Helen Hunt Jackson 6-1-4 transcription
Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 6, Ms 0353, Box 1, Folder 4, letters
from HHJ to her sister Annie, 1872-1882
[The stationery is black bordered (both the letter and the envelope)]
No return address, however this is written across the end of the envelope:
Wed. Aug. 28 - 1872
I shall go to Bethlehem some day next week, but I cannot tell yet what day. It depends on whether I have to go to Newport first and that I shall not know till the last minute. So you cannot make any plan for meeting me in Boson, as you propose. And it would not be worth while either, for nothing would induce me to "visit our property," as you propose and I am sure I do not see what you will gain by so doing; - I should think once doing that sort of thing was enough., -
And as for the Mt. Auburn [exaup...] - my dear girl, did you soberly mean to walk Mt. Auburn searching for a monument that pleased you! - I cannot help laughing at the idea, grave as the subject is. I should as soon think of taking a pedestrian tour of Massachusetts, in search of a bonnet on somebodys head, that I might fancy!
The thing to do, is it go to some [frive?] who will makes in a stones - like Cassoni & Iola's in N. York, where I had Rennie's & Edwards made.
They have great books of designs & you select your choice; - I wish you would go to them: their designs are beautiful, and not unreasonably high; every thing they do is artistically done. I dare say there may be good [frines?] in Boson, too, but I do not know anything about them. I may not go to Boson at all, at this time, if I do not have to go to New York - as I can come by x Worcester. - though the Lowell & [Nachina?] R.R.
I will telegraph to you the day before I come - but I do not think it will be before the middle or last of the week; and it is not worth while to engage a room - for I shall only stay two nights. And they would not keep a room for so short a time, if they had a chance to let it - and if they do not, it would be all right. I can sleep anywhere for two nights. - Love to all - In great Haste - Helen -
[stationery (letter and envelope) are black bordered]
no return address, but written across one end, in pencil: Oct. 11, 1872 - tells of 3 books N.W.F. made of letters for H.M. F. From Bethlehem
I enclose to you Julius's letter to me. Not much can be made of it.
If it were in your heart, I should (if I were absolutely sure, I did not wish the property to be sold) - simply say so, in a distinct & formal manner in a letter to him - & tell him that you rely on his giving you sufficient notice, to protest against it. He will do that. - Mr. Lyle says you can prevent the sale. -
I will back you heartily in anything you want to do if Julius tries to sell against your will.-
There does not seem any use in going to a lawyer so long beforehand. Of course no injunction could be filed beforehand.
I wonder if you went to the right rooms at Parkers, I was in from eleven, till seven! I am so sorry I did not see you.
Miss Woolery goes next week Wednesday. How much longer I shall live in here, I don't know; if I can stand it alone, I shall stay till Nov. 1st for I have a good deal of writing I want to finish before I break up.
One volume of Ma's letters was to me - one to Mrs. Terry & one to Aunt Hooker. - I will send your pictures of me back without fail. Mr. Richards did not know it! - I said as he took it, "it is my sisters - I begged it off her, just to show to you," & he put it down presently saying that their was a strong likeness between us! After I told him, he looked at it again, but did not find it much like me. - Nothing is duller than peoples impressions of pictures. Goodnight - love to all - Ever affly Helen.
Post mark obliterated except for ...D & RIO G
no return address, but written across one end of the envelope: Dec. 1875 Tells about climate & conditions in C.S. the home.
I am sorry to learn by your letter of the 4th - that you are still in such uncertainty & perplexity about your winter. I know that suspense is as wearing to you as to me. It is almost the only thing I cannot bear. - I had hoped that the cold would have proved invigorating to you - as it always will to to [sic] me; and I believed that as soon as the lake was frozen over the air would be a dry inland air which would suit you. I still think it far better for you than most New England places.
If we had anything in shape of a room, & you felt you could afford this spring, I should wish your coming to us: - but there is no use in thinking of that; - we have no spare room - only a spare bedstead & that in a room piled with trunks. - and the cost of the journey is very great - ticket from Boston to Denver $81 - without sleeping berth or food -
You could not get out here & back with the two children under $400! - Will could not get you any Passes except on this road - The road has never exchanged Passes with other roads at all - & it is impossible for any one to get passes now except for persons closely connected with R.R. management. - Now I will try to answer your enquiries about this town -1st It is horrible to live here, in rooms & go out for meals. - but there is not in all this town any food to be bought for love or money that you could tolerate. - if there had been any decent board to be had we should not have gone to house-keeping -
There is no such thing here as a furnished house to rent! - It is only by the accident of Miss Morton's having decided to return East - After she had leased this for a year that we get this - There are a few two room apartments, in the Row where I lived last year - first floor right on the ground - no sun in back room - little in front room - rooms 10 by 11 ft - wretched dens - for $25 a month. - I would about do anything rather than see you go into one. - for I feel that I barely escaped with my life from them. No one keeps well in them & no one stays long. I only admit it because there was no food to be got anywhere else. - This year the boarding house at the end of the Row is not so good. - the woman's husband is a Methodist minister, is dying of consumption, & she cannot do her cooking as she would. You probably have no idea of the difficulty attending any way of living here, except having your own house, & plenty of money to keep house with. I always implore people who must economise, not to move to Colorado. - I think the Schools here are probably about like district schools in small places elsewhere. I know nothing about them - except that invalids teach some of them. -
If there were to be a vacancy in any of them, I perhaps could get it for you - but you know all that would take time - that is no sort of a contingency for you to calculate on.
There is a little Congregational Society here - a handful - they have services at present in a little chapel here up by the Unitarians last year. - Now I believe I have answered all your questions; I am sorry enough to have to write so discouragingly about your coming here - but I cannot honestly do anything else. I am sure it would be unwise - & prove very uncomfortable xx for you. Even if there were good rooms & good food, this is no climate for people to go out to meals in. When we do have storms they are terrific - wind ninety miles an hour. - There were a dozen snow storms the first two weeks in Nov. - which would have been just as bad to go out in as any storm in Wolfboro. The last two weeks we have had lovely weather - clear & sunny - like the first winter I spent here.
If you feel that you must go away from Wolfboro, I hope you will go to Washington. You find that climate so good for you - & you have friends there too - I am sure that would be best. - Another year I hope you can come & stay with us. As for my being just married that makes no odds - Will & I are not young lovers - & you must recollect that we had really lived together almost as if we were married for two years before we could make up our minds to getting married, for good & all. - We are not sorry yet. - Good bye - Love to Everrett & the children - Yrs ever affly Helen.
I did draw that check of yours dear - but I did not buy anything especial with it - for I thought I would keep it till we went to Japan. I should want so many things there. - That is now given up - or nearly so - & therefore I shall take the $25 for something else. - I think I shall buy a handsome claret pitcher (glass) - & a Majolica water pitcher with it. - I want pretty things for my table more than anything else. - I want you to tell me now what you gave for those gravestones. - Please do - for just as soon as I get straightened out, I insist on paying my half of it. - Of course I had to over draw to get ready to be married - & I shall be beholden for a little while. - but the first thing I want to do is to pay that money to you.
Dear Annie -
You forgot when you wrote that we are to be in Kennett, at Will's mother's for three days. - Your letter has just been sent out here from Phila. - I am very sorry that I can't give you the least information about rooms, food, &etc. - for Phila is as foreign a city to me as Antwerp! - We spent Sat. night there at the La Pierre house ($3.50 a day & very comfortable) - on Sunday we went out to the Globe Hotel just at the entrance of the grounds - & engaged our rooms for tomorrow. Will thought it would be better to begin there & try it. - & Molly had quite a preference for it, but I do not believe we shall stay there more than one day - for I disliked the whole aspect of the house very much. - 1100 rooms! - Run up just for the Centennial & to be torn down as soon as it is over. - $5.00 a day - & I am instinctively sure the fair is bad. I hope to goodness we shall go out to Bryn Mawr at once. - for I smelled bad drainage all over Phila! & I believe we shall be ill if we stay there. If I were you, I would try for some cheap country place, outside & come in each day. - Bryn Mawr, I am afraid would be too dear for you, but I will ask as soon as we get there, (if we do!) - The people here have frightened me very much - they say there is so much typhoid fever in Phila. - they beg us not to stay there at all - that there were 37 deaths there from it last week - that means about four hundred cases - You see all this crowding in, with no proper provision for it; is very unwholesome. I have some advertisements of lodgings - that as soon as I get there, I can look at some, if you want me to - but I should be totally ignorant about good or bad locality - & should be very unwilling to take the responsibility of engaging rooms for you. - I myself write this whole thing in Jericho. I don't think any [shever] under Heaven is worth so much fatigue with the risk of typhoid fever thrown in. - One of Will's brothers in Carr is on the grounds all the time & he says he does not dare drink a drop of water there - most of the fever they think is generated there - Will is writing & in a hurry so I must close. -
Write me again to same address. Goodbye - Lovingly Helen
You will be surprised to get a letter from me here - & I am somewhat surprised at being here. - but I bore the Colorado heat as long as I could I waited with my trunk half packed, three weeks for Will to get a telegram calling him to N. York, which he was expecting, but it did not come, & at last I started off alone. I spent a day in Chicago with Mrs. Lloyd. - and four days in New York - & then came on here, by way of Boston. Mrs. William Hunt of Boston, the wife of Wm Hunt the artist is here - and I wanted sea air - for the first time in my life felt a distinct surge of need of it - so I came. - It is a charming place - and the air is delicious - I shall stay a week at least and perhaps longer - I may get a telegram any day however, from Will saying he is coming right on & in that case I shall go at once to N. York & meet him. -
When I shall come up to Wolfboro I can't say - but of course I shall come, before going back to Colorado. Our plans are entirely unsettled - and I can not know at all what we shall do, till Will comes on. -
I saw Charlie Tufts in Boston - he must look for there are for Trustee this fall - & I hope Will will be able to say in Boston [.......] to investigate men. Sue & Augustus have written to me that they will not return this fall - & it is uncertain when they will come. - they would be gone a year or two - This is a great disappointment to me - Augustus [siggerts] me. Pinkerton, Do you know him? - You might write to me to Care of Roberts Bros Boston. - They forward all my letters - & if I am called away suddenly I shall telegraph to them, to keep them - so that is the surest way of your getting me. I am sorry to hear that Annie has no school yet. It is the hardest thing in the world for women teachers to get places. The market is so overstocked. - I shall write & ask Miss Woolsey if she knows of any place. --
Goodbye; Love to all.
Yrs. Ever lovingly - Helen
New York -
Dear Annie -
I was very glad to see your handwriting once more - I have not published, to keep up correspondence with any one this winter - & now I have still [... .....] than ever - as I have decided to go abroad with Prof. Horsford & two of his daughters. The 1st of June for three months - I shall have the chief part of my book done by that time - & as it is not thought but to bring it out till fall - & as I do not think it wise to go back to Colorado in the hot weather - & as Mr. Johnson will be obliged to be there & I shall not see him, anyhow - I have decided to go. It terrifies me to think of having the ocean between us - but it is for a short a time that I think I can brave it - & I never shall have such a chance again. - Scotland - the Lakes - Sweden & Norway - & the Passion Play at Ober Ammergau! - I hope to make some many out of the trip also, which is another reason for taking it - I hope Mr. Fiske sent you as much more than you expressed as he did me - I had $522 - more than I have had for a year! - He also said I would have about $320 the first of July - so if I am going to have $1600 - a year I should think you must have $2000 - & that will be splendid indeed. I sent Helen word in no account to leave Mrs. Barbers - It is a very hard thing to get a place with over $220 clear - very hard indeed - & in many places where she seemed to get none. She would not really, because it would cost you for clothes, &etc. - I [......] her portion then a most exceptional one in advantages & on no account to be given up. - I have written to her to ask Mrs. B. what she will take Mannie for - I think she ought to take her for $20 [...], if she rooms with Helen - & I think I can guarantee to pay her $400 for her thru one year, beginning next Sept. I shall write to Mr. Fiske to give you $200. of my July payment for that purpose -. Then, if Nannie goes there in Sept. - You can break up housekeeping & go with Kitty to Minnesota if you like, for the winter - which would be a good thing for you no doubt. - Everett might find an opening there as lawyer - or if you have $2000 a year you could all board thru on that probably . - at any rate for the winter. - Does not this look practicable? -
In great haste -
I am very sorry for disobliging - but to buy wall papers for a house would be utterly out of my power now - I have thirty calls to return - & no end of small bits of repairing & sewing to do beside - The woman who promised to come & sew for me this week has disappointed me & that has thrown me into a terribly hurry. - the thing of all virtues I hate & never have, except by other people's fault. If that woman had come for this week as she promised I should have had a leisurely week of it - & could have looked up papers as well as not - but I'll tell you what I will do - I will go to Bunshads in Boston where I got all my papers. & am familiar & I will take your list of colors, & send you samples. They are always willing to send out rolls of samples. I selected all mine that way - & have had big rolls sent out to Col. for several friends. - The Expressage from Boston to N. York will be small - & their styles are far better than any N. York styles. Xx Mrs. G. Palmer had big rolls of samples from N.Y & they did not compare with Bunshads. I shouldn't think of even looking here, if I were now furnishing any house with papers. - I hope to have two days in Boston - & can do this in an hour there. But I can't undertake it here - I hate to say this - but I xx know I ought not to add it to all else I have to do in this five days. -
Thank Nannie for her note - Tell her she can pay me, by taking care of me some day when I am a helpless cross senile old woman alone in the world! - I am heartily glad you have consented to let her go. I believe she could have broke down ill, if you had not. - Mr. Fiske has paid $225 for my passage money, & charged it to my July account - he said I should certainly have $350 & perhaps $400 then - I shall tell him to pay you, all that is due me in July, & if it is not quite $375. you may pay the rest & consider it so much paid toward the debt you still persist in assuming that you owe me. A clear case of "Malaria"
I wish you could see your way clear to come down & see me in Boston - can't you? -
I shall write "Encyclicals" as I did before - but only send them to four people - first to Will, then he will send the letter to Molly - she to Miss Woolsey, & Miss Woolsey to you, who will keep them all carefully till I return - when they will be of value towards the book I hope to make out of the journey. - Ever lovingly yours - Helen.
The gray suit was cleaned & shrank so it looked frightfully on me - & I can get one for $40 in Paris that will be much prettier for me - so it was no sacrifice to me to give it up. Glad to get rid of it & have it do good.
Dearest Annie -
Too sick to write anything but to say that we are nearly over - shall reach Queenstown tomorrow night and Liverpool on Wed. Am.at 12.30. - We shall probably reach London 8 at night. I have written Will that I shall never return & that if he wishes to see me again he must at once apply for situation as foreign consul somewhere & come over! - It has been a lovely voyage - smooth seas - clear sunshine - but oh, how sick I have been. Ugh! - only one day in my berth however. All the rest I have lain in my steamer chair on deck.
I left with Mr. Fiske a written Mem. to send to you on the 13th of Sept. $187. - to pay Nannie's first half year at C. - & told him if I died he was still to do it! - So that is all right. -
Be sure to have Annie go to Chicago if Jessy Lloyd asks her. - It is a chance for all sorts of openings -- widening her acquaintance & outlook generally which must not be lost. -
I told Mrs. Houghton to have the Atlantic & any books which they would send to me this summer sent to you, to keep for me. -
Goodbye. Love to all. Ugh! H.
The Trossachs Hotel,
July 2, 1880
Dear Annie -
I have no word from any of you yet - hope you received my notes. - I shall not be able to write the Encyclicals as I had planned. It takes all my time to take full notes for working up afterward, & to write two letters a week to Will.
Do write a line - (care Barings Bros. London. always) as often as one in two weeks, just to say all is well. - One gets much more anxious so far off. - Will wrote that you had written to him. - that was very thoughtful of you.
We have had a great three weeks - Chester - London - the English Lakes - Edinboro - Stirling - & now the Scotch Lakes. - on the 8th we sail from Hull - for Bergen, Norway. - After that I shall hear less often & write less too - we shall be on a still [stradie go?]. I wish we could stay a weekj in each place. Love to all, Lovingly, Helen
Dear Annie -
I expect you are all much vexed with me for not sending the Encyclicals I promised to - but I can't help it - perhaps when we are in Germany & Austria there may not be quite so much to see - and I may write some - but I don't believe I shall. - It takes every minute to write two letters a week to Will, & to take full notes of all I see - I have just got back from a four days trip on two of the wonderful fjords of this wonderful country -
(That word is pronounced, as near as I can write it fyawd - sound the f before the "yawd" and why they couldn't have had some easier name for a great inland bay, I cant see! - If you look on the map, You'll see that the whole coast of Norway is made up of promontories & their bays running far inland, among the mountains. They are grander than anything I have ever seen - the mts are as high as those in the Yosemite & we sail along at their base.
I took this journey alone with a Norwegian lady to whom I had a letter of introduction from the Conways., a great piece of luck - The Horsfords have gone to spend a few days on Ole Bull's place, on an island, 16 miles from here. Ole Bull himself, did not arrive as he expected - being ill at the last mount - & this has upset their plans waiting on him - he is expected on Saturday - & I hope very early next week we may get off - for I begin to be very anxious at seeing the time used up so fast - I have put off any return to the last possible minute - - Sept 29th - & I must be at Ober Ammergau by the first week in Sept - to leave me ten days in Paris - which I want at the very least - The Horsfords having another month before them, are in no such haste - & I should not consider if it ended in having to take a courier & go alone to the Passion Play after all, which would be horrid - but home I must & will be by the Steamer of Sept. 29th - No matter what I have to give up - that is almost a month more than I first planned for.
I find a sheet of queer figures for Kitty - I saw them in a window - & thought they would amuse her - They are to make shadows on the wall. The black part is to be all cut out -
I got your letter & was glad enough to hear - Do write - & don't wait to hear from me - You can't think how homesick one is for letters - however good time you may be having.
I hope to come back to Norway & spend a whole summer with Will, some day! - A whole summer could be little enough to see it in. - I hope by the time this reaches you, Annie will be in Chicago - I am sorry she is going to that Mrs. Goodwin - but she may be the stepping stone to something better. - Goodbye - Love to all - Excuse this scrawl - I must write two more letters before the mail leaves - & I am trying hard to finish one of my Atlantic articles before leaving Bergen - for there is no knowing when I will have another minute's rest.
Every lovingly - Helen
New York -
Dear Annie -
I have been growing anxious at not hearing from you -- but hope no news was good news. - I sent you a bundle of odds & ends a week ago last Thursday, when we packed up & moved out of this house at 9th Hanover. - It was very vexating, that in less than 24 hours after so much against our will, we had done this. Another apartment here was put at Mr. Slater's disposal for a month & horribly for all winter! - So we just staid our week out at the Hanover, & moved back here on Thanksgiving morning - very glad indeed to get back. - & very glad too when we saw the snow storm that we were not travelling to New England.
At the last minute, Will said he could not possibly go - & of course I could not go without him - so I telegraphed to the Horsfords we could not come - & now I do not believe I shall come at all. Unless you should be in Boston with Annie & be very anxious I should see her. - I find that these first snows have given me a tendency to the same sort of cold I had last winter which put me on my back at Mrs. Hunts last December. You may recollect - for a ten days fit of illness - & I don't want to ruin any girls I can avoid. I wish I never need see another flake of snow as long as I live. My old nervous membrane has got too thin, in spots, to bear wet cold any more. - I am shut up in the house now, and shall be till the melting is over - the drill of melting snow - in the city is to me far worse than any amount of good steady sleighing cold in the country. I wish now very much that I had come right up to Wolfboro when I first arrived - & if I had dreamed that Will would not come later - of course I should have done it; but when he met me in Boston he thought he could come back there in a month or so for a week of visits - & as it was very important for me to see the Harpers at once & get my book along I thought it much wiser to hurry on here. However, as I wrote you in my last letter - My judgement on seeing Annie for a day or two could be good for nothing - after all. The Dr. is the only one who can tell anything with even an approach to safety or certainty. & I wouldn't for the world take any responsibility about deciding anything. - I'll gladly take her home with me, whenever I go - if the Dr. advise it - but outside of my own home, I don't see how I could venture to have her with me - a Hotel is no place for her . - nor for anybody else either as to that matter - I hate the life here - I am sick of it. - I trust she is well enough to make the [orange?] visit. That seemed to me to promise best for her, after all the plans I could think of - Everything looks very encouraging on the sale of my book - & if it does have a good sale, I shall be able to arrange for a journey for Annie next summer. - Do write a line. Love to Annie - & E - & H. - Ever lovingly Helen.
No return address; however, this note across one end of the envelope: 1881 - 1882 HH letters from Calif. Dec. 13, 1881 -
Dearest Annie -
I left N.Y. Sat. night - & arrived here this A.m. - The train for San Francisco does not go out till 9 o clk tonight so I have had the whole day to rest here - which is a good thing though very tiresome. - I have scrubbed from hand to foot - lain in bed six hours - read a novel & written four letters. -
Will meets me tomorrow night at La Junta - - (pronounced Lah Hoontah!) - & I hope he will go on with me as far as Las Vegas
I never made the journey thus far. with so little fatigue. In fact I feel far better than when I left N. York. The cold I had had hanging on ever since my attack in Boston has entirely disappeared in this dry weather air. -
I shall probably make Los Angeles Sunday or Monday - Will write you at once on arriving - Mean time - you must write to me - remember a letter will [take?] a whole wish at heart.
Love to all - Goodbye
first postmark: San Diego CAL. Mar 12 1882
no return address, however this is written across one end of the envelope: March 1882 - Tells about her work
Just before leaving Santa Barbara I sent you a bundle - a flannel sacque which the washerwoman had shrunk up so I could not get my ample proportions into it! - I thought it was an ill water that did nobody good! It could be such a nice warm sacque for Kitty in cold nights - or almost pretty enough perhaps to dy red - the embroidery was such a pretty pattern.--
I came by boat from S.B. here; arriving a week ago today after two as nasty nights as I ever spent on water. - All the talk about the Pacific Ocean's being smooth is a farce. -
This is the warmest place I have found - but even here, it is cold enough for fire night & morning. - Today I am going to drive 36 miles up into the country, to see a Mass at a Chapel where 120 Indians come to attend services once in two months. I carry the Catholic priest with me! Rather a droll combination.-- This is a dreary little town - the jumping off place of the U.S. - the Mexican boundary being in sight. - The harbor is beautiful & the views of the mts. grand. - I shall be here only a week longer - then go up to Riverside - & then back to Los Angeles, - Will is detained in Col. longer than he expected. There isn't much use in trusting to business men's plans. - He expected to have been here March 1st now he says April 1st - but he hopes by staying longer there to be able to take time to go up into Oregon, of which I am very glad. -
I am hard at work collecting facts for my articles -It is extremely interesting - & I am so busy, working every forenoon & driving all over the land ever afternoon that the time slips away fast. -
I have just written to Mrs. Barbers asking her if she will give Helen a year's vacation & keep the place open for her at end of the time. I don't see why she shouldn't as well as for Miss Woodman. - If she will, I want H. to take a years rest & play - She is getting a sort of teacher-y manner of speaking which I don't want to becomes fixed on her! - & she must be tired - Then she is at the age now when she ought to see a little more society & have a chance to meet new acquaintances - & perhaps meet some man who will make her a good husband. - So I have enclosed a note to Helen in my letter to Mrs. B. - telling H. that I will pay her $250. for not teaching for one year! - & she can divide her time between Annie's house & yours - & teach Nannie & Kitty - & perhaps take some nice little journey & have a whole years rest. - I told Mrs. B. not to tell H. anything about it unless she were willing to keep the place for her - for I could not dare ask H to give up teaching for the year, if at end of that time she had no certainty of anything better than the ordinary run of teachers situations. - I do hope she will do it. - & that - Helen may never have to teach any more - but if she does, there is not another such home as Mrs. Barbers's I am quite sure. -
Write to care
- but I keep Roberts Bros always advised by telegraph where to forward
Lovingly ever -
- If Helen [contacts?] you, pray don't go against her doing as I figured for the $250 is nothing to me to give her - & I am sure the child ought to have the rest - & a little play time. -
Give my love to A. when you write & tell her I got her nice letter
& photo - but too busy to reply - (also weak eyes) - the photo is
a caricature I say - she never will get a good one any more than you.
maintained by Special Collections; last revised, 10-02, jr