William S. Jackson 1-1-1 transcription
William S. Jackson Papers, Part 1, Ms 0235, Box 1, Folder 1 contains a typed transcription, done in 1931, of Letter Book 1 in the Helen Hunt Jackson Papers (Part 1, Ms 0020, Box 2, later transcription available here). With this transcription are four typed pages of material not found elsewhere in the HHJ or WSJ Papers (as far as we can tell), transcribed below by Gloria Helmuth, summer 1996.
To Ann Scholfield Fiske.
This volume is composed chiefly of letters written by your dear Mother to Aunt Vinal & Cousin Martha B. Vinal. I have had them collected in this form & in chronological order, for your gratification & improvement; & I think you may hereafter derive pleasure from their perusal as well as benefit.
You lost your mother when you were young, & it was to you as well as to your dear sister and Father, an unspeakable loss. But how happy was it for you that that dear Aunt so cheerfully & so lovingly took you to her home. Never, my child, can you feel too deeply your obligations to your mother's Aunt and Uncle Vinal & Cousin Martha, whose efforts & sacrifices for your good were very many at a time when your age was such that you could not fully appreciate them. May you show as long as you live & by every means in your power, that you feel a lively gratitude for their kindness.
Your affectionate Father,
Amherst, July 11, 1846.
Lanesborough, June 4, Wednesday morning.
You see, my dear aunt, I can practice as well as preach punctuality in writing; this, unless there is some fault in the mails, will reach you on Saturday - the time I promised you should hear, and the time I shall receive a joint letter from you and little Martha and myself - a grand way of securing letters to be one's own corespondent. I must write a package to be sent to me after leaving home the next time. But you are skipping this interesting preamble to learn something of my journey, and I will tell you the particulars, so many of them as have not escaped my memory. We left home you know Tuesday morning. It rained some until noon, but it did not make me uncomfortable. The company in the Stage was neither agreeable nor disagreeable - it consisted of clever folks who said nothing either good or bad. At Framingham we dined - in the afternoon the weather was very pleasant - we reached Worcester between 5 and 6 o'clock; put up at the same house that I did with you and my father last year. Our accommodations were excellent - partly owing to some rivalry between that and another public house recently opened. We had the same parlour to sit in that you and I occupied the morning we were waiting so anxiously and impatiently for the Stage. I am such a sleepy head mornings I was afraid at night of sleeping until the next noon unless someone should stave my chamber door down to wake me, but I was awake and dressed at 5 o'clock!!! what wonders a little care will do. After breakfast we took a long walk on the hill behind the Tavern to have a good view of the local situation and buildings of Worcester. The stage for Northampton left at 9 o'clock there were 11 passengers inside and 2 on the out; one was an enormous old Englishman - proportioned like the old Dutch governors - 5 feet 6 inches in height and 5 feet 5 inches in circumference. We dined at Brookfield and reached Northampton about 1/2 past 8 o'clock - put up at Mr. Warners but Mr. Warner and his wife were absent; you have probably seen them for they had gone to Haverhill. Mr. Warner's house is an excellent one in every room there is a clothes brush, hair brush and Bible; and books in the parlours to entertain people who are so unfortunate as not to have agreeable company with them, but I did not read any of the books. Thursday morning between 8 and 9 we took a Chaise and rode round Northampton - you recollect I had no opportunity of seeing the place when there before - in the forenoon we went over to Amherst - I have no evil report to give of the land - it is more pleasant than I expected to find it, but it will appear very differently of course in snow storms and rainy days. Our first call was at Mrs. Shepards Mr. Fiske's boarding place - they treated me very politely and I did not feel so very awkwardly as I expected. We staid about half an hour and then went into the chapel to see all the recitation rooms and up on the Tower above it to take a look at Amherst and the surrounding country; then we called on Mr. Humphrey. I was interested in her she seemed just as Mr. Fiske had represented her - a very sensible, affectionate, motherly woman; the President was not at home; from Mrs. Humphrey's we returned to Mrs. Shepherds and dined. I met a young lady there acquainted with Lucretia Parker and going directly to New Haven. I sent some love to Lucretia which she will be surprised I think to receive from that quarter. This young lady remembered me. She was at Mr. Wilsons 4 or 5 years ago when Maria was alive, and I now remember seeing her there. I rode very slowly past Mrs. Moore's house, and the other one below the hill. Mrs. Moore's house is the largest and the situation the pleasantest but the situation of the other is not unpleasant and the house is larger than Mr. Hookers. I know nothing about the interior which is of the most consequence but the exterior is respectable - it is painted some very light colour and has green blinds. In the afternoon we ascended Mount Holyoke - the prospect from it is the most delightful and extensive I ever witnessed. I wish to ascend it again because the atmosphere was rather smoky; returning to Northampton we crossed the Connecticut in a Horse boat but this was not a novelty because I did the same when we went to the Springs. We reached Mr. Warners just before dark - retired at 9 for the purpose of rising at 1 o'clock the next morning - at that hour the Stage started - there were but 2 or 3 other passengers - the weather was very rainy and pevented me from walking one single step. I had no disposition to walk because our load was so light - we breakfasted at Cummington, reached Pittsfield at 12 o'clock - stopped there a couple of hours and rest and then went over to the Parson's - the Tavern keeper furnished us with a very pretty barouche instead of such an open jolting waggon as we had last Summer; this Tavern has been built since last year, and things of a grander order are furnished than at the other house. Mr. Hooker and Martha did not seem unwilling to receive us. Miss Sarah stared as if some new folks had arrived. She is a pretty child and appears much older than she is. Martha is very well. I have not done much work yet - my tongue is much more active than my fingers - my arms re not idle - I love to tend Sarah - especially when my awkward manner of holding her does not make her scream as if a wasp stung her. Saturday the weather was rainy all day. Sunday the weather was pleasant. I attended meeting all day and had the care of a class at noon. I wished much to see my Bible class girls. Mr. Fiske preached for Mr. Hooker both parts of the day. Monday we took Mr. Hooker's "goacle" and Mr. Sheldon's horse and went to New Lebanon. The road is some of it very bad, but not being a son and daughter of Anak's the horse carried us without much difficulty. There are fine accommodations there for company. I thought at the time it would be pleasant to stay a week. The Spring water is only good for cutaneous diseases and is used for bathing. We returned in the afternoon, reached home about dark. Mr. Hooker met us at the gate to enquire my name because ladies so often return from Lebanon with a new one - but I could honestly tell him as you will be very glad to learn that my name was Deborah Waterman Vinal. Yesterday which was Tuesday morning Mr. Fiske left us. Mr. Hooker carried him to Pittsfield. He arrived at Northampton last evening probably and this morning will go to Amherst; he will write to my father the latter part of this week or the first of next. Martha must say in her next letter (I hope you will write too) when Papa is coming to Lanesborough for me - when it is most convenient for him to come I shall feel it to be my duty to be ready. Now, aunt I have a plan to propose that I hope you and Uncle will consent to comply with, it is this - when Papa comes for me I want him to bring you. The day that he will go to Amherst you would like to spend with Mrs. Warner, or if you should not be willing to do so Papa could stop at Amherst when he took me home instead of the time of coming for me at Lanesborough. Martha wishes this very much. Mr. Hooker will leave home on the 17th of this month which will come in a fortnight from yesterday. He will be absent about three weeks - I cannot spend enough time in Lanesborough to be with Martha then and she will be lonesome very without some one. Uncle Vinal can come for you - you can leave home then better than later in the season, or I can spare you better. 8 years I have indebted to you, and expect to be the whole of my life. Love to Papa, I shall write him in one or two days. Martha sends love. Yours truly,
Mr. Hooker will go to Falmouth by the way of New York because it is less expensive, but he intends to return by the way of Boston. My love to all the family - be sure to write again net week. This letter is not common property it is only for you and Martha to see.
I am in earnest in saying that no one must see this but little Martha and you. You will despise the whole concern there are so many we's, but how could I avoid it since there were two of us? I hope Mary is sewing for me. I did wrong I fear in asking you to purchase anything shopping tires you so much.
Helen Hunt Jackson
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