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1896    1898


Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1897



SOJ to Sara Norton

     34 Beacon Street
     Boston
     Monday morning
     [January 4, 1897]

     My dear Sally:

      I have had a letter from Mrs. Warner1 in which she proposes next week for our visit -- Tuesday (12th), Wednesday and Thursday -- or the same days the week after. Should you like to go next week, which seems best for me? I suppose that Mrs. Warner will like to know as early as possible but I think that we can have a word about it on Wednesday when I hope to see you. 

     Yours most affectionately,
     S. O. Jewett

Notes
      1 Mrs. Charles Dudley Warner (1834-1921) was a leader in the intellectual life of Hartford, Connecticut, with a major interest in music. A brilliant concert pianist, she helped organize and played with the Hartford Philharmonic Orchestra. Her home, like Mrs. Fields's, was a magnet for lovers of art, literature, and music. 

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



SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett
 

Saturday morning
[ January 1897 ]
Dear Mary

 

…………….Oh your sister has got such a letter from Mr. Rudyard Kipling!*  The Life of Nancy* letter was truly beautiful to her heart --- but this one!!  If you can wait till Tuesday you shall see it Mary.  Mr. Norton sent them the Pointed Firs,* and it is such a letter.  I keep thinking of things to tell you when I write next, and then other things shake them off my head.  I ought to carry round a book with a pencil tied on.  So no more at present from

                                                            a  Sister

 

Notes

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

Mr. Rudyard Kipling: See Correspondents.

The Life of Nancy:  Jewett's story collection, The Life of Nancy (1895). 
    Kipling's letter on this book appears in The Letters of Rudyard Kipling: Volume 2: 1890-1899, dated 16 October 1895.  He singles out "Fame's Little Day," "The Only Rose," and "All My Sad Captains" as favorites, but has especially high praise for "The Guests of Mrs. Timms: and "The Hilton's Holiday."  He complains about "A War Debt": "Did you in the War Debt (serial form) put in those four lines italic at the end: because I don't remember having seen them and -- I don't like them.  They explain things and I loathe an explanation.  Please cut 'em out in the next edition and let people guess that he married Mrs Bellamy's grand daughter."  He also says, "To my thinking Miss Jewett can be when she thinks fit, masculine enough to equip three small average male story-tellers and in "The Guests of Mrs Timms" she gives proof of it.  It's a kinder dry-point, firm handed work that pleases me all over."

Mr. Norton sent them the Pointed Firs:  American author and Harvard professor, Charles Eliot Norton (1827-1908).  Norton has sent Kipling and his wife, Carrie, as a Christmas present a copy of Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896).
    Kipling's letter on this book appears in The Letters of Rudyard Kipling: Volume 2: 1890-1899, dated January ? 1897.  He reports that he and his wife both have read the book already more than once each.  He says: "It's immense -- it is the very life.  It's out and away the loveliest thing of yours I've ever read.  It -- made me homesick! ... So many of the people of lesser sympathy have missed the lovely New England landscape; and the genuine breadth of heart and fun that underlies New England nature."  He says that this is "the reallest New England book ever given us.... Joanna alone is an idyl worth fifty average pretentious books; and Mis' Blackett is worth another fifty.  It's all a most perfect piece of art, truth, beauty and tenderness; and I'm proud as a peacock to think I've met and known you."  In a post script he says, "I don't believe even you know how good that book is."

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 Mary Rice Jewett

[ Before 20 February 1897 ]

Dear Mary

I hope it went well yesterday about the Fair.  Please put in ten dollars from me for your table, or buy something for Christmas with it.  I had a nice time with the Club though it happened that only Katie & Martha Silsbee* & I could come, it being a short notice, so Mrs. Sears* asked another piece of a Club as it were of Mrs. Agassiz Mrs. Howe & S.W. most glorious to behold and we had great fun and Mrs. Howe was too dear and naughty and played and sang most beautiful to hear in the great music room.  It was quite enchanting as you may suppose.  I stopped to see Carrie on my way over there but she was out.  I gave an offer to the tickets for Saturday’s concert to her & Mrs. Ridner but I haven’t heard yet. 

Oh there are such lots of things to tell you and to talk about but not so much to write about.  Some times I think some foolish written things may last as long as the pyramids!  You never know in what shape, but there it is if you write it.  I am afraid that idle words of mine will have to piled up in the moon on account of scant room any where else.  I will now pass to the more important news of A.F.* who is about the same but very quiet and contented to stay in her room and not even asking to go down stairs.  She complains of feeling so weak in spite of all her tonics.  I dont know when she can get out at this rate to have the air again.  I hope that I shall get home early today.  Yesterday we had promised to go to Miss Cary’s (Mrs. Agassiz’s sister)* to hear some music, so I went alone or was going after the lunch was over but Mrs. Agassiz took me out with her which was lovely (we did have such a good time) but I didn’t get home until after dark after having gone out at one and it has happened once before this week and I dont like to be away in such a long piece, but it has happened that I got a good walk every day which is well.  I must now close with much love.  Please give my love to Becca.*

S.O.J.

 

I haven’t forgotten about your ‘undergarments’ of French design, but I haven’t been over into the streets since: They were giving them away both at Hoveys and Fords or Gross & (Stickney?) & other places earlier, and I am sure that there will be present opportunity.

 

Notes

Before 20 February 1897:  This date is not certain, but it seems likely.  Jewett's reference to a fair in South Berwick connects with a similar mention in her letter to Mary of 20 February 1897.  Also, Mrs. Fields is reported to be confined at home by ill health in both letters. Her reference to a offering tickets to a "concert" on Saturday do not correspond exactly to the performance of a staged musical of Alice in Wonderland that she attended on 20 February 1897, but it is not unreasonable to believe she might refer to the musical as a concert.  Of course, it is possible that she refers here to a difference concert altogether, or that this really is not the right date for this letter.

The Club ... Katie & Martha Silsbee: The Clubs in which Jewett participated at various times in her life have not yet been fully identified.  In this passage, she seems to refer to two clubs, one meeting of which -- because only a few could attend -- was supplemented by asking members of another club to join in. 
    The first probably was the "It" Club. Shana McKenna, Archivist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum says that the "It" club was a lunch club formed by Julia Ward Howe and Isabella Stewart Gardner. Its other members, in addition to Jewett, included:

    Edith Greenough Wendell (1859-1938), author of Old Quincy House at Quincy, Massachusetts and wife of Barrett Wendell (1855-1921), Harvard English professor, lecturer and author.

    Margaret Deland (1857-1945)

    Katherine Parkman Coolidge (1858-1900). See Correspondents.  

    Sarah Choate Sears (1858-1935)

    Alma Canfield Sterling Porter (1863- ), wife of Harvard Medical School professor William Townsend Porter (1862-1949).

    Martha Silsbee (1859-1928)

The Gardner museum holds a guest book that documents a 12 February 1894 meeting at Gardner's home, 152 Beacon St., Boston. See Morris Carter, Isabella Stewart Gardner and Fenway Court, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1925. pp.141-2,  and Isabella Stewart Gardner, Guest book vol. 1 (1893-1894), page 37-38.
     It is possible that the second was the Emery Bag Club founded by Sarah Cabot Wheelwright. Though the Boston Authors Club included Jewett, it was founded in 1899, with Julia Ward Howe was a founding member.
    Jewett almost certainly refers to the watercolor artist, Martha Silsbee (1858 or 1859 - 1928), who lived in Boston and was associated with the Dublin Art Colony in Dublin, NH.    She was the daughter of the Salem, MA merchant John Boardman Silsbee (1813-1867) and Martha Mansfield Shepard (1828-1911), who shared a Boston house with her three unmarried children in the 1880s: Arthur Boardman Silsbee (a banker, shipping merchant, and textile mill executive), Martha Silsbee (an artist), and Thomas Silsbee.  Martha's oldest sister was Emily Fairfax Silsbee Lawrence.
    While Miss Katherine Silsbee also was a resident of Boston in the 1890s, I have been unable thus far to establish any connection between her and Martha Silsbee.  The Silsbee family was extensive in Boston and in nearby Salem, so Katherine may be a cousin. Assistance is welcome.

Mrs. Sears ... Mrs. Agassiz Mrs. Howe & S.W. :  Mrs. Sears is likely to be Sarah Choate Sears (1858-1935), a member of the It Club and an influential Boston artist, patron and collector, the wife of Boston realtor J. Montgomery Sears.  She was an award-winning artist who exhibited internationally, working in painting, photography, metals and textiles.
    For Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, Julia Ward Howe (probably) and Sarah Wyman Whitman, see Correspondents.  

Carrie:  Almost always this would be Carrie Jewett Eastman, but she would have to be in Boston at the same time as her sister is in this case.  This is not impossible, but it casts some doubt on whether this reference is to her sister.

Mrs. Ridner:  Mrs. Ridner has not been identified.  It is at least remotely possible that she is Caroline Ridner (1812-1891), wife of John P. Ridner (1810-1873) of  Brooklyn, NY.  He is author of The Artist's Chromatic Handbook. Being a Practical Treatise on Pigments: Their Properties and Uses in Painting. To Which is Added, a Few Remarks on Vehicles and Varnishes. Chiefly a Compilation from the Best Authorities 1850.  The American artist William Page (1811-1885) completed a portrait of Mrs. Ridner in about 1849.  However, there is no evidence to support this possibility.  Assistance is welcome.

Mrs. Fields: Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

Miss Cary’s (Mrs. Agassiz’s sister): Almost certainly this was Sarah Gray Cary (1830-1898), the sister of Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz who did not marry.

Becca:  Rebecca Young. See Correspondents.

‘undergarments’ of French design ... into the streets since ... giving them away both at Hoveys and Fords or Gross & (Stickney?):  The transcription does not make clear whether the parentheses and question mark represent the transcriber's guess at a word, but this seems likely.  C. F. Hovey and Company was a dry goods store on Summer Street in Boston, from 1848 until well into the 20th Century. Gross & Strauss, also on Summer Street, specialized in laces and embroideries, while Gross, Daniels & Co., sold dry goods. John G. Ford sold ladies undergarments.  To what particular undergarments Jewett refers remains unknown.  Assistance is welcome.

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Folder 73, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Preparation by Linda Heller.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

 [ Saturday 20 February 1897]

Dear Mary

 

What a pretty day and I suppose that your labors with the fair are all over.  I should think if the weather and the sleighing hold that you would feel your duty to lie before you toward Mis’ Leavitts* or somewhere far distant on a pleasant stretch of road!!  I send you these lettys -- the New Jersey one was very interesting & belongs with the poem which I had acknowledged.  Please put them on my desk.  You neednt send them back here.  Yesterday while I was still at my letters Carrie came inin [ so transcribed ] apparently spirits of delight having visited Jack and the Beanstalk* the night before.  Laura Richards* came just afterward and I being still in my kimono array (a beautiful camels hair one having been given by Susan Travers and much beseemed by me!) had to fly and get dressed as I had promised to take Laura to the Montaigne class at Cambridge.*  She had a great time, being fond of French and was going to luncheon further on.  I do so wish I had taken you out with me, but they go on sometime yet.  Mrs. S. D. Warren* goes, Mary, and is so pleasant!! but it is not half as big a class as I should think it would be, and it is pretty hard to be regular in winter weather.  I went on up to Shady Hill* to luncheon and such a nice time and then scudded in to town under bare poles the wind blew so round corners, and just as I was stepping to the car my cape blew right over my head.  Luckily it wasn’t cold, but it was borne in upon me that it was close to March.  There is now Saturday before me to do, but nothing could begin pleasanter -- the ice is pretty well out of the river again.  I am going to Alice in Wonderland with S.W.*  We have waited with difficulty so many nights.  It doesn’t begin until half past eight, so that I can go very well.  Here’s William* who seems to come earlier and earlier, but the cloak remains the same. 

I send the papers by express.  If there ought to be any words Rebecca* can set them in.

With much love

Sarah

Mrs. Fields* is about the same as yesterday.  I had her come down into the library at night and have her dinner which seemed a great treat, but she soon got tired & went p to bed.  I think she felt better to think she could do it.  She sends love.

 

Notes

Saturday 20 February 1897:  A handwritten note on this transcription reads: Feb. 1894?  However, as Jewett refers to her plan to attend a Saturday performance of Alice and Wonderland, this letter almost certainly was composed on the morning of that Saturday, or perhaps on the previous evening.

fair:  See the letter to Mary Jewett dated "Before 20 February 1897."

Mis’ Leavitts: Which of the many local Miss or Mrs. Leavitts Mary may visit is not yet known.  Assistance is welcome.

Carrie ... having visited Jack and the Beanstalk:  Carrie Jewett Eastman. See Correspondents.  In January of 1897 an "electric ballet" of The Strange Adventures of Jack and the Beanstalk opened at the Boston Museum.  The "spectacular" production is described in Chapter Six of Extravaganza King: Robert Barnet and Boston Musical Theatre (2004) by Anne Alison Barnet.

Laura Richards: See Correspondents.

Susan Travers: See Correspondents.

the Montaigne class at Cambridge: This may have been a course offered to Harvard and Radcliffe students in the 1890s by Ferdinand Bôcher, Harvard Professor of Modern Languages, "Essays of Montaigne and their Influence on Later Thought."

Mrs. S.D. WarrenSusan Cornelia Clarke Warren (1825-1901) is remembered as a philanthropist and art collector, specializing in porcelain and watercolor.  Her husband Samuel Dennis Warren (1817-1888) was a Boston paper manufacturer and founder of the Cumberland Paper Mills in Westbrook, ME.

Shady Hill:  The residence of Charles Eliot Norton and his dughter Sara Norton.  See Correspondents.

going to Alice in Wonderland with S.W.:   A stage musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland was presented at Copley Hall in Boston, February 17-20, 1897.  The White Rabbit and the Mouse were played by Joseph Lindon Smith: see SOJ to Joseph Lindon Smith of 26 February 1897.
    S. W. is Sarah Wyman Whitman.  See Correspondents.

William:  This William may be in the employ of Annie Fields.  He seems to collect and take away mail. More information welcome

Rebecca:  Probably Rebecca Young. See Correspondents.

Mrs. Fields: Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Folder 73, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Preparation by Linda Heller.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Joseph Lindon Smith*


148 Charles street
 26 February 1897 

Dear Mr. Smith

    My friend Mrs. Almira Todd of Dunnet Landing Maine1 was in town last week and went with me to see Alice in Wonderland.* She didn't know what Capn Littlepage2 would think of it but it did seem like some of his stories that he used to tell Johnny Bowden3 before he got to be so old and all for boats and fishing. For her part she never saw anything that came up to that Rabbit! it behaved just as natural as could be and was so beautiful looking and pretty-behaved and the mouse had proper manners = it [so transcribed] reminded her of William and company lighting on him unexpected when anything was mentioned about the cat. Yes it was a proper mouse and she understood it was a gentleman that took the part and that I was acquainted with him so she begged me to tell you that it was the prettiest time she ever had and she wished if the show was travelin' this summer it would take in the Landin'!  She would see to it that every body went, but perhaps they would do better to perform over to Port, but look out and pick for a full moon night, because You [so transcribed] never can rely on the folks from up country or the Back Shore in the dark of the moon.

    Having discharged my mind of the responsibility of these messages!  I must thank you on my own account for the great pleasure of your note. I have been hoping that I might say thank you instead of writing it. Please give my regards to Mrs. Smith whom I enjoyed so much seeing last week4   And Believe [so transcribed] me

Yours most sincerely
S. O. Jewett


Stoddart's Notes

1 The "landlady" of the unnamed narrator during her summer visit to Dunnet Landing in Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs.

2 The elderly seaman who visits the narrator in the schoolhouse after Mrs, Begg's funeral (Chapter 4). He tells the story of "The Waiting Place" (Chapter 5).

3 The local boy who accompanies Mrs. Todd and the narrator to Green Island to visit Almira's mother and brother, Mrs, Blackett and William (Chapter 7).

4 Josephine Van Deventer Smith; she married Francis Smith on 26 April 1866 in Astoria New York.

Editor's Notes
Joseph Lindon Smith:  Stoddart, following the lead of Colby curators, names the recipient of this letter as Francis Hopkinson Smith: See Correspondents.  However, as the program for Alice in Wonderland shows (see next note), Jewett is complimenting Joseph Lindon Smith upon his performances.

Alice in Wonderland:  A stage musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland was presented at Copley Hall in Boston during February of 1897.  The White Rabbit and the Mouse were played by Joseph Lindon Smith: see SOJ to Mrs. Sarah Cabot Wheelwright [August 5 1906].

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



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ
 

 March 10, 1897.

     I must have one word with those who tarry in Virginia and see the Spring walking with visible sweet feet over the edges of the Hills. . . . Here there is a sort of molten condition which is perhaps the way it is going to be always, and the more I endeavor to pull out of the hot, hopeless sea of events, the more the whirlpools suck me down; and I am about to make a cut clean across the face of human relationships. But not till after the ----- have come for this Sunday and perhaps ----- for the next and intermittent folks appearing, reappearing, disappearing for the Masterpieces and all the rest of it. I keep saying to myself, how good it was that I once read a book, or learned a verse of poetry, because now it's such a Big book I can't more than hold it --- this Book of Life, and the Poem's got to be written not read.

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



Theodore Frolinghuysen Wolfe* to SOJ

NOTE
:  This is a pair of letters.  Wolfe wrote to Jewett with questions.  She made notes on his letter and then wrote a reply.  His letter, then, consists of his text, with Jewett's notes rendered in dark blue.

[ Begin letterhead ]

College of Physicians and Surgeons.*

[ End letterhead ]

March 11th, 1897

Dear Miss Jewett:

     For a literary purpose, I entrust that you will answer a very few questions for me.  I endeavor to minimize for you the trouble of replying by leaving space after each question for its answer, and by enclosing an addressed and stamped envelope.  Please oblige me.

    Is the "colonial house, ^built about 1760^ with old mahogany furnishings, huge tiled fireplaces, old silver, china and glass, and quaint pieces of bric-a-brac such as seafaring men of long ago collected" -- in which you are said to reside the house in which you were born?*

Yes

[ Page 2 ]

Is there a photograph or other view of your residence in existence?

    Yes.  The photographer at South Berwick Maine can send you one.

Is it ^the residence^ properly in Berwick or South Berwick? [ Jewett has underlined South Berwick.]

Which room of the house is your study and workroom?

    In the upper hall (which is large) I have done a great deal of writing at an old 'secretary'{.}

What are the principal books you have written in that house?

    The greater portion of all ^most of^ my books except The Story of the Normans* and The Country Doctor{.}*

[ Page 3 ]

Was Mrs. Thaxter often at your house?  She speaks, in a letter, of your driving her into the woods to hear the hermit thrush.

    Mrs Thaxter sometimes visited me,  but we saw each other oftener in Boston in the winter [deleted letter ]{,}

    Please do not think I trouble you too much.  I did not intend to ask so many questions, and will be grateful if you will answer some.

    Thanking you in advance for your kindness, I am

Yours Sincerely,

Theo F. Wolfe, MDr


P.S.  I direct return envelop to my country-place, Succasunna, N.J.* where I will await your reply.

W


Jewett's Reply

Hot Springs Virginia
16 March

Dear Doctor Wolfe,

    I am sorry that I cannot give you a better address of the photographer at South Berwick than Photographic Rooms or of that sort but I do not remember the young man's name.  I hope that I have answered your questions to your satisfaction{.}

In haste yours very truly
    S. O. Jewett


Notes

Theodore Frolinghuysen WolfeBartleby.com says that Wolfe (1843/1847-1915) was: "An American physician and littérateur; born in New Jersey.... His books are: ‘A Literary Pilgrimage among the Haunts of Famous British Authors’; and ‘Literary Shrines: The Haunts of Famous American Authors.’ His professional writings include works on tetanus and anæsthesia."  Literary Shrines appeared in 1896, before this letter, suggesting that he had it in mind to include an account of her home in another work. He does include the home of Annie Fields at 148 Charles St. in Boston.
    Among his papers at Columbia University Libraries are notes he kept about Jewett.

At the time of this letter, Wolfe has retired from medicine to engage primarily in literary and ethnological pursuits.  See also Archives and Special Collections, Columbia University Health Sciences Library.

College of Physicians and Surgeons:  Wolfe earned his medical degree from the Columbia University (NY) College of Physicians and Surgeons.  While it appears from this stationary that he continued an association with the college, the nature of that association has not yet been determined.

born: Wolfe refers to an interview essay on Jewett and her house, "Pleasant Day with Miss Jewett," which appeared in the Philadelphia Press on Sunday 18 August 1895.

The Story of the Normans:  Jewett's popular history appeared in 1887.

A Country Doctor:  Jewett's novel appeared in 1884.

Succasunna:  Now a small, unincorporated town in northern New Jersey.

The manuscripts of these letters are held by the Columbia University (New York) Library in Special Collections, Jewett.  Transcription from a microfilm copy and annotation by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel



The Homestead Hotel*
    Hot Springs Va
[ March 1897 ]

[ Begin letterhead ]

South Berwick.
Maine.

[ End letterhead ]

Dear Loulie

    I am sure you think that I have migrated with that bird, at whose Expression I laughed a good deal.  I put him into my desk to keep him safe but I should quite like to see him again! -- I have been gone two weeks from Charles Street = the first, we spent in New York and my sister was with us and then we came here.  Mrs. Fields* gained a good deal in New York and then lost it

[ Page 2 ]

through getting tired ^on the journey^ and not liking the place particularly well.  I cant say that I care about it much yet.  It is an expensive hotel with not much equivalent in the way of comfort -- but we have settled into two rooms which we like better than those we had at first and I have got my writing table going and Mrs. Fields has got hers and the door's open between us which is very comfy.  Last night we had a little snow storm and we haven't been getting out

[ Page 3 ]

as much as one expects in Virginia.

    -- There are some people here whom we like very much and we shall get on very well for a while.

    -- I hope that your eyes are better and your knees? and that things are going well with you and Ellis,* and that you quieted down your gayeties properly when Lent* came in.  You must [intended must not ?] if your eyes are still in trouble.  I shall take no news for good news in every other respect.  It is

[ Page 4 ]

good to see Mrs. Fields look a little more like herself than she did awhile ago but I wish she would get much stronger.

    This is all I am going to write with so bad a pen but I have been feeling very remiss at having taken so young and beautiful a chicken and never saying that I thank you.

Yours ever affectionately.

S. O. J.   

With AF's love also to you & Ellis


Notes

March 1897: Blanchard in Sarah Orne Jewett says that Jewett and Fields traveled to Hot Springs, VA for Fields's health in February of 1897 (p. 305).  In 1897, Lent began on 3 March.

Homestead Hotel, Hot Springs, Va:  This luxury resort in the Allegheny Mountains first opened in 1766.  It became a major destination in the 1880s after major investors arranged to run a railroad spur to the location and built a new hotel.

sister ... Mrs. Fields:  Mary Rice Jewett and Annie Adams Fields (AF). See Correspondents.

Ellis:  For Ellis Dresel, see Louisa Loring Dresel in Correspondents.

Lent:  In the Christian liturgical calendar, Lent is a period of penance, lasting about 6 weeks, in preparation for the celebrating  the resurrection of Christ at Easter.

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



SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

Sunday afternoon

[ March 14 or 21, 1897 ]

Dear Mary

I wonder every day now if it is as pleasant & springlike at home -- the buds are getting very big on the trees in sheltered places and the mountains look smoky & soft where the trees are coming out there too; all hard wood except some pines high up in the ravines.  The little brooks are running as if they couldn’t get down hill fast enough, and almost all of them start right here at the “Soda Spring” or the Magnesia Spring* coming right out full grown from the side of the hill.  We were out all the morning and took quite a good walk and A.F.* sat out on a piazza while I went to the bath.  She is extremely personable in the New York cape which is very suitable for present wear.  I think you will deem it becoming. --------------------------------------------------------------.

Affectionately

Sarah

Notes

The ellipsis indicates a partial transcription.

"Soda Spring” or the Magnesia Spring:  These names suggest that Jewett and Fields are staying at one of the resorts in Hot Springs, VA, perhaps the Homestead or Barton Lodge. Richard Cary places Jewett with Annie Fields in Hot Springs, VA in March of 1897.

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

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Folder 73, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Preparation by Linda Heller.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.


SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

Hot Springs*   Wednesday

[ March 17, 1897 ]

Dear Mary

            --------------- I some how thought that you would walk the piece on Sunday -- it felt like it here and I hope every thing will be coming up pretty.  We ought to have a lovely garden this year with all the roots stronger and bigger.  I do hope my poplars will do well, but if Nancy Brunefield* is true to her promises I may squeak out fifty cents for a new one in case any in the row should fail.  I am glad you were going to Portsmouth and I shall hope Cousin Maria* will not put off her coming up even if it is a little later.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


Notes

The hyphens at the beginning and end indicate this is an incomplete transcription.

Hot Springs:  Richard Cary places Jewett with Annie Fields in Hot Springs, VA in March of 1897.

Nancy Brunefield: In a letter of 29 August 1903, Jewett reports on the growth of a row of poplar trees apparently on her property in South Berwick.  Nancy Brunefield, however, remains unidentified.  Assistance is welcome.

Cousin Maria: In Sarah Orne Jewett, Blanchard mentions a Cousin Maria (p. 36) as residing in Portsmouth, NH.  Further information is welcome.

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Folder 74, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Preparation by Linda Heller.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Horace E. Scudder

     The Homestead Hotel
     Hot Springs, Virginia
     March 18, [1897 Thursday]

     Dear Mr. Scudder:

      I have just been reading a most delightful short essay in the United Service Magazine for January,1 a magazine which I never saw before, and it seemed to me that I must write to you and Mr. Page2 and ask you to look out for the writer of "Society in Washington," and some day give him a chance in our Atlantic. I do not know him and I do not think that I ever read anything of his before, but he says such first rate things in this little paper and the 'atmosphere' is so fine. I believe that he is the son in-law of Richard M. Hunt, but I do not feel quite sure.3
 
     Mrs. Fields and I had been talking about M. Brunetière4 of the Revue des Deux Mondes and his coming, and I was wishing that he would write an essay on "The Canons of Literary Taste," but as I finished this Washington paper I said to her that I should like to know what Mr. Hunt would say on "A Standard of Manners." You see that I expect great things from a writer whom I have met only once! But Mr. Hunt says things on his fifth page that are very unusual, and the value he puts upon American life and behavior in our most cosmopolitan city is very discerning in its decisions.

     You will be glad to know that Mrs. Fields5 is better after having more than one drawback on the road to health. She really begins to look like herself again. She would send you her very kind regards -- I am sure -- with mine. 

     Yours most truly,
     Sarah O. Jewett 

     I am delighted to hear everyone who speaks of the Atlantic say such good things!

      NOTES
     1 Livingston Hunt, "Society in Washington," United Service, XVII (January 1897), 1-7.Miss Jewett erroneously refers to the United Service Magazine; though both were journals of military and naval affairs, the former was published in Philadelphia, the latter in London.

     2 Walter Hines Page (1855-1918) was assistant editor of the Atlantic Monthly in 1896,editor from 1898 to 1899, and wartime United States ambassador to Great Britain.

     3 Miss Jewett inserted "in-law" between lines and crossed out "but I do not feel quite sure." Her confusion is understandable, for Livingston Hunt (1859-1943), a naval officer, married another Hunt -- Catherine Howland, daughter of Richard Morris Hunt, the American architect.

     4 Ferdinand Brunetière (1849-1906), French critic who applied Darwin's theory of evolution to literary history, was successively contributor, secretary, sub-editor, and editor of the Revue des Deux Mondes from 1877 to 1906. Invited to deliver a series of lectures at Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities, Brunetière arrived in the United States on March 21, 1897, accompanied by his wife and Madame Blanc. On May 8 the Brunetières sailed for France, leaving Madame Blanc here to visit with Miss Jewett, Annie Fields and other American friends.

    5 Jewett traveled with Annie Fields to Virginia seeking a warmer climate for Mrs. Fields' health.

    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.



1 April 1897
Death of Carolyn (Carrie) Augusta Jewett Eastman  (Born 13 December 1855)
She was Sarah's younger sister,
wife of Edwin C. Eastman (1849-1892), and
mother of Theodore Eastman (1879-1931)



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ


April, 1897.
      O my friend, this is hard indeed to bear, and my heart aches with all your hearts in this deep loss and pain!* How to comfort each other --- but this God knows and will make plain, and we who love you so much must wait for the coming of this consolation. I bless Him that you were there, sustaining and helping all, and going down with your dear sister so far as the edge of that wonderful river -- that sea of life. Ah, across its wave how many have come into port and are in that perfect felicity towards which we yearn.

Notes
deep loss and pain: This refers to the death of Jewett's sister, Caroline Jewett Eastman, on 1 April 1897.

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
 
April 5, 1897.
      This is just a little letter . . . for this day of peace, when grief had in it no sort of bitterness, and when all the sweetness and goodness of noble living in its generations* seemed to glorify the day and mingle with the spring which hung along the watercourses and in the wide air. It helped and consoled me to be there. . . . These messengers of death do indeed come thick and fast to us now, but one finds a voice full of life which sings above the flowers. . . . I ask a blessing for you every day.

Note

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



S
OJ to Hamilton B. Holt

     148 Charles Street
     Boston
     April 7, [1897]

     Dear Mr. Holt:

      My price to the magazines for a story of the length you mention is so much larger than the price the Independent pays that I fear you would not think it worthwhile to consider a new story. I sent one last year, but I confess that my only reason for doing it was because my dear friend Miss Ward had asked me and I was only too glad to think that I could do something that was in any sense for her! This is a most unbusiness-like confession but I am sure that you can understand.1

     Yours sincerely,
     S. O. Jewett

Notes

    1 Across the top of the first page, in heavy green crayon, is written: "How much was she pd. before and how long a story?" At the end of the letter, in black pencil: "7 1/4 columns old form $75.00. C. H. W." Miss Jewett's "The First Sunday in June," Independent, XLIX (November 4, 1897), 1446-1447, is seven and a half columns long.

Editor's Notes
1897:  Cary dates this letter in 1898, but that would be impossible, as Jewett was in Europe in April of 1898.  Given Cary's evidence in his note, it seems probable that the letter was composed in 1897.

    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 Loring Dresel Sunday [After 1 April 1897]
1

South Berwick 

Dear Loulie

Thank you for your note of yesterday, I am not going to say no -- but I cannot say say [ so transcribed ] yes until I get to town for I am not certain about my time. My sister and Theodore are going with me and I shall have to suit my plans a little to theirs. But I certainly will come to luncheon if I possibly can. I don't get to town until Tuesday night and I must get home on Friday. If I cant come to luncheon I shall save a good bit of the afternoon for us --  I have thought about you often dear  this week dear Loulie and wished to write but I have had a hard pull with some work that I had to finish -- poor eyes and all!

    Do you remember that I have your "note' book" still? I have not read it yet -- I have done so little reading, but I shall honestly bring it back to you now and "borry' it again --

Yours lovingly always.
S. O. J.


Stoddart's Notes
1 The Colby curators date this letter "1889-99," As it is written on black bordered stationary, it likely dates from soon after 1 April 1897, when Jewett's younger sister, Caroline Jewett Eastman, died.*

Editor's Notes

1897 ... died:  Paula Blanchard says that Jewett received eye treatments from Dr. Ella Dexter in the autumn of 1893.  In many of her letters during the spring of 1893, Jewett complains of problems with her eyes.  Stoddart's speculation that the stationary suggests an 1897 date makes sense, but the report on her eyes suggests the spring of 1893 as an alternate date.

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


Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ


April 16, 1897.

     You will find that open door this Easter which no one can shut.


Note

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



SOJ to Sarah Wyman Whitman

     South Berwick, Maine. Friday night.
    [Spring 1897 or after]

     DEAREST S. W., --

    I came home to a day or two of illness, the last fling of an officious hanging-on old cold, and here I am writing to you, a little more good-for-nothing than common, but mending, and with the tag end of Hope to hold on by. Even for me things go crosswise, which one cannot bear to say, and I won't say, after all, but send you love and beg to hold on fast to the only certainty in this world, which is the certainty of Love and Care. I can't help feeling that Mary Darmesteter speaks true, out of great pain and the deep places of life, when she ends that last book, "The true importance of life is not misery or despair, however crushing, but the one good moment which outweighs it all."* I cannot say how often I have remembered this in the last month. The only thing that really helps any of us is love and doing things for love's sake. I wanted to send you some sprigs of box, but a flurry of snow fastened down its covering of boughs, -- it's winter now, you know; but I'll just tell you one thing, it's going to be spring and there's not a great while to wait, either. Don't you forget it was I who told you this, and said good-night, as if we were together, with a kiss and a blessing.

     Whenever you want the Darmesteter book, "Renan," send down to 148 for it. I meant to carry it to you. I am just reading Mrs. Oliphant's "Life of Edward Irving"* with great delight. There is a wonderful piece of landscape in the beginning (like one of your own pictures), where the boy goes over the moors in the early morning to his Covenanting Church.*

Notes

Mary Darmesteter, "Renan": Agnes Mary F. Robinson, Madame James Darmestetter (1857-1944) published The Life of Ernest Renan in 1897. The quotation appears in the last paragraph of the biography. Jewett's sadness in this letter suggests that she is dealing with the loss of her sister, Carrie Eastman, on 1 April 1897.  See Correspondents.

Oliphant's "Life of Edward Irving":  Mrs. Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897) was the author of the Life of Edward Irving, Minister of the National Scotch Church, London: Illustrated by His Journals and Correspondence (1862), published in two volumes.
    Edward Irving (1792-1834), Scottish minister, founded the Catholic Apostolic church, based on his belief in the imminent Second Coming of Christ. 

Covenanting Church: "The Covenanters were Scottish Presbyterians of the 17th century who subscribed to covenants (or bonds), the most famous being the National Covenant of 1638 and the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643. The National Covenant opposed the new liturgy introduced (1637) by King Charles I . This led to the abolition of episcopacy in Scotland and the Bishops' Wars (1639-41), in which the Scots successfully defended their religious freedom against Charles." (Source: Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia).

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


          Monday morning.
    [Spring 1897 or after]

     Yesterday I didn't go out, but finished the first volume of Edward Irving* and then read Carlyle's truly wonderful paper about him; in which, by the way, he says that Mrs. Oliphant's account of Irving's last days is quite wonderful.* He is really eloquent in writing about it, but finds the early part of the biography a little untrue to the character of Irving as he knew him, romantic and idealizing to some extent. You feel that what he says of their various interviews and associations is exactly as he knows it, and always most sympathetic and affecting, as you will remember; but to Mrs. Oliphant, Irving stands almost against the dark background of his fate. Irving seems less great than I expected, but very moving, a creature of brilliant natural gifts, especially of speech. He would have made a certain kind of great politician, perhaps after Gladstone's kind,* but I understood part of the reason of his decline when Carlyle says that he was not a reader. Men of his impulsive nature ride off on strange ideas when they fail in what Matthew Arnold tried to teach in "Literature and Dogma."* After all, Irving failed through the mistakes of ignorance; and a self-confidence which always goes with that kind of ignorance. How we shall talk about this most moving book.

     Carlyle took no stock in Irving's wife, and he is so solemn and regretful about the Gift of Tongues* and the squeals of a lady parishioner one day when he was calling. The squint of Irving's eye was a sign of something in his brain.


Notes

Spring 1897 or after:  See below, the letter to Sarah Wyman Whitman, in which Jewett reports reading Oliphant on Irving and also Agnes Mary F. Robinson, Madame James Darmestetter (1857-1944), The Life of Ernest Renan (1897).  Jewett's sadness in this letter suggests that she is dealing with the loss of her sister, Carrie Eastman, on 1 April 1897.  See Correspondents.
 
first volume of Edward Irving and then read Carlyle's truly wonderful paper about him; in which, by the way, he says that Mrs. Oliphant's account of Irving's last days: Edward Irving (1792-1834), Scottish minister, founded the Catholic Apostolic church, based on his belief in the imminent Second Coming of Christ. Thomas Carlyle writes about him in Reminiscences (1881), edited by James Anthony Froude. Mrs. Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897) was the author of the Life of Edward Irving, Minister of the National Scotch Church, London: Illustrated by His Journals and Correspondence (1862), published in two volumes.

Gladstone's kindWikipedia says:  "William Ewart Gladstone (29 December 1809 - 19 May 1898), was a British Liberal politician. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times...."

Matthew Arnold ... Literature and Dogma: See Matthew Arnold's (1822-1888) Literature and Dogma, where he argues in part that because much of contemporary religious thought lacks culture -- a knowledge of the best that has been known and thought -- many erroneously read the Bible as an authority on art and science as well as upon conduct.

Gift of Tongues: The Gift of Tongues refers to Pentecost as described in the second chapter of The Acts of the Apostles. Mrs. Irving believed that she could be overcome by the Holy Spirit and speak a foreign language not understood by her.

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



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ


April 30, 1897.

     The sap mounts in the human tree with the spring; and I wish I could go into the wilderness and do one long, rich job freely beneath the stars and the sunshine. You will know the surge of impulse which sets in with the little blades of the grass, which matches the maple buds and the willow's yellowing bark. Ah, to step, some day, further westward!


Note

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




SOJ to Horace E. Scudder 
 

     South Berwick, Maine
     April 27, 1897

    Dear Mr. Scudder:

     I thank you for your Easter letter as I have already thanked you many times in my heart, but never with my pen until now because I have been ill. I shall not forget your kindness nor the words that you said: they came to me in a moment when I needed them very much.1
     One can never really know one's friends until they come and stand by. These sad spring days have been full of the sunshine of friendliness to me, after all. While one always seems to begin a new life in company with the soul that disappears into 'the world of light,' -- that goes away only to come nearer to one's heart than ever before. It all seems like a transfiguration of the old way of loving, and of friendship too.
     My nephew2 is such a dear boy of seventeen and he has been the greatest comfort to his aunt Mary and me. Last week he was here for his Easter vacation and he found it harder to be cheerful in the last days than in the earlier ones, for I can see that he begins to understand what a change has fallen upon his life and ours, and what a new relationship to heavenly things. He was too young when his father died, five years ago, to feel or understand what is pretty clear to him now.
     I think of your Sylvia and her little sister as I write; dear friends they must be, without knowing it, and the little one the elder and wiser of the two.3 We are so unconscious of the unseen side of our lives except at these great moments of revelation, and I thank you from my heart for letting me share in the light that shone for you at Easter.
     With my sister's kindest remembrance,

     Yours ever, affectionately,
     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1 Miss Jewett's younger sister, Mrs. Caroline Augusta Eastman, died April 1, 1897.
    2 Dr. Theodore Jewett Eastman, last of the direct line of descendants, was the son of Caroline and Edwin C. Eastman (see Genealogical Chart). Miss Jewett dedicated The Tory Lover "To T. J. E."
     3 Sylvia Scudder's twin sister was delicate and lived only about a year and a half. Miss Jewett clung to the metaphysical belief that despite corporeal separation at death, souls continue to communicate across the void with those who love them.

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



SOJ to Louise Imogen Guiney

South Berwick, Maine    23rd May
[1897]*

My dear Louise

    You have given me a great pleasure both by your kindness and by this most interesting book of which I have been a most careful reader.  I find in your way of writing and of choosing your way through the poor poet's work that nameless perfection and sympathy which one so rarely finds in an English book of this sort -- rarely enough in the few volumes of its rank in French.  When I stand and look at this new proof of your exquisite literary gifts and exact scholarship I grow more impatient than ever to sweep away every thing else out of your path -- as if with the hemlock broom of my native parish!

    These have been sad spring days to me with but few pleasures.  You will have known of my dear younger sister's death, a heavy loss to the three of us; my sister Mary and my orphan nephew [and I] who are left alone to bear it as best as we may. I have wished to tell you what help I found in a kind visit from Father Gorman* and how glad I was to find that he knew you. -- I must tell you more of this --

-- Dear friend I was interrupted in this note yesterday and now I am (Sunday) finishing it at Intervale in the White Mountains where I came to spend Sunday with an old friend. Mount Washington is white with snow and the valley in its bloom of green.* I wish that you were here to see it with me! I hope that you are quite strong again? I saw Alice Brown for a few minutes one day in a doctor's office in town and I was disappointed in hurrying out by another way to miss saying good by to her. I have not read her new book yet but its day is soon -- I look forward to it with great pleasure.* I have had illness as well as sorrow to fight against lately. Somehow these poems of Mangan's have touched me more than I could have believed -- I ought to care more for what you said about him when I took the book into my hand.

    Believe that I am ever your affectionate and unforgetting friend

Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

1897:  This letter is dated by Miss Jewett's reference to Miss Guiney's book on Mangan which appeared in May, 1897 (James Clarence Mangan His Selected Poems, with a Study by the editor Louise Imogen Guiney, published by Lamson Wolffe & Co. of Boston and New York and by John Lane of London).
    In April of this year Louise Guiney broke under a sharp attack of meningitis from overwork, and this illness persuaded her to resign at the first opportunity from the Auburndale post.
    "James Clarence Mangan, born James Mangan (1 May 1803, Dublin – 20 June 1849), was an Irish poet."

my dear younger sister's death ... Mary ... my orphan nephew:  Sarah Orne Jewett's sisters were Mary Rice Jewett (18 June 1847 - 28 September 1930) and Caroline (Carrie) Augusta Jewett Eastman (13 December 1855 - 1 April 1897).  Carrie married Edwin Calvin Eastman of South Berwick in 1878; Edwin preceded Carrie, dying in 1892.  Their son, Theodore,was born  on 4 August 1879.  Like Theodora Sarah Orne Jewett, the boy was named after the sisters' much-loved father, who had died in 1878.

a kind visit from Father Gorman:  The Reverend James P. Gorman was pastor of St. Michael's parish in South Berwick.

Intervale in the White Mountains ... Mount Washington:  "Intervale is an unincorporated community located on the boundary between the towns of Bartlett and Conway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The village is part of the Mount Washington Valley, a resort area that also includes the communities of North Conway and Jackson" (Wikipedia).

Alice BrownAlice Brown (1857 - 1948) was an American novelist, poet and playwright, best known as a writer of local color stories" (Wikipedia).

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 and supplemented by Terry Heller, Coe College.




SOJ to Louisa Dresel


     South Berwick, Maine
     Friday
     [May 28, 1897]

    
    Dear Loulie:

     I am beginning to feel like myself at last, and I now say that I have thought of you if I have not written. I am sure that the death of that little child must have touched you nearly.

     How are you and when do you go to the shore? Mrs. Fields is here just now with Madame Blanc1 and I am taking real joy in their visit. Madame Blanc is very busy with some writing in these rainy days but we see a good deal of her notwithstanding. I wish that my writing table looked as busy as hers, but writing is still the most difficult thing to me. When I say to myself that there is this or that which must be done it quite frightens me! Which will pass presently like other things of this long winter and spring.

     I hope that you begin to think of sketching again? I am glad that things promised better about your eyes when you last wrote. Perhaps when we really "get going" again with your brush and my pen we shall feel the good of waiting awhile -- at least I hope so.

     I shall be at Manchester on Wednesday evening next week for two or three days at least, so if you are driving that way!

     Yours with love and remembrance!

     S. O. J.

     This accident was from the dropping of a poor innocent little pen.2
 

Notes

     1Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc (1840-1907) used the pen name Th. Bentzon for her numerous essays in the Revue des Deux Mondes and on thirty-odd volumes of fiction and literary criticism. She entertained Jewett and Fields at her home in La Ferté sous Jouarre, France, and they reciprocated when she visited the United States in 1893 and 1897. At this time she was writing "Le Communisme en Amérique" (RDDM, November 15, 1897) and "Dans la Nouvelle-Angleterre" (RDDM, December 1, 1898), later collected in her books Choses et Gens d'Amérique (Paris, 1898) and Nouvelle-France et Nouvelle-Angleterre (Paris, 1899).

     2The word "Yours" in Jewett's valediction is almost obliterated by a blot of ink.


Editor's Notes

death of that little child:  The details of this death are not yet known.  Information is welcome.

  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.



SOJ to Sarah Wyman Whitman

[ After 31 May of 1897 ]*

          South Berwick, Maine, Tuesday.

     Dear Fellow Pilgrim, -- I now say that I never had such a beautiful time as on Tuesday of last week, when I came to luncheon at your house, and spoke of Mrs. Kemble,* and of the day of the Shaw Memorial,* and of other things with Mr. Henry Lee.* One treasures the last of that delightful company and generation, as if they were the few last survivors of an earlier and most incomparable one. I look upon that generation as the one to which I really belong, -- I who was brought up with grand-fathers and grand-uncles and aunts for my best playmates. They were not the wine that one can get at so much the dozen now! I write in great haste, but speaking from my heart and quite incompetent to use proper figures of speech in regard to this large and dear subject.

     We must say things about the "Life of Jowett," -- a very true and moving book.* I somehow think of him and those like him as I remember an unforgettable phrase of T. Warton's, "The great fact of their love moved on with time."*

Notes

1897:  This letter evidently was written not too long after the dedication of the Shaw memorial.  See note below.

Mrs. Kemble: Fanny (Frances Anne) Kemble (1809-1893) a famous British actress and playwright, a member of the acting Kemble family, who published a volume of poems in 1844 and an autobiography in 1882.

the Shaw memorial: Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), American sculptor, designed a memorial for the all-Black regiment, which Robert Gould Shaw (1837-1863) formed and led into battle during the American Civil War.
    Wikipedia says: "The Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Regiment is a bronze relief sculpture ... at 24 Beacon Street, Boston (at the edge of the Boston Common), depicting Col. Shaw and the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, marching down Beacon Street on May 28, 1863. It was unveiled May 31, 1897."
     Paula Blanchard points out that that Shaw was the grandson of Louis and Elizabeth Agassiz (306).

Henry Lee: It is likely Jewett means Henry Lee (1817-1898), Boston Banker and author of a pamphlet, "The Militia of the United States." A Civil War veteran, he was the son of the economist, Henry Lee, Sr., also a successful international merchant.

"Life of Jowett": Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893), was Master of Balliol College, Oxford University, and Regius professor of Greek. It is almost certain that Jewett was reading The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (1897) by Evelyn Abbott and Lewis Campbell.

T. Warton "The great fact of their love moved on with time":  The quotation is from the story, "The Last Sonnet of Prinzivalle di Cembino" by Thomas Isaac Wharton (1791 - 1856) which appeared posthumously in Harper's Magazine 92 (December 1895) p. 129.  It was reprinted in Bobbo and Other Fancies (1897).

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



SOJ to Louisa Dresel


     Manchester, Mass.
     Monday morning
     [June 7, 1897]

     Dear Loulie:

     We were so sorry to miss seeing you yesterday. We had gone to Mrs. Howe's* for tea and were loitering home afterward, so that we were gone a long time. I did not expect you until the tenth after your letter and I am the more sorry to lose a surprise visit. Of course I should have said before that I should be much pleased about the translations.*

     Madame Blanc and I go back to South Berwick today. In great haste, with much love.

     Yours ever,

     S. O. J.

     My blotting paper is to be put at the head for blotting.1
 

Cary's Note

     1A reflection of the writing on the second page of this letter was clearly imprinted on the blank third page when Jewett folded the still wet sheet.


Editor's Notes

Mrs. Howe:  Alice Greenwood (Mrs. George Dudley) Howe.  See Correspondents.

translations:  Information about these translations is welcome.

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. 



S
OJ to Henry Green 

     South Berwick, Maine
     Tuesday
     June 8, [1897]

    Dear Elder Henry:

     You have been so kind as to say that you would let me come again some time to visit the Family,1 and I write to ask if you could conveniently entertain me for a day and night now? I have a friend staying with me -- a French lady: Madame Blanc -- who has a great desire to visit one of your societies, if only for the sake of a very dear friend of hers, Miss Wild (also a French woman), who spent a year long ago at Mt. Lebanon2 and who was a friend of Elder Frederick Evans and some of the people of that time. Madame Blanc would like very much to see your Sunday worship if it were possible, and for that reason, if we come, I think we had better spend Saturday night and part of Sunday. You will find Madame Blanc sincerely interested and reverent. I think you would all enjoy seeing her very much. She speaks English very well.

     Will you be so kind as to send me a word as soon as you can so that I may make other plans in case this is inconvenient for you at this time.

     With kind regards to all the Family and remembering my former visit with pleasure,

     Yours very truly,
     S. O. Jewett


Notes

     1 The Shaker "family" was then comprised of from thirty to eighty individuals.

     2 In 1747 two English Quakers, James Wardley and his wife Jane, separated from the orthodox Quaker faith and formed "The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing." In 1774 Mother Ann Lee, an illiterate Englishwoman who believed that she was Christ reincarnated, emigrated to America with eight of these "Shaking Quakers," and in 1787 established the first Shaker colony at Mount Lebanon, New York. By 1794 some dozen colonies were firmly entrenched in New England. The settlement at Alfred, Maine, took root at this time, became a large and prosperous communistic society by 1875, but by reason of declining numbers (one of the original tenets of Shakerism is celibacy) was abandoned in 1925. The Shakers were devoted to pacifism, sobriety, artistry, industry, and good works.

Editor's Notes

Madame Blanc ... Miss Wild:  Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc.  See Correspondents. Miss Wild has not been identified.  Assistance is welcome.

Elder Frederick Evans: Frederick William Evans (1808-1893) was a well-known leader of the Mt. Lebanon Shaker Village at New Lebanon, NY. See Historical Dictionary of the Shakers (2008), by Stephen J. Paterwic, pp. 69-72.

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



SOJ to Harriet Prescott Spofford

     South Berwick, Maine
     June 9, 1897

    My dear Friend:

     How very kind of you to send me your story!1 I am so sure of finding real delight in it that I write you before I have read it and send that note flying off with all my thanks. I have been at Manchester to help to begin the summer housekeeping there, and Annie and I were delighted with the coming of your book of exquisite poetry2 on her birthday. I never had seen the poem of the old woman singing,3 and it went to my heart. Wasn't it strange that each of us, you and I should have had the pathos of that so near to our hearts at the same time. I tried to make people feel it in my Pointed Firs page where old Mrs. Blackett sang,4 but I should like to borrow your words and be sure that they were read!

     Annie is hoping that you will come over to Thunderbolt Hill5 when my dear French friend Madame Blanc and I get back. Just now we are here keeping the old house together and looking at the green fields with the eager delight of children. I have given her some sweet fern and some bayberry and some checkerberry leaves, and so now she knows New England. It is good to have the real pleasure of her being here for this has been a sad spring to me with the sudden death of my younger sister in April. The world seems much changed by that going. 

     Goodbye, dear friend, from your sincere and affectionate 

     S. O. Jewett 

     Please give my best remembrance to your household, and especially the little niece whom I look for in the train but do not see half as often as I wish.6


Notes

     1 "A Guardian Angel," Harper's, XCIV (May 1897), 941-956.

    2In Titian's Garden and Other Poems (Boston, 1897).
 
    3 "On An Old Woman Singing," page 46.
 
    4 Almiry Todd's cordial and indomitable mother, mistress of Green Island, was "one of them spry, light-footed women" at eighty-six. In Chapter 11 she joins her son William in a duet of sentimental Scotch and English songs, "missing only the higher notes."

     5 Site of Mrs. Fields's summer cottage in Manchester-by-the-Sea.  The most vivid description of Mrs. Fields's "eagle's eyrie" is in Harriet Prescott Spofford's A Little Book of Friends (Boston, 1916), 19: "the steep avenue leads up to a wonderful outlook of beauty set in the midst of flaming flowers, three sides overlooking the wide shield of the sea, but the fourth side so precipitous that the broad piazza there is only a turret chamber above the tops of the deep woods and orchards below, with the birds flying under it, and looking far over the winding river, ripening meadow, and stretching sea again." A photograph of Mrs. Fields on the back piazza of Gambrel Cottage hangs in the breakfast room of the Memorial House at South Berwick.

     6 Miss Jewett's fondness for children emerges throughout her letters. Miss Elizabeth Hayes Goodwin, now resident hostess of the Jewett Memorial House at South Berwick, recalls that as a small child she had to pass Miss Jewett's home on her way to Miss Olive Raynes's school and was frequently invited in for breakfast. She remembers particularly Miss Jewett's gracious interest and her succulent orange marmalade. Even more memorable were Miss Jewett's notes of excuse for lateness and the delicate quandary they evoked for the teacher each time. Strictly considered, Miss Jewett was not a parent, but, after all, she was Miss 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 Irving B. Mower

     Monday morning
     [June 14, 1897]

    My dear Mr. Mower:

     I thank you very much for your kind note and for your beautiful piece of quartz which I shall treasure very much, especially if you would consent to lend it to me! I cannot quite bear to rob your collection of such a fine thing or to rob you of your pleasant associations with it. A collector has a peculiar affection for such treasures, as I very well know.1 This shall live on my desk as long as my conscience will let it and perhaps a little longer, and I shall never see it without remembering the kind thought that sent it there. Believe me, I appreciate your goodness very much!

     With my best wishes, I am

     Yours sincerely,
     S. O. Jewett


Notes

     1 Collecting interesting rock specimens was Reverend Mower's hobby; he took frequent field trips in this pursuit. The Maine geological exhibit at the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893 was prepared by him.

    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.



S
OJ to Henry Green 

     Monday morning
     [June 14, 1897]

    Dear Elder Henry:

     Madame Blanc and I hope to take the morning train for Alfred tomorrow by Rochester. I am sorry that I could not manage to come today, and we were much disappointed at having to give up our plan for Sunday.1 I think that we had better stay overnight if it is convenient for you, but I hope that you and the good sisters2 will not make yourselves any extra trouble for us.

     Yours very truly,
     S. O. Jewett


Cary's Notes

     1 On Tuesday morning began a torrential rain which continued for several days, washing away the railroad embankment and leaving the northern end of the bridge without support. When the cloudburst subsided, Miss Jewett and her French guest attempted to drive the twenty miles to Alfred by horse and carriage but soon realized the impracticality of their plan. They had to wait until the railroad bridge had been repaired before entraining, and then had to be satisfied with the long detour by way of Rochester, New Hampshire.
     For a detailed account of this visit to Alfred see Th. Bentzon, "Le Communisme en Amérique," Revue des Deux Mondes, CXLIV(November 15, 1897), 300-335, of which one section is subtitled, "Une Visite chez les Shakers"; also Carl J. Weber, "New England Through French Eyes Fifty Years Ago," New England Quarterly, XX (September 1947), 385-396.

    2 In her article Madame Blanc cites two of the exceptionally gracious sisters: Eldress Lucinda and Eldress Harriet [N. Coolbroth], who "is related to Stonewall Jackson."*

Editor's Notes

Madame Blanc:  Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc.  See Correspondents.

Alfred:  Cary notes that the Shaker settlement at Alfred, Maine, began at the end of eighteenth century. It "became a large and prosperous communistic society by 1875, but by reason of declining numbers (one of the original tenets of Shakerism is celibacy) was abandoned in 1925."

Eldress Lucinda and Eldress Harriet [N. Coolbroth], who "is related to Stonewall Jackson.":   In photographs of residents at the Alfred Maine Shaker village in the 1890s, at Maine History Online, appear Eldress Harriet Goodwin (1823-1903) and Eldress Harriett Newell Coolbroth (1864-1953).  It is not clear to which woman Jewett refers.  On Coolbroth see Historical Dictionary of the Shakers (2008), by Stephen J. Paterwic, pp. 48-9.
    Among the Alfred Shakers was Lucinda Taylor.  More information about her is welcome.

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




Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

 

June 14, 1897. Old Place.

     If you knew how grave I am at sight of this sea! What wonder it wakes in me, what surmise, what anguish, what hope!


Notes

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



SOJ to Henry Green

     South Berwick, Maine
     June 19, 1897

    Dear Elder Henry:

     I thank you for your kind note. I thought that I should like to leave the small present for your library, if only to show something of my appreciation of the kindness and true hospitality that everyone showed to us. Madame Blanc and I send our love and best wishes to you all. She speaks often of the pleasure of her visit and especially of her talks with Eldress Harriet, but indeed we remember you all with sincere interest and affection.1 

     I thank you for your invitation to come with my sister and beg you to believe me

     Most truly your obliged friend,

     Sarah O. Jewett


Notes

     1 Madame Blanc reports in her Revue article that Miss Jewett talked with Elder Henry about the improvement in the Shaker schools and about "the celebrated novelist Howells, who had painted a Shaker village in one of his finest books, The Undiscovered Country."* In the evening Elder Henry asked Miss Jewett to tell about her voyage to the Antilles, and "she delivered her account with a good deal of verve. The Shaker women were keenly interested."
    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. *


Editor's Note
s

Madame Blanc:  Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc.  See Correspondents.

Alfred:  "Le Communisme en Amérique," Revue des Deux Mondes, CXLIV (November 15, 1897), 300-335; one section, subtitled, "Une Visite chez les Shakers," describes the visit made by Miss Jewett and Madame Blanc to the Shaker Colony in Alfred, Maine.  See also:" Carl J. Weber, "New England Through French Eyes Fifty Years Ago," New England Quarterly, XX (September 1947), 385-396.

Eldress Harriet:   [N. Coolbroth], who "is related to Stonewall Jackson.":  In photographs of residents at the Alfred Maine Shaker village in the 1890s, at Maine History Online, appear Eldress Harriet Goodwin (1823-1903) and Eldress Harriett Newell Coolbroth (1864-1953).  On Coolbroth see Historical Dictionary of the Shakers (2008), by Stephen J. Paterwic, pp. 48-9.

Howells, ... The Undiscovered Country":  William Dean Howells.  See Correspondents.
    Bartleby.com says "The Undiscovered Country by Howells (1880), is a favorite with many of the author’s lovers. The central figure, Dr. Boynton, an enthusiastic spiritualist, is an admirable study of a self-deceiver, an honest charlatan. He is a country doctor, who has become a monomaniac on the subject of spiritualistic manifestations, and has brought up his daughter, a delicate, high-strung, nervous girl, as a medium. His attempts to take Boston by storm end in disaster. He is branded as a cheat, his daughter is believed to be his confederate, and he and Egeria seek refuge in a community of Shakers, whose quaint and kindly ways are portrayed with a loving pen."

cruise of the Caribbean islands:  See Annie Fields,Diary of a West Indian Island Tour 1896.

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




Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ


July 14, 1897. Old Place.

     I think this year I am more deeply aware than ever before of what is going on at the Centre, that is of the real thing in reality. From which statement I do not want you to think this a psychological disquisition, but just an allusion to a state of feeling
.
     I wish I could tell you what this particular day (and many others) is like. It's like being set to deal with elements as varied as the gift in Pandora's box. I might summarize by enumeration for illustration.

     Mrs. Lawrence,
     Victor's necessities,
     Jack's disappearance,
     A sick servant,
     People who are coming and don't come,
     People who are not coming and come,*

     Together with personal impressions and predilections; together with inveterate tendencies, and the law of diminishing returns.

     But I cannot write to send you catalogues and forbear.


Notes

Pandora's Box: In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on earth, sent by the gods to counteract Prometheus's gift of fire. She was given a box and warned never to open it; when she succumbed to curiosity, she let loose all of the misfortunes that humans suffer.

Mrs. Lawrence, Victor, Jack: Mrs. Lawrence could be Mrs. Bigelow Lawrence, one of Whitman's correspondents.  Elizabeth Chapman Lawrence (1825-1905) was the second wife of Timothy Bigelow Lawrence.  See notes for SOJ to Sara Norton, September 16, 1908, and E.L., the Bread Box Papers: The High Life of a Dazzling Victorian Lady: a Biography of Elizabeth Chapman Lawrence (1983) by Helen Hartman Gemmill.  Daughter of Henry Chapman (1804-1891), a Pennsylvania congressman, she was a popular and cosmopolitan woman who, after her marriage, moved in the same circles as Annie Fields, Jewett and Whitman.
    Possibly, Jack and Victor were among the artisans Whitman employed at her Lily Glass Works.  
Help with identifying these people is welcome.

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




SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

Manchester Sunday
[ Summer 1897 ]*

Dear Mary

I am so sorry to miss Billy’s* visit.  I had unusual leanings toward going home with Stubby* as I think I said.  I do hope that you have had a good Sunday with him and I hope that you stepped yourself some where both yesterday and today.  You might speak at length of the visit.  I do wish that I had seen him.  Tell Stubs that yesterday we had a great call from Mr. Black and Mrs. Peters* and tea on the back piazza.  Mrs. Black* was reported none the worse for a great social function.  Mrs. Wigglesworth* also happened along, and also Mrs. Feirson, Harry Lyman’s aunt.*  She said that Harry was getting up a dining club, so if there are difficulties in going to Memorial* there may be none in that direction.  She mentioned that Harry was slow with his Book, so funny and outspoken as she always is.

I didn’t go down the hill even yesterday, it was so pleasant and I had things to do.  We are still reading the Jowett book* -- it is one of Mrs. Cabot’s cut-up books* so we change pieces, A.F.* being ‘the one’ who got the start and as she reads slower than I, I generally have a little vacation between!  I am going to order a copy sent home.  I know that you will perfectly delight in it.  I want to mark something on every page.  How nice to take Mrs. Whitehead and Sarah Leah!* they must have had a beautilly [ so transcribed ] time.  Where is the Furber road* so called?  I have been trying to think.  Oh yes I know all of a sudden!! but I forgot ‘Jim’:* we usually speak both his names at once and I was wondering in my mind up and down the other side of the river.  Your sister is going back and her intellects is failing fast.

You never speaked about Susan H.P.H. Haven and Georgina being foolish not to come and see Cousin Mary Black and Nixon* ……..

Only think of Mary Maynadiers* dying!  What will they do without her?  It always seemed as if her family were quite unworthy of her, but I may be wrong.  I felt very sorry to see that she is dead.  I met her one day in the train about a year ago and we had a very nice time.  Good bye with much love to you and Stubby from

Sarah

I hope to get home by Wednesday or Thursday



Notes

Summer 1897:  A handwritten note on this transcription reads: 189-.  This tentative date is supported by several circumstances in the letter, that Jewett is concerned about where her nephew Theodore will eat at Harvard, where he began studies in the fall of 1897, that she is reading a life of Jowett published that year, and that she reports the death of Mary Maynadier, which also occurred that year.

Billy’s:  Billy has not been identified.  Assistance is welcome.

Stubby:  Theodore Jewett Eastman. See Correspondents.

Mr. Black... Mrs. Peters ... Mrs. Black:  The Blacks seem likely to be Mary E. Peters Black (1816-1902) and her son, George Nixon Black, Jr. (1842-1928).  The son was a prominent philanthropist and the builder of Kragsyde (1883–85, demolished 1929), "a Shingle Style mansion designed by the Boston architectural firm of Peabody & Stearns and built at Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. with landscaping  by the Olmsted firm.
    Mrs. Peters may be a relative of the Blacks, given Mrs. Black's maiden name.  Possibly, Aravesta Huckins Peters (1831-1910), widow of Mrs. Black's brother, Charles Peters, was a summer visitor.  Further information is welcome.

Mrs. Wigglesworth:  Wigglesworth was a prominent name in 19th-century Massachusetts.  Among the likely visitors at Annie's Manchester home would have been Sarah Willard Wigglesworth (1848-1928), widow of Dr. Edward Wigglesworth (1840-1896) and  Mary C. Dixwell Wigglesworth (1855-1951), wife of George Wigglesworth (1855-1930).  Further information is welcome.

Mrs. Feirson, Harry Lyman’s aunt:   Henry (Harry) Lyman (1878-1934) was Theodore Jewett Eastman's classmate at Harvard.  After several years of travel and work, he, too, went on to study medicine (Harvard 1912).  He married Elizabeth (Lilla) Perry (1880-1992) of Boston, in December 1908.
     His parents were Theodore Lyman (1833-1897) and Elizabeth Russell (1836-1911).
    The name "Feirson" is virtually unknown, and, in fact, Jewett must have written"Peirson," meaning Emily Russell Peirson (1843-1908), wife of Charles Lawrence Peirson -- sometimes spelled Pierson -- (1834-1920), both of whom were residents of the Manchester area. 
    According to a genealogy of the Russell Family (p. 72), George R. Russell & Sarah Parkman Russell were the parents of Elizabeth Russell and Emily Russell, making Emily Russell Peirson Harry Lyman's aunt.

MemorialMemorial Hall at Harvard University was the main dining commons for about 50 years following the building's dedication in 1874.

Jowett book ... one of Mrs. Cabot’s cut-up books:   Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893), was Master of Balliol College, Oxford University, and Regius professor of Greek. It is almost certain that Jewett was reading The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (1897) by Evelyn Abbott and Lewis Campbell.  Jewett mentions the book in a letter to Sarah Wyman Whitman believed to have been composed in the summer of 1897.
    Susan Burley Cabot.  See Correspondents.

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

Mrs. Whitehead and Sarah Leah: John B. Whitehead (1852-1942), tailor, operated a clothing store and was a Jewett neighbor in South Berwick.  Whether his wife is the Mrs. Whitehead mentioned here is not yet known.
    Sarah Leah, apparently of South Berwick, worked as Jewett's typist and is mentioned in several letters.  However no details about her identity have been discovered as of this writing.
    Assistance is welcome.

the Furber road ... ‘Jim’:  These references are unknown.  However, relatives of Jewett's family, Henry Furber, Senior and Junior, at various times had resided in nearby Somersworth, NH, and at the time of this letter, it would not be surprising if there were a Furber Road in the area.

Susan H.P.H. Haven and Georgina ... Cousin Mary Black and Nixon:   Richard Cary identifies Susan Hamilton Peters Haven (Mrs. George Wallis Haven), mother of Georgina Halliburton, who was a descendant of the John Haggins who built and originally occupied the Jewett house in South Berwick.   See Georgina Halliburton in Correspondents.
    Nixon probably is George Nixon Black, Jr. (see above).  Cousin Mary Black may be his mother, but this is uncertain.  That Susan Haven shares her maiden name with Mrs. Black makes it reasonable to suppose that they are cousins, but this has not been established.  Assistance is welcome.

Mary Maynadiers dying:  It seems likely that Jewett refers to Mary Rindge Sleeper Maynadier (1833-1897), wife of Boston civil engineer, Gustavus Brown Maynadier (1835-1922).  Their son, Gustavus Howard Maynadier (1866-1960) became an English instructor at Harvard and authored several books on literary topics.

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.



Sarah Orne Jewett to Miss Lowell



148 Charles Street
Thursday [Summer 1897]*

My dear Miss Lowell*

    It makes me very sorry to have to decline your most kind invitation for Saturday the seventeenth, but Mrs. Fields* and I have made a plan to go to the country for a while on Tuesday. I should like to see dear Katie Dunham* again, --  Please tell her with my love that I hope we may not miss her altogether! -- and indeed I should like to see you

[ Page 2 ]

(having quite missed you of late! -- and to go to [ unrecognized name: Sevenels ? Levenels ? ]*

    Please believe me always

Yous affectionately

Sarah O. Jewett



Notes
 
August 1897:  An archivist's note on the ms. reads:  Letter written on the flyleaf of The Country of the Pointed Firs.  This places the letter after the end of 1896, when The Country of the Pointed Firs was published.  What Jewett means by going to the country is not certain, but it is the case that she planned in the summer of 1897 for Annie Fields to visit her home in South Berwick.

Miss Lowell:  This person remains unidentified, though she may be Georgina Lowell.  See Correspondents.
   
Mrs. Fields:  Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

Katie Dunham:  Katie/Katy Dunham was one of the four Dunham sisters, daughters of James Dunham of New York.  Katy and her sisters --  Helen, Etta, and Grace -- were subjects of 1892 portraits by John Singer Sargent. Helen married Theodore Holmes Spicer (1860-1935) of London, England, in 1910.  For a little more information about this family, see Donna M. Lucey,  Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas (2017).

Levenels:  The difficulty of transcription renders impossible identifying this item.  Assistance is welcome.

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



SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

Tuesday morning
[ August 1897 ]*

Dear Mary

The wind is now north east but I dont mind except as it may turn out to be the last of august storm and prevent A.F.* from coming home with me tomorrow.  I mean to get there at six as that is the quickest way, at least after early morning, but I couldn’t be so long as I was traveling to Little Boars Head* that day which makes me smile when ever I think of it.  I s’pose all would have been well if I had set forth a little earlier from here but 8.51 seemed early enough at the time, considering that railroad facilities seemed to be offered.

Your letty has just come with all the lettys and there are those who have sat by and had to share them and I have had a share of hers with an agreeable letty from Sister Sarah as is at Ripton at the Bread Load [so transcribed. Intended Loaf?] Inn and coming to Louisa’s* in September.  How beautiful Aunt Helen’s letter is! --- I am so glad that I wrote to Little Mary* a good long letter since I have been here.  I cant help thinking that it is a wonder she has held out as long as she has poor little thing.  I dont believe that it will be heart breaking to take her little Mary & go to Colorado so ar [so transcribed. Intended far?] as that is concerned.  Yesterday we took the train to Prides and went to see R. Loring* down their lovely avenue, and then to Mrs. Cabots.  Katy* met us wreathed in smiles and said discreetly that “Mrs. Cabot was out driving”! and next moment she rolled up in the Victoria if you please! with a grand cloak on her and a lofty grey bonnet which I spoke of almost too irreverent, but she laughed and was so cheerful.  Her little cheerful Dr. Jackson* does well by her I must say, but I cannot describe the pageant it being so handsome and impressive Mary.  She sits way back like a Duchess in Hyde Park* as you might know, but we must not forget that she is an eminent Republican.  Do have Sarah Fanny* home instantly: ask Stubby* to urge the matter, or she will be soft.  I hope she will be well grained and high stepping for I shall need to ply her in the Dimmycrat wagon* so no more at present from


Sarah

I should love to have a present of the Jowett* more than anything!  I feel as I had known the dear old man. all [so transcribed] his life and as if he had died only yesterday when I finished the book.  You get so attached to him -- a real old Parson Allen* in some ways.

 

Notes

August 1897:  A handwritten note on this transcription reads: 189-.  This date is based upon Jewett mentioning that September is coming soon and that she has been reading a biography of Jowett, a fact she mentions in other letters thought to be be composed in the summer of 1897.

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

Little Boars Head: Location of the Cove, summer home of Charles H. Bell and family.  See Correspondents.

Sister Sarah ...Bread Load Inn ... Louisa’s:  Annie Fields's sister was Sarah Holland Adams.  Louisa presumably is Louisa Dresel.  See Fields and Dresel in CorrespondentsThe Bread Loaf Inn is in Ripton, VT.  

Aunt Helen’s ... Little Mary:  Aunt Helen probably is Mrs. Helen Williams Gilman.  Little Mary has not been identified, but it is possible she is the youngest daughter of Alice Dunlap Gilman. See Correspondents

Prides and went to see R. Loring: Jewett refers to Prides Crossing, a residence of the Caleb Loring family.  As there are no members of that family with the first initial R, it seems likely that the transcriber has misread a K, for Jewett's friend Katharine Loring.  See Correspondents

Mrs. Cabots ... Katy: Susan Burley Cabot.  See Correspondents. Presumably, Katy is an employee of Mrs. Cabot, but this is not certain.  Further identification is welcome.

Dr. Jackson: This must be speculative.  Dr. Henry Jackson (died after 1924) was a resident of the Back Bay area of Boston at the turn of the twentieth century.  His wife was Lucy Rice Jackson (d.1924).  Assistance is welcome.

Duchess in Hyde ParkHyde Park in 19th-century London was a favorite place for aristocrats and the wealthy to take drives in open carriages, to visit, see and be seen.

Sarah Fanny:  This seems to be a Jewett family horse, with perhaps a play on the name Sarafina..  More information is welcome.

Stubby:  Theodore Jewett Eastman. See Correspondents.

Dimmycrat wagon:  Wiktionary says a democrat wagon is "a light flatbed farm wagon or ranch wagon that has two or more seats and is usually drawn by one or sometimes two horses."

Jowett:  Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893), was Master of Balliol College, Oxford University, and Regius professor of Greek. It is almost certain that Jewett was reading The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (1897) by Evelyn Abbott and Lewis Campbell.  Jewett mentions reading the book in other letters believed to have been composed in the summer of 1897.

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Folder 73, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Preparation by Linda Heller.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



 SOJ to Sara Norton

    August 5, 1897.

     Just at this moment, instead of going on with my proper work of writing, I find that I wish to talk to you. This is partly because I dreamed about you and feel quite as if I had seen you in the night. I am at Mrs. Cabot's*, -- my old friend's, -- and somehow it is a very dear week. She has been ill ever since I came on Saturday,* but not so ill as to give her much pain or me any real anxiety. I sit in her room and talk and read and watch the sails go in and out of harbor, and she speaks wisely from her comfortable great bed while we have a comfortable sense of pleasure in being together. I am very fond of this dear old friend, and I always love to be with her. Besides, it is a house unlike any other, with a sense of space and time and uninterruptedness, which as you know isn't so easy to find in this part of the world. One hates to waste a moment in trivial occupations -- you might write an epic poem at Mrs. Cabot's -- that is, if you might write it anywhere!

     I think of the old house at home* as I write this so gayly, and to tell the truth, I wish that you and I were there together. If we were there we should see the pink hollyhocks in the garden and read together a good deal. I wish that my pretty dream were all true! but one finds true companionship in dreams -- as I knew last night.

     Dear child, I shall be so glad to see you again. I have missed you sadly this summer in spite of your letters, -- in spite of time and space counting for so little in friendship!

Notes

Saturday:  August 5 fell on a Thursday in 1897.

at Mrs. Cabot's
:  Susan Burley Cabot; See Correspondents.  Cabot lived at Misselwood on Hale Street in the town of Beverly, near Pride's Crossing, on the coast between Boston and Manchester-by-the-Sea.  Richard Cary notes that Louisa Dresel, another correspondent, and her family lived nearby.

old house at home:  Jewett is thinking of her family home in South Berwick.

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



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ


August 11, 1897.

     Bar Harbour is Washington out-of-doors, so far as its being really a little cosmopolis, with traces of all climes and conditions in a fine mêlée, and social impulse fusing the material. Well, for two or three days, it is not bad, and I am glad to get for a moment off rails which have more persistent grip in them than usual even.


Notes

Bar Harbour is Washington:   Whitman writes from Bar Harbor, Maine, about the similarities to Washington cosmopolitanism.  She has signed her name in the Old Farm (Bar Harbor home of Mrs. Mary Gray Ward Dorr) Guest Book for August 1897.  Research: Ronald H. Epp, Ph.D., Director of the University Library & Associate Professor of Philosophy, Southern New Hampshire University.

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

August 28, 1897.

     I went down yesterday and spent the night at Saunderstown . . . the Rhode Island landscape; always one step nearer Heaven than any other landscape for me. The conditions were small at this little town, which is no town at all, but only a few houses dropped by accident in the fields, and an old pier straggling idly out to meet some tiny boats which puff in from Jamestown to Newport every now and then, only this, but divine! . . . Much talk with Jack about politics and the critique of Nelson.* A splendid order and we had some arguments as to the construction of a piece of work which would leave Nelson in his due blaze of glory, and then have room to say one word concerning something greater than Glory. But I am sure Mahan has forgotten that one cannot consider a romantic hero like Nelson apart from his star, has failed to recognize that this fiery genius, sincere, passionate, simple and amazingly child-like, loved as he fought, and the proportions make his love forever heroic. . . . Your letter was a great comfort, coming on a dull day. I am all right; and never, you know, can lead an easy life. For which we must always give thanks.


Notes

Saunderstown: On the west side of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.

Jamestown ... Newport: Newport is on the east side of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island; Jamestown is on Conanicut Island, between Newport and Saunderstown.

Jack ... critique of Nelson ... Mahan: Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914), American naval officer and historian, is the author of The Life of Nelson (1897). Research: Gabe Heller.
    Jack has not been identified.  He may be the same person who disappears in Whitman's July 14, 1897 to Jewett.

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 Sara Norton

     South Berwick, 3 September [1897 or after].*

     It is so nice to direct your envelope to Ashfield,* that I must speak of it to begin with! Your last letter from London came yesterday and made me sorrier than ever, because I could not carry out my best of plans of going to town: I do so wish to see you! I wish that Berwick were on the way to Ashfield; but then one might as well wish for things that can come true.

     This is my birthday and I am always nine years old -- not like George Sand, who begins a letter no, no! I mean Madame de Sévigne!! -- "5 fevrier 16 -- ; il y a aujourd' hui mille ans que je suis née!"* If you were here I should just stop a long bit of copying and take a short bit of luncheon in a little plain basket, and you and I would go off at once up "the little river" to keep this birthday with suitable exercises. I have quite forsaken the tide river for its smaller sister this year, the banks are so green and all the trees lean over it heavy with leaves. You have come home at the end of the most beautiful summer that I have ever seen; it is still like June here and impossible to believe that we are only two or three weeks from frost. I shall love to think of you in Ashfield.

     And the partings, dear Sally! oh, yes, I feel deep in my heart all that you say in your letter. One feels how easy it is for friends to slip away out of this world and leave us lonely. And such good days as you have had are too good to be looked for often. There is something transfiguring in the best of friendship. One remembers the story of the transfiguration in the New Testament,* and sees over and over in life what the great shining hours can do, and how one goes down from the mountain where they are, into the fret of everyday life again, but strong in remembrance. I once heard Mr. Brooks* preach a great sermon about this: nobody could stay on the mount, but every one knew it, and went his way with courage by reason of such moments. You cannot think what a sermon it was!

     I have just been reading the life of the Master of Balliol,* and finding great pleasure within. You knew, didn't you? how fond he and Mrs. Dugdale were of each other, and that he was the kindest of friends to her sons. There is little of this in the two big volumes, I suppose because she is not given to letter-writing, which the Master certainly was, -- some of his letters belong almost to the level of our E. F. G., -- or I must say quite, when I remember some to Dean Stanley* and to the Tennysons. But this is too long a letter for the busiest of hard-working mornings.

Notes

1897 or after:  The earliest date for this letter would seem to be 1897, based on the publication of The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (1897).   However, it could have been composed in a later year.

Ashfield:  Charles Eliot Norton (1827-1908) was co-editor of the North American Review (1863-1868) and then professor of literature at Harvard University. He and his daughters' summer home was in Ashfield.

Madame de Sévigné!! -- "5 fevrier 16 - ; il y a aujourd' hui mille ans que je suis née!": Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné (1626-1696). Her correspondence with her daughter, more than 1500 letters, was published between 1725 and 1734. The sentence reads, "I was born a thousand years ago today." (Translation by Carla Zecher). Jewett could have read the letters in French or in an English translation such as Sarah Buell Hale's The Letters of Madame De Sévigné to Her Daughter and Friends (1855).

forsaken the tide river for its smaller sister: The tidal estuary of South Berwick is the Piscataqua River, a stream of about twelve miles between South Berwick, ME and Portsmouth, NH.  It is likely that Jewett has been spending time on the Salmon Falls River, one of several rivers that flow into the Piscataqua.  The Salmon Falls River forms part of the border between Maine and New Hampshire, northwestward from South Berwick.

the transfiguration in the New Testament: See Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2.

Mr. Brooks: Phillips Brooks (1835-1893).  See Jewett's "At the Funeral of Phillips Brooks."

the Master of Balliol: Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893), popular professor of Greek at Oxford, author and translator. Jewett is reading The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (1897).

E. F. G. ... Dean Stanley: E. F. G. has not be identified with certainty, but very likely this is Edward FitzGerald, who often signed his letters E. F. G. And his friends sometimes referred to him by his initials in their letters .(Letters and Literary Remains of Edward Fitzgerald, 1889). Jewett mentions him at least twice to Sara Norton in in  letters 99 and 111. Confirmation or correction would be welcome.
     Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-1881), who eventually became Dean of Westminster, was a colleague and friend of Jowett at Oxford, where he was professor of Ecclesiastical History.
    Mrs. W. S. Dugdale.  Her husband, who died heroically in an 1882 mining accident, was a beloved pupil of Benjamin Jowett at Oxford. In The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (1897), appears her account of her husband's love and respect for his teacher and Jowett's letter to her upon Dugdale's death.

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



S
OJ to Frederick M. Hopkins

     South Berwick, Maine
     September 22, [1897]

    Dear Mr. Hopkins:

     I am sorry that your note has been so long overlooked and unanswered.

     I do not go to town -- Boston -- until very late in the season and I shall be here through the autumn busy with writing for the magazines. You will have seen a story in the Anniversary number of the Atlantic Monthly just published.1
 
     Yours very truly,
     S. O. Jewett

     I thank you very much for your kindness in sending me the Review of Reviews.2


Notes

     1 "Martha's Lady," Atlantic Monthly, LXXX (October 1897), 523-533; collected in The Queen's Twin. The article "Forty Years of The Atlantic Monthly" on pages 571-576 of this issue included the name of Sarah Orne Jewett as one of "the long list of notable women" who had written for the magazine during that period.

     2 Review of Reviews, XV(June 1897), 694-695. contained an account of Brunetière's visit to the United States, with incidental comments on Madame Blanc which Hopkins knew would be of interest to Miss 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.



Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ


September 24, 1897.

     O isn't it splendid to feel the sap running up and see the new bud forming itself to its supreme end! These things send one to the altar anew. . . . I put in this some letters just come which made me weep those strange tears of grateful love, which never find a voice, but which keep the heart nourished and refreshed as with the dew of Heaven.


Notes

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


 
SOJ to Ellen Chase

          South Berwick, September 27, 1897.

     Dear Ellen, -- Thank you again, and then once more for my little lemon-tree, which is keeping me company again on the sunny window-seat here, close by my secretary where I write. It has had a happy summer in the shade of the lilacs (and yet not out of the sun all day), and at this moment it has not many leaves, but no end of little lemons!!! One of them is as large as the end of my thumb, -- so we must not believe that so noble a lemon-tree condescends to the Berwick climate. It always gives me great pleasure, and I love to remember whence it came, with the delightful old associations that every lemon-tree must always have, and the pleasant new ones that you gave this special one.

Note

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 Sarah Wyman Whitman

     South Berwick, Maine, Thursday morning.
    [ September - October 1897]*

     Dear Friend, -- It is impossible to say how your letter has heartened me. I send you love and thanks, -- it is one more unbreakable bond that holds fast between me and you. You bring something to the reading of a story that the story would go very lame without; but it is those unwritable things that the story holds in its heart, if it has any, that make the true soul of it, and these must be understood, and yet how many a story goes lame for lack of that understanding. In France there is such a code, such recognitions, such richness of allusions; but here we confuse our scaffoldings with our buildings, and -- and so!

     This I feel like talking all day about, if you were only here, -- but I come down to my poor Martha: I thought that most of us had begun to grow in just such a way as she did, and so could read joyfully between the lines of her plain story, but I wonder if most people will not call her a dull story. That would be all my fault, and sets me the harder at work; the stone ought to be made a lovely statue. Nobody must say that Martha was dull, it is only I.

Notes

1897:  Almost certainly, Jewett responds to Whitman's comments upon "Martha's Lady," which first appeared in Atlantic Monthly 80 (October 1897) pp. 523-533.   It is likely, therefore, that this letter was written soon after the first appearance of the story.

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 Henry Sweetser Burrage

12 October 1897
Manchester-by-the-Sea.

 My dear Dr. Burrage

I had time to read the very interesting accounts of the recovery of your sword; and almost all of the Longfellow O. Sketch* before I left home,1 but I did not have time to write and thank you for them, as I meant to do.

The Memorial of Longfellow is very valuable;  I found your own paper to be of great interest. It gave me great pleasure to see you the other day, and I thank you again for the kindness of your visit, as well as for the proofs of your friendly remembrance.

Yours most sincerely

S. O. Jewett


Stoddart's Notes

1 Burrage's "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and his Paternal Ancestry" appears in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Seventy-fifth Birthday. Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society, February 27, 1882, compiled by Henry Sweetser Burrage (Portland: Hoyt, Fogg and Donhara, 1882), pp. 29-51.


Editor's Notes

sword ... Longfellow O. Sketch:  Brevet Major Henry S. Burrage presented "How I Recovered My Sword," a Civil War memoir, "before the Maine Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States" on 1 December 1897."  The presentation was published in The Maine Bugle Volumes 4-5 (1897), pp. 55-69.
    What is meant by the "Longfellow O. Sketch" is uncertain.  Stoddart believes she refers to "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and his Paternal Ancestry," which seems reasonable, since she refers to it later in her letter, but her reference seems odd.  Jewett seems to distinguish the "O" document from Burrage's "own" paper.

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 Sara Norton

     South Berwick, Maine, 28 October, 1897.

     All these days I have thought of you often. It has been a hurried, unexpected sort of time with me, and a general sense of nothing happening quite as it ought to happen as if the North Star had got just a little bit out of its place toward the northwest. My eye just caught sight of your little photograph of the Levens Bridge,* perched on some papers at the back of my desk, and it gave a pleasing reassurance of the stability of England, even if the State of Maine has got joggled.*

     I have had to go to Exeter several times lately, where I always find my childhood going on as if I had never grown up at all, with my grand-aunts and their old houses and their elm-trees and their unbroken china plates and big jars by the fireplaces. And I go by the house where I went to school, aged eight, in a summer that I spent with my grand-mother, and feel as if I could go and play in the sandy garden with little dry bits of elm-twigs stuck in painstaking rows. There are electric cars in Exeter* now, but they can't make the least difference to me!

     In talking lately with S. W. E.* (she has great charm for me as I think you know) it seemed while she was speaking that her love for your mother had been growing all these years instead of fading out as so many old friendships do when one has gone away. As I write this I remember a verse which always touches me profoundly, --

          "Come mete me out my loneliness, O wind,
          For I would know
          How far the living who must stay behind
          Are from the dead who go."*

I am stepping upon very sacred ground* when I write about this, dear child, but it has quite haunted me, that bit of talk with S.W.E. She was thinking aloud, I believe, rather than talking to me, and yet she told me a little story about you in your childhood which made me know you as I never have known you before, in such a near sweet way. As I grow older it has been one of the best things in life to take up some of the old friendships that my mother had to let fall, there is a double sweetness in doing this, one feels so much of the pleasure of those who seem to see something of their lost companionship return.

Notes

Levens Bridge: Mrs. Humphry Ward did some of her writing at a country estate, Levens. See Correspondents.

State of Maine has got joggled:  It seems possible that Jewett is referring to an earthquake, but no quakes were recorded in Maine in 1897.  But there were other disturbing events for Jewett in 1897, including the deaths of Jewett's sister, Carrie, and of Katherine Loring's father, Caleb, of Jewett's aunt, Sarah Chandler Perry,   Also, Madame Blanc had made a long visit the previous summer.

electric cars in Exeter:  Electric streetcars began operating in Exeter, NH in the summer of 1897.

S. W. E.: The identity of this woman is currently mysterious. We can tell that she is an elderly friend of the Jewett family, an old friend of Jewett's mother, and that she had opportunity to observe Sara Norton as a child. Information on this person would be welcome.

Are from the dead who go: "Mete Me Out My Loneliness" is by Michael Field, the pseudonym of Katherine Harris Bradley (d. 1913) and her niece Edith Emma Cooper (d. 1914). Their books include Long Ago (1897), "the extension of Sappho's fragments into lyrics," with Greek text, and Whym Chow, Flame of Love (1914). Below is the complete text of this poem as it appears in the anthology, Poetry of the Nineties (1926), edited by C. E. Andrews and M. O. Percival.

     Come, mete me out my loneliness, O wind,
     For I would know
     How far the living who must stay behind
     Are from the dead who go.
     Eternal Passer-by, I feel there is
     In thee a stir,
     A strength to span the yawning distances
     From her gravestone to her.

sacred ground:  Sara Norton's mother died in 1872, the year Sara turned 8 years old.

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

     Thursday evening, [probably June 1886 and/or October 1897].*

     This table is so overspread with the story of the Normans that I can hardly find room to put my paper down on it. I started in for work this afternoon, having been on the strike long enough, as one might say; but I only did a little writing, for I found that I must read the whole thing through, I have forgotten so much of it.

     Do read Miss Preston's paper about Pliny the younger in the "Atlantic." It is full of charming things, and as readable as possible. It sent me to my old favorite, the elder Pliny's "Natural History," but I couldn't find it in any of the book-cases downstairs, and I was too lazy to go up for it. Oh, you should see the old robin by my bed-room window a-fetching up her young family! I long to have you here to watch the proceedings. She is a slack housekeeper that robin, for the blown-away ruffles that she wove into her nest have suffered so much from neglect, combined with wind and weather, that they ravel out in unsightly strings. But oh, the wide mouths of the three young ones, -- how they do reach up and gape altogether when she comes near the nest with a worm! How can she attend to the mural decorations of her home? I am getting to be very intimate with the growing family. I hate every pussy when I think what a paw might do. I waited by the window an hour at tea-time, spying them.

     I have finished "Pendennis" with deep regret, for I have enjoyed it enormously. It is truly a great story, more simple and sincere and inevitable than "Vanity Fair."* It seems as much greater than Tolstoi's "Anna Karenina"* as it is more full of true humanity. It belongs to a more developed civilization, to a far larger interpretation of Christianity. But people are not contented at reading "Pendennis" every few years and with finding it always new as they grow more able to understand it. Thackeray is so great, a great Christian. He does not affect, he humbly learns and reverently tries to teach out of his own experience. "Pendennis" belongs to America just now more than it belongs to England, but we must forget it and go and read our Russian. Yes, he has a message too, but most people understand it so little that he amuses them and excites their wonder like Jules Verne.*

     I am writing before breakfast. I have finished "Hugh Wynne"* and loved it, with its fresh air and manliness, and -- to me -- exquisite charm. Don't you know what Tennyson said: "I love those large still books!"

Notes

1896:  Annie Fields dates this letter in 1886.  David Schuster points out the inconsistency between the publication date of Mitchell's Hugh Wynne (1896) and the apparent date of this letter.  Furthermore, the quotation from Tennyson at the end of the letter comes from letters of Edward Fizgerald published in 1895 (see below). Mitchell's novel was serialized in Century Magazine (November 1896 through October 1897). Jewett seems quite definite that she has finished reading the whole book; therefore the final two paragraphs could not have been written before October of 1897.
    However, the first two paragraphs could come from spring of 1886.  Jewett reports trying to return to work on The Normans, which appeared at the end of 1886, and the Preston paper she recommends appeared in June 1886.  Jewett reports researching on Normans as early as 1885 in a "Monday Evening" letter to Fields. 
    While it is possible that she has forgotten work she was doing a year or more earlier, she sounds as if she is returning to writing she has completed before after being "on strike."  This might suggest that she is working not on the original book, but on a later related piece, such as "England After the Norman Conquest," prepared for an 1891 Chautauqua course on British History and Literature. Based on her history, this piece appeared in The Chautauquan 12 (1891):438-442, 574-578, 707-711.
    However, the first two paragraphs seem clearly to have been written in the spring, when robin hatchlings are being fed.  It is possible that Jewett was working on the Chautauqua piece six months before it was due, but we know that she did not start work on minor revisions to The Normans until December of 1890 (See G. H. Putnam's letter to Jewett of December 17, 1890).

    To add to this confusion, Jewett again reports reading Thackeray's Pendennis in what seems almost certainly to be the autumn of 1887, when she is reading proof for "Law Lane," which appeared in December 1887: See her letter, Sunday evening, [Autumn] 1887.
     Until we are able to see the original manuscript(s), it would seem we cannot confidently explain this letter.  For this reason, it appears in two different years: 1886 and 1897.

Miss Preston's paper about Pliny the younger in the "Atlantic": Harriet Waters Preston (1836-1911), a writer and translator, was one of those from whom Jewett sought advice early in her career. See Blanchard, pp. 108-9. Pliny, the Younger (62-113) was a Roman official who published several volumes of official and private letters that provide rich pictures of aspects of Roman life. Preston's article was "A Roman Gentleman under the Empire," Atlantic 57 (June 1886) 741-761.

Pliny's "Natural History": Pliny the Elder (c. 23-79) was a Roman encyclopedist. His "Natural History" consisted of 37 books, ten published in his lifetime, on all aspects of contemporary science.

Pendennis ... Vanity Fair: William Makepeace Thackeray, an English fiction writer, published Vanity Fair in 1847-8 and Pendennis in 1848-50.

Tolstoi's "Anna Karenina": The Russian novelist, Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) published his novel, Anna Karenina 1875-1877.

Jules Verne: French author Jules Verne (1828-1905) is considered one of the inventors of science fiction. Many of his novels have been adapted to film, including Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870, Eng. trans. 1873) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873, Eng. trans. 1873).

"Hugh Wynne": Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker (1896) is a novel by Silas Weir Mitchell, M.D. (1829-1914), perhaps best remembered for his "rest cure" for hysteria.   This novel was first published as a serial in Century Magazine, November 1896 - October 1897.
    The quotation from Tennyson appears in Letters of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble (1871-1883), by Edward FitzGerald (1895), p. 138.

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



Annie Adams Fields to Mary Rice Jewett

[ 10 November 1897 in another hand ]*

Soon after returning
home
    _______

Dear Mary:

    I must write at once to tell you again how very glad I have been to be with you just now.  Somehow the weight of affairs is sometimes, (to me) a little easier not [ unrecognized word ] when I have a friend to speak to between=whiles [ so writteni ] and I think in my heart that it has been so with you.  In any event you have made me feel so and I thank you!

    We have had a very easy pleasant

[ Page 2 ]

trip.  That train is a good one.

    I fear in some way I have dropped the first half of the very pretty [ unrecogized word dides ? ] you gave me.  I do not find it here -- only the overdress.  I am sorry to add anything to your labors but it is a [ unrecogized word ] to divide the parts by accident leaving neither of them of any use.

    Your famous chopper has just arrived.

[ Page 3 ]

Again and always many many thanks.

    I hope this day has given you a little brightness in your work.

    Please give my love to "Aunt [ unrecognized name ]{.}"  Sarah will soon be with you again.

Yours most
Truly always and
[ Brayly ? ]

Annie Fields

10 November 1897: The rationale for this date is not known.  It may have been added in Mary Jewett's hand.

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 Owen Wister

South Berwick Maine
30 November 1897

My dear Mr. Wister

    I was later than I meant to be in reading Destiny at Drybone* and I now feel quite belated in telling you how much I thank you for the pleasure and pride so fine a piece of work has given me.  When I see how you have 'managed' some of your 'incidents' I cannot help saying as Swinburne* did

[ Page 2 ]

to Landor -- "The youngest to the oldest Singer"! -- It is no use to say that it is not a terrible sort of literary material, but great artists must take terrible materials in their Russian stories, in their Tom Jones, in the Vanity Fairs if you like.  It is the valley for the making of souls with which poor Keats* once confronted himself as he wrote a letter!

    But when art is large enough it brings an atmosphere, a softening

[ Page 2 ]

mist of compassion: it [has corrected ] the power to "make the people of a state understand each other" but it also shows the valley in relation to the sky.

    When I came to the end of that wonderful passage and the wind 'moved the kings and aces in the grass' it moved something very deep in my heart{.}

    Believe me with great regard and highest hope

    Yours most sincerely

    S. O. Jewett


Notes

Destiny at Drybone:  Owen Wister's "Destiny at Drybone" appeared in Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume 96 Issue 571 (December, 1897), pp.  60-81.  After the burial depicted in part 3, the narrator describes the scene: "In Drybone's deserted quadrangle the sun shone down upon Lusk still sleeping, and the wind shook the aces and kings in the grass."  This story was incorporated into Wister's novel, Lin McLean (1897).

Swinburne ... "The youngest to the oldest Singer"Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837 - 1909) was an English author, best remembered as a poet.  The line is from stanza 6 of "In Memory of Walter Savage Landor":
   I came as one whose thoughts half linger,
         Half run before;
The youngest to the oldest singer
         That England bore.
Russian stories, in their Tom Jones, in the Vanity Fairs:  Which Russian stories Jewett had in mind is of course uncertain, though it is know that she read both Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev.  The History of Tom Jones (1749) is the best-known novel of the British novelist and dramatics, Henry Fielding (1707-1754). Vanity Fair (1847-48) is the best-known novel of the British novelist William Makepeace Thackeray  (1811-1863).

the valley for the making of souls ... Keats:  In a letter to his siblings, George and Georgiana, of "Sunday Morn Feby 14th," 1819, the British poet, John Keats (1795-1821) says:
The common cognomen of this world among the misguided and superstitious is 'a vale of tears' from which we are to be redeemed by a certain arbitrary interposition of God and taken to Heaven - What a little circumscribed straightened notion! Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making". Then you will find out the use of the world (I am speaking now in the highest terms for human nature admitting it to be immortal which I will here take for granted for the purpose of showing a thought which has struck me concerning it) I say 'Soul making' Soul as distinguished from an Intelligence- There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions - but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself.
The manuscript of this letter is held by the Library of Congress in the Owen Wister Papers, 1829-1966, MSS46177, Box 25.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



Annie Adams Fields to Mary Rice Jewett

[ November-December. 1897-1901 ]*


My dear Mary:

    You can't guess what a surprise it was to see dear "Stubby"* walk in yesterday looking so much better.

    This morning comes another surprise -- an offering from John Tucker* of a portion of his [apple ? ] pie --  Will you thank him from me sincerely.  Tell him we shall say "thank you" afresh many times before this generous portion is eaten up.

[ Page 2 ]

But thank you above all and especially dear Mary for my delightful Thanksgiving visit -- I shall look for you in town at Christmas time if not before.

Affectionately yours
Annie Fields.

Notes

November-December. 1897-1901:  This date is speculative.  It appears the Theodore Eastman is a regular visitor at the Fields home, which makes it likely he is in college at Harvard.  John Tucker, mentioned in the letter, died on 4 December 1902, and during that autumn and winter, Sarah Orne Jewett was unable to travel away from home after her September carriage accident.

Stubby
: Theodore Jewett Eastman. See Correspondents

John Tucker: 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.



S
OJ to Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc

     148 Charles Street
     Boston
     December 1, [1897]

    Dearest Thérèse:

     I have come to town for a few days and I find the Revue with your beautiful paper.1 I cannot tell you with what joy and delight I have read it -- all those hours live again for me and shine more than ever with a lovely light from the sun of our friendship. But oh how I wish to see you! You have done this piece of work in quite a wonderful way, 'mon cher maitre.' I suppose that I appreciate your great gift better for knowing so well the material upon which it now spends itself.

     I have only time to say this and to send my note flying to the post to catch this steamer. Annie is very well and town very busy. At home our friends have come to the lonely house. It begins to seem long since I heard from you.

     With dearest pride in your work and love for you,

     S.O.J.


Notes

     1 "Le Communisme en Amérique," Revue des Deux Mondes, CXLIV (November 15, 1897), 300-335; one section, subtitled, "Une Visite chez les Shakers," describes the visit made by Miss Jewett and Madame Blanc to the Shaker Colony in Alfred, Maine.  See also:" Carl J. Weber, "New England Through French Eyes Fifty Years Ago," New England Quarterly, XX (September 1947), 385-396.

    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.



Owen Wister to SOJ

Wednesday, Dec. 2d 1897

328, Chestnut Street [printed letterhead]
Philadelphia
 

My dear Miss Jewett:

How welcome is your letter, & how welcome your [word?] about the aces and Kings!* That is the way they looked in the quadrangle at Fort [Kitterman?] in September 1885, and the man walking with me thought them humorous. So they were, [on top?]; but they have haunted me for twelve years. One can never do more than hope one's intimate feeling about something has got out through one's pen -- and my hope now is that you may not have met me more than half way and with your subtlety divined the sky I tried to put above that sordid valley. No, not put, but point out. The Eternal's all close, there.

     And never anywhere on the world's face can nature more [potently?] have accompanied -- like an orchestra -- the human doings of our frontier. No traveler, no artist seems to have felt, or anyhow compassed the expression of its legendary and supernatural charm. Wagner's music* is the only thing like it; and I'm not sure but that music is the only art adequate for it. If Remington* could paint as well as he draws, he'd be the man. But alas for landscape in fiction! One does not indulge oneself. Think of Miss Murfries.*

     You've no notion how much pleasure your note has been.

Very sincerely yours
Owen Wister
 

Notes

aces and Kings:  This phrase appears in Owen Wister's novel, Lin McLean (1897), at the end of chapter 19.  Though his handwriting is difficult in this sentence, it is possible that he wrote "Fort Washakie," which is the Wyoming setting for this novel.  Jewett has read Wister's "Destiny at Drybone," which appeared in Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume 96 Issue 571 (December, 1897), pp.  60-81, and was incorporated into the novel.  After the burial depicted in part 3 of this story, the narrator describes the scene: "In Drybone's deserted quadrangle the sun shone down upon Lusk still sleeping, and the wind shook the aces and kings in the grass."

WagnerWilhelm Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883) "was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is primarily known for his operas ... [notably] the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung)."

RemingtonFrederic Sackrider Remington (1861 - 1909) "was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West."

Miss MurfriesMary Noailles Murfree (1850 - 1922) "was an American ... writer of novels and short stories who [published] under the pen name Charles Egbert Craddock. She is considered by many to be Appalachia's first significant female writer and her work a necessity for the study of Appalachian literature, although a number of characters in her work reinforce negative stereotypes about the region."

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University:  bMS Am 1743 (241).  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Louisa Loring Dresel

[ Christmas 1897 ]*

Dear Loulie

    I hope you will use this little Spanish bowl sometimes when you are making a great splash with a fine big water colour!  Much love and a merry Christmas from

S. O. J.


[ Page 2 ]
Miss Dresel
328 Beacon St.


Notes

Christmas 1897:  Though speculative, this date is somewhat corroborated by having evidence that Jewett gave Dresel a bowl as a Christmas gift in 1897.  See her letter to Dresel dated after December 25, 1897.

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


SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

 

Saturday morning [ 18 December 1897 ]

Dear Mary

            You are missed very much in this house.  A. F.* feels better and had a timely note from the kind hand of Mr. Mifflin* this morning to say that they were advertising the fifth thousand of Mrs. Stowe tomorrow -- which means that they must have sold a thousand since I saw him the first of the week when the 4th was announced with great pride.


Notes

18 December 1897:  As the notes below indicate, Fields's biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe appeared in 1897.  It seems reasonable to infer from the rate of sales Jewett reports that it quickly sold more than 4000 copies.  Jewett mentions the sales of t his title in her 19 December 1897 letter to Robert Underwood Johnson.

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

Mr. Mifflin:  George Harrison Mifflin (1845–1921) was an early partner of Henry Oscar Houghton (See Correspondents).  Together they formed the Houghton, Mifflin publishing company in 1880.

fifth thousand of Mrs. Stowe:  Houghton, Mifflin published Annie Fields's Life and Letters of Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1897.

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Folder 74, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Preparation by Linda Heller.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Robert Underwood Johnson

     148 Charles Street
     Boston
     December 19, [ Sunday 1897]

     Dear Mr. Johnson:

     I am very late in sending you my best thanks for your new book of poems,1 but just as I came up to Town and found it, Mrs. Fields* fell ill, and I have put by almost all my letters, and turned to reading aloud to a poor dear person who was commanded by her doctor to listen and not to talk. And you know very well how fast the winter days can fly when one is living a good deal in an invalid room. I am glad to say that Mrs. Fields is much better. I do not know whether she had written you her thanks for the Songs of Liberty, but I shall say again how affectionately she really did thank you!

     I find that "The Wistful Days"* is my favorite; I care very much about it, and just as it spoke to me at first, so, as I think about all the poems, it shines brightest to me now. I cannot exactly say why I care more for it than any poem I ever read of yours, but the fact remains that I do, and so I will not stop to hunt for reasons.

     I hope that you and Mistress Katharine are beginning the winter well -- the last I really heard about you was in France. My last letters from Madame Blanc have been very cheerful.

     Goodbye, with kindest wishes for a happy Christmas from your sincere friend
     Sarah O. Jewett

     Mrs. Fields's book about Mrs. Stowe2 is having really a great success and brings her much pleasure, especially just now. I am sure that you will care about it.
 

Notes

    1Songs of Liberty and Other Poems (New York, 1897).
 
    2 Life and Letters of Harriet Beecher Stowe (Boston, 1897). Mrs. Fields's other excursions into biography included lives of her husband James T. Fields, of Charles Dudley Warner, Hawthorne, and Whittier.


Editor's notes
:

Mrs. Fields:  Annie Fields.  See Correspondents.

"The Wistful Days":  Johnson's poem is included ini Edmund Clarence Stedman's An American Anthology, 1787–1900  (1900):
 
WHAT is there wanting in the Spring?   
  The air is soft as yesteryear;   
  The happy-nested green is here,   
And half the world is on the wing.   
  The morning beckons, and like balm
  Are westward waters blue and calm.   
Yet something’s wanting in the Spring.   
 
What is it wanting in the Spring?   
  O April, lover to us all,   
  What is so poignant in thy thrall
When children’s merry voices ring?   
  What haunts us in the cooing dove   
  More subtle than the speech of Love,   
What nameless lack or loss of Spring?   
 
Let Youth go dally with the Spring,
  Call her the dear, the fair, the young;   
  And all her graces ever sung   
Let him, once more rehearsing, sing.   
  They know, who keep a broken tryst,   
  Till something from the Spring be missed
We have not truly known the Spring.   
 

Mistress Katharine:  Katharine McMahon Johnson.  See Correspondents.

Madame Blanc:  Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc.  See Correspondents.

    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 Loring Dresel

Saturday [December 26, 1897?] 1


My dear Loulie

I came back -- with the storm apparently! -- and I found a present on my desk. I didn't know how to play with it at first, but I do now. A. F.* showed me and she laughed and I laughed I thank you very very much I am sorry you are lame


Stoddart's Note

1 The contents of this unfinished, unsigned note seem close to the following letter, perhaps referring to the bird whistle described in that letter, and the note may never have been sent.

Editor's notes

A. F. :  Annie Fields.  See Correspondents.

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 Louisa Loring Dresel


Sunday 148 Charles St. [After December 25, 1897]

My dear Loulie.

I thank you so much for your dear Christmas remembrance. I shall wish to know the story of so beautiful a pin! Where you got it, and all about it, and I appropriate its box with joy. And the bird with a beautiful voice!!* I take him to my heart, and I blow him from time to time and hear an answering chuckle from Mrs. Fields from far corners of the house. We have enjoyed his company immensely, also his clerical tie. I think he reminds me of a certain type of parson on the whole.

Dear Loulie you were very good, and I add your letter of yesterday to this charming Christmas kit.  I am afraid that I shall not see you this time but I must be coming back soon again. I am so glad that you like the little book bowl.  I have first just been to Sarmenter street to see the pictures in the loan collection there. I think you will like to go some day. I had such nice talks with some of the people there.  an Irishman and an Italian boy. Which I will tell you about some day.  [so transcribed]

Yours loving S. O. J.


Stoddart's Notes

1 This letter is written on black-bordered stationary in memory of Caroline Jewett Eastman (died 1 April, 1897).  The curators have dated it in pencil.


Editor's Notes

bird with a beautiful voice:  It seems likely that Dresel has given Jewett a "warbling bird whistle," which typically required blowing through a small water reservoir to turn the whistle into a warble.  Often then, as now, the whistle featured a bird figure as part of the structure.  The image below, from Popscreen.com, is meant to suggest what the gift may have looked like.

Birdwhistle


Sarmenter street:  There is no Sarmenter Street in Boston, but there is a Parmenter Street.  On Parmenter Street in 1897 was the North End Union, a social service agency founded by the Benevolent Fraternity of Churches in 1892, which provided social services and education to residents of Boston's North End, including apprenticeships in printing and plumbing.  Among the supporters of the Union were Lillian Adrich, Annie Fields, and a good number of their friends.  In the late 19th century, the North End of Boston was populated mainly by immigrants, including Italians and Irish.  While there may have been occasional exhibits of art on loan held at the Union, no evidence has yet turned up regarding an exhibit there in December 1897

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

30 December [1897]*

Dear Mary

You can see your sister is sleepy by beginning this evening letter in the wrong place.  “Charlie” has gone off to his Tavern Club dinner to Mr. Seth Low* after having a cup of tay and an hour or two of talk.  I am so glad that I am here for poor A. F.* has got a swelled cheek but no toothache fortunately.  She looks poorer than ever, but thinks she is better than she was.  We went out to walk both of us, this morning and I went downtown with Sullivan beside and saw about Theodores cards which he shall have early in the week -- as soon I hope, as he needs them.  I spoke about the mug too which is also promised for early in the week.  Do you think we had better have anything put on the bottom the two whole names for instance? beside C. E. G. in a Cipher* on the front? which will make it look much handsomer.  I laughed so just now at Becca’s affidavit about the riding in a hack to Salmon Falls.  You may say that if I was mortified at the thought of it I am still more mortified at the reality.  Nobody else will go down to history as having done it, and I dont care if she did fling proud looks out of the (frosted) window at those who footed it to Salmon Falls that night.  I hope she and Lizzie* slewed as they went round the picker.*  Do tell me if the great hunting expedition was successful and where it went.  I could see it start as well as you when you were writing.  Timmy* must have wished he could go, but I am glad that Betty* had so pleasant an opportunity.  Mr. Warner* seems very well and in good spirits -- he means to stay until Saturday.  Sally Norton* was here this afternoon and they had a little visitation which was a pleasure as he came just as she was going away.  Goodnight with much love and be sure you give my messages to Becca.  I forgot to ask you what Mrs. Tyler’s address is -- so I have not written but it just occurs to me that I can write to ‘South Berwick Maine!  Dont you think the letters have been very nice?

                                                                                                Sarah

Notes

1897:  This is a tentative date.  The notes below indicate a date before October 1900 when Charles Dudley Warner died.  That Theodore is purchasing printed cards suggests that he is preparing for his high school graduation in the spring of 1898.  It is not known, however, when the custom of sending out personally printed graduation announcements began in the United States.

Charlie ... Tavern Club... Seth Low:  Almost certainly, Charlie is Charles Ashburton Gilman. See Correspondents.
    Seth Low (1850-1916) was an American educator and politician who served as President of Columbia University (1890-1901) and Mayor of Brooklyn (1881-85) and of New York City (1902-03).  He made a fortune in his father's tea and silk firm.  HIs wife was Anne Wroe Scollay Curtis of Boston, whose father was U. S. Supreme Court justice Benjamin R. Curtis.        The "Tavern Club" was a Boston men's eating club, founded in 1884 on Park Square in Boston. It remains a venue for dinners and gatherings after Harvard symposia. 

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

Sullivan ... Theodores cards:  This Sullivan remains as yet unidentified.  Perhaps this person was an employee of Annie Fields?      Why Theodore Jewett Eastman (see Correspondents) is having cards printed is unknown.  Would it be associated in some way with his activities at Harvard?

C. E. G. in a Cipher on the front:  The occasion of this mug and the persons associated with it remain unknown.  The only Jewett correspondents whose initials approximate these are Charles Ashurton Gilman and Mary Elizabeth Garrett.

Becca:  Rebecca Young.  See Correspondents.

Lizzie:  Though it is possible that Jewett refers to Elizabeth Jervis Gilman, sister of "Charlie," it seems more likely she refers to a Jewett family employee, Lizzie Pray.  She is mentioned so far only in a letter of 6 October 1898.

went round the picker:   Peter Michaud explains:

Dorthy Green (1909-2002) of Salmon Falls Village in Rollinsford once gave me a brief tutorial on terms of the village, including "going round the picker," which was to follow Front Street around the picker building attached to Mill #2 and on to South Berwick. The term "picker" references the picker machines that are part of the manufacturing process of cotton and wool.   Picker machines separated cotton fibers, removed impurities, and prepared cotton for carding.   They could create a fire hazard and often were located in a separate building, like the one in Salmon Falls.

    Additional research assistance from: Wendy Pirsig, Norma Keim, Emily Loiselle, and John Demos.

Timmy: Timmy was a Jewett family dog. As of this writing, he first appears in a letter of 17 November 1894, and he is reported to be "old" in a letter from late winter of 1903.

Betty: It seems likely that Betty is another dog who was able to join the mentioned hunt, but her owner is unknown.

Mr. Warner: Charles Dudley Warner, who died in October 1900.  See Correspondents.

Sally Norton:  Sara Norton.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Tyler: Augusta Maria Denny Tyler.  See Correspondents.

This text is from transcriptions from mixed repositories in the Maine Women Writer's Collection, University of New England, Letters from Sarah Orne Jewett, 1875-1890, Folder 74, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection.  Preparation by Linda Heller.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.



SOJ to Henry Green

     Boston
     December 31, 1898 [1897]1

    Dear Elder Henry:

     I thank you for your kind letter and kind present of your interesting book. I was sure that you would all like to read Mrs. Fields's Life of Mrs. Stowe, but it is very pleasant to have such appreciative words and I could not fail to let the author share them.

     I have hoped to be able to send you a copy of the French review in which Madame Blanc* gave some reminiscences of our visit to your Family with some very sympathetic accounts of the Shaker belief and history. She was helped by the pamphlets and especially by the information which you and Eldress Harriet, Eldress Lucinda and others were so kind to give her, and speaks very warmly of her experiences. Of course a foreigner may make mistakes easily, and often uses a word in quite another sense from our sense of it, but I am sure that you will find much to enjoy. I thought that I could get some spare copies easily (I borrowed the copy which I read) but it seems that the review is only sent to its regular subscribers in America. I have sent to France for one for you which is likely to be here sometime next month. If you are near one of the large libraries you will find the paper in the Revue des Deux Mondes for Oct'r 15th. I think that it would be interesting to have some passages, at least, translated and reprinted in one of your magazines. Madame Blanc writes me that she has had a great many letters about the paper and that it has seemed to interest many readers in France. She knows that I always see a friend's copy and I suppose thinks that we could easily get other copies here, or she would have sent over one. You will understand how her account of our visit made me live it over again, but I have always remembered it with great pleasure.

     Please remember me most affectionately to all my kind friends. I hope indeed to come again as you kindly invite me, with my sister. 

     Yours most sincerely,
     S. O. Jewett


Cary's Note

     1 It is probable that Miss Jewett dated this letter incorrectly, anticipating the year which was to begin next day. Annie Fields's book was published in November 1897 and would have been of topical interest in December 1897. Similarly Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc's essay, "Le Communisme en Amérique," appeared not in October but in Revue des Deux Mondes, CXLIV (November 15, 1897), 300-335.

Editor's Notes

Eldress Harriet ... Eldress Lucinda: In photographs of residents at the Alfred Maine Shaker village in the 1890s, at Maine History Online, appear Eldress Harriet Goodwin (1823-1903) and Eldress Harriett Newell Coolbroth (1864-1953).  It is not clear to which woman Jewett refers.  On Coolbroth see Historical Dictionary of the Shakers (2008), by Stephen J. Paterwic, pp. 48-9.
    Among the Alfred Shakers was Lucinda Taylor.  More information about her is welcome.

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




SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

     Tuesday evening. [1897]*

     Dear, -- Oh, I did have such a good time today! I went to see some huge pine trees down in the edge of Wells, -- an out-of-the-way road, but I always knew that these pines were the biggest in the state and had a great desire to see them. Oh, do go next summer to see the most superb creatures that ever grew! I don't believe that their like is in New England. More than four feet through their great trunks, and standing so tall that their great green tops seem to belong to the next world. In all my life I never was in such glorious woods. I long to take you there. Afterward I went into the farmhouse and had a perfectly beautiful time. I knew they were old patients of father's, and that he used to like to go there, but I was not prepared to find Doris and Dan Lester* a dozen years older than when we met them last!!! And they had read works of Pinny and were so affectionate and delightful and talked about father -- and made a little feast for she, and it was a perfectly beautiful good time.

Notes

1897:  If one takes literally Jewett's statement that it has been a dozen years since last meeting Doris and Dan Lester, then the date of this letter would be 1897.

Doris and Dan Lester:  These are characters from Jewett's A Marsh Island (1885).

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



SOJ to Annie Adams Fields

Tuesday noon

[ 1897 ]

Dear darling Fuff --*

            . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

Your  Pinny*

Notes

1897:  This tentative date is based upon Jewett's reference to the Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, which appeared in book form in 1897.  Given Jewett's interest in the Wordsworths, it is likely that she read Dorothy's journals as soon as they became available and that she reread parts she particularly liked soon after. 
    The ellipses in the transcription indicate that this is a selection from the manuscript.

Fuff:  Nickname for Annie Adams Fields.    See Correspondents.

Dorothy Wordsworth's Tom in Scotland:  This seems likely to be an error in transcription.  Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855), the sister of the British Romantic poet, William Wordsworth (1770-1850), includes in her journals, a chapter on "A Tour Made in Scotland (A. D. 1803)."  Her journals began to appear in book form in 1897.

Pinny: Nickname for Sarah Orne Jewett.    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.



Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.




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