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    Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett

A COLLECTION of LETTERS to, from, and related to SARAH ORNE JEWETT

This is an ad hoc collection of transcriptions of letters to and from Sarah Orne Jewett. Most of these are held by libraries and archives.
    Bracketed passages in the texts of letters mark guesses at words editors could not read with certainty.


From Theophilus Parsons

Cambridge -- Nov 4 / 72

My dear Miss Jewett --

     I have been ill, too ill to write, and am not well now. This is one reason why I have delayed answering your very interesting letter. Only one reason however. I was also quite willing that time should do a little of its work. I hoped you would think over some of the topics you wrote of: and I thought you would think about them [2 stricken words] to more advantage, if I let you alone.

     One error under which you labour, was perhaps inevitable. Nothing that you knew of the history of religion, prepared you for viewing the New Church system of belief, as anything but another sectarian system; taking its place with [Episcopal], or Orthodoxy or Unitarian, and accepted or [respected?] as it seems better or more than they. If accepted, to be taken as a whole which sets aside the rest; if not so accepted [then to be respected?].

     This is true of all the other forms of Christian faith of which you know anything; but it is not true of this. For this is a universal system; it is a new way of thinking about every possible topic of thought. True it has its essentials; but they are few and simple. The divinity of our Lord, the sanctity of the Word, & the necessity of a life in accord with the Word. These are all. And all these you believe now. But if these are all, what more can there be? My answer is this. Every thing else is subordinate to these, & for the sake of these. All other truths are intended to enlarge & clarify our comprehension of these truths, to strengthen our belief of these, & help us to live what we believe. This is an infinite and eternal work. But it is not just the same work for any two persons; they can no more think just alike, than they can occupy the same space physically. They may repeat the same word, or subscribe the same creeds. But each one must be himself or herself.

     You have read enough already to recognize the truth, that man has a twofold nature, one affectional, one intellectual; & these however related or conjoined, are still distinct.

     You have read too, & perhaps will understand me when I remind you, that man has a yet another twofold nature, the natural & the spiritual. It may be that you will understand me, when I say that Christianity in none of its forms or developments, has ever appealed to or offered food to the spiritual intellectual, while in all of them it has appealed to & nourished the spiritual affectional. Let me try to present this intelligibly. Every form of Christianity has declared that there was a God, & has presented the truth that to love Him with the whole heart & soul is the one thing needful. [It has?] invested the Scriptures with a sacredness, which until our own days, was almost universally acknowlegded & respected. And it taught the commandments of the Bible as laws of life.

     All this appears to & nourishes the affections & the life.

     But what has been told, what known, intellectually about any of these things? I have not space to exhibit this at any length. But must ask you to reflect, & tell yourself, how much any religion has told to the reason of man, clearly, definitely, & satisfactorily, of the Father or the Son, or the relations between them; of God & man or their relations; of the other life, & its nature, laws & forms.

     But for all this mankind [one or two stricken words] were preparing. And in the fullness of time, the fullest information has been given on all these points, and on all topics connected with them.

     We may [stricken word] now, if we will, profit by this information. Especially may we learn not only that but how we live here to prepare for angelic life; & we may [stricken word] learn just what angelic life & character are, that we may turn to account the opportunities afforded us for acquiring that character; and we may learn too & see that our life on earth is composed of & consists wholly of such opportunities, poorly and feebly as we profit by them.

     We may learn all this. Shall we? None will learn much, few will learn anything. It may be that many will learn a very little, & turn that little to account. Men & women will go on, improving their spiritual affectional nature, as they have done, & more than they have hitherto done, from the indirect effort of these new revelations. I see evidence of this all around me.

     But who will profit by [them?] as to their spiritual intellectual nature? Only they whose love of truth cannot be satisfied with merely natural truth boundless as are its stores in arts & science, & the true & the beautiful on its own plane. Only they who want something more than this; and want it enough to [pay/face?] the cost of it.

     Are you one of these? I do not know, and let me say you do not know yet. I believe you are, although for a time you may be led to reject or disregard these opportunities. The enemies of your soul will present every obstruction in their power. But your friends are more than your enemies. They will not do your work in your stead. But they will protect your freedom, & help you if you will accept their help. And I [hope,?] faithfully [ys?]

Theophilus Parsons.

Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (174) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.  A collection of Jewett's letters to Parsons may be read at Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett.


From Theophilus Parsons

Cambridge -- Sept. 18, 1873

My dear Miss Jewett,

     You begin your letter with confessing that you did not know why you wrote to me. Perhaps I can tell you. It was because you knew I should be very glad to receive the letter. We passed the month of August at Rye Beach. Soon after I was there, I learned from Miss Hilliard that you had been there. I came as near being vexed, as I permit myself to be with a fact which is not my fault, -- that I had not been a little earlier or you a little later. But I learned also that you were coming there again; nor did I wholly lose the hope of seeing you, until you I left the beach. Now you half promise that you will be in Boston the last of October. You make long visits elsewhere. Must your visit at Boston be only a flying call? You say you will come out to Cambridge. We shall all be glad to see you, but could you not draft me a line, as soon as your plans are determined upon, telling me at what time and what place I may find you in Boston?

     I have not yet read the Shore House. I have but little time to give to our periodicals & they are very numerous, so I take none but the professional ones that I need. But shall get that number of the Atlantic, at once, & read that story; and when we [a word stricken] meet you may be sure I shall tell you just what you I think of it. The last story you sent me in the Independent was a very pleasant story. One who began it would be sure to finish it. An editor would know this & ask for more. But a reader who looked over his paper to find the next story from your hand, would, by that time have forgotten all about the story he had read, except that he liked it. Is it not just so you read the pleasure giving literature of the day. What I mean is, that your stories lack -- what it would now be impossible, perhaps, for you to put into them; and that is, positiveness, substance. You learn easily, think quickly, & write excellently. The time will come when you will never write without knowing that you are going to say something which will make your readers wiser & better, -- unless they reject it, which is not your affair. And that thought or truth you will do your best to give access to the minds of your readers. Then you will rejoice when you feel that you have succeeded in clothing a valuable truth with a beauty that is at once attractive & transparent; -- that wins reception for the truth & does not obscure or disguise it.

     You say "You are growing very ambitious about your writing." Of course you are; & your success will feed your ambition. Is this right? It may be or it may not be. Ambition is the love & desire of honour. What is the honour that you seek for? John says, "How can you believe who receive honour one of another, & seek out the honour that cometh from God only." I am not about to write a sermon on this text, but let me say in a word, what it means. If you believe that God doeth good always, & infinitely desires to do good, & does all the good that is done and does this by His instruments that He may bless them in doing the good, & strives always to enlarge & elevate their capacity for doing good, that He may honour them more & more, -- then you will know what is meant by seeking the honour which cometh from Him. I hope that through eternity you will see more & more clearly that this is so, & what it all means.

     But my sheet has come to an end, & I have not touched the many topics your letter suggests. Let me however express my sincere regret that your father has suffered so much, & my pleasure that he has recovered, -- and my hope, that your suffering, now & always, may be the blessing it must have been intended to be. The rest I will leave until we can talk "face to face."

Sincerely y's

Theophilus Parsons

Miss S. O. Jewett [This appears lower left corner after the signature.]

Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (174) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.  A collection of Jewett's letters to Parsons may be read at Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett.


From Theophilus Parsons

Cambridge -- March 23, 1876

My dear Sarah --

     Here is my book. -- Don't I wish it were better worth your reading.

     But I believe that it will be of some use, & therefore is worth publishing -- and that it is about as good as I can make. All the rest is no concern of mine.

     I cannot write your name in it, because the post office laws say I must not.

Most truly y's

Theophilus Parsons

Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (174) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.  A collection of Jewett's letters to Parsons may be read at Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett.



[to Mr. Wentworth, no year**]

Manchester Masstts
July 8th

Dear Mr. Wentworth
     Thank you very much for your note and its enclosures about the sleeping car for Quebec on July 14th. If you will kindly have three parlor car seats kept for us at Conway Junction I shall be very much obliged.

     Your most sincerely

     S. O. Jewett


Reprinted by permission of the Berwick Academy Archives, item: 1993.0014.

Paula Blanchard in Sarah Orne Jewett reports one trip Sarah and Mary Jewett made to Canada in the autumn of 1884.

From Anna Harriette Leonowens

"Sunnyside." Halifax, Nova Scotia
8th November 1884

Dear Miss Jewitt [spelled incorrectly]

    How very kind it is of you to have so long remembered my wish. I thank you very very much. I have already got from London a copy of "Esoteric Buddhism"** and have not only read it with deep interest, but have jotted down some notes on it which I intend later on to send to some magazine. But I am afraid I am too much a child of the East always to please Western Editors and readers. We have read "The Country Doctor" with real pleasure. It is charming from end to end, and I am sure your new story will be equally delightful.**

    Some young travellers brought us this summer a card from our dear Mrs. Fields. I some how read only her name, and rushed into the drawing room to greet her, to be sorely disappointed for the moment. However, it was soon explained and we were very glad to meet the young girls, they seemed full of appreciation.

    My little book "Life and Travel in India" has been published, but I have not as yet seen a copy of it. I am now busy with the papers for "The Wide Awake."**

    Your summer trips with dear Mrs. Fields must have been delightful. I can picture the Evening when you two talked deep into the heart of the night with dear Whittier. I wish I could have been there. I am always better than myself whenever I am in the atmosphere of good and great minds.

    My visit to Boston this winter is still uncertain.

    My dear daughter needs a change. And if she should go to New York in the Spring, I shall stay at home with the dear babes. Moreover the memory of my last visit to Boston especially to Charles Street must serve to cover with beauty many weary months of the Winter here.**

    Pray give our grateful love to dear Mrs. Fields. My daughter desires most cordially to be remembered to you; and with my dear love and thanks,

    I am very Sincerely yours

A H Leonowens


This letter is published here by permission of Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, ME, which holds the original. No portion of the letter may be reprinted without the permission of Colby College.

Anna Harriette Leonowens (1834-1914) was the author of The English governess at the Siamese court: being recollections of six years in the royal palace at Bangkok (1870), which provided the source materials for Anna and the King of Siam (1944) by Margaret Landon, which eventually became the musical, The King and I (1951) by Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rogers. She also wrote The Romance of the Harem (1873) and Life & Travel in India, being recollections of a journey before the days of railroads (1884).

A. P. Sinnett, Esoteric Buddhism, 1884. Mrs. Leonowens's review of the book - if it was published -- has not been located. Assistance is welcome.

Jewett's A Country Doctor appeared in 1884. Her next novel was A Marsh Island, 1885.

Leonowens apparently refers to work she is preparing for Wide Awake, a children's magazine in which Jewett also published. This work has not been located. Assistance is welcome.

Annie Fields lived on Charles Street in Cambridge, MA.

Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, with assistance from Alfred Habegger.


[Printed letterhead]

16. St. Giles.



[to the right of the letterhead]


20th, 1887

 Dear Madam,

            I forget what I could have said to make you say that you have found Eremburga. There can be no doubt about her as Count Rogers second wife, quite distinct from Judith his first, though Geoffrey Malaterra makes it a little confusing by leaving out Judiths death and Eremburgas marriage. But there is no doubt about it. I have given a long note to it. But what can be the use of

[page 2]

of [repeated] Hares Cities of Southern Italy and Sicily.  I tried it but hes worthless [there?] on the spot. I don't believe He has ever [been?] at Spoleto. Murrays volume (by George Dennis) is far better and [Grell-fels?] better again.

            Maurice must be some odd confides confusion with [unknown word] or [McGrice?], or both. It never does to trust second-hand writers. I don't want anybody to trust me. Even in this little Sicily, where I shall not be able to give definite references, I shall give

[Written sideways on the other side of the folded sheet.]

a heading of authorities to each chapter.

            Believe me yours faithfully

            Edward A Freeman [The three parts of his name are connected into one word.]



This transcription of MS Am 1743 (68) Freeman, Edward Augustus, 1823-1892, 1 letter; 1887, is published by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University

Malaterra:  According to Wikipedia, Geoffrey Malaterra "was an eleventh-century Benedictine monk and historian, possibly of Norman origin."

Dennis:  According to Wikipedia, "George Dennis (21 July 1814 in Ash Grove, Hackney, Middlesex – 15 November 1898 in South Kensington, London) was a British explorer of Etruria; his written account and drawings of the ancient places and monuments of the Etruscan civilization combined with his summary of the ancient sources is among the first of the modern era and remains an indispensable reference in Etruscan studies."   

            Probably, Freeman refers to A handbook for Travellers in Southern Italy and Sicily: comprising the description of Naples and its environs, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius, Sorrento; the islands of Capri and Ischia; Amalfi, Pæstum, and Capua, the Abruzzi and Calabria; Palermo, Girgenti, the Greek temples, and Messina.  Originally published in 1853 by Octavian Blewitt; the seventh edition of 1874 listed George T. Dennis as co-author.

Maurice:  Jewett refers to Freeman solving the mystery of Maurice in a card she received from him in her letter of December 1888.  See letter 20 in Fields.  However, what this was about has not yet been determined.


[Printed letterhead, centered on left margin.]

G. P. Putnam's Sons

27 & 29 WEST 23rd STREET




                COVENT GARDEN


Dear Miss Jewett,

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

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

[Page 2]

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                Yours very truly

                                                                                                G. H. Putnam

Miss S.O. Jewett,

               Charles st. Boston.



This transcription of MS Am 1743 (185) Putnam, George Haven, 1 letter; 1890, is published by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.


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

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

South Berwick Maine
10 November 1891

Dear Mr. Hayward

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

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

     Yours sincerely and with great regard

     Sarah O. Jewett


Reprinted by permission of the Berwick Academy Archives, item: 1996.0196.

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

Gilsum: If I have read Jewett's handwriting correctly, she probably is talking about Gilsum in southwestern New Hampshire.

vaudoo: An alternate spelling for voodoo.


From Harriet Beecher Stowe

"There's rosemary that's for remembrance
pray love, remember and there
is pansies, that's for thoughts."

December 31st, 1894.

Dear Friend,

     Accept my sincere thanks for your kind remembrance of me. The warm brief words of Christmas greeting in your own well remembered hand made my Christmas bright. The dainty mignonette [earlier?] brought fragrant memories of sunny days passed at "The Old Elms" where spicy odors from flower beds and the genial welcome of warm hearts made the time passed there ever to be remembered.

     With warmest love and wishes for a bright and happy New Year to you and yours from your old Friend

     Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (204) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.


from John Howard Wills

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

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

Dear Madam,

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

Very sincerely,

John Howard Wills

Lieutenant U.S. Army.

Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (239) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.


from Owen Wister

Wednesday, Dec. 2d 1897

328, Chestnut Street [printed letterhead]

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

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

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

Very sincerely yours
Owen Wister

Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (241) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.


from Natalie Rice Clark

Feb. 1900

My dear Miss Jewett:

     For several years I have been wishing that I might some way thank you for the real men & women in your stories -- not because I thought it would so much matter to you what one of a multitide of readers thought, since you must already know what the multitude as a [mass?] thought! -- but simply because gratitude is an uncomfortable possession to keep to oneself. But since "The Queen's Twin" came out, I have been deciding that I must take a moment of your time to thank you, very sincerely & earnestly, for the realities in that book.

     I think that wholly apart from the literary quality of the work, and inherently there, there is something that appeals to women -- perhaps especially to younger women -- in a way that calls out their belief in the goodness of life -- in the possibilities of life that may grow richer, even if the outward & material things grow poorer -- What I want to thank you for, & yet express so poorly, is that there is no poverty of soul in any outward poverty of which you write, -- but that such women as yours take their place as real souls in the world, and are of an infinite encouragement to other women, either in just such or wholly different surroundings -- It is this New England faith that I deeply thank you for -- I could say a good deal more, but after all this is the real kernal that may be daily renewing its strength or beauty of soul, where its bodily weakness is daily more apparent. And if younger women can just begin to believe this fact, & live it out, there is never a chance of their having that sort of unlovely age that not a few writers have been content to show in its unloveliness, without any bit of cheer or encouragement in their work. But your women -- and men too -- have set astir in the world [an?] actual force of encouragement -- of patience & cheer & hope. --

     I have taken more than [the?] minutes of time, -- and it almost seems grotesque for me to have written this out, since you know yourself what you tried to do, -- and you must have known long ago that you had not failed. Yet it is a comfort to me to have once said out to you what I have been so long grateful for. --


Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (40) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.

from John White Chadwick

[printed letterhead]

Chesterfield, Mass.

July 15, 1900

My dear Miss Jewett --

     Every summer we have a new book of yours to read on the hills. We read them out of doors: Mrs. Chadwick reads them to me as we drive about the country, so shortening the long steep hills. "The Queen's Twin" was bought last x'mas & saved till now when it has given great delight. We have both laughed & cried over the stories, especially over "Where's Nora?" and "Martha's Lady." Your dear Mrs. Todd I see continually in the [awafe?] of a dear Mrs. Dodd who was my childhood's friend & whom I always go to see when I return to Marblehead -- a [proper?] but comfortable soul!

     I have often meant to write & thank you for the pleasure you have given us, tho I can well imagine that our more added to the multitude of such testimonies will hardly be appreciated as of any worth. It seems to me that few in our generation have a right to be happier than you. You have given so much sweet & wholesome pleasure & without moralizing you have done so much good. For I do not see how it is possible for so many to read your stories & not a few be bettered by the inspirations of kindliness [which?] they afford or consoled by the compassion & life of those beings that live & breathe along your genial page. Thank you & bless you!

Very truly yours

John W. Chadwick

for Miss Sarah Orne Jewett.

Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (39) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.

From Augustus Buell. ab1

October 27, 1900
1913 Judson Place.

My dear Miss Jewett:

     I have just read the beginning of your story in the November Atlantic. It bids fair to prove of surpassing interest.

     In your letter you say that I make Dr. Green hail from Philadelphia. If you take another glance at the roster of the Ranger you will see that he hails from Portsmouth.

     I have seen the pamphlet -- or one pamphlet -- by Dr. Benjamin Green. It dealt, however, entirely with the history of the Ranger from after her return from France in the fall of 1778. Henry Gardner in his narrative speaks of the Dr. Ezra Green in the Ranger's European cruise as "Nelson."

     Your introduction of "Roger Wallingford" to your readers is finely dramatic, and it would be a pity to spoil such a charming -- nay even thrilling -- romance, for the sake of commonplace history. As a matter of fact I am sure that Wallingford had made one cruise in the West Indies, with Nicholas Biddle during the winter 1775-76 and that Jones had with him in the Providence during the summer of 1776 a man named Richard Wallingford, hailing from Philadelphia -- at that time anyhow -- whatever may have been his proper port of hail.

     The records I have are, of course, meager, but there is nothing in any of the extant records of his shipmates or contemporaries -- so far as I have had opportunity of seeing them -- to indicate the Wallingford of the Ranger was a Tory at heart.

     He may have been inclined that way in the fall of 1775, and such a dramatic incident as you portray may have occurred then. But from any records that are extant the conclusion must be drawn that the man whose name has been officially handed down to us as "Richard Wallingford" junior lieutenant of the Ranger, had already seen at least a year and a half of good service in our infant navy when he sailed from Portsmouth with Paul Jones on what proved to be his last cruise. I could not get access to all my references on this score without going to the National Library at Washington. But to the best of my recollection, Wallingford's first appearance in the Continental Navy was in the fall of 1775, as a volunteer in a small ship commanded by Captain Abraham Whipple, sailing from either Portsmouth or Newburyport, that early in 1776 -- say the end of January -- having put into the Delaware, he was transferred to the Andrea Doria, under Nicholas Biddle; from which ship he went to the Alfred when the squadron returned to Newport in the Spring; and thence, with others, from that ship to the Providence when the Alfred's crew was broken up. The only alternative theory is that there were two Wallingfords -- though there is no doubt that the Ranger's Wallingford of history came from the region of Portsmouth, N.H.

Very truly,

Augustus C. Buell

Reprinted from B MS 1743 (31) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.
This letter was written on letterhead, so the address is printed, but the date and text are added.  Jewett speaks of her correspondence with Buell, the author of John Paul Jones (1900), in a letter to Annie Fields.

From Augustus Buell. ab2

October 31, 1900.
1913 Judson Place.

My dear Miss Jewett:

     I have just received your most charming letter of the 29th. After writing my last letter to you it occurred to me that, in the earlier stages of research anent Paul Jones, I had made a cursory study of Wallingford and had prepared a summary thereof, to be used as a footnote. However, in casting the book, both limitations of space and tenor of the work secured to dictate its exclusion. The fact is that, having laid behind me Paul Jones and all his belongings after Scribners undertook to print it; and being currently absorbed in my daily avocation of "hardworking mechanic" at Cramp's Shipyard, I had temporarily forgotten this incident. But, on second thought, recalling the Wallingford affairs I made a new search of my "rejected mss." and at last found it. I find great pleasure in sending to you a typewritten copy of it. It at least traverses the statement of my former letter that there was no record of Toryism on Wallingford's part. I send it to you by way of the [amende?] honorable, and also to assure you that, in your pretty conception of a romantic theme, you have come nearer the truth of history than is common in that class of literature.


     My son, Ralph Polk Buell, who responded for me to your letter, asks me to offer you his most profound compliments. I must tell you about him. He will be 21 in time to vote next Tuesday. He is, like me and like all his ancestors on both sides a Democrat; but of the faith of Jefferson and Jackson -- not of Bryan.

     Entering Princeton in 1896 (Class of 1900) at the age of 16, he graduated last June, "cum laude," fifth in a class of nearly 300. In April 1898 he took advantage of my absence in Russia on business for Cramp's Shipyard to run away from College and enlist for the Spanish war. He was in the fighting around Santiago and has the medal from that campaign. Returning to this country with his regiment in November 1898 he was mustered out and resumed his course at Princeton after the Thanksgiving Holiday in the Junior Class as if nothing had happened. He was one of two men in his regiment whose names did not appear on the "sick list" during their whole period of service.

     On my side he may I think be considered a worthy descendant of Henry [Eastman? Easdren?] of the Bon Homme Richard and Simon Buell of the Second New York Line (Van Courtland's Regiment.)

     On his mother's side -- whence he gets his middle name of Polk -- his chief ancestor was Colonel Thomas Polk of North Carolina, one of the signers of the [Mecklenburg?] Declaration in 1775. His great grandfather on the Polk side was Charles Polk, Major in command of a battalion of Coffee's Tennessee Riflemen under "Old Jack" at New Orleans. President Polk was his mother's great uncle as was also Colonel William Polk who commanded the Tennessee Regiment at [Contremos?], El Molino del Rey, [Chambusco?] and Chepultepec. His own grandfather on that side was Colonel John Walker Polk, a soldier in the Mexican war and for some time Chief of Staff to Generals Holmes, Kirby Smith and Richard Taylor in the Confederate Army. Colonel John Walker Polk was also one of the "Argonauts of '49;" going to California after the Mexican War.

     I might add that he gets his first name "Ralph" from his sixth ancestor; Ralphe -- or as it was usually spelled then -- "Rulf" Buell, born in Somersetshire, England, in 1616; a Trooper in [Justan's?] Regiment of Horse -- the Ironsides -- through the wars of English Liberation; one of the soldiers detailed to form the hollow square around the Block whence fell the head of Charles I; then, upon the Stuart Restoration, proscribed and a price set upon his head. Then taking refuge on these shores in the same ships that brought [Goffe?] the "Regicide Judge;" settling in what was their own "Far West" of Litchfield, Connecticut -- whence, since 1664 the history of the Buell race in the country may be easily traced.

     But all this, though interesting to me is tedious to you. If I have bored you about my boy -- my only child -- you may [you may stricken] I think, blame yourself for it, because of the flattering way in which you acknowledged the letter he wrote to you on [something stricken] my behalf. And by way of convincing you that I do not "idly dote on offspring not worthy those who gave him birth and name," etc I send to you by this mail under a separate cover his picture taken just after his Regiment -- the old Washington Light Infantry, officially known as the 1st District of Columbia Volunteers, had returned to Washington for muster out in November, 1898. You will see the Santiago Medal on his coat.

     As I have made this already too long, I might as well claim the privilege of an old man and get garrulous.

     I wish to mingle congratulations with you on what seems to be a renaissance of interest in our own Revolutionary history among the plain people. We seem to be at the beginning of one of those periods when men and women, surfeited with trash and [prurience?], turn longingly to the traditions of their heroic lore. I think the literary tastes of nations rise and fall as waves; and that just now we are nearing the crest of a great billow whose top will soon "comb over" in an almost bewildering spray of the classic grandeur and the white purity of that epoch which brought our nation forth -- our war for Independence. In such a literary epoch it will be seen that Paul Jones is to the Americans what Horatio Nelson is to the English -- the embodiment of their pride and the incarnation of their ambitions on the sea. I have contributed a little to this in history. You are helping it along in fiction -- or romance. It is a good work.


Augustus C. Buell

Reprinted from B MS 1743 (31) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.
This letter was written on letterhead, so the address is printed, but the date and text are added.  Jewett speaks ofthis letter in particular in a letter to Annie Fields.  The accompanying "note" with this letter has not been located.  Assistance is welcome.

From Augustus Buell.

The Wm. Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Co.
Office, Beach and Ball Sts.
Nov. 1, 1900.

My dear Miss Jewett.

     In my letter of yesterday I forgot to note your references to "Mr. Warner." I suppose of course you mean Charles Dudley; because people usually particularize by a first name when they wish to speak of any other Warner.

     My first meeting with him was at the [unreadable] house or "farm" of the late William Walter Phelps at [Meatogel?] Conn. The other guests present were General John Hawley, Sam Bowles (Old Sam), Jake [Brawley?] and Mark Twain. It was in 1875. I never had such a time in my life. Mr. Phelps got out his hay wagon and drove us up to the top of [Talcott's?] Mountain, where we lunched on a big rock overlooking the Connecticut valley. You can imagine what an occasion it was. Mr. Warner knew the history of my famly in Connecticut better than I did. The next day we went to [Simsburg?] where he showed me a tombstone which said that

"John Buell. Roy. Prov'l Regt.
Aet. 22 yrs 1 mo.

     I afterwards met him in Washington several times.

Very truly

Augustus C. Buell.

Reprinted from B MS 1743 (31) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.
This letter was written on letterhead, so the address is printed, but the date and text are added.

From Augustus Buell.

November 8, 1900
1913 Judson Place.

My dear Miss Jewett,

     I have received your interesting letter of the 7th; also the magazine with your delightful story of Old Berwick. A single phrase in it, if there were nothing else, would make it charming to one like me, a descendant of several generations of Nantucket and New Bedford sailors. It is the phrase (p. 607) "the cords which were fastened at one end to the Landing wharves seemd to wind all about the other side of the world!"

     That is the prettiest bit of the "poetry of ocean's commerce" I have ever seen. Poetry and commerce do not coalesce in our time but they did in those old days of Argosies and Argonauts. Steam and steel have changed all that now, but we still have left to us the classic memories you so sweetly invoke.

     You need not return the Wallingford note. I sent it to you to keep.

     The legend is referred to in a footnote to the Diary of Dr. Ezra Green, (p. 25) of the reprint of 1875, by his son Walter Cooper Green; in the papers of Commodore [Leonard?] Henry Preble; in Willis's Sketch of George W. Wallingford (Lawyer of Maine, p. 253) -- as well as I can remember without having the book before me; in the Narrative of Henry Gardner (New Bedford, 1826) and besides these printed references, it was related to me personally several years ago by an old Maine Sea Captain, named Hamilton [Grant?] -- whose name you will find in the Ranger's roster among those hailing from Portsmouth.

     The name of the young Lady I cannot distinctly recollect, but it is given in Willis's sketch of George W. Wallingford. My impression is that she was a Gilman, but it would not be safe to assume that my own impression on a subject that has been long "snowed under in memory" is correct. I am sure that she was closely related to Major Jeremiah Gilman of the First New Hampshire Line, because I distinctly recollect Captain Hamilton [Grant?] tell using the two names together in his story; but whether she was his daughter or niece of another name, I cannot now say. You notice that I said in the note "she shall be nameless here." I would have given her name had I been sure of it. I have [in / a?] copy, from the original mss.

Very truly,

Augustus C. Buell.

Reprinted from B MS 1743 (31) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.
This letter was written on letterhead, so the address is printed, but the date and text are added.


From Augustus Buell.

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

Reprinted from B MS 1743 (31) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.
This letter was written on letterhead, so the address is printed, but the date and text are added.

from S. Wallingford Smith

May 10th 1900

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[. is omitted?] 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 [Necors / Nesois]?, her sister Lucia and [Miss Whode Nauus / Woodhouse?]. I am sure are familiar to you. With apologies for troubling you.

I am
Yrs truly,
S. Wallingford Smith

15 Ohio St.

Reprinted from B MS 1743 (201) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.
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.

from Richard Sullivan [No date, but clearly in spring/summer 1901]

33 [Brimmer] St.

Dear Miss Jewett.

     I have read your charming story in the Atlantic, that is the first five instalments [sic] and have been very much interested in your [two unreadable words] and extremely agreeable references to my Great grand father Jhon [sic] Sullivan and his family. My cousin Mrs. [Pichiane?] and I beg you to accept a copy of our book, prepared by Miss Meredith, which I send with this note. I am very much pleased with the portion of your story referring to Paul Jones and the spirited account of his last night in Berwick, and his progress down river to embark in the Ranger. This story has given me so much pleasure that I beg you to accept my best thanks.

Yours cordially

Richard Sullivan

Reprinted from B MS 1743 (205) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.

from John Marr

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.

Reprinted from B MS 1743 (146) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.

From Augustus Buell.

     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.

Reprinted from B MS 1743 (31) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.
This letter was written on letterhead, so the address is printed, but the date and text are added.

from T. R. Sullivan

Boston, October 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

Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (206) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.

From Henry James

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.


Henry James letters to Sarah Orne Jewett, bMS Am 1743 (111), reprinted by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University, and Bay James.

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.

Two letters from Olivia Mansfield, both probably from 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[. omited?] 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

     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)

Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (145) by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.



          Manchester by Sea
          Thursday -----

My Dear Lily Munger

     You cannot think how much pleasure your letter brings me! -- I had seen the announcement of Quentin Durward with true satisfaction, and wished to know more of you ----- though that told me a good deal!** Your letter finds me here but I go back to South Berwick next week; by [Sunday?] I shall be in town and shall be looking forward to seeing you and having a good talk about all that you are doing, and about those old days which I do not forget. I have had a very long hard time since my bad accident, but now I am really better and trying to get back to doing some of the things that I used to do, though I still must be very careful for it is so easy to over do.

     I need not tell you how glad I shall be to have your book, or how your letter touches my heart.

     Yours always and affectionately

          S. O. Jewett



Reprinted by permission of the Old Berwick Historical Society, from the archives at the Counting House Museum in South Berwick, ME: item 1974I 0001.C. 01 + 02. With this letter, OBHS has an envelope postmarked Oct 11, 1906, addressed to Miss Munger, 13 Hilliard St., Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Quentin Durward. L. M. Munger and Susan Francis were responsible for a 1906 reprinting of Sir Walter Scott's (1771-1832) novel, Quentin Durward (1823), for Houghton Mifflin's Riverside Literature series. Munger edited the text "for study," and Francis wrote a biographical introduction.

Undated Letters

Letter to Annie Fields -- undated but after 1901.

Dearest Annie

     Wasn't it interesting that I should have been so concerned about your having a cold? I am sorry enough my visions prove true -- oh do be careful dear! but Mrs [Voshell?] will know what to do for you. This is the time in winter when people get tired and have the grippe, but I do believe that we ought to be 'smoked' after we have had it -- it is so contagious and may make so much trouble for others --- I was very sorry that I laid blame in the wrong quarter (if there were blame!) about Rosalie -- but I did feel so for poor little Eppie. What fun it would be to have her in the south room at Manchester if you were well! Dear little thing! ---

     What do you think I read yesterday but a good piece of The Tory Lover! You know how long it takes before you can sit down to a book of your own with any detachment -- as if somebody else had written it? I have taken it up now and then and found that it only worried me but yesterday was different -- it seemed quite new and whole! and I really was delighted with my piece of work. I have never succeeded in doing anything except the Pointed Firs that comes anywhere near it -- my conscience upholds this happy belief. and whether it was a hundred years ago or not, is apart from the question altogether. The book of Ruth was is [sic] an historical novel in its day. The French Country House is no more real to writer or reader because Mrs. [Sartons / Lartons?] had made the [iroit?] & imagined she made some episodes a few [someevers?] before --- I can't think what people are thinking of who didn't like the T. L. as much as some of my books of slight sketches which -- are mostly imaginary! or even as well as the Pointed Firs. but Brother Robert frankly remarked "They don't!" --- I can't help being sure that somebody now and then will like it. and if H. & M. were as good publishers as they are printers it would have been done better -- However it did very well and let's not grumble about any thing. I think it wasn't very well fitted for a Serial. I am sorry for all that part of it and for the foolish exhausting hurry I was led into.

[more follows on other topics]

    This is the opening of a letter that Fields omits from her edition of Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett.
    Reprinted from bMS Am 1743 (255) folder 13 by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.


[to Lillian Munger, no date, possibly 1906]

My Dear Lily

     I think of you so often and wish I could hear from you and know how you are getting on. Do ask your friend to write me again if you do not feel equal to it yourself. Dear child I hope and pray that you find some comfort already. I know you must. I will only send you this little word to-day instead of a letter but I wish very much to hear from you.

          Yours affectionately

               S. O. J.


Reprinted by permission of the Old Berwick Historical Society, from the archives at the Counting House Museum in South Berwick, ME: item 1974I 0003.C.

Edited and annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College

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  Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett