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Sarah Orne Jewett Letters of 1901

SOJ to Mary Rice Jewett

Tuesday morning
[ Late January 1901 ]

  You hear everybody talking about the Queen* -- and I may add, the Queen's Twin and wondering how she will feel, as if she were real.  I said last night that I thought she would feel her loss, and would say, Well, I'm glad she's got through!


A transcriber's note reads: [letter to Mary].

the Queen ... the Queen's TwinQueen Victoria (1819 - 22 January 1901).  Jewett notes that acquaintances  have wondered how her character, Abby Martin, in her story, "The Queen's Twin" (1899) will respond to Victoria's death.

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

SOJ to Annie Adams Fields
[Monday, January 28, 1901]

     Yesterday I went to church and heard Dr. Lewis's sermon about the Queen, which was very well done, and there was a display of the English flags about a big picture of the Queen, and two wreaths of Berwick evergreens, tied with black!* I have lived so much this last year* in thought of the days when there was bitterest feeling toward England, that the sight of these things in the old meeting house astonished me more than it could have astonished anybody else in the congregation; but it was a most pleasing sight. There are some English parishioners, mill people; I suppose the portrait -- a big engraving of some sort came in that way. I saw tears in many eyes, however; the sermon was very touching, but the whole feeling was as if some kind person had died in our own little neighbourhood.

     Monday morning -- and what do you think is on this day but little Miss Grant's funeral,* the poor soul having got through at last and suddenly. So Mary and I are going down to Portsmouth to the service, which is to be in the little hospital. I can't take it in that I shall see that lively, friendly, quaint, busy creature no more. My stories are full of her here and there, as you know, and she has made a great part in the rustic side of my life and so in the town side. Well, it is one of the moments when I am glad to think that there shall not be any more tears, neither sorrow nor sighing.*


1901 ... Dr. Lewis's sermon about the Queen: Dr. George Lewis. See Correspondents.
This last yearWhen Jewett refers to "the Queen" she almost certainly means Queen Victoria of Great Britain, who died on 22 January 1901.  Jewett indicates she is writing on the Monday after the service, which almost certainly would have taken place no earlier than Sunday January 27.:  Assuming the 1901 date is correct, then Jewett has been working on The Tory Lover (1901), her novel about the American Revolution during 1777-8.  By the end of January 1901, the fourth, February, installment of the serialization had appeared.  The final installment appeared in August 1901, and a slightly revised book appeared soon after.

Miss Grant's funeral: Olive Grant, the South Berwick dressmaker. Blanchard, (Sarah Orne Jewett, 1994), p. 38, adds that "Olly" Grant supported herself and her illegitimate daughter by her needle and that she was a treasured source of community gossip.

sorrow nor sighing: See Isaiah 35:10 and Jeremiah 45:3.

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 Mary Rice Jewett

Friday night 11 o'clock

[ 1 February  1901 ]*

Dear Mary

    I know at this moment of thinking of four copies of the Queen's Twin that were sent to the poor Queen!  Mrs. Arthur Holland told me of an English one that was bound most beautifully & offered by a British subject last year -- only yesterday !!  But I did mean to tell you that Dr. Horace Furness & Mrs. Wister told me the other day what each thought the other had told long ago -- that Theodore Martin had given a copy to the Queen & that she said it was perfectly delightful.  I somehow felt more pleasure in hearing it now than if I had had the message long ago.  Dr Furness said then before we knew of her illness that Theodore said she failed dreadfully -- It is nice to know one could give her a little pleasure.

Your affectionate sister


1 February 1901:  The transcriber has dates this letter Jan. 1, 1901, but that cannot be correct.  1 January was not a Friday, and the letter seems clearly to have been written after the death of Queen Victoria of Great Britain on 22 January 1901.  The second Friday after Victoria's death was 1 February, 1901, though it is possible that Jewett wrote the letter on the first Friday, 25 January.

the Queen's Twin:  Jewett's story about an isolated widow who has maintained a life-long fascination with Queen Victoria first appeared in Atlantic Monthly in 1899 and was collected in The Queen's Twin and Other Stories the same year.

Mrs. Arthur Holland: Mrs. Sara Ormsby Burgwin Holland.  See Correspondents.

Dr. Horace Furness & Mrs. WisterHorace Howard Furness (1833-1912) was an American Shakespearean scholar, editor of the New Variorum editions of Shakespeare.
    See Owen Wister in Correspondents.

Theodore Martin: Theodore Martin (1816-1909) was a Scottish author and translator.

I believe 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 70, Burton Trafton Jewett Research Collection. It was hand-copied many years before the current edition, and the old notes are somewhat unclear.  For more information about the individual transcription, contact the Maine Women Writers Collection. Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to Rose Lamb

     148 Charles Street, February 5 [1901]*

     My dear Rose, -- How delightful above everything this last letter of yours is from Luxor!* I am sure that the winter is doing you a great deal of good, but we miss you, and it makes me a little homesick when I catch a glimpse of your house with the blinds shut as I come and go along Charles Street. I love to think that you are away, and especially that you are going to be in Athens by and by. Do not forget to look at my dear lady in the most beautiful of all the "grave reliefs" -- no. 832:* she is really the most beautiful thing in world, and always a real person to me, so that the thought of her almost gives my heart a little thrill -- 832 -- don't forget her! This last fortnight Mary and I have both been here, and we have been going out so much that yesterday I protested against behaving like a bud* any longer and told my sister that she must go home and let us settle down! I have really enjoyed going about and seeing people so much, -- it is the first year in ever and ever so many that I have not had a heavy piece of work on hand, and I begin to see how often I have "gone out" feeling quite light-headed and absent-minded, after a day's writing; a very poor sort of guest, one must confess.

     The photograph# is a delight -- so great a type! I look and look at him. What distinction there is when you see that straight-lined figure among other photographs. I happened to put it with some modern things, and felt as if I must take it right away. Thank you so much, dear.

Fields's note

#Of the Charioteer at Delphi.*


1901:   Though Fields dates this letter 1900, it could not have been written until after Jewett returned from her trip to Greece and Italy with Annie Fields in June 1900 (Blanchard, p. 318).  Assuming that the "February 5" date is correct, this letter likely was composed the year after that trip.

Luxor: Luxor, in upper Egypt, is the modern city at the site of ancient Thebes. Jewett says in a January 20, 1900 letter to Dorothy Ward that she had been asked to travel to Egypt with a friend.

Athens ... the most beautiful of all the "grave reliefs" -- no. 832: Karl Baedeker's Greece: Handbook for Travellers  2nd Revised Edition, 1894, indicates that grave relief 832 would be found in room 11 of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.  The image below shows part of what probably is the relief to which Jewett refers.  However, one cannot be certain that the seated woman is the figure Jewett admires, as she may refer to the person, not shown, whose hand she holds.

Athens 832

Grave relief with high-relief carving. Pentelic marble. Goudi, Athens, Greece. 340 B.C. #832
In the holdings of the National Archaeological Museum. Athens, Attika, Greece.

bud: probably a Maine pronunciation for "bird."

the Charioteer at Delphi: The Charioteer at Delphi was a major archaeological find, excavated on April 28, 1896. According to Fredrik Poulsen in Delphi (1920), the bronze statue is believed to commemorate a victory in the Delphic games.


Charioteer at Delphi
Courtesy of Wikipedia

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 Alice Dunlap Gilman

     148 Charles Street
     Wednesday morning
     [February 6, 1901]

    Dear Cousin Alice:

     We have just received Mary's letter* with the unexpected news of dear Cousin Charles's death* which I feel very much. I have always been very fond of him, as you know, and so many memories of the past are associated with him and his kindness and affection to me and to all of us at home. I cannot but be thankful that he need suffer no more weakness and illness, but I shall always miss him. I send you a great deal of sympathy and my love to you and your children. You must remember a great many lovely things -- how ready he was to serve and help others, and to push forward things that he saw ought to be done, and the forgetfulness of his own interests which we have sometimes been sorry about, shows a different side. He did so many good things and gave so many good ideas to other people.
     I should be so glad if I could come on Friday but I have been ill since the beginning of last week with an attack of grippe and I cannot manage to sit up all day yet and I have not been out.1 Mary is here* and sends her love to you all, and says that she shall go down on Friday, but she must return in the afternoon.
     With a great deal of love to you, dear Cousin Alice, and to Lizzie and Mary and David and Charlie.
     Yours most affectionately,
     Sarah O. Jewett


     1 This letter was written in pencil, with obvious difficulty, as by a person propped in bed; the handwriting notably less firm than ordinary with Miss Jewett. Unusual too is the repetitive quality and lack of verbal flow.

Editor's Notes

Mary's letter:  Since Jewett's sister Mary is with her in Boston, the letter must be from Mary G. Gilman.

Cousin Charles's death:  Charles Jervis Gilman died on 5 February 1901.  See Correspondents.

Cousin Alice, and to Lizzie and Mary and David and Charlie:  Cousin Alice would seem to be the wife of Charles Jervis Gilman, but as this letter is addressed to Cousin Alice, this is somewhat mysterious.  See Correspondents
Their children were:
  David Dunlap Gilman (1854 - 1914)
  Elizabeth J. Gilman (1856 - 1939)
  Charles Gilman (1859 - 1938)
  Mary G. Gilman (1865 - 1940)

Mary is here:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

This letter is edited and annotated by Richard Cary in Sarah Orne Jewett Letters; the ms. is held by the Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, Bowdoin College Library.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

Annie Oakes Huntington to Annie E. Trumbull*

                                       Glen Road,
February 15th, 1901. [Friday]

I saw Miss Perkins at the Rehearsal. The following Wednesday was one of those days when the sidewalks stream and drip with running water, and the rain is shaken like a garment by the wind and one's plumage smells like a "damp dove", -- but Miss Perkins was at Lee's and so was I! We got on finely together and I made her tell me all about the Play (and everything) and I felt as if she were one of my old friends in Hartford, and as if we had lunched together habitually for years in Bohemian haunts!
    I thought of you at a dinner the night before, right in the middle of it.* Miss Jewett and I were the only feminine guests, and the men were Johnson Morton with unbounded humor and a talent for dialect stories (an editor), and Mr. Updike of the Merrymount Press, a very modern, enormously clever person, -- these with Fanny and Mark Howe, our hostess and host.
    The conversation was the kind you would have loved, and of all delightful themes, it was New England country people. Miss Jewett doesn't tell funny stories much herself, but she loves to hear them, and Johnson Morton was at his very best. I am not usually talkative when the conversation is general, but the excitement got into my blood. Of all topics I adore country people and the ladies of Milford. Mrs. Cassidy and the rest all came walking out and mingled with Johnson's washerladies, and undertakers, and school children, and Miss Jewett's neighbours. Oh, you would have loved it.
    Miss Jewett has a very sweet personality. I had quite a long talk with Mr. Updike (he did those little Tree tickets) and he asked me to have T at his rooms to meet Beatrix Jones, the girl in New York who has done so well in landscape gardening. She had seventy men under her at Bar Harbor. I couldn't help wondering if they gave her as much trouble as my one tippling Peter McQuade gave me, and they did blasting for her, too. Imagine Peter with a match and a can of gun powder, -- angels and ministers of grace defend us!*
    I went to hear Mr. Seton Thompson on his animal acquaintances, a most interesting lecture. The man who sent me the ticket also gave one to Mr. Walton, the hermit of the Magnolia woods, and we sat together. He told me quite a little of his life in the woods, how he feeds the birds every morning and knows them apart, and how the crows signal in the woods to each other. One calls when he is alone and they do not fly. Another calls when a stranger is with him and they all fly off, -- and how a coal black skunk came into the cabin the other evening and walked all round even scratching at the door to come in again, after it had been decoyed outside. I could easily imagine it. Mr. Walton had a pungent aroma about him suggesting bird feathers, and hen roosts and cabins and wood-pussies, and an absence of violet-scented soap ....


the night before:  Huntington is remembering the night before a previous Wednesday.  It is likely therefore, that the dinner she refers to took place on Tuesday 12 February 1901 at the home of Fanny and Mark De Wolfe Howe.  See Correspondents.   Mrs. Fanny Huntington Howe was a relative of Annie Oakes Huntington. 
    Huntington mentions a number of people in this letter who probably were not acquainted with Jewett.  Only those known to be Jewett acquaintances have been researched for these notes.

angels and ministers of grace:  William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 1; Scene 4.

A transcription of this letter appears in Testament of Happiness: Letters of Annie Oakes Huntington (1947), edited by Nancy Byrd Turner, pp. 59-61.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

Annie Oakes Huntington to Annie E. Trumbull

                                                   [February]            1901.*

... Yes, I really did think of you that night right in the middle of the stories, and Johnson Morton is the "he and I" man, and Miss Jewett has been saying particularly nice things about me again and modesty was never one of my virtues and it isn't modesty now. It's because I've got too much pride to tell you what the things were, only she did say nice things.
    And Mr. Updike gave a T, a printer's T, at the Merrymount Press for Miss Jones (the New York girl who has done such great things in landscape gardening) and for me -- really he did -- and we printed things, with trees all made into a joke on the press, "for Miss Jones, Miss Huntington and their friends," and Mrs. Baynard Thayer matronized, and there were men, -- most of them I didn't like, but Mr. Dorr, the man who has big nurseries at Bar Harbor, says he wants to help me in every way he can, and Mr. Updike made me tell my Milford stories, and _____ looked hungry to tell stories himself while I was telling them, and if we had been children in school, I know he would have pushed me out of the way and he would have said "Look! See me do it", and Mrs. Thayer had never heard them and she looked as if her parrot had learned a new trick unbeknownst, and Beatrix Jones giggled, and so did Updike, but I hate telling stories when they are turned on by a crank, and projected forcibly on to an audience. I like to tell them to people like Miss Jewett who know more than I do about them, and to be aggressive and self-assured where angels fear to speak.
    Two new classes begin this month and I have been asked to repeat the talk and Mr. Sargent (he is at the head of Dendrology in America and not the portrait painter!) has written me kind things and has sent to New York to get me specimens,— and it has all been as breathless as these sentences, sometimes, lately.


1901:  This letter seems to follow from the previous letter, but sometime after, and offers a further report on the evening of story-telling that included Jewett at the Fanny and Mark Howe home.

A transcription of this letter appears in Testament of Happiness: Letters of Annie Oakes Huntington (1947), edited by Nancy Byrd Turner, pp. 61-2.  Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to Katharine McMahon Johnson

     34 Beacon Street
     Thursday morning
     [February 1901]

    Dearest Katharine:

     I thank you so much for such a dear and satisfying letter. You don't know what a real help it gives a fellow! I have my ups and downs about the story but I do think that it gathers as it goes on. The key of it is so different, and the pace of it so much slower, being a longer expedition, that I can see the wide difference there is between it and the Pointed Firs, for instance.1 One can't get the same immediate hold.
     It is certainly a dangerous thing to try to write something entirely different after one has been for years and years making stories as short and round as possible but I have long had a dream of doing this, as you know, and I suppose I had to do it.
     It is so hard to get an honest word like yours -- some people like to be kind! and other people are really indifferent! and neither praise nor blame counts unless the right person speaks, and says both halves of his thought.2
     I am at last here for my twice-delayed winter visit. I wish you could let me see you, dear, if you are coming into town with a spare hour.

     With my love to you and little sister,
     Your grateful and affectionate,
     S. O. J.


     1 The Tory Lover, an historical romance about John Paul Jones's experience at South Berwick during the Revolutionary era, was a distinct departure from Miss Jewett's customary preoccupation with contemporary rural and coastal New England characters. The story was currently running in the Atlantic Monthly. When issued as a book later, a copy in "good Tory red" was sent to the Johnsons. The original of this letter is pasted into that copy, now in the Colby College Library (see Letter 124).
     2 Henry James, an avowed admirer of Miss Jewett's homespun art, was one of those who chided her about The Tory Lover. He viewed it askance as an "ingenious exercise" of "misguided stamp" and urged her to "Go back to the dear country of the Pointed Firs, come back to the palpable present intimate that throbs responsive." (Leon Edel, Selected Letters of Henry James [New York, 1955], 202-203.)
     Miss Jewett passed a day with James at Lamb House in Rye, England, on her third trip to Europe in 1898 (see M. A. DeWolfe Howe, Memories of a Hostess [Boston, 1922], 297-301). In company with Howells, James returned the compliment at South Berwick one memorably hot day in June 1905. Although James promised to write an introduction to Mrs. Fields's Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett, he was unable to fulfill his intention.

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.

Augustus Buell to SOJ

The William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Co.
Office of the President
     Beach and Ball Lts.
     Charles H. Cramp,

     March 1, 1901.

     My dear Miss Jewett:

     I have received your pleasant letter of the 28th ultimo and I thank you very much for your kind attention.

     I have been following your story in the "Atlantic" with much interest but I hope soon to see it in a book. I do not like to follow serial publications. Whenever I am interested in anything I like to have it all before me at once.

     When you get ready to revise your serial publication for ultimate reproduction in a book, I shall take great pleasure in suggesting to you the introduction of two or three characters who actually figured in the History of the Ranger. They would be: Reuben Chase of Nantucket, little John Downs of Portsmouth, and Dorotha Hall, the niece of Elijah Hall. I have some very interesting things about them and they could be worked into your story with good effect.

     So far as my own book is concerned, I have it on the authority of Mr. Charles Scribner that it is the most successful biography that they have printed in a great many years.

     I will tell you one curious little incident: One of the English reviews, the "Atheneum", treats the book from start to finish as a romance, and in the course of an extremely able and entertaining review, laments that I treated so gently, you might say, the affair between Jones and Aimée de Telison.

     Henry Waterson, in a quite elaborate review, made the same comment; and the other day Julian Hawthorne published a review, which was one of the best I have seen, and he thinks that I should have elaborated that affair more than I did.

     Getting a little tired of this sort of criticism, I took advantage of Julian Hawthorne's review to write him a letter in which, after thanking him for his kindly comment, I remarked in conclusion as follows

     "Noting your complaint that I have not sufficiently elaborated the gentle "relations between the Commodore and his little Morganatic Princess of the "House of Bourbon, I take advantage of your own name to ask you this "question: You would not have had me make a 'Scarlet Letter' of it, would "you?"

     Very truly yours,

     A. C. Buell


This letter was written on letterhead, so the address is printed, but the date and text are added.

The occasion of Buell writing to Fields is the publication, first in serial and then as a book, of The Tory Lover (1900-1901).  Buell's biography of John Paul Jones appeared while Jewett was composing and revising her novel, and she drew upon his work for facts incorporated into the novel.  Fortunately, she was somewhat restrained in her use of the biography, for subsequent scholarship, as indicated in Wikipedia, established that Buell fabricated much of the material in his book.

the affair between Jones and Aimée de Telison:  Buell recounts the relationship between Jones and de Telison in Chapter 11 of Paul Jones, Founder of the American Navy, a History (1900).

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University: bMS Am 1743 (31); transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to James Jeffrey Roche

Monday 18th March [1901]*

[Begin letterhead]

South Berwick.

Dear Mr. Roche

        I thank you for your ind friendliness about my misspelled pirate* -- it was a piece of carelessness, and shall be set right on the final page. 

    The Tory Lover was by no means done when I began to print it and so I have been obliged to work at both ends with an idea of trying to meet in the middle! [vertical line, perhaps an incomplete second exclamation point] but I

[ Page 2 ]

have been much burdened by winter illness.

  I am nearly done with so long a stretch of writing, now, but your note came to me when such kind words were doubly welcome.  I appreciated most warmly The Pilots* interest in the first chapters that were printed.  It is [very corrected] pleasant to me to carry out

[ Page 3 ]

a long cherished wish of [mark resembling 3 below the "o" in of] writing a story of my own neighbourhood and preserving some almost forgotten characters and place-names.  Master Sullivan* has always taken great hold upon my imagination as you will easily understand.  I wish that one could really know more about him, but it is very interesting to consider the possibilities of  his early life.

        Believe me

[ Page 4 ]

with great regard and my best thanks

        Yours sincerely

            S. O. Jewett


1901 Jewett's The Tory Lover was appearing in serial in Atlantic Monthly during the spring of 1901.  It seems clear that this letter was written during that spring.

misspelled pirate: Jewett's reference here is puzzling. No pirate appears to be named in either the Atlantic serialization or the final book publication of her novel, The Tory Lover (1901).

The Pilot: The Pilot is "the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston and claims the title of "America's Oldest Catholic Newspaper", having been in continuous publication since its first issue on September 5, 1829."

Master Sullivan:  John Sullivan (1692-1796) and his wife Old Margery (c. 1714 - 1801), settled in the Pine Hill area of Berwick, where Master John taught school for many years while Margery managed the farm. Two of their sons, John and James, achieved fame as soldiers and politicians.  Sullivan appears as a character in The Tory Lover.

The manuscript of this letter is held by Boston College, the John J. Burns Library: MS1986041.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to Irving B. Mower

     South Berwick, Maine
     March 22, [1901]

    Dear Mr. Mower:

     I am sorry that I have not had time either to see you or to write an answer to your letter, but owing to my illness I have been behindhand about my work lately. It was not such a bad case of the grippe for the month of February, but it has proved a bad hindrance.
     I have thought a great deal about your suggestions but without seeing my way to making a permanent historical exhibition or society just yet.1 Those persons, and they are many, who have valuable things, especially papers and furniture related to our town history, are perhaps their best custodians. I do think however that we may make the excuse of some public interest to have an exhibition, a temporary one, which would bring out such treasures. We could see what there is then and I could perhaps get the excellent idea started in people's minds. We must have a talk about it. I am just going to Boston for two or three days, and when I come back we must have a Library meeting. Do not you think so?2
     Yours with great regard,
     Sarah O. Jewett


     1 Miss Jewett's opinion prevailed. No historical society was formed in South Berwick until recent years. However, the Local History Department of the Berwick Woman's Club held its meetings at her home.
     2 The Fogg Memorial Library, housed in a wing of the Berwick Academy, was the only public library in South Berwick at this time. It was administered by a committee of Academy officials and townspeople, of which Miss Jewett, her sister Mary, and nephew Theodore Eastman were members.

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 John Thaxter

     South Berwick, Maine
     May 3, [1901]

    Dear Mr. Thaxter:

     I must say first of all that I am very sorry indeed for your annoyance in regard to your affairs with Mr. Stedman.1   I well remember that you were guided in his direction by my advice, and that I spoke warmly to him about your work and the promise that it seemed to me to give. I fear that he must have gone to pieces. When I had to do with him before, he had been most business-like, and I knew that he was in contact with many publications of different sorts, but I have heard nothing of him now for a long time.
     About this story: I find in it a new proof of your gifts of observation -- it is wonderful how you get the talk of your characters. But I think that episode with the half-witted man is very unpleasant, too unpleasant, so that it may have been the reason why the story has failed of acceptance. It is as true and close a study of character as the rest, but quite too horrible, and carries a kind of disgust with it for the wretched creature.2 I don't think the story needs such a proof of the lover's helpfulness. I believe it would be better to leave it out. Your point in the assurance of the heroine's heart that she was not doing wrong is original. I would add a remark on the part of William that he didn't generally believe in doing evil that good might come, but he never had reproached himself about that foolin' of Mirandy. He might watch them some evening as they stood together happily in the houseyard, for a little final paragraph, and say this.
     I think that I should send the story to Mr. Alden* again; but you may not like either my subtraction or my addition!

     In haste, with kindest regards,
     S. O. Jewett


See Richard Cary. "Jewett on Writing Short Stories." Colby Library Quarterly 10 (June 1964): 425-440.

    1Mr. Stedman:  Arthur Griffin Stedman (1859-1908), son of Edmund Clarence Stedman, maintained a literary agency in addition to his own literary work. He prepared the biographies for A Library of American Literature, which was jointly edited by his father and Ellen M. Hutchinson in 1892; compiled a volume of selected poems by Whitman; brought out an edition of Melville's Typee; and supervised a series called Fiction, Fact, and Fancy.

     2 Around this time Miss Jewett wrote to Annie Fields, in part: "I have in hand a story that poor John Thaxter sent me -- and I must write and say the other thing -- wonderful observation of people and the growing world but so little selecting power and some spots of a kind of brutal coarseness of apprehension that are hard to bear … I pity poor John but it does seem as if anybody might look at the magazines for himself and see what things are printed, as a sort of guide. He is toiling terribly at these stories, and they keep him busy, and so far it is well." (Houghton Library, Harvard) 

Editor's Notes

Mr. Alden:  Henry Mills Alden, editor of Harper's Magazine.  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.

Sophia Wallingford Smith to SOJ

May 10th 1900 [1901?]

Miss Sarah Orne Jewett

Dear Madam

     I was greatly interested in your story "The Tory Lover" appearing in the Atlantic Monthly and I wish to ask whether the characters in the story are fictitious or historical. The hero Roger Wallingford [anchors?] the [personality?] of my fraternal grand-father Samuel Richard Wallingford [first?] lieutenant on the "Ranger" under Capt. Paul Jones{.} Lieutenant Wallingford was married to Lydia Baker and was killed before the birth of his son -- George my father -- Madame Wallingford is also a familiar character to me. Berwick and its neighborhood is well known [to us as well?]. My sister Olive attended the Berwick Academy. [And we] made our home with our great-aunt Madame Cushing. With us at school were Mary [Nason?], her sister Lucia and [Miss Woodhouse?].* I am sure are familiar to you. With apologies for troubling you.

I am
Yrs truly,
S. Wallingford Smith

15 Ohio St.


It would appear that this letter is misdated, or that the date is incorrectly transcribed.  Smith could not have begun reading The Tory Lover in Atlantic until November 1900.

Olive:  Sophia's sister was Olive Cushing Wallingford, who "was born probably in Wells, Maine 30 May 1817 (Date from gravestone). Olive died 21 March 1887. She was buried in the Unitarian Churchyard in Kennebunk, Maine. Olive lived single in Kennebunk, Maine."

Mary [Nason?], her sister Lucia Woodhouse:  These people have not yet been identified, though the Nason family has a long history in South Berwick, ME.

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University: bMS Am 1743 (201); transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

S. O. J. to Bliss Perry

13th May

[ 1901 ]*

[ Begin letterhead ]

South Berwick. Maine.

[ End Letterhead ]

Dear Mr. Perry

    This is a short instalment [ so spelled ] of The Tory Lover* but it seems to leave off in a very good place!  If you should like more copy however it is at your service.  The August number will be a longer one.

    I return this delightful

[ Page 2 ]

treasury of fun: rustic and Collegiate! ---- I hope that you will forgive me for keeping it so long, but more than once when I have taken Mr. Pratt* in my hand to carry back to you I have not been able to resist the pleasure of reading him a little more.

    With thanks

Yours sincerely

S. O. Jewett


1901:  Jewett is sending Perry the penultimate serial installment (July) of her 1901 novel, The Tory Lover, for the Atlantic Monthly.

Mr. Pratt:  The identity of this person is uncertain.  Jewett was acquainted with Charles Stuart Pratt, husband of Eliza Pratt.  See Correspondents.  This Mr. Pratt was the author of a number of books for children, for which "rustic and Collegiate" seem inappropriate descriptors. 

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Small Library, University of Virginia, Special Collections MSS 6218, Sarah Orne Jewett Papers.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

John Marr to SOJ

Rochester, N.Y. May 22, 1901

Miss Sarah Orne Jewett,
South Berwick, Maine,

Dear Miss Jewett.

     In looking over my collection of old books, not long ago, I found the book herewith and take the liberty to send it to you. It may not interest you beyond, perhaps, its age and the short biography it contains of the life of Thomas Johnson, the last survivor of the crew of the Bon-homme Richard.*

     I find another old book entitled,

"The Prisoners of 1776,"

"An Account of the several cruises of the squadron under the command of Commodore John Paul Jones --" containing a list of prisoners confined in the Mill Prison, Plymouth, England, including the names of those who served under Paul Jones. 20 were from Kittery, 9 from Berwick, and 4 from York. Two of the names (who served under Jones) are of interest to me, inasmuch as Thos. Hammett of Berwick, was the brother of Sarah (Hammett) Marr, -- my great grand-mother, -- Ichabod Lord of Berwick, -- if my data is correct -- was brother of my grandmother Sherah (Lord) Neal, of North Berwick.

     The work was compiled from the journal of Charles Herbert of Newburyport, -- in 1847 -- who served under Paul Jones, and was a prisoner in Old Mill Prison.*

     It is possible that you may have the work in your library, if not, will you allow me the pleasure of sending it to you?

     I send the indian arrowheads I promised you on my last trip to Maine. They are scarce specimens of [two unreadable words]. Does it seem to you possible that they were chipped into shape by the use of a block of wood?, as scientists say they were.

     Wish I had something nice to send you in acknowledgment of your uniform courtesy and kindness to an old man. I am now the oldest man living, born in the section I came from except Columbia (Columbus) Warren who is two years my senior.

     By the way! -- Can't you give us a little sketch of the history of the [unreadable] and papering of the old parlor of the [unreadable] "Frosts Hotel" in your village?* -- Few perhaps, have ever seen the quaint old paper, and many that have would fail to appreciate it from a lack of the proper knowledge of the story it tells.

     A stranger once approached Mr Dickens and was told to go away and not bother him! The stranger politely replied that Mr D. belonged to the pubic and that every man that could read owned an interest in him, and he respectfully begged leave to bother his individual interest.

     As "Sarah Orne Jewett" I trust and hope you will accept my apology, and perhaps, look kindly upon my individual rights to bother you.

Yours Truly

John Marr.

#659 Averill Ave.
Rochester, N.Y.


Thomas Johnson, the last survivor of the crew of the Bon-homme Richard:  Possibly, Marr has given Jewett a copy of The Land We Live in: Or, Travels, Sketches and Adventures in North and South America.... (1859), by Charles Augustus Goodrich,  which contains a brief account of Thomas Johnson, p. 334.  The Bon-Homme Richard was under John Paul Jones's command in 1779 when he captured the British frigate Serapis.

journal of Charles Herbert of Newburyport:  Charles Herbert, A Relic of the Revolution (1847).

"Frosts Hotel" in your village:   Jewett eventually set two stories at Frost's Hotel in South Berwick, ME:  "The Stage Tavern" (1900) and "Peg's Little Chair" (1891).  For a brief account of the history of Frost's Hotel, see Pirsig, The Placenames of South Berwick (2007), p. 94.  Pirsig says: the "hand-painted French wallpaper dating to 1799 and showing the bay of Naples from the mural "Les Vues D'Italie" is said to have survived in the former hotel, but has been paneled over."

stranger once approached Mr Dickens:  No source for this anecdote has been found.  Assistance is welcome.

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University: bMS Am 1743 (146); transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to John Thaxter

     South Berwick, Maine
     [May-June 1901]

    Dear Mr. Thaxter:

     I think the first half of this new story is the best work you have done, but I don't feel sure that the story as a whole is as good as the last -- no, I like that and the one with the bird on the wave better. But there is such good humour in this. I wonder if you cannot think over the ending and make it a little freer. I am almost persuaded that I should have the dress prevail! And after all its visions and delays have Miss Sarah Burr reap a triumphant victory and when she goes to the parsonage she looks so splendid and puts on such an easy gayety with her new garment that the Captain finds her approachable and all is settled! What do you think of this? The other sister would affectionately admire -- you could dispose of her; but one's heart is appealed to by Miss Sarah Burr. I couldn't bear to see her cast down. I am sure Mrs. Thaxter* will agree with me that she showed a splendid fight, and such funny determination.
     Have you tried the Saturday Evening Post in Philadelphia? They use a good many stories -- and Outing?
     I am very much hurried this morning, so please forgive such a letter as this.

     Yours most sincerely,
     S. O. Jewett


See Richard Cary. "Jewett on Writing Short Stories." Colby Library Quarterly 10 (June 1964): 425-440.

Saturday Evening Post ... OutingWikipedia says: "The Saturday Evening Post is a bimonthly American magazine. It was published weekly under this title from 1897 until 1963, biweekly until 1969, and quarterly and then bimonthly from 1971. In the 1920s to the 1960s, it was one of the most widely circulated and influential magazines for the American middle class, with fiction, non-fiction, cartoons and features that reached millions of homes every week."

    Wikipedia also says: Outing was a late-nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American magazine covering a variety of sporting activities. It began publication in 1882 as the Wheelman 'an illustrated magazine of cycling literature and news' and had four title changes before ceasing publication in 1923."

Mrs. Thaxter:  Thaxter's wife was Mary Gertrude Stoddard (b. 1858).  Cary notes that Thaxter was not successful at publishing his stories.

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

SOJ to Lucy Keays Hayward

 June 12th 1901
South Berwick. Maine.

My dear Lucy

    How kind you are. And how much Mary* and I wish that we could accept your invitation! It would be a great pleasure to both of us, and we should gladly come if we were free, but next week the affairs of Theodore's graduation begins [so transcribed] and from Class day to Commencement* we are engaged in one way or another here, or at Massachusetts with Mrs, Fields* where we spend some nights until he comes home, Mary has already declined an invitation for this reason which came to us both -- and we are still sorrier to say no to you. It would not need the laurel for an inducement, but as you know, we should dearly like to see it bloom. Do give our kindest regards to Mr. Hayward and to Bell* and say what pleasure we should have had in coming if the plan had been possible.

I have just finished a long story which has taken me a whole year since I came from Greece, though I had done a good piece of it three years before1 I am sure you will find much of our old town in it -- one [our?] dear Old Berwick! I was writing a story and not a history so that I have not always followed the true dates in minor matters -- making my people earlier or later dead giving them journeys that they never took; even keeping the hero alive and making him happy when history reports that he died!2 I wanted to keep the memory of old houses and old families and I am so glad that I have got the long story done.  If your dear Mother* had still been have been here how many questions I should have loved to ask her.

I shall give your kind message to Becca3 and your other friends and tell them how sorry we are to have sent such an answer. Mary sends you her love and thanks with mine. Indeed we are very sorry to say no, dear Lucy!

Yours affectionately
S. O. Jewett

You would love to see Berwick now, it was never more green and beautiful

Stoddart's Notes

1 The Tory Lover (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1901).

2 Roger Wallingford, the protagonist of the novel. See notes on The Tory Lover for details on how Jewett reshaped historical events and people in her novel.  

3 Becca very likely is Rebecca Young (1847-1927).  In Sarah Orne Jewett: her World and her Work (2002), Paula Blanchard says: "Rebecca Young, who lived a few doors from the Jewetts, was an old classmate of the [Jewett] sisters from the days of Miss Raynes's school and Berwick Academy and an intimate friend of both Mary and Carrie.  She was for many years treasurer of the South Berwick Savings Bank" (p. 203).  She was riding with Sarah Orne Jewett on 3 September 1902, when a stumbling horse threw both of them from the carriage [Revised by the editor].

Editor's Notes

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Class day to Commencement:  In 1901, Harvard's Class Day Exercises took place on Friday, June 21.  Though this is not certain, it appears that Jewett was unable to attend the Harvard commencement ceremonies for her nephew, Theodore Eastman, on June 26 because she needed to be in Brunswick on June 27 to receive her honorary degree from Bowdoin College.  See Correspondents.

Mrs. Fields:  Annie Fields.  See Correspondents.

Mr. Hayward and to Bell:  Lucy Hayward was married to the Reverend Sylvanus Hayward.  In 1901, their only surviving child was their unmarried daughter, Bell.  See Correspondents.

dear Mother:  Mrs. Hayward's mother has not been identified, though it appears she may have been from the large Goodwin family of South Berwick.

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

     Manchester, Tuesday [June 25, 1901]*

     Dearest Sally, -- Class day was really an exquisite thing to see! I did not take in the beauty of its spectacle until I happened to go to Dana's room in Holworthy, and to sit on a window-seat looking down the Yard just before we went to the Statue.* The sun was getting low enough to slant across under the elms, and the lanterns were lit by it before their time with a strange light of day that was better than candles. The people too, though they were going on to the next pleasure, had a look of leisure as they went along the paths, as if they were counting over the last pleasure instead of anticipating a new one. There was such a satisfaction in the beauty of the whole afternoon's festival. I have never seen anything quite like it. I keep thinking as I try to write of that most lovely page of Fitzgerald's in "Euphranor" "and a nightingale began to sing" it ends; you remember what I mean? after the boat-race!*

     Forgive such a note -- my pen will not keep itself steady; it is like trying to write with a small bird's beak!

     Yours ever most lovingly.


June 25, 1901:  In 1901, Harvard's Class Day Exercises took place on Friday, June 21.  Assuming that Jewett composed this letter the following Tuesday, the date would be June 25.  This date is of some importance because Jewett had to be at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME on June 27 for the commencement exercises at which she received her honorary degree.  See SOJ to Annie Adams Fields, June 28, 1901.

Dana's room ... Yard ... Statue: According to Silverthorne's biography, Jewett and her sister, Mary, attended the Harvard graduation ceremonies of their nephew, Theodore Eastman in 1901.  Holworthy Hall is a first-year dormitory at Harvard University. "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("Harry") Dana, Harvard AB 1903, AM 1904, PhD 1910 taught English at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) from 1908 to 1910 and comparative literature at Columbia University from 1912 to 1917, when he was dismissed for pacifist activities. Thereafter he continued to teach comparative literature and Russian studies at a variety of educational institutions and was deeply involved in progressive political activities, particularly in advancing the cause of global socialism and supporting labor unions and worker education. "  He was a grandson of the poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the author Richard Henry Dana, Jr., and the son of Richard Henry Dana III (1851-1931), whom Jewett knew as "Dicky" Dana, and Edith Longfellow (1853–1915).
        In Harvard Yard, stands the Daniel Chester French statue of John Harvard, famous for its plaque containing three lies, because the statue does not actually depict John Harvard, because he was a benefactor rather than founder of Harvard, and because the founding date of 1638 should be 1636.

Fitzgerald's in "Euphranor" "and a nightingale began to sing" it ends: Edward Fitzgerald's (1809-1883) Euphranor, A dialogue on Youth appeared in 1851. Jewett refers to the last page of the piece, which ends with a description of the finish of a crew race, apparently at Cambridge, after which the narrator and his two companions walk home "across the meadow leading to the town, whither the dusky troops of Gownsmen with all their confused voices seemed as it were evaporating in the twilight, while a Nightingale began to be heard among the flowering Chestnuts of Jesus." It is likely Jewett read this in William A. Wright's three-volume edition, Letters and Literary Remains of Edward Fitzgerald (1889).

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

[Bowdoin in pencil in upper left corner of page 1, in another hand]

        South Berwick
        Friday afternoon [June 28, 1901]*

My dearest Annie

    Here we are at home again -- I have so much to tell that my pen splutters.  I have had a beautiful time full of delightful old associations to my heart.  (Here is S. W's* dear letter -- and how soon we shall see her now!) and I have sent off your dear note to Mrs. Howe.*  A good letter from Nelly Prince* which I shall keep for Mary* to see.  We asked

[ Page 2 ]

Professor Smith of Andover and his wife* to stop over the afternoon with us, and Mary went to take them to the station after a little drive -- which gives me this first minute with you. [ marks that seem not to signify:  .) ]  You cant think how nice it was to be the single sister of so many brothers ^at Bowdoin^ -- [ Pinny double underlined]* walking in the procession in cap and gown and Doctors hood!

[ Page 3 ]

and being fetched by a marshal to the President to sit on the platform with the Board of Overseers & the Trustees -- also the Chief Justice and all the judges of the supreme court, who were in session in Portland, or somewhere near by! And being welcomed by the President in a set speech as the only daughter of Bowdoin, and rising humbly to make the best bow she could -- But what was most touching was the old chaplain of the day who spoke about

[ Page 4 ]
[A clipping from the Somersworth Free Press -- transcribed in the notes below]*

[ Page 5 ]

father in his "bidding prayer,"* and said those things of him which were all true. And [your corrected] P. L.. applauded ^twice!^ by so great an audience. (P. L. !)

      I told Dr. Hyde that I should ask Mrs. Whitman to make a window.* I hope that you will approve this plan -- it will be a really beautiful and permanent memorial to leave. They are making up a fund, but the money that I could give will count so much more in this way. Mary was dear and lovely, and

[24 circled in another hand, bottom left of p. 5]

[ Page 6 ]
  the great day was hers as much as mine as you will know.

    I must say good bye just as I seem to have begun! but I wanted to tell you & Eva* a little about it.

    Mrs. Riggs was there (Kate Douglas Wiggins) and Mary and I both liked her so much (I far more than ever{)} that we asked her to come for a night on Monday.  [Beginning parenthesis probably in another hand and ink ] I shall get to you on Friday as early as possible, as you know --

[24 circled in another hand, bottom left of p. 6]

[ Page 7 ]

but my heart would bring me much sooner.  Your letters are dearer than ever.  I think I love these two the best of any!
        Your P. L.

With love to Eva & to Mary O'Brien* when she comes. [End parenthesis mark, probably in another hand and ink.]


June 28, 1901: Jewett was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine), her father's alma mater, at commencement on Thursday June 27, 1901. She was the first woman in the United States to receive an honorary degree from an all-male college.
    Though this is not certain, it appears that Jewett was unable to attend the Harvard commencement ceremonies for her nephew, Theodore Eastman, on June 26 because she needed to be in Brunswick on June 27.

S. W's:  Sarah Wyman Whitman, called Mrs. Whitman later in the letter. See Correspondents.

Mrs. Howe:  Probably Alice Greenwood (Mrs. George Dudley) Howe, though Jewett usually would refer to her by first name. See Correspondents.

Nelly Prince:  Probably this is Helen Prince (1882 - 1909), the daughter of Charles Albert Prince (1852- 1942) and the fiction writer Helen Choate Pratt (1857-1943).  See Correspondents. Nelly married "John A. L. Blake, a Harvard graduate, on August 8, 1908, at the family home in Noirmoutier. After a honeymoon in Europe, they settled in Boston. She died less than a year later, on April 11, 1909, due to complications with a pregnancy."

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Professor Smith of Andover and his wife: The identities of this couple have not been determined. Assistance is welcome.

Pinny:  Pinny Lawson / P. L. is one of Jewett's nicknames.

President: Wikipedia says: "William De Witt Hyde (September 23, 1858 - June 29, 1917) was an American college president, born at Winchendon, Mass.," and educated at Harvard University and Andover Theological Seminary.  He was the seventh president of Bowdoin College (1885–1917).

Chief Justice: Andrew Peters Wiswell (1852-1906), a graduate of Bowdoin (1878), was Chief  Justice of the Supreme Court of Maine (1900-1906).

"bidding prayer": In Anglican and Protestant religious services, the bidding prayer occurs before the sermon, and usually contains petitions for various classes of persons.  The identity of this chaplain has not be discovered.  Assistance is welcome.

clipping from the Somersworth Free Press:  A clipping apparently included with the letter appears between pp. 3 and 5.

Honor for Miss Sarah Orne Jewett.
One of the pleasantest features of the Bowdoin Ceutennial was the ovation given Miss Sarah Orne Jewett as she took her place in the college procession, and in cap and gown sat upon the platform with college professors and the wearers of many honorary degrees. Introduced as the only daughter of the college, she represented not only the true and noble woman whose talent we are all so proud of and whose personality is enshrined in the real affection of so many hearts, but the womanhood of the twentieth century taking its rightful place beside the manhood. The degree given Miss Jewett is the first one ever conferred by a man's college on a woman, and it means much to the new century. The day was a proud one for South Berwick and recalled many memories of the father, also identified so closely with Bowdoin, whose influence lives in this talented daughter and still blesses and brightens very many lives to which he ministered while here. -- Somersworth Free Press.

Eva:   Probably this is Baroness Eva von Blomberg.  See Correspondents.

Mrs Riggs
: Mrs. George C. Riggs (1856-1923) is Kate Douglas Wiggin's name by her second marriage. She wrote a series of stories for young readers based on her travels in Britain. Three of these published during Jewett's lifetime were: A Cathedral Courtship and Penelope's English Experiences (1893), Penelope's Experiences in Scotland (1896), and Penelope's Irish Experiences (1901).    

: According to Silverthorne, Jewett proposed a stained-glass window for Memorial Hall to honor her father. With President Hyde's consent, she commissioned Sarah Wyman Whitman (1842-1904) to design and execute this window, which was completed on June 20, 1903, making it one of Whitman's last completed windows.


Whitman's window honoring Dr. Theodore Jewett in Memorial Hall, Bowdoin College.
Unfortunately, this window cannot be viewed by the public from the inside.

Bowdoin's "Stained Glass Treasure Restored, Replaced on Memorial Hall" says: "What appears from the outside to be black glass is actually deep red, evident only from the inside when bright sunlight passes through the window. But because the inside of the theater must be free of ambient light, the window is walled off and now visible only from the outside."

Mary O'Brien:  This person remains unidentified.  Assistance is welcome.

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

Annie Fields Transcription of:   Friday afternoon [June 28, 1901].

This transcription appears in Annie Fields, Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett (1911),

     Here we are at home again. I have so much to tell that my pen splutters. I have had a beautiful time full of delightful old associations. You can't think how nice it was to be the single sister of so many brothers at Bowdoin, walking in the procession in cap and gown and Doctor's hood, and being fetched by a marshal to the President, to sit on the platform with the Board of Overseers and the Trustees, also the Chief Justice and all the judges of the Supreme Court, who were in session in Portland, or somewhere near by! And being welcomed by the President in a set speech as the only daughter of Bowdoin, and rising humbly to make the best bow she could. But what was most touching was the old chaplain of the day who spoke about father in his "bidding prayer," and said those things of him which were all true. And your S. O. J. applauded twice by so great an audience!

     I told Dr. Hyde that I should ask Mrs. Whitman to make a window. I hope that you will approve this plan -- it will be a really beautiful and permanent memorial to leave. They are making up a fund, but the money that I could give will count so much more in this way. Mary was dear and lovely, and the great day was hers as much as mine, as you will know.

SOJ to Alice Dunlap Gilman

     Pride's Crossing
     Beverly, Massachusetts
     July 10, [1901]

    Dear Cousin Alice:

     I thank you so much for your kind note which pleased my heart. I have wished to tell you how sorry I was that you have been ill, and though Mary* gave you our love and my messages, I am not contented without sending one word myself. You must be very careful and not overdo, and get your strength back as fast as you can. When you feel like a little change, do please remember what a warm welcome waits for you in Berwick.
     Of course I was delighted and full of pride and pleasure in the Degree,1 if only because it would have pleased father so much. You know how warmly attached he always was to the college, and how some inheritance of that feeling has naturally come to me. I thought of Cousin Charles* too, and that it would have given him pleasure, and how he would have half teased me, and said some serious things that would have made me feel a deeper pleasure than before. I miss him very much, even though I have not yet gone to Brunswick without finding him. He was always so kind, and put so many new thoughts into my mind whenever we talked together.
     I have almost finished The Tory Lover now,* and I am very glad for I am almost too tired after more than a year's steady hard work. Lately I have 'kept at it' both morning and afternoon, and it has been almost too much. I am spending a few days just now with my dear old friend Mrs. Cabot but I go home early in the week.
     It must be about the time that you expected Cousin Fanny. I have not forgotten that I owe her a nice long letter which I was so glad to get. I hope that this time she will stop to see us on her way home. With love to you, dear Cousin Alice, and to David and Charlie and both the girls, I am
     Yours most affectionately,
     We have not seen Theodore since Commencement,2 as he went off on a cruise with some of his friends. We were delighted to think that he had done so well in college, with a cum laude and Honors in French, but he has kept close at his work, and done the best he could, dear boy.


     1 Miss Jewett received the degree of Doctor of Letters from Bowdoin College at the 1901 Commencement, the first woman to be so honored. She referred with unadulterated pleasure to her being "the single sister of so many brothers."
     2 Theodore Eastman received his A. B. from Harvard College in 1901, his M. D. from Harvard Medical School in 1905.

Editor's Notes

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

Cousin Charles: Charles Jervis Gilman died February 5, 1901.

The Tory Lover:  Jewett's novel was appearing serially in Atlantic Monthly at the time she wrote this letter.

Mrs. Cabot:  Susan Burley Cabot.  See Correspondents.

Cousin Fanny:  Cousin Fanny has not yet been identified.

dear Cousin Alice, and to David and Charlie and both the girls:  Members of the Gilman family.  See Correspondents. Cousin Alice, who seems to be another Alice from the recipient of this letter has not been identified.

This letter is edited and annotated by Richard Cary in Sarah Orne Jewett Letters; the ms. is held by the Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, Bowdoin College Library.  Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to
Horace E. Scudder

     Pride's Crossing
     Beverly, Massachusetts
     July 12, 1901

    Dear Mr. Scudder:

     I think that this is the first time that the sight of your handwriting ever gave me a little pang! I wished it were I who had written first to you; I have been thinking of you and hoping to find the right hour when I might tell you how sorry I was to hear of your illness. Long ago, one late winter day, someone told me that you had been ill, but I thought of it as something quite in the past, a shadow that had not only come but gone again! and only within a few days I found out what a long and hindering siege this same illness had been. I am more sorry than I can say. I wish that I might have known, and might have at least said a word even if I could not do a thing or make some evidence of true and hearty sympathy. I have always suffered very much at times from the hindrance and defeat of illness -- as if I had always been a decent sort of mill that ran unexpectedly short of motive power. Now that I have grown older and behold such a long row of books, however, it seems as if I must have been writing every minute since I arrived in this world.
     I can't help hoping that you will like this last one -- The Tory Lover --* which has taken more than a solid year's hard work and the dreams and hopes of many a year beside. I have always meant to do what I could about keeping some of the old Berwick flowers in bloom, and some of the names and places alive in memory, for with many changes in the old town they might be soon forgotten. It has been the happiest year of work that ever came to me as well as the hardest. A good deal of the 'tone of things' which existed in those earlier days had survived into my own times: the fine old houses, the ladies and gentlemen of colonial days were not all gone. Dear Mr. Warner1 gave me the final push toward writing such a story when he was in Berwick once, and I am so glad to remember that he read some of the early chapters last summer and took pleasure in them.
     I am eager enough to get your Lowell2 into my hands. I hope that it is down for the early autumn? I suppose that we must wait for September in a new-bookless state now. It has the effect of sending me back to old friends and favorites, but I should like my Lowell sooner than I am likely to get it. I am just now spending a few days with an old friend, who is the best of readers and who likes a fresh book as well as anybody, but after grumbling because of summer vacations in the publishing world, I saw her sit down after breakfast to her Boswell,* and there she is yet!
     Forgive me such a long letter, but it is next best thing to the talk with you which I wished for as I began to write. I have said nothing of the old days when I first came to know your unforgettable kindness and sympathy for what my young heart dreamed of writing. But those things are never going to fade from my mind.
     Please take my best thanks for your kind words about the Degree, and please remember me to Mrs. Scudder and your dear girl* whom I hope to see again and to really know. And get well just as fast as ever you can, or you must be made to turn your back upon Chocorua and come to settle in Berwick where the tide comes up from Portsmouth exactly twice a day! and the Tamworth hills3 look blue in the distance.

     Yours most affectionately,
     S. O. Jewett


     1 Scudder must have prompted [Jewett] to act on Charles Dudley Warner's suggestion that she write an heroic novel about John Paul Jones's activities in Maine ...  As an editor, he was aware that the vogue of local color was on the wane and that the historical romance was capturing the attention of the American reading public.
     2 Horace E. Scudder, James Russell Lowell (Boston, 1901). Miss Jewett was a frequent guest at Elmwood, Lowell's home, where the time was spent pleasantly discussing books and the art of writing. Lowell introduced Miss Jewett to the poems of John Donne, which she read "with perfect delight." The Boston Brahmin often mimicked her Maine accent and colloquialisms, reminding her waggishly that the state of Maine had once been merely a "deestrict" of Massachusetts.
     3 Vicinity of Chocorua, New Hampshire, a small community of summer homes in the White Mountains of New Hampshire populated in the latter half of the nineteenth century largely by persons of literary or artistic prominence: painters Benjamin Champney and J. F. Kensett, philosophers William James and William E. Hocking, poets William Vaughn Moody and Edwin Arlington Robinson, editors Horace E. Scudder and Ferris Greenslet, educators Abraham Flexner, Francis J. Child, George F. Baker. Henry James and William Dean Howells came often to stay with William James, and Whittier and Lucy Larcom vacationed in nearby Ossipee. Miss Jewett used to visit the Reverend Treadwell Walden, rector of the Episcopal Cathedral in Boston, at his cottage in Wonalancet.

Editor's notes

The Tory Lover:  The Atlantic Monthly serial of Jewett's novel continued through the August 1901 issue.

Mr. Warner:  Charles Dudley Warner. See Correspondents.

old friend:  Susan Burley Cabot.  See Correspondents.

Boswell:  Mrs. Cabot probably is reading The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791) by James Boswell.

the Degree, ... Mrs. Scudder ... dear girl:  Jewett refers to the honorary degree she received from Bowdoin College in June 1901.  See letters above.
    Scudder was married to Grace Owen (1845-1926).  They had twin daughters; Ethel (1875-1876) and Sylvia (1875 - after 1912); Cary says she married Ingersoll Bowditch of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

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

SOJ to Gilson Hoyt Willets

Manchester by Sea
24 August [ 1901 ]*

To Gilson Willets Esqr

My dear sir       

I am afraid
that I cannot make any appointment -- I  [ couldn't or cannot ] say exactly when I might be found at South Berwick for this being the season of visits -- and of guests -- I am hardly able to count upon my own plans.  I think

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that you had better make your arrangements to suit your own convenience.  I shall be in South Berwick early next week and I shall leave word that your photographer is to do what he likes, and to have whatever help can be given hm.  There is a very good photographer in the village -- but I do not know whether his interior work is equal to his really excellent work out of doors --

Yours very truly

S. O. Jewett


1901:  This speculative date is supported by a tissue of circumstantial evidence.  It seems clear from the letter that Willets is working on a project that involves making photographs of the interior of Jewett's house.  As of this writing, there is no published evidence that this project bore fruit.  However, the Houghton Library of Harvard University holds a collection of interior photographs of the Jewett home, made by Kingsbury Studio, Photographs of Quality, Portsmouth, NH. It appears from the letter that Willets has asked Jewett to suggest a photographer for the project.  It may be the case, therefore, that Willets engaged the Kingsbury Studio to make the photographs. According to a catalog note, one photo (Seq. 5 / #37) apparently shows "images of: Katie Galvin, Mary Galvin, and John L., who were all household staff."  Katy/Katie Galvin is believed to have joined the household in 1899, when she immigrated from Ireland.
    This letter seems likely to have been written before Jewett's August 1902 carriage accident.  1900 and 1901 are, therefore, likely dates.  In 1901, Jewett was the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Bowdoin College.  Her historical novel, The Tory Lover was receiving a strong reception, and several newspaper pieces about her appeared, offering stories about her home and personal life.  This would seem a good time for Willets to have received an assignment for a project that involved extensive photographs of Jewett's house, which figures in the novel.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Small Library, University of Virginia, Special Collections MSS 6218, Sarah Orne Jewett Papers.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to
Sara Holland

     Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.
     August 26, [1901]

     Dear Sara:

     This must carry my affectionate good wishes for your share of our birthday, and assure you that I shall think of you and bless the day that you were born to be my younger mate and Arthur's wife and your Cousin Annie's cousin and so, my friend!* I shall drink your health in the best beverage I can reach at the high moment of celebrating so illustrious a day.
     A few days ago I started a book on its way to you which I like for its American qualities: Captain 'Bob' Evans's autobiography.1 I am afraid that it is a clumsier volume than you will like on the edge of a journey, but it will keep! and give you and Arthur, beside, some idea of the quarrel over Sampson and Schley2 by their respective friends. At least this seems to be one exciting cause. Not that the quarrel is of great consequence; not half so much as this honest picture of a modern sailor's experience and character.
     Everybody is very well among the people for whom you care most here, only their hearts are very sad at Nahant from the loss of Willis Beal's dear little son.* Annie and I happened to see him only a few days before he died -- a beautiful little fellow, and so delightful to his grandfather and grandmother as one could quickly see.
     I am deeply interested in your change of plans, and the giving up on Arthur's part of such overwhelming cares of business. I had a sudden certainty that dear 'Aunt Harriet' would have smiled upon such a decision with entire approval: her son has done a solid piece of good steady hard work all these years and earns his holiday, which is sure to be put into other work none the less. I love to think of his sitting down with a sigh of content to read all a workday morning! Annie and I thought that there was even a feeling of rest in his first letter. How many more hours you will have together now.3
     Thank you for your kind interest in The Tory Lover. I am just through with the book proofs and it comes out here and in London late in September.4
     With my love,
     Always yours most truly,
     Sarah O. Jewett


     1 Robley D. Evans, A Sailor's Log: Recollections of Forty Years of Naval Life (New York, 1901).
     2 Miss Jewett is referring to the public controversy over who was the "real" hero of the rout of the Spanish fleet at Santiago -- Admiral William T. Sampson or Admiral Winfield Scott Schley. Captain Evans was one of the several naval officers invited by Robert Underwood Johnson to give their versions of the battle in the Century (see his Remembered Yesterdays [Boston, 1929], 417-418).
     3 Despite the roseate picture of domestic leisure drawn by Miss Jewett, Holland did not retire from his iron, steel, and railroad enterprises (for a short period he was president of the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad in Maine) until after he met with an automobile accident in 1916.
     4 The 1901 American edition was published by Houghton, Mifflin & Company, Boston and New York; the British edition, by Smith, Elder & Company, London.

Editor's Notes

my friend:  Sarah Holland is Annie Fields' cousin by marriage.  See Correspondents.

Nahant ... Willis Beal's dear little son:  The grandparents are Louisa Adams (1836-1920, sister of Annie Fields), who was the second wife of James Henry Beal (1823-1904). See The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 59, pp. xcliii-iv.  Their younger son, William Beal (b. 1870) married Lillian Sprague Darrow.  Born in Nahant, Beal was in real estate in New York in 1913.  According to the Secretary's Fifth Report: Harvard College Class of 1893 (1913), p. 12, their children were:
    James (4 February 1899 - 12 August 1901)
    Willis (14 June 1902)
    Holland (2 June 1904).

'Aunt Harriet': Arthur Holland's mother, Harriet Holland.  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. Additional notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to Sara Norton


     Manchester by Sea, August 28, 1901.

     My dearest Sally, -- I hear of you at Windsor and in other far countries,* and the summer goes parading by, here on the shore (where I have been staying once before since August came in), after some perfect days at home, and a bit of a visit to Miss Longfellow at Holderness,* where we played much on the lake and in it, and I had one perfectly happy long morning when we went huckleberrying together with enormous profit to the rest of the household! There is a charming sort of easy life going on about those lake shores. One is more shut in by mountains than on Winnipiseogee,* -- which is so much better known, -- and sees all the colours of the great slopes change and change with the slow cloud shadows. The house where I stayed is so close to the lake that the little waves come clucking up to the very walls, and one lands as immediately as if it were Venice, and hears the loons calling as if it were still a wilderness.

     My thoughts fly to Stonehurst at this moment and I wonder with considerable wistfulness if we shall really get to that kind house this summer. Perhaps it might be in late September.

     "The Tory Lover"* got itself quite done at last, -- though almost every day I get hurried notes from The House with questions about last things. I grow very melancholy if I fall to thinking of the distance between my poor story and the first dreams of it, but I believe that I have done it just as well as I could. I was delighted the other day when Mrs. Agassiz* said that she had been doubtful in the beginning, but had really liked each number better than the last, and I found that my people had made her a real pleasure in the end. One needs these things for cheer.

     This morning I have been copying Mr. Kipling's "Bridge-Guard" poem* with great delight. Some one lent me his copy cut from the "Times," and I had not succeeded in getting hold of it before. Don't you think it very fine? Don't you feel the same wonderful self-consciousness in it as in "For to admire and for to see"? One sees and feels that lonely place in a wonderful way. If you were here how we could talk about it!


Windsor:  It appears Sara Norton is traveling in England, where Wikipedia says: "Windsor is a town ... in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England. It is widely known as the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British Royal Family."

Miss Longfellow at Holderness ... the lake:  Alice Mary Longfellow.  See Correspondents. It appears that Jewett and Longfellow have both visited Holderness, New Hampshire, which is on Squam Lake.  It is possible that they stayed at the Asquam House Hotel, though there were other hotels in this resort town.  See Around Squam Lake (2002), by Bruce D. Heald, Chapter 4.

Winnipiseogee: Probably Lake Winnipesaukee, a resort area in the White Mountains of southeastern New Hampshire.

Stonehurst:  The summer home of Helen Bigelow Merriman at Intervale, NH.  See Correspondents.

"The Tory Lover" ... The House: Jewett's novel, The Tory Lover, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1901. Mrs. Agassiz has been reading it in the serial which appeared in Atlantic Monthly, November 1900 - August 1901.

Mrs. Agassiz: Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz (1822-1907) helped to develop the Harvard "Annex" into Radcliffe College, where she served as president. She was the second wife of the naturalist Jean Louis Agassiz.

Mr. Kipling's "Bridge-Guard" poem ... "For to admire and for to see": Rudyard Kipling's "Bridge-Guard in the Karroo, 1901," describes the feelings of soldiers set to guard a remote railway bridge during the South African War. The refrain is:
     (Few, forgotten and lonely,
           Where the empty metals shine -
     No, not combatants - only
           Details, guarding the line.)

"For to Admire" is the monologue in dialect of a professional soldier, remembering the adventures that have been the purpose of his life. This poem's refrain is:
     For to admire an' for to see,
           For to be'old this world so wide -
     It never done no good to me,
           But I can't drop it if I tried!

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

SOJ to Francis Jackson Garrison

Friday [September 1901]*



Dear Mr. Garrison

     I have just heard this morning of your illness. They only told me that you were at home with a cold the last time I was at the office -- and I wish to say at once how very sorry I am ^that the illness has been [ worse? ]^. Mr. Mifflin speaks briefly as if he supposed that I


knew ^all about it^, so that I really do not know half so much as I wish to, but it is a great comfort to know that you are better. One cant help feeling very anxious about ones friends, but I hope that you have already come to a not too unpleasant stage of easy convalescence, and especially, that you will take as long a rest as


possible before you go into town again! Harden that conscience that may try to urge you too fast, and make believe that it is not yourself but one of those friends whom you treat so kindly, and be very good to the patient, and very unwilling to let him think of any body but himself -- for once!

     I am going to ask H. M. & Co. to send you a new story which is about to be published. It is by a new writer of tender


years, and some excellent critics believe that it shows promise.  It has at least a lovely cover, and its name is The Tory Lover!

     With love to you and to Mrs. Garrison believe me ever

     Yours sincerely

        Sarah O. Jewett


September 1901Weber and Weber indicate that Jewett's The Tory Lover appeared in September 1901.  As she reports here that the book is about to be published, the latest possible date for this letter is September of 1901.

The manuscript of this letter is held in the Parkman Dexter Howe Collection, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida:  SOJ MS1  Autograph Letter of Sarah Orne Jewett to Mr. Garrison, Friday [Fall 1901] Manchester [n.d.].
    The description of the Jewett portion of the P. D. Howe Collection says that this letter came inserted in a copy of The Tory Lover containing this inscription:  "K. de C. B. from S.O.J.: Christmas 1901."  "P. D. Howe identifies K. de C. B. as Kate de C. Birckhead.  One of Jewett's early friends was Kate Birckhead of Newport, Rhode Island, who is thought to have inspired Deephaven."
     Transcribed by Tanner Brossart, with assistance and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to Samuel Sidney McClure

Manchester by the Sea
Mass --    22 Sept.
[ 1901 ]
Dear Mr. McClure

    Thank you for the two cheques which I received today, and for your last letter.  I am more than glad that everything looks

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so well.  I shall try to have another story for you before very long, but I must finish some other work first.

Yours sincerely
S. O. Jewett


1901:  While this date is note certain, it is highly likely.  Jewett had two stories in McClure's Magazine in February and June of 1901: "Elleneen" and "A Born Farmer."  This would account for his sending her two checks in September of that year.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Small Library, University of Virginia, Special Collections MSS 6218, Sarah Orne Jewett Papers.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

Augustus Buell to SOJ.


     The William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Co.
     Office of the President
     Beach and Ball Lts.
     Charles H. Cramp,

     September 25, 1901.

     My dear Miss Jewett:--

     I have received your book, and have read it with all the gratification that I anticipated.

     Laying aside the license of romance writing, you have in your little book rendered to history a service that is really important, and may be you builded better than you knew. By this I mean that you have brought out clearly and vividly the peculiar conditions of personnel by which Jones was hampered, and at times almost distracted, in the "RANGER".

     I was, of course, well aware of these conditions, but I glossed them over in my History because Jones had succeeded in spite of them and I thought it just as well to let by-gones be by-gones, and to forgive his crew, or more particularly the Portsmouth part of it, for their insubordination and their petty "sea-lawyering" for the sake of their courage and efficiency in battle.

     You have supplied this deficit. You have depicted to your readers the difficulty, and in fact impossibility, of maintaining genuine man-of-war discipline in such a town meeting afloat as the original crew of the "RANGER" was.

     Your character of Dickson is real art. Captain Marryatt* himself could not have drawn so subtle a portrait of the Yankee Sea-lawyer of those days.

     I saw, however, with a little regret that by implication of context you include "Sargent" as a member of the Portsmouth town meeting on board the "RANGER". There were two or three "Sargents" in the crew, but this would naturally be taken to indicate the Acting-Master, Nathan Sargent, who was beyond question the most faithful and efficient Warrant Officer aboard.

     It is doubtless fortunate that the "RANGER" was not manned wholly by New Hampshire sailors. Her crew numbered all told about 130, and of these about 60 hailed from Philadelphia, Nantucket and other places outside of the Portsmouth region, Some of these had sailed with Jones before. Undoubtedly to their fidelity, steadiness and determination what discipline there was on board the ship must be ascribed. The New Hampshire part of the crew was always an element of unrest and discord and more than once they nearly succeeded in frustrating the real objects of the cruise.

     As you will see, I carefully left all this sort of thing out of my work for the reason that I have already indicated; but now I am very glad to see it brought out as you have done. My version of it would have been more forcible perhaps than yours, but yours is better because gentler.

     Another point. which I avoided you bring out in a strong light; that is the fact, natural enough and doubtless unavoidable, that our Revolutionary sailors had plunder in view oftener than the public interests or the glory of their flag. Jones' early writings, notably his letters to Joseph Hewes and Robert Morris, are full of complaints and criticisms on this score.

     In other respects your book sets a new pace in novel-writing based on the career of Paul Jones. For the first time he is depicted as something besides a mere sea-rover. His faults of temper are treated tenderly, his vanity is "rubbed the right way" and his overweening self-reliance is made to appear what it really was -- an element of greatness.

     No cultivated reader can turn to your pages from the pompous hogwash of "Richard Carvel" or the stilted flapdoodle of "The Grip of Honor"* with any feeling other than delight and gratitude.

     Very truly yours,

     Augustus C. Buell.

Miss Sarah Orne Jewett,
South Berwick, Maine.


This letter was written on letterhead, so the address is printed, but the date and text are added.  Buell  was the author the author of John Paul Jones (1900).

The occasion of Buell writing to Fields is the publication, first in serial and then as a book, of The Tory Lover (1900-1901).  Buell's biography of John Paul Jones appeared while Jewett was composing and revising her novel, and she drew upon his work for facts incorporated into the novel.  Fortunately, she was somewhat restrained in her use of the biography, for subsequent scholarship, as indicated in Wikipedia, established that Buell fabricated much of the material in his book.

Captain MarryattWikipedia says:  "Captain Frederick Marryat (10 July 1792 - 9 August 1848) was a British Royal Navy officer, novelist, and an acquaintance of Charles Dickens, noted today as an early pioneer of the sea story. He is now known particularly for the semi-autobiographical novel Mr Midshipman Easy and his children's novel The Children of the New Forest, and for a widely used system of maritime flag signalling, known as Marryat's Code."

"Richard Carvel" ... "The Grip of Honor"Wikipedia says: Richard Carvel is a historical novel by the American novelist Winston Churchill [1871-1947]. It was first published in 1899 and was exceptionally successful, selling around two million copies and making the author a rich man.
    The Grip of Honor: A story of Paul Jones and the American Revolution (1900) is a novel by Cyrus Townsend Brady (1861-1920).

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University: bMS Am 1743 (31); transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.


William Dean Howells to SOJ

To Miss Sarah Orne Jewett
York Harbor, Me.,
Sept. 25, 1901.


     I am almost wounded more by your supposition that I could let anything in the way of work keep me from answering you than I am by the fact that I never got your letter.

     I am going home with an arrow in my breast that sticks through the back of my coat in a way that will excite universal comment.* But I hope to pull it before next summer, and we all hope to see you, for we expect to be back next summer, for York has done Mrs. Howells good. She joins Pilla and me in lasting affection to you and yours.

Sincerely yours,

     * I shall just say, "Oh! That? Miss Jewett did it."


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

Mrs. Howells ... Pilla:  For Elinor Howells and Mildred (Pilla), see Correspondents.

Notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

T. R. Sullivan to SOJ 

Boston, 2nd 1901
31 Massachusetts Avenue. [This line is printed letterhead.]

My dear Miss Jewett

How good you were to send me The Tory Lover in his new and splendid garments!* I am sure you know that I shall always value him for his own sake, as well as for his association with the fine old Master,* who remains a living presence to the end, making his descendants more than properly proud of him.

     I am re-reading the story with great interest and pleasure, feeling constantly the gain in distinction from this complete, permanent form, to which the chapter-titles and quotations contribute much. I always crave their pleasant suggestion, liking my novels best when they are made in that way, and these introductory bits of yours have significance, freshness and variety which are all delightful.

     With many thanks and the warmest regards of these latter-day Sullivans* both, I am

Yours Sincerely

T. R. Sullivan


new and splendid garments:  After the appearance of The Tory Lover as a serial in Atlantic Monthly (1900-1901), the novel appeared as a book in September 1901.

old Master:  Master John Sullivan, an important character in The Tory Lover

latter-day Sullivans:  Thomas  Russell Sullivan was the great-great grandson of Master John Sullivan, who plays a key role in Jewett's historical novel, The Tory Lover.  See Correspondents.

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University: bMS Am 1743 (206); transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

Henry James to SOJ

October 5, 1901


Let me not criminally, or at all events gracelessly, delay to thank you for your charming and generous present of The Tory Lover.* He has been but 3 or 4 days in the house, yet I have given him an earnest, a pensive, a liberal -- yet, a benevolent attention, and the upshot is that I should like to write you a longer letter than I just now -- (especially as it's past midnight) see my way to doing. For it would take me some time to disembroil the tangle of saying to you at once how I appreciate the charming touch, tact & taste of this ingenious exercise, & how little I am in sympathy with experiments of its general (to my sense) misguided stamp. There I am! -- yet I don't do you the outrage, as a fellow craftsman & a woman of genius and courage, to suppose you not as conscious as I am myself of all that, in these questions of art & taste & sincerity, is beyond the mere twaddle of graciousness. The "historic" novel is, for me, condemned, even in cases of labour as delicate as yours, to a fatal cheapness, for the simple reason that the difficulty of the job is inordinate & that a mere escamotage, in the interest of each, & of the abysmal public naïveté, becomes inevitable. You may multiply the little facts that can be got from pictures, & documents, relics & prints, as much as you like -- the real thing is almost impossible to do, & in its essence the whole effect is as nought. I mean the evolution, the representation of the old CONSCIOUSNESS, the soul, the sense, the horizon, the action of individuals, in whose minds half the things that make ours, that make the modern world were non-existent. You have to think with your modern apparatus a man, a woman -- or rather fifty -- whose own thinking was intensely otherwise conditioned. You have to simplify back by an amazing tour de force -- & even then it's all humbug. But there is a shade of the (even then) humbug that may amuse. The childish tricks that take the place of any such conception of the real job in the flood of Tales of the Past that seems of late to have been rolling over our devoted country -- these ineptitudes have, on a few recent glances, struck me as creditable to no one concerned. You, I hasten to add, seem to me to have steered very clear of them -- to have seen your work very bravely & handled it firmly; but even you court disaster by composing the whole thing so much by sequences of speeches. It is when the extinct soul talks, & the earlier consciousness airs itself, that the pitfalls multiply & the "cheap" way has to serve. I speak in general, I needn't keep insisting, & I speak grossly, summarily, by rude & provisional signs, in order to suggest my sentiment at all. I didn't mean to say so much without saying more, now I have touched you with cold water when I only meant just lightly & kindly to sprinkle you as for a new baptism -- that is a re-dedication to altars but briefly, I trust, forsaken. Go back to the dear Country of the Pointed Firs,* come back to the palpable present intimate that throbs responsive, & that wants, misses, needs you, God knows, & that suffers woefully in your absence. Then I shall feel perhaps -- & do it if only for that -- that you have magnanimously allowed for the want of gilt on the gingerbread of the but-on-this-occasion -- only limited sympathy of yours very constantly


P.S. My tender benediction, please, to Mrs. Fields.


The Tory Lover:  Jewett's novel was released in book form in September 1901.

Pointed Firs:  Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs was published in 1896.

In a letter to William Dean Howells of January 25th 1902, James writes "...and dear Sarah Jewett sent me not long since a Revolutionary Romance, with officers over their wine etc., and Paul Jones terrorizing the sea, that was a thing to make the angels weep."
      Leon Edel, ed. Henry James Letters v. IV, 1895-1916. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1984, p. 223.

In a letter dated January 2nd 1910, James explains to Fields that he has saved no letters that might be considered for inclusion in the volume of Jewett's letters that Fields is preparing. In a postscript, he offers to write an introduction of reminiscence for the collection: "a thing very frank, familiar, as a thorough Friend, etc,; and oh so tender and so admiring -- as I do admire her work!"
      Edel, ed. Henry James Letters v. IV, 1895-1916. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1984, p. 223.

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University: bMS Am 1743 (111); transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

SOJ to S. Weir Mitchell

October 11th [ 1901 ]*


Dear Doctor Mitchell

It is delightful to get a letter from you!  I answer your questions with a grateful heart. Minnying* was a favorite word of an old family servant of my grandfather's house. I never looked it up but I shall start for it now. The people of my Berwick neighbourhood have kept many interesting old words alive which I never hear anywhere else.  Mr. Lowell* used to like to hear about them and the local pronunciation Barvick, not 'Berrik' as one hears it in England interested him deeply, for it was the old Danish or Norse way, before Berik came along.  Some of our first settlers were Devon people, Mason & Gorges planters* -- the next were Royalists from Yorkshire & the North, sent over in Cromwell's time. The heading on page 110 about the practice of Medicine - is (I think) from Sir Philip Sidney* but I can't quite feel sure.  The quotation of p. 203 is from a poem of Lowell's. Redcliffe* is the right spelling, but they  -- say Radcliffe and sometimes spell it so.

I am not going to write any more historic fiction either, but I have wished for many years to write this story. I began it the year that you were writing Hugh Wynne,* but I was ill & had to put it by. You were at the head of the procession with your great Hugh Wynne and I am trailing at the end, but I am just as ready to cheer my leader as -- I ought to be!

I thank you for the kindness of your letter. You do not know how great a pleasure it has given. I am just now staying with Mrs. Fields* who is sure to send many affectionate messages with mine.

Yours most sincerely
Sarah Orne Jewett


1901:  The final installment of the Atlantic serialization of Jewett's The Tory Lover (1901) appeared in August 1901.  This, then, would be the earliest year in which Mitchell could have written this letter.

Minnying: This word appears in Chapter 8 of Jewett's The Tory Lover (1901), where a slave woman uses it to refer to the motion of water beginning to boil.

Mr. Lowell:  Jsmes Russell Lowell. See Correspondents.

Mason & Gorges planters:  Jewett recounts the story of the early settlement of her home county in her essay, "The Old Town of Berwick" (1894).  Much of the information she offers here is repeated from that essay.

page 110 ... Sir Philip Sidney:  The epigraph for Chapter 13 of Jewett's The Tory Lover (1901) is actually from Edmund Spenser's "argument" for"October" in The Shepherd's Calendar, where he says that poetry is a "worthy and commendable" art,     "or rather no art, but a Divine gift and heavenly instinct not to be
    gotten by labour and learning, but adorned with both, and poured into the wit by a certain ...celestial inspiration...."

p. 203 ... Lowell's. Redcliffe:   The epigraph for Chapter 23 of Jewett's The Tory Lover (1901) is  from James Russell Lowell's "Poem Read at Cambridge on the Hundredth Anniversary of Washington's Taking Command of the American Army, 3d July, 1775," the opening of Section VI, Part 3.

Hugh Wynne:  Mitchell's novel, Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker (1897).

Mrs. Fields: Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Houghton Library of Harvard University, Autograph File, J.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

Olivia Mansfield to SOJ

     Dover N.H.
     October 21st 1901

     My dear Miss Jewett: -

     Many thanks for your very kind note with its interesting information, and cordial expressions of interest.

     It would give Mrs. Hale and myself much pleasure to meet you in your dear old house.

     Mrs. Hale does not make calls, nor does she drive unless it is a warm bright sunshiny day. I am much afraid there will be no weather suitable for her [legs?] not before I finish my visit, and return to Hotel Nottingham Boston, where I make my home.

     Should there be a day, we will certainly avail ourselves of your kind invitation. Mrs. Hale would be pleased to see you in her own house, where she remains until about the middle of November, then leave [sic] for [Washington?] with her daughter Mrs. Chandler.

     I am the daughter of J. L. T. Cushing and Eliza Hale. I think your father brought me into the world. My mother often referred to Dr. Jewett, saying he always called her Eliza Hale, and said "though not handsome as a young lady, would make a fine looking grandmother." A prophecy that was fully realized.

     Mrs. Hale's great grandfather was Thomas Wallingford, a son of Col. Wallingford by his first wife. So a blood relative as well as one by marriage. -- Mrs. Hale is eighty seven years old -- and laughingly tells me, she is of a younger generation than myself --

     Again thanking you for your courtesy

     Believe me

                    Sincerely Yours
                    Olivia W. Mansfield
                    (Mrs. Ezra, Abbot Mansfield)


See the previous Mansfield letter for further notes.

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University: bMS Am 1743 (145); transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

Sarah Wyman Whitman to SOJ

October 22, 1901 (after two deaths).

     And yesterday Mrs. Dorr* was set free after so long a captivity, and now one may believe walks freely in that sky at which she has sat looking for these months past.
     The days accordingly go on with slow dramatic footsteps, and one goes on with them or glad or sad, but in any case strenuously set to the selfsame task. And Nature had taken such a hand at the Game this Fall. I have never known such splendors and symbols, such announcements of "liberal friendship" and of high augury. My work has of necessity been in the shop,* but I have listened and, I hope, learned somewhat of these adorable open secrets of the wide air.


Mrs. Dorr: Ronald H. Epp, Director of the University Library & Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern New Hampshire University has provided this identification of Mrs. Dorr.
    Mary Gray Ward (1820 - 21 October 1901) was the daughter of Thomas Wren Ward, a well-known Salem, MA merchant, who acted as the American agent for the London-based  Baring Brothers, the Bank of America of the early 19th century. His daughter Mary was widely known among Boston feminists even before she married Charles Hazen Dorr (1821-1893) and bore two children, William and George Bucknam Dorr (1853-1944). Their son, George B. Dorr graduated from Harvard (class of 1874), where he was closely associated with the Golden Age of American Philosophy under William James, Josiah Royce, Santayana, etc. In 1901 following the death of his mother, George became the central agent in a new land conservation organization called the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations under the direction of Harvard University President Charles W. Eliot. The land they secured through gifts for public use became in 1916 Sieur de Monts National Monument (on Mount Desert Island, Maine) and four years later Lafayette National Park (renmamed in 1929 Acadia National Park). Mr. Dorr was its first superintendent, serving until his death.
     Mary Gray Ward Dorr was a celebrated hostess at 18 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, and later at Old Farm, the Bar Harbor "cottage" visited by U.S. Presidents, political figures, and celebrated literary and artistic persons during the last two decades of the 19th century. The Massachusetts Historical Society contains the Papers of Thomas Wren Ward which were transcribed by George Dorr and that contain letters to and from Mary Gray Ward Dorr.

the shopIn A Studio of Her Own (MFA: Boston, 2001), Erica E. Hirshler says that after 1892, Whitman maintained the Lily Glass Works at 184 Boyston St., near Park Square, about half a mile from the Fields house at 148 Charles St. (p. 39).

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 S. Weir Mitchell

October 23rd [1901]

South Berwick, Maine

Dear Doctor Mitchell

I have had such a pleasure in reading your new story!* The characters are wonderfully drawn and there are such things said all along the pages! I found my self laughing aloud when I met Dr. Soper in a way that would surprise him -- this doctor's child and grandchild who now writes you is able to feel such fine art of writing as very few can, and to delight in such a writer - how did you happen to be such a writer and such a doctor too is what this instructed person would like to know!

The adventurers, the broken old man your delightful Mary and a 'Kitty' who for once seems to tumble down hill instead of proudly going up: they have all given me some enchanted hours.  How much I have to thank you for! I feel as if I were holding on to the proud claim of being the most delighted of all your readers.

I wonder why there should be two schools: if there are any real differences between the historical novel and the realistic? Is there any distinction between last summer and last century? and why cannot we feel and think one as we do the other. You know this wonderfully drawn adventuress this Sydney Archer just as well as you knew Hugh Wynne* but no better, and I can't find any difference in the realities of Madam Wallingford & Mrs. Todd of Dunnet Landing:* if we can get atmosphere between ourselves & them: perspective; illusion of a sort; we get hold of Art in regard to them and do our work well.  Mr. Henry James and I are now writing letters to each other, and he always believes in an 'extinct soul' of the last century but I do not. (How could I, when one of my most intimate early friends was a Harvard man of the class of '05, and I have seen fashions far back into the 1700's parading up the aisle of our old Berwick Church?) But I am trying to begin a talk -- and this alas -- is only a letter. I must send you my most affectionate thanks and be done. I hope that you and Mrs. Mitchell have had a good summer? I send this letter to Bar Harbour hoping that your 'summer' is not quite ended.

Yours most truly

Sarah O. Jewett


1901:  This date is tentative. The Literary News of October 1901 (p. 295) announces the publication of Weir Mitchell's Circumstance. Jewett must have obtained and read her copy immediately.  It's quite unlikely that Jewett read the novel and wrote to Mitchell in October of 1902, when she was severely incapacitated by her September carriage accident.  It may be, therefore, that Jewett wrote Mitchell much later, perhaps in 1903.  Still, it seems clear that she is thinking about the 5 October 1901 letter she received from Henry James.

new story:  Jewett has been reading Mitchell's novel, Circumstance (1901).  Dr. Sloper and Dr. Sydney Archer are characters, as are Mary and Kitty.

Hugh Wynne:  Mitchell's novel, Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker (1897).  This is a historical novel about the Free Quakers of the 18th Century, contrasting with the more contemporary setting of Circumstance in Philadelphia soon after the American Civil War.

Madam Wallingford & Mrs. Todd of Dunnet Landing:  Central characters in Jewett's The Tory Lover (1901), a historical novel set in roughly the same period as Circumstance, and The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896), set in contemporary New England. 

The manuscript of this letter is held by the Houghton Library of Harvard University, Autograph File, J.  Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.

Olivia Mansfield to SOJ  -- October 1901?

To Miss Sarah Orne Jewett.
     South Berwick

     My dear Miss Jewett: --

     Will you kindly pardon my intrusion upon your time. My interest in the localities so beautifully described in "The Tory Lover," as well as the enjoyment given in reading the story -- has awakened a strong desire to know, where the home of Madame Wallingford stood.*

     I am a granddaughter of Madame Cushing who was a daughter of Col. Wallingford by his third wife, -- Which makes the "Tory Lover" my great uncle. Hence my interest in the localities. Just now I am visiting my aunt Mrs. John P. Hale, and we have ridden about South Berwick, my native place, but could not decide where the Col. Wallingford house stood{.} If not too much trouble, would you kindly inform me --

     I cannot close without expressing the great enjoyment your writings have given me.

     With kind regards of Mrs. J. P. Hale*
     Dover N.H.

     Sincerely Yours
     Olivia W. Mansfield


where the home of Madame Wallingford stood:  Though the Thomas and Elizabeth Wallingford home was no longer standing in 1901, it was known to have stood in Madam's Cove, in New Hampshire, across the Piscataqua River from the Hamilton house in South Berwick, Maine.  See The Cushings and the Cushing Mansion and The First Permanent Settlement in Maine.

my great uncle:  Elizabeth Wallingford had two children with Thomas: Samuel Wallingford (born 4 February 1755) and Olive Wallingford, (29 May 1758 - 1853). Olive married John Cushing of Boston on Tuesday 6 April 1773 ("The Diary of Master Joseph Tate"), and her son eventually inherited Madam Wallingford's homestead farm. In "From a Mournful Villager," Jewett tells of childhood visits to the elderly Widow Cushing, who then lived not far from the Jewett home, at the site where South Berwick's Central School now stands. The Widow Cushing would be a likely source for Jewett's knowledge of the Wallingford family history, being a near neighbor and friend of the Jewett family.   Olivia Mansfield says she is the Widow Cushing's grand-daughter.

Mrs. John P. Hale:  Mrs. Hale,  is the widow of John Parker Hale (1806 - 1873), "an American politician and lawyer from New Hampshire. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1843 to 1845 and in the United States Senate from 1847 to 1853 and again from 1855 to 1865. He was one of the first senators to make a stand against slavery.... On September 2, 1834 Hale married Lucy Hill Lambert (1814-1902) in Berwick, Maine. They were the parents of two daughters, Elizabeth (Lizzie) (1835-1895) and Lucy (1841-1915)."  Their daughter, Lucy, is remembered as the betrothed of John Wilkes Booth; her photo was found on his body after his death.  She eventually married Senator William E. Chandler of New Hampshire.  Wikipedia

The ms. of this letter is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard University: bMS Am 1743 (145); transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College. 

SOJ to Susan Hayes Ward 

23 October [ 1901 ]*

[ Begin letterhead ]

South Berwick.

[ End letterhead ]

Dear Susy

    I have been wishing to write you -- yesterday and many days before that! -- to tell you how much I missed you when I came home and found you no longer here except for that minute in the morning as you drove by.  It has been so dear to me to have your visit "to keep" as children say, that I am almost ungrateful to want ^expect^ any more such happy days just now, but I do, and I wish that you were back again tucked away under

[ Page 2 ]

this old roof -- I have been saying to myself lately how unsatisfactory some old friendships can be, however glad one may be to talk about very dear days of the past -- if there isn't some new treasure of association to put beside the old.  One must have some immediate some near and present and growing friendship or a very few hours of sympathy about childish associations prove to be quite enough!  I love to think how close you and Mary* and I are in our present interests and hopes -- it makes the old friendship twice as dear, and twice as comfortable.

[ Page 3 ]

-- This is a long peroration! but I know that your heart, rich in so many true friendships, will send back some echo to it.

    I have been at my library meeting at the academy* this afternoon, and I must tell you how sorry I am that we did not manage to go up there together.  It was very pleasant in the library with the late sunshine all along the floor.  Mr. Stebbins* came to the meeting which pleased me very much.  I cant help hoping that it means a great deal.  Mr. Mower* managed it in the easiest way by not "managing" at all and Mr. Stebbins just came as if he had been there the

[ Page 4 ]

fortnight before, so all is well.

    Last week was a busy one.  I brought Miss Cochrane home with me on Tuesday afternoon, and my dear friend Sally Norton* came at six, fiddle in hand and made music in the evening.  I was afraid at first that it would be too much for my aunt,* but the music proved to be the best & pleasantest thing possible & she went away next day well & happy & glad to have had her visit as we were to have had her.  Then I got a piece of writing done  (in spite of everything!)  and on Sunday morning I drove to Dover and got Mrs. Fields,* who had been hindered & came down there by an express train.  She is here still until next Wednesday I am

[ Page 5 ]

glad to say, and wishes that she might have seen you.

    I hear the most delightful praises and much appreciation of your talk at the Club,* but nothing can make me any sorrier than I was in the beginning that I had to miss it.  Do plan to stay a long time in Berwick next year!  I have seen your uncle* two or three times "out & about" since you went away, and he wears a different look  --  so much more cheerful and happy because he had your visit.

    Forgive such a long letter, but I just wanted to send a word after you to carry my  love and blessing!

Yours affectionately
    Sarah  O.  Jewett

Of course I send my love to your brother & dear Hetta.*

1901:  I am tentatively placing this letter in 1901, with another letter on the topic of Jewett's work for the Boston Public Library. See notes below. 
    Notes with this transcription read: AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN  SOCIETY,  WORCESTER,  MASS. [To Susan Hayes Ward].

Mary:  Mary Rice Jewett.  See Correspondents.

library meeting at the Academy this afternoon  ... Mr. Stebbins ... Mr. Mower: It seems likely that Jewett is reporting on a meeting associated with her work for the Boston Public Library from 1900 through 1902.  Uncertainty about this arises in part from all of the people she mentions on the committee being South Berwick residents.
    Mr Stebbins very likely is Frank Stanley Stebbins (1866- ), a Harvard law graduate (1893) who served as principal of the Berwick Academy (1898-1902).  See The Stebbins Genealogy (1904), p. 974.
    For Mr. Mower see Reverend Irving Bemis Mower in Correspondents.

Miss Cochrane ... Sally Norton: Jesse Cochrane and Sarah Norton.  See Correspondents.

my aunt: Though this will likely remain uncertain, Jewett may well refer to Helen Gilman or to Mary Long. See Correspondents.

Mrs. Fields: Annie Adams Fields.  See Correspondents.

talk at the Club:  Jewett seems to imply that Susan Ward has given a talk at the South Berwick Women's Club, in which the Jewett sisters were leaders. More information is welcome.

your uncle:  It is difficult to know to which uncle Jewett refers, the Hayes siblings having many uncles on their mother's side   (Mehetable Lord Ward Hayes 1815-1842). Most likely are Augustus Lord Hayes (1826-1906) and General Joseph Hayes (1835-1912), who are buried in South Berwick, ME.  Less likely are William Allen Hayes (1817-1891) and Francis Brown Hayes (1819-1884), both of whom are buried in Cambridge, MA.  Least likely is Dr. Charles Cogswell Hayes (1823- 1910), who is buried in Madison, WI,
    Two of their mother's sisters died before this letter was composed: Constantia (1832-1851) and Mary Osgood (1830-1844).  The others may have married and resided in South Berwick, but this is not yet known: Mehetable Lord (1815-), Susan (1821-); Sophia Elizabeth (1824-); and Charlotte Haven Lord (1828-)
   Their father, Rev. James Wilson Ward (1803-1873) had only one brother, Jonathan (1800-1826).
brother & dear Hetta
: See William Hayes Ward in Correspondents.

The manuscript of this letter is held by the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA in Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, Misc. mss. boxes “J.”  Transcribed and annotated by Terry Heller. Coe College.

Rudyard Kipling to SOJ, 25 November 1901.

[Speaking of The Tory Lover (1901)]

I think it's the biggest thing you've done yet and also I think that you've pulled it off -- a result that not always attends the doing of big things. But what -- apart from its felicities -- interested me as a fellow craftsman was the amount of work -- solid, laborious dig that must have gone to its making: and the art with which that dig is put away and disguised. I love that sort of work where only the fellow-labourer can see where his companion went and how far, for the stuff that seems to turn up so casually and yet so inevitably in the fabric of the weaving.

     For the whole letter and more comments on the novel, see Thomas Pinney, ed. The Letters of Rudyard Kipling v. 3, pp. 78-9. University of Iowa Press, 1996.

SOJ to
Robert Underwood Johnson

     South Berwick, Maine
     December 5, [1901]

    Dear Mr. Johnson:

     I am afraid that I cannot write about Madame Blanc! Mrs. Fields does such things better than I ever could, should you care to ask her,l and I would lend a hand if my hand were needed. I do not forget that I am to send you a sketch by and by -- the best that the winter crop has to offer -- but I have been so idle of late that no green shoots are yet appearing through the snow.2
     I hope that you received a Tory Lover in good Tory red or Patriot blue -- one was to be sent to you. He is doing very well indeed, I am glad to say. Some persons say that he should have been a second Country of the Pointed Firs, but how could the willingest of old story writers make two books just alike?(!)
     Please give my best messages to Mistress Katharine3
     Yours always most truly,
     Sarah Orne Jewett


     1 "Notable Women: Mme. Blanc ('Th. Bentzon')" by Mrs. Fields appeared in Century, LXVI (May 1903), 134-139.
     2 Nothing came of this offer. Miss Jewett suffered an accident some months later which sharply curtailed her writing career.
     3 Katharine McMahon Johnson.  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 Marie Thérèse de Solms Blanc

     South Berwick, Maine
     December 6, 1901

     What a dear and delightful letter, my dear friend! It gives me the greatest joy as I read it and feel that your journey has done you good -- I feel so distinctly all that refreshment of mind and body which you have gained. Oh, do not get cold now! Be very careful of yourself and take the best care, as you would of somebody else. You will write as fast as a steam engine, and miss the free air which you have had in all those weeks. And you must take care of you for my sake. Now we shall be looking for your chapters in the Revue which will make us share in your great Russian experience.1 This letter and the one that came before have given me much already, but I am eager for more -- and more!
     I am sorry that I was so unmindful about the Tory Lover affairs. I remember that you asked about a traducteur, but I have known and heard nothing. You said a most kind word in the Revue.2 I did indeed see that, and I believe that I must have thanked you. I wonder if you really think that it would interest enough French people? After all, there is much of France in it. I should think that France might find it more interesting than England!3 The notices of the press here have been excellent and it is having a good sale. I wish that it might have a new impulse because people liked it across the sea. I am at a loss about terms. I never can get anything very satisfactory from my publishers. Could not there be some proper sharing of the profits? In London I get twenty-five per cent of these. If you had not so much to do that is more immediate and important, I should have loved your doing with the book as you did long ago to my endless profit (a blessing in a friendship!) with the Country Doctor.4
     I see that Col. Higginson is having your paper about him put into an English edition; someone has translated it. You can hardly think what a pleasure it has been to him in every way.5
     I wish that you would fly to Berwick this very night! Mrs. Howe is coming for a visit of two or three days this evening; tomorrow she has promised to speak to a woman's club here in which Mary and I are much interested.6 Laura Richards, her daughter, comes too, and it will be very gay for you. Oh what joy if I could see you here again. I am already wondering when it can be: but tonight I promise you very good company which might not always happen, as you know, in Berwick!
     Annie has been very well. She was here last week again to spend Thanksgiving with us, and I was to go to town on Monday and then to Hartford for two nights to Mrs. Warner, but two things broke up my plans: first we had news of the sudden death of my uncle in Exeter,7 and I must go to the funeral, and at the same time I felt so ill with an attack of la grippe that I could hardly manage to get there and get home again -- and to my bed! But I am getting on much better today and Mrs. Howe will prove a good medicine for such a case.
     I have not yet turned to my work again. I cannot muster much energy yet, and all my magazine affairs are sadly behindhand. I must get hold of things before long. Next month I hope to be much in town, and to have some quiet weeks with Annie. After I make my annual visit to Mrs. Cabot in the early part of January I shall go to Charles Street to stay. In this busy, almost hunted year, I have been able to take very few quiet days, but it has happened that Annie has been alone very seldom -- with Miss Cochrane's8 long visit and others which would keep her from being uncompanioned.
     Theodore is working very hard in the Medical school.9 He is always much pleased by your kind messages, and Mary too, who is very busy as usual, and very cheerful in all her kindnesses. We are going to Charles Street next week.

    Dear friend, write to me as often as you can, it is a great pleasure to hear from you, and to have such a letter as this is a gift of diamonds! I cannot tell you how it delights me to read it, and to read it again.

     Yours most affectionately,
     S. O. J.


     1 "En Petite-Russie," Revue des Deux Mondes, n.s. VIII (April 1, 1902), 595-637; second installment, n.s. IX (May 15), 357-399; "En Russie," n.s. XIII (February 15, 1903), 878-905.
     2 In "Dans la Nouvelle-Angleterre," Revue des Deux Mondes, CL (December 1, 1898), 544, Madame Blanc wrote: "South Berwick eut la bonne fortune de produire un romancier qui sait intéresser l'ancien monde comme le nouveau à une population si différente de ce que les étrangers ignorans croient être, en bloc, le peuple américain: un ramassis de gens très vulgaraires, très durs et de provenances mêlées. Lisez les esquisses de Sarah Jewett; vous verrez que le caractère des citoyens de la Nouvelle-Angleterre est avant tout la dignité: dignified, cette épithète revient souvent, et en effet elle exprime mieux qu'aucune autre les aspirations, la tenue, la conduite de chacun."
     3Le Roman d'Un Loyaliste was published in Paris by Hachette et Cie in 1905.
     4 Madame Blanc wrote a lengthy review of Miss Jewett's first orthodox novel: "Le Roman de la Femme-Médecin," Revue des Deux Mondes, LXVII (February 1, 1885), 598-632. Later, she translated the novel and included it with nine short stories in the volume Le Roman de la Femme-Médecin, suivi de Recits de la Nouvelle-Angleterre, par Sarah Orne Jewett. Préface de Th. Bentzon (Paris, 1890).
     5 Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911), Unitarian clergyman, active colonel during the Civil War, author, and reformer, gave Emily Dickinson her first encouragement to publish. Madame Blanc's "Un Américain représentatif -- Thomas Wentworth Higginson," appeared in the Revue des Deux Mondes, n.s. III (June 1, 1901), 616-655, and was collected in her Questions Américaines (Paris, 1901). The English version, a small book translated by Emily Mary Waller, is A Typical American: Thomas Wentworth Higginson (London, 1902).
     6 Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), poet, editor, biographer of Margaret Fuller, lecturer and writer on abolition and women's rights, was a familiar visitor at the Jewett home.
     On December 13, 1901, the Somersworth (N.H.) Free Press reported her talk to the Berwick Woman's Club: "She spoke of Whittier, the farmer boy, of Longfellow, telling of his love for beautiful Fanny Appleton, many memories of Oliver Wendell Holmes and James Russell Lowell as 'A Man's Man, not a Woman's Man.' Before the program the Rev. I. B. Mower sang [Mrs. Howe's] 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' very expressively. Mrs. Laura E. Richards accompanied her mother and they were guests of the Misses Mary R. and Sarah Orne Jewett until Monday."   For Mower, Richards and Mary Rice Jewett, see Correspondents.
     7 John Taylor Perry was Miss Jewett's maternal uncle. After twenty-five years as editor and part owner of the Cincinnati Gazette, he returned to his birthplace, Exeter, New Hampshire, where he resided until his death. A shrewd judge of his niece's capacities, he wrote her on June 11, 1885: "Your forte lies in description. You can hardly improve there. Invention, on the other hand, is not your strongest point." Miss Jewett was well aware of this weakness, nevertheless let Charles Dudley Warner persuade her to write The Tory Lover, a novel notoriously deficient in "invention."
     8 Jessie Cochrane, a gifted amateur pianist from Louisville, Kentucky, became something of a protégée of Mrs. Fields. After long and frequent trips to Europe, she would visit Mrs. Fields at 148 Charles Street and Gambrel Cottage in Manchester-by-the-Sea (see Warner's letter about his luncheon with Miss Cochrane, Dr. Holmes, and Mr. Howells, in Fields's Charles Dudley Warner, 165). Miss Cochrane attempted some writing but apparently did not achieve publication. One of her photographs hangs above the bureau in Miss Jewett's bedroom in the Memorial House at South Berwick.
     9 Miss Jewett's nephew attended Harvard Medical School from 1901 to 1905, when he received his M.D. degree.

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

Thursday morning
[ 1901 ]

Dear Mary

            ----------------- A long letter from Ella Ricker* yesterday with Albany considerations which I must answer to-day, but first speak with Mr. Littlefield* about the matter!  I can see that Dr. Lewis* is such a help already.  Mr. Mower’s* great gift on the committee was that he knew about childrens or young people’s books, having young people of his own -- but even in these two or three letters from Ella I find how distinctly Mr. Lewis’s larger knowledge counts. I shall make a point now of finding out the good juveniles and it looks to me as if we had “done well.”  I wish that you would say something of this to Mr. Hobbs* some day.  He has been invaluable from the first.  I can’t count the good permanent books, he has suggested, with such a sense of building the library properly. -----------------------------------------



1901:  This date is highly speculative.  It is based upon the fact that Jewett served on the Examining Committee for the Boston Public Library from 1900 through 1902, where she gave particular attention to children's books and services. It seems likely that this letter relates to her efforts to build the children's collection.  However, it is possible that this letter refers instead to some similar effort related to the Berwick Academy library, though there is no evidence as of this writing that Jewett was involved in such an effort.  See Annual Report of the Boston Public Library (1900), especially pp. 55-6.

Ella Ricker ... with Albany considerations: Two of Jewett's South Berwick neighbors were Maria Louisa deRochemont (Mrs. Shipley/Shepley Wilson) Ricker (1838-1921) and her daughter, Ella Wilson Ricker (1856- ).  Mr. Ricker (1827-1905) operated a fancy goods store in South Berwick.
    It is not yet known what the "Albany considerations" are.

Mr. Littlefield:  This is likely to be Charles Edgar Littlefield (1851 -1915), a United States Representative from Maine.

Dr. Lewis: George Lewis.  See Correspondents.

Mr. Mower’s: Reverend Irving Bemis Mower.  See Correspondents.

Mr. Hobbs: This probably is Charles C. Hobbs (1835-1917), local historian in South Berwick.  He is a grandson of Olive Wallingford Cushing of South Berwick.

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 Annie Adams Fields  

 Saturday morning
[ 1901? ]

Dear Annie

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

            This report being made I shall proceed to say that Isabel's*

          -- Yesterday I did not get anywhere except for two brief runs at morning & night[.]   It grew too chilly for a drive.  I tried some writing but it wouldn't go, and I got very lame in my shoulders all of a sudden, and had to go and sit by the fire.  Whereupon there came an interesting old native of Berwick who lives in Rochester N. Y.* & who happens along once in two or three years.  Much fuller than most who stay at home of stories of old times.  He seems like a day of childhood returning!  So I sat and talked with him through a long visit . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



1901?:  This date is very tentative.  Evidence in other correspondence suggests that Jewett would be unlikely to refer to Isabel Stewart Gardner by her first name before 1900, and Jewett reports that she is trying to write, which she did not after September 1902.  It seems likely that this letter was composed within the 1900-1902 period, if "Isabel" really refers to Gardner.
        The ellipses at the beginning and end of the transcription indicates that this is a selection from the manuscript.

:  This is likely Isabella Stewart Gardner.  See Correspondents.

interesting old native of Berwick who lives in Rochester N. Y.:  Among Jewett's correspondents, the only one known so far to have been born in South Berwick and resided in Rochester, NY was John Marr.  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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