manuscript of this letter is held in the Sarah Orne Jewett Collection, 1801-1997, of the University of New England's Maine Women Writers Collection: II. Correspondence, item 134.

your paper ... other grounds:  Apparently, Mr. Lee indicated to Jewett that he was preparing a paper to be published in an outlet for young people.  Whether such a piece was published is uncertain.  However, nine years later, revised portions of this letter appeared in "Confessions of an Autographomaniac," in The Independent (New York) 55 (26 May 1904) pp. 1195-8.  The by-line for this piece is "The Maniac," but he suggests in the article that his first name is Jonathan.  This is not the sort of piece Jewett recommended that he write, for the Maniac glories in his success at provoking interesting responses from his correspondents.  He disguises Jewett's gender and makes other changes to the text we have in the manuscript:
    One of our foremost novelists generously gave me his opinion of autograph collectors. I was delighted to receive the letter, for I did not expect more than a signature:
    Dear Sir: You are one of those who trouble a busy person unnecessarily. I must say that since there are dealers in autographs in all large cities who can supply specimens of writing at small cost, I believe it is much more considerate, not to say dignified, for collectors to deal with them directly, Letters are like questions, which one delights to answer if they show real interest, and hates if they are simply urged by curiosity. I am afraid that I must confess to a belief that your request for an autograph comes under the latter ignoble heading. Certainly the time taken up in asking for it and in replying on my part does not seem very well spent on either side; and I would remind you and others to think seriously what it means to gather a collection of autographs. Go and sin no more. (1196)

Notes from two other readers filed with the ms. at MWWC.

The unknown first transcriber added these typed notes.

 "Most Requests for Autographs
Come Under the...Ignoble Heading"

Jewett, Sarah Orne.  Autograph Letter Signed. South Berwick, Maine, 4 Dec. 1895.

Autograph letter signed to Mr. Joseph Lee, 6 x 3-7/8", four pages (approx. 185 words), on white stationery engraved "South Berwick, Maine," folded quarto with traces of glue at left margin, not affecting text, very good.

A direct, often caustic letter on the subject of autographs and autograph seekers. Jewett launches her letter with "Dear Sir, I suppose that you mean by 'an autograph friend'* a person who troubles a busy person unnecessarily -- for his own profit." She suggests it is both "more considerate, not to say dignified" for collectors to deal with autograph dealers. "Letters are like questions which one delights to answer if they show real interest and hates if they are simply urged by curiosity..." Jewett's impatience continues unabated as she ends the letter by asking rhetorically "whether [young autograph collectors] should think it quite courteous to ask for time & trouble, or their equivalent, on any other grounds." She signs "in haste" and in fact the interjections at various points suggest Jewett did write the letter rapidly and with an unusual degree of emotion. 

And Jewett was very busy in December of 1895. She had just seen through press THE LIFE OF NANCY, a collection of poems and stories for children by her friend Celia Thaxter, a short story for the Bachellor Syndicate and had before her in 1896 a book of Thaxter's poetry and her own masterpiece, THE COUNTRY OF THE POINTED FIRS. She had been a published author for nearly thirty years; and while autograph seekers for the very popular Victorian pass-time of autograph albums with their specimen signatures and sentiments may have been flattering once, now they were a distracting intrusion. Perhaps a less pressured Jewett would have softened the warmth of her response. As it is, this is a remarkable letter with the writer allowing herself a rare display of impatience, even anger, yet with a characteristic grace of phrase and language.

This note was appended by hand in July 2000.
*looks like “fiend” rather than “friend” to me – (added by KB 7/2000).

Terry Heller adds:  I agree with KB that in her opening sentence Jewett wrote "autograph fiend" rather than "autograph friend," which was the rendering in the earlier transcription.  See also Kelsey Squire, Professional Correspondence of Sarah Orne Jewett (2013).

SOJ to Alfred Ernest Keet


     December [1895]

     ... 1... variety and an air of ease and liberty in the use of material. I should not be giving a successful editor this long lecture, but I must say that Madame Blanc after her accustomed thirty or forty pages of the Revue des Deux Mondes probably thought that she was condensing in a remarkable way.2
     I wished to tell you in case the proof is not ready before the third of January that I shall not be able to read it as I am going to the West Indies etc. on a long yachting voyage.3 So that I shall be glad to see the copy again in whatever form it comes and I shall do all I can to leave it in good shape.
     With very kind regards, believe me
     Yours truly,
     S. O. Jewett
     I beg that you will pardon my untidy letter which I have written with a stiff hand and most awkwardly.
     It would be a great help to me if you would put a pencil line by some of the paragraphs whose use you question in the article.4


     1 This is a fragment, the only part which seems to have survived.
     2 This article (see Letter 77, note 1) ran to twenty pages. Madame Blanc's review of A Country Doctor ("Le Roman de la Femme-Médecin," Revue des Deux Mondes, LXVII [February 1, 1885], 598-632) -- Miss Jewett's first foreign notice -- is thirty-five pages long.
     3 In January 1896 Miss Jewett set out on a two-months cruise of the Caribbean islands with Mrs. Fields and the Thomas Bailey Aldriches on the steam yacht Hermione, owned by Henry L. Pierce, a former mayor of Boston.
     4 In 1896 papers by Madame Blanc also appeared in the July Scribner's and the October Century, so it would seem that Miss Jewett expended considerable effort marketing her friend's literary product. This was not an unusual activity for Miss Jewett who was constantly recommending her friends' writings to editors. In addition, she gave her time unstintedly to encourage and assist unfledged writers, although often it meant interrupting her own literary labors (see Letters 46, 56, 75, 80, 103, 108, 141). As for herself, she was proud to say, "I had no literary friends 'at court.' "

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

SOJ to Louise Imogen Guiney

5 December [1895]

South Berwick, Maine

My dear Louise

    Could you meet me on the afternoon of Thursday next week at the Public Library of Boston at anytime between two o'clock and five o'clock to go over it a little -- but especially to see Mr. Putnam the Librarian who wishes very much to know you, and who has some especial reasons for this which it might be well to consider. If you will send me a line, here, I can meet you at the staircase. It will be a pleasure to look forward to and I am ever your most affectionately

S. O. Jewett


The manuscript of this letter is held by the Dinand Library of Holy Cross College in the collection of materials of Louise Imogen Guiney.  The transcription by William L. Lucey, S. J. appeared in "'We New Englanders': Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett to Louise Imogen Guiney." Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia 70 (1959): 58-64.  In his transcription: "Words inserted above the line by Miss Jewett have been lowered and bracketed; deleted words have been bracketed and italicized or, when illegible, a deletion has been indicated."  Notes are by Lucey.

Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

  Birthday,  1895.

     Your note and the lovely book came almost together and made me feel a great warmth about the heart. One never recovers from the intensity of association with anniversaries and festivals, but one would gladly evade them; they open such doors into the chambers which everyday life and everyday work enable one to avoid.
     And the touch of a friend's hand is full of consolation.


Birthday: Whitman's birthday was December 5.

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 The Society of Philistines

[ Begin letterhead ]

South Berwick Maine

[ End letterhead ]

Miss Sarah Orne Jewett regrets that she is obliged to decline the very kind invitation of the Members of the Society of Philistines* to meet Mr. Stephen Crane* at dinner on Thursday

[ Page 2 ]

December nineteenth{.}

December ninth [1895]


Society of Philistines:  The Society of the Philistines published The Philistine magazine at East Aurora, NY around the turn of the 20th century.

Stephen Crane:  Stephen Crane (1871-1900) is an American writer best remembered for his novel, The Red Badge of Courage (1895).
    Stanley Wertheim, in A Stephen Crane Encyclopedia (Greenwood 1997), says that the dinner honoring Crane at the Genessee Hotel in Buffalo, NY on 19 December 1895 was a turning point in Crane's literary career (p. 164).
    Presumably, Jewett chose not to travel to Buffalo at least in part because she was preparing to depart on a Caribbean winter cruise with Annie Fields and others.

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

SOJ  to Louise Imogen Guiney

148 Charles Street Friday
11 December [1895]1

Dear Mrs [ Miss? ] Guiney

Mrs. Fields and I wish so much that you would come to dine with us tomorrow -- Saturday, at quarter before seven -- It is Mrs Fields's afternoon at home, so please come as early as you can!  I am here only until the first of the week and we are to be quite by ourselves tomorrow evening -- save for Miss Alice Longfellow2 who has not been well and is staying with Mrs, Fields for awhile.  If you do come I shall be sure to ask you to play us a song!

Yours most truly

Sarah Orne Jewett

Stoddart's Notes

1 This letter has been dated "1891" by the Colby curator.*

2 Daughter of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. See Correspondents.

Editor's Notes

1895:  Stoddart gives the date assigned this letter by a Colby College library curator.  However, there is reason to believe that this letter was written at a later date, after Jewett and Guiney had entered into more intimate correspondence.  By December of 1895, they had exchanged a number of letters, including a request for a meeting earlier in the month: see SOJ to Louise Imogen Guiney 5 December ... 1895.

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 Mary Rice Jewett

Tuesday --

[ December 1895 ]*


[ Begin letterhead ]

South Berwick, Maine*

[ End letterhead ]


      A nice Sister hastening off to her breakfast! and then to Miss Cameron’s whom I had to put off yesterday, and then down town at eleven and then to the Studio* and then to the French luncheon at Mrs.[ Crafts's ?]. But a quiet afternoon ensues for the* proofs of Thérèse’s

 [ Page 2 ]

 Scribner paper* which have just arrived. I have got a letter^ from her^ which I haven’t had time to read yet as I am scuttling that letter on my way to breakfast. The Dunhams, Helen & Etta* came to luncheon yesterday and it came on such a tremendous snowstorm from one to half-past two that we were afraid to have them start off.  And

 [ Page 3 ]

 they were afraid too as one of them was blocked up three hours by the way. So they stayed! and we had a delightful evening with them. I have just got your note & the Upham Cheque. I should speak of the back money again{.} I don’t believe they ever would speak of it, do you? I [shall corrected] endorse it to you so that you can just take

 [ Page 4 ]

 it for part of The first of February dues ----

             I feel now as if my Wall St.* panic was a thing of the remote past! I had a note from Cora* yesterday asking me to luncheon one day this week and I will try to go -- perhaps Thursday. Yesterday I had a good session at 4 Park St. Aren’t you glad that the cold snap is over, it seems to me that this last one was worse than any -- and we have had cold enough this winter.


(margins: I am so glad that Alex. didn’t come just then.

 With ever so much love




December 1895:  This composition date remains uncertain.  That Jewett is working on a paper by Madame Blanc suggests that the letter was written in 1894 - 1896, when several of Blanc's essays appeared in American publications with Jewett's help.  Jewett was traveling in the winter of 1896.  It seems reasonable to suspect that she was working on "Family Life in America" (published in March 1896) at the end of 1895, before her trip to the Caribbean. That she also had dealings with T. F. Upham in 1895 lends some support to this speculation  See notes below.

Maine:  Though Jewett uses her home letterhead, it seems clear she is writing home from Boston.

Miss Cameron’s:  In a 7 November 1894 letter, Jewett refers to a Miss Cameron who appears to be a Boston dress-maker.  Further information is welcome.

the Studio: Jewett almost certainly refers to the studio of Sarah Wyman Whitman.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. [ Crafts's ?]:  The transcription is uncertain, and this person as yet is unknown.  Assistance is welcome.

the:  Below this word on this page is the circled number, 40, in pencil, by another hand.

Thérèse’s Scribner paper:  No "Scribner paper" by Madame Thérèse Blanc has been discovered.  However, in November of 1895, Jewett assisted her with the publication of "Family Life in America," which appeared in The Forum (March 1896, pp. 1-20). See Correspondents

The Dunhams, Helen & Etta:  Helen Dunham was the daughter of James Dunham of New York, one of four sisters, including Etta.  She married Theodore Holmes Spicer (1860-1935) of London, England, in 1910.  She was a friend of the American painter, John Singer Sargent, who made portraits of Helen (1892) and of Etta (1895).  She also was a friend of Isabella Stewart Gardner; see Correspondents.  More information about them is welcome.

Upham Cheque:  This presumably refers to the Jewett sisters' communications with the Duluth Securities Company.  See above on July 2: T. F. Upham to Mary Rice Jewett.

The first of February dues:  What dues these may be is not known.  Assistance is welcome.

Wall St.:  Wall Street in New York City was the home of the New York Stock Exchange.  Jewett seems to suggest that there has been trouble with her investments, or perhaps she refers to the sisters' dealings with Duluth Securities.  See above on July 2: T. F. Upham to Mary Rice Jewett.

Cora: Cora Clark Rice.  See Correspondents.

4 Park St.:  Richard Cary notes that this is the location of "the Quincy mansion that now housed the publishing offices of Houghton Mifflin Company on the first floor and those of the Atlantic Monthly on the second."

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Houghton Library of Harvard University in Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909.  Mary Rice Jewett 1847-1930, recipient,  40 letters; 1877-1892 & n.d.  Sarah Orne Jewett Correspondence, 1861-1930.  MS Am 1743 (255).  Transcription and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College, with assistance from Tanner Brossart and Linda Heller.

SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett 


[ December 1895 ]*

 Dear O. P.

I must now stop writing, with much love.  We have come to like Miss Dunham* so much.  I wish you and Tab and Caddy* all knew her.  I dont know that she is so much more gifted than other girls but she has got the use of her self in such a nice way, and gets so much out of her life, going ahead and doing things in such a spirited way.  She is a new proof to me that you can make your life a clear little shining brook with purpose and direction, or you can let it drag back and make your piece of country all spoiled and swampy.  Please excuse a meditating sister for dwelling on her thoughts, as she will now conclude from



1895:  This letter seems like to follow another that mentions Helen Dunham, believed to be from December 1895.

Miss Dunham:  Helen Dunham was the daughter of James Dunham of New York, one of four sisters, including Etta.  She married Theodore Holmes Spicer (1860-1935) of London, England, in 1910.  She was a friend of the American painter, John Singer Sargent, who made portraits of Helen (1892) and of Etta (1895).  Jewett mentions these women in a letter to Mary Rice Jewett, believed to be from December of 1895.  More information about them is welcome.

Tab and Caddy:  In a few letters, Jewett refers to her sister Caroline Jewett Eastman as Caddy.  The identity of Tab is not known, though it is possible Jewett intended Taddy or Tad, nicknames appropriate to her nephew, Theodore Jewett Eastman.  On the other hand, in her letters from Europe in 1882, Jewett frequently refers to a woman named Taddy, who remains unidentified.

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 Caroline Jewett Eastman

        Tuesday afternoon
        in the train

[December 16-20, 1895]*

Dear Carrie

    I wrote you a polite note yesterday to say that I was just beginning my short campaign in New York but I folded it up until I could get an envelope and then I forgot all about it.  I don't think very well of the hotel because after sending down to the desk to say that I was in and [deleted word] tell any one who came they "thought I was out" and

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So I waited in all the nice morning & Mr. Barnes came for me to go and see the Paul Jones papers in vain after I had made an appointment with him.*  So that shortened my time but I did see the papers this morning -- portraits & log-book and letters all with great satisfaction.  Alice and Lilian and I had a great spree.  We went to luncheon yesterday with Tom Tryon Lilian's cousin* & a friend of younger

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days, at Heuret's (the French restaurant[)].*  And then to the Grolier Club to see some engravings.  And then I had to go home in case of Mr. Barnes.  Fan Stone came to dinner and we all four went to the opera Aïda which was delightful with the great singers (de Reszkes & Nordica & Brema) at their best* -- and such splendors of dress I never saw in the boxes which go all around the [first written over sr?]

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gallery in this beautiful opera house.  It made you think of Rome before it fell !!!  I decided that it was worth going on to New York to see the opera cloaks go by!  We were proper late home and had sandwiches to stay us. & talked it over before we went to bed at 12 or later.  This morning I had my Paul Jones affair.  The books were in Mr. Barnes house not at Harper's

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and [it written over something] was a superb house uptown full of lovely things & a nice library -- Mrs. Barnes a granddaughter of old Commodore Bainbridge of Barbary pirates fame.*  We made friends and I enjoyed seeing the things very much.  Then I had time to go to see Suzy Travers and she came down town with me in the hansom

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-- & we stopped to see Mrs. Cabot's Mrs. Trimble* and then I went back and threw my things together and took the three o'clock train.  It was a great expedition.  I never saw New York when I liked it so much.  It was crisp nice weather both days & not too cold as it generally is when I have been there.
    I must get my things ready

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to put on the yacht now* and tie up the rest of my Christmas bundles but I hope to get home Friday afternoon or at six. -- I dont know that you can make this out but if you can please send it to Mary in your next letter.
    Ever so much love to Theodore & Beach.*  I wish you had all been along -- With much love

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I thought I saw Mrs. Cheney at the opera but I wasn't quite certain.*

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Mrs. E. C. Eastman
    South Berwick


December 16-24, 1895:  As the notes below indicate, this letter almost certainly was composed between December 16 and 20 of 1895, after the opening of the Met's Aïda and preceding the Friday before Christmas.

Mr. Barnes ... the Paul Jones papersWikipedia says: "John Sanford Barnes (May 12, 1836 – November 22, 1911) was a United States Navy officer and businessman and naval historian."  His collection of papers related to John Paul Jones is now held by the New York Historical Society.  "In 1863 he married Susan Bainbridge Hayes, granddaughter of Commodore William Bainbridge and great-grandniece of Admiral John Barry."

Alice and Lilian ...Tom Tryon Lilian's cousin:  It is not yet certain which "Alice" joined Jewett and Lilian Horsford for lunch.  Jewett usually referred to her close friend Alice Greenwood Howe in letters as Mrs. Howe, and to Mary Alice Longfellow as Alice.  See Correspondents for more on all of these people.  Tom Tryon, Lilian's cousin, is Thomas Tryon (1859-1920), an American architect practicing in New York and Boston.

Heuret's:  While the spelling cannot be certain, it seems likely to be incorrect, for despite this apparently being the French restaurant in New York City in 1895, no reference to it has been located on-line, including in the New York Times archive.

the Grolier Club ... engravings
:  The Grolier Club in New York City was founded in 1884 by a group of bibliophiles to promote book art.  Jewett almost certainly saw an exhibition of "engraved portraits of French authors to the close of the eighteenth century," which appeared at the Grolier Club 5-28 December 1895.

Fan Stone
:  The identity of Fan Stone is unknown.  A candidate could be Fanny Stone, daughter of Charles Pomeroy Stone (1824 - 1887), who was a career United States Army officer, civil engineer, and surveyor.  Near the end of his career, he served more than a decade in the Egyptian army, leaving after the British suppression of an Egyptian nationalist rebellion against British and European control over the Suez Canal (see note on Aïda below).
    During the bombardment of Alexandria in 1882, his wife and daughters were trapped in Cairo.  Fanny Stone published a diary of this experience: "Diary of an American Girl in Cairo During the War of 1882," in Century 28, 2 (June 1884), pp. 289-302.   Further information is welcome.

Aïda (de Reszkes & Nordica & Brema): Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), the Italian operatic composer, was commissioned by the khedive of Egypt to compose Aïda (first performance in Cairo in 1871) for the celebration of the opening of the Suez Canal.  The New York Metropolitan Opera gave eleven performances, beginning December 16, 1895.  Among the performers were:
Aïda....................Lillian Nordica
Radamès.................Jean de Reszke
Amneris.................Marie Brema
Ramfis..................Edouard de Reszke
Commodore Bainbridge:  See note above on John Sanford Barnes.  Wikipedia says: "William Bainbridge (May 7, 1774 – July 27, 1833) was a Commodore in the United States Navy."

Suzy Travers ... Mrs. Cabot's Mrs. Trimble:  For Susan Burley Cabot, see Correspondents.  Mrs. Trimble are not yet identified, though the context suggests she works in the Cabot household.  Assistance is welcome.
    The New York Times (December 8, 1904) p. 9, reports the death of Miss Susan Travers of Newport, RI on 7 December.  According to the Times (December 11, 1904) p. 34,  She was the daughter of William R. Travers.  Her sister, Matilda, married the artist, Walter Gay.  Though a biographical sketch is difficult to locate, Internet searches indicate that she was an art collector and a patron of the Boston Museum of Art, the New York Botanical Garden, and various philanthropic organizations.  She assisted Sarah Porter (1813-1900) in founding the Farmington [Connecticut] Lodge Society to bring 'tired and overworked' girls from New York City to Farmington during their summer vacation."  This would likely have interested Annie Fields in relation to her work with the Associated Charities of Boston.
    Miss Travers's brother, William R. Travers, had a winter home in Aiken, South Carolina, a resort town catering to his interest in horses, which Jewett had visited with Fields in the early spring of 1888.  This suggests that Jewett may have expected to meet Miss Travers in Aiken, but this is all quite obscure at present.

the yacht
:  Jewett is preparing for a yacht cruise to begin in the new year.  She and Fields, along with Thomas and Lilian Aldrich will be guests of Henry L. Pierce on his steam yacht, The Hermione, for a tour of Caribbean islands.

Theodore & Beach:  Theodore is Theodore Jewett Eastman, Carrie's son; See Correspondents.  The identity of Beach is unknown.  Assistance is welcome.

Mrs. Cheney:  A candidate for a Mrs. Cheney mutually known to Jewett and her sister and perhaps to be noted at a Met performance is Ednah Dow Littlehale Cheney (1824 - 1904) "a writer, reformer, and philanthropist, born on Beacon Hill, Boston to Sargent Smith Littledale and Ednah Parker (Dow).... After her husband's death she took an interest in social concerns such as the Freedman's Aid Society (secretary of the committee on aid for colored regiments and of the teachers' committee, 1863), Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (vice president), New England Women's Club (vice president) and the New England Hospital for Women and Children (secretary, 1862). She lectured at the Concord School of Philosophy on the history of art. She was an active member of the Margaret Fuller conversation class." 

The manuscript of this letter is held by Historic New England in Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett to Caroline Augusta Jewett Eastman, Jewett Family Papers: MS014.01.01.04 Box 1,4 Letter 1. Transcribed and annotated by Terry Heller. Coe College.

SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett


[ Christmas time
December 1895

Dear Mary 

I had such a nice time looking over the presents, but after being poor in skiddys* I am now very rich! not to speak of splendid.  Just as I finished looking, who should come in but Hattie Denny* on her way home from the hospital with a fine reek of iodoform* and if you will believe it they had brought in some patients from the accidnet [ so transcribed ] ward to the nurses lecture and the room being extra hot and two patients being much wounded she said that she got so faint that she could hardly sit in her place, which had not happened to her in many years.  I think she felt rather unsteady while she was here, but I offered remedies which were entirely refused and she made a nice long call and departed.  She was so funny and apologetic about it! but I suppose it was very hot and they must have an extra reek of iodoform and things to have lasted her all the way here.  I thought we should never get done laughing -- we were looking at my French calendar and Hattie told a tale about a text somewhere in England that Augusta* waked up to every morning for weeks right in front of her, “If the righteous shall hardly be saved where shall the sinner & the ungodly appear["]* --- She told it so funny!  You can imagine how we all laughed, and I got such a turn of hiccups that we laughed the more.  What a nice little picture of Um* and doesn’t he look like a most brown person of great discretion?  Dear Aunty* sent me some lovely roses and this letter which pleased a sister dreadfully and the roses were a great surprise to those who came gadding home from Mr. Paine’s* where she sal [intended sat] long at a noble feast.  I forgot about this silk, and must bother you again; it is a smaller piece of dark green silk only a yard or so that I got in Venice* you know, and I think it is in the drawer over that one.  Do thank Annie Barker* for the pretty piece of woodwork which we both thought very pretty -- until I can thank her myself and Mrs. Goodwin* for her vase and her note.  I felt better yesterday and found myself sitting up sometimes about the room.  Sally Norton was here again and S.W.,* but I was so pleased because I managed to get a little bit done on Thereses paper* which I have been worrying about.  I think that I can sign the mortgage paper* when I am at Mrs. Cabots.*  She is always having great business, and it would be an interest Mary.  When I thought Carrie* was coming up that week I wrote a note to Madam Howard* about a kind of bonnet she wanted so she would have it all ready to try on.  And then when we were first sick I sent a note to say sister C was delayed about coming.  I just tell you Carrie in case you should come up or want to write about it, though I think it is best to come up if you can a bonnet would be so much more your own!  No more at present from




December 1895:  A handwritten note on this transcription reads:189-?  That Jewett seems to be working on a translation published in the spring of 1896 makes it probable that the composition date of this letter is 1895.

skiddys:  What Jewett means by a "skiddy" is unknown.  Clearly she is using the word as a noun, which rules out the currently used adjective meaning slippery.  The OED gives only one noun definition, referring to a European bird, the water rail. She may mean a small skid, but no common definitions of skid seem to apply to this Christmas present item of which Jewett seems to have received several.  Assistance is welcome.

Hattie Denny:  Jewett refers to Mary Harriet Denny.  See Augusta Maria Denny Tyler in Correspondents.

iodoformWikipedia says that this volatile disinfectant has "a penetrating and distinctive odor ... sometimes referred to as the smell of hospitals, where the compound is still commonly used."

Augusta: Augusta Maria Denny Tyler.  See Correspondents

“If the righteous shall hardly be saved ...":  See the Bible, 1 Peter 4:18.

little picture of Um* and doesn’t he look like a most brown person of great discretion: The identity of "Um" is not known.  Perhaps it refers to a pet?  Assistance is welcome.

Dear Aunty:  Which of Jewett's aunts is meant here is not known.  Assistance is welcome.

Mr. Paine’s: This probably is John Knowles Paine (1839 - 1906), an American composer who became a founder of the music department at Harvard University, where he served as organist and choir master.  He frequently entertained summer guests of Celia Thaxter on Appledore, Isles of the Shoals.

got in Venice:  Jewett first visited Venice in 1882, and returned on each of her subsequent European trips: 1892, 1898, 1900.

Annie Barker:  Paula Blanchard in Sarah Orne Jewett (2002) identifies Barker as a Jewett friend and neighbor (p. 45). She is mentioned frequently in Jewett's 1869 diary.

Mrs. Goodwin:  This probably is Sophia Elizabeth Hayes Goodwin See Correspondents.

Sally Norton ... S.W.:  Sarah Norton and Sarah Wyman Whitman.  See Correspondents.

Thereses paper: Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc. See Correspondents. Jewett aided Madam Blanc with the translation and publication of several pieces in American magazines in 1894-1896.  Of the four papers to which Jewett may have contributed, her most substantial work was a full translation of  "Family Life in America," which first appeared in The Forum (March 1896, pp. 1-20).  This seems likely to be the paper Jewett was working on in December and probably in 1895.

the mortgage paper: What sort of mortgage paper is meant has not been determined.  It may have to do with investments the sisters made in the 1890s.

Mrs. Cabots: Susan Burley Cabot.  See Correspondents.

Carrie:  Carrie Jewett Eastman. See Correspondents.

Madam Howard: In the 1890s, Mme. Howard operated a millinery shop at 6 Beacon Street off Charles Street, Boston.  Images of some her more elaborate creations may be found at Pinterest.

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.

[ 1895 or later ]*

Annie Adams Fields to Mary Rice Jewett

148 Charles St.
Monday P.M.

My Dear Mary:

    The pie was an enormous success coming in, as it were, to save our lives at the required moment{.}  The chickens too were excellent!  As for ourselves we were much refreshed by our little visit to you.  I have just packed the two (neither pies nor chickens) up

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to Cambridge for a long afternoon with every prospect of a pleasant time.

    We wish you were nearer!  Meanwhile we often speak of you and send our love back to you all.

Affectionately and
Annie Fields.

Thank you for the letters and your note.


1895 or later:  Though this letter provides no clear clues about its date, as of this writing, the earliest letters we have from Fields to Mary Jewett are from 1895.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Historic New England in Letters from Annie Fields to Mary Rice Jewett, Jewett Family Papers: MS014.01.04.  Transcribed and annotated by Terry Heller. Coe College.

Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.

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