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Helen Hunt Jackson 2-2-24m transcription

Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 2, Ms 0156, Box 2, Folder 24m Sarah Woolsey to HHJ, 1882.
Transcribed by Gloria Helmuth, 2003.

Penciled in brackets: July 10, 1882

Mt Pleasant House
Princeton - July 10

My dear - this is the day which you fix in your note for getting back to San Francisco - That was always deemed a far off place, but everything is comparative, and set beside Vancouver's Island it seems as it were the next door. I was delighted to hear that you had achieved Oregon and the Columbia, and that Will had secured his holiday. It seems like a wonderful thing to me. - I could find it in my heart to envy you if I had not grown old and lazy, and if it were not so nice here!

We came ten days since, and it is mine longer than usual or it seems so. The season is late, so the green is in perfect freshness and the woods are one sheet of rosey laurel. The house is only half full as yet, and the carte has been very nice so far and everything very comfortable. Ellen Gardiner is here, and the Coe's - Jenny and the children come tomorrow and Lilly are here from the Saturday. The Whittakers since last year have put a new storey over the kitchen wing, with nice airy bedrooms for themselves and the servants and a large linen room. Down stairs there is a new dining room for the nurses and children and a row of capital store houses, pastry-rooms etc - all ample and comfortable. It is all a great improvement and makes things work more smoothly in all departments of the house happily. Mrs Whittaker has been very poorly all winter but she is better of late.

Mr Whittaker looks much older - Mrs Gleason is breaking up I fear - Nelly's little girl is a dear, rosey, resolute little thing, and rules the whole family. She takes two or three promising relations at a time, and turns them in any direction she pleases with the manipulation of one small finger, like a tiny steamer busy convoying half-a-dozen big barges.

Mamma is stronger and brighter than usual just now, and we feel easier about her than for two or three years past. Not that she is radically better, but the moment is better, and the summer promises fairly. I am beginning to write a little and hope to accomplish some work here. At Kingston where we spent June I only painted. There was such a wealth of flowers that the time seemed too good to be wasted on anything else. I had an order for a large panel of fleur-de-lis - (listen to the magnificence of that!) and I did two of the same since., one of dog wood and one of apple-blossoms, which are now at Chase's being framed. The Hasards at Peacedale have urged upon me a most charming invitation to come to them the end of this month for a week and paint holly - branches of which they have quantities and I am rather tempted to accept, especially as they also have a cove of clear brown water full of pond-lilies, which would be a wonderful "subject" as well.

Georgie Bacon and her husband have just started for Colorado, especially Estes Park, and Frank Lever and a friend go soon - but I fear none of them are likely to see you on account of your late return. I wish you could tell me something about Alma Strettell. I heard some vague report about her brother as having died? Is it true? And where is the family if it is true?

Jenny Johnson has just written me that she is going with Helen for a few weeks to Gaphawk Long Island, where various of the above family are staying. Mr Johnson cannot leave town and it has the attraction of being close at hand, so that Jenny can go in often to see him. He seems really better in health than last year. Did you see his birthday poem and letter Helen in the last independent? - The papers have related lately that Col. Higginson has been confined to the home by illness for some time past, but I have no more authentic information. I saw Mr Vose in the train the other day - and had ten minutes talk with him - the first time we have met since Edward died! How little changed he is - I knew him in a moment, but I did not think he would have known me had not I recognised him first.

Good bye dear girl -

My best love to Will -

Your own old


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