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William S. Jackson 1-1-8 transcription

William S. Jackson Papers, Part 1, Ms 0235, box 1, folder 8, 7 letters from WSJ to HHJ, 1875.
Transcribed by Nancy Knipe, 2007.

Col. Spgs. July 13. 1875 [note added later in pencil: To Princeton, Mass]

Dear Helen,

Gerald DeCoursey died last night. Blead [sic] to death from a hemeorage [sic] from the throat - did not live five minutes after the discharge. Doctor Reed says probably had no pain. Was strangled at once the blood filling up the lungs & air passages.

Poor Countess is in a bad way. The funeral is at 3 o'clock tomorrow to be buried in the Metalic Coffin so that the remains can be removed at any time hereafter. He is rid of trouble & care & passed away so easily. Was feeling better & had just taken his supper saying he had not felt so well for a long time, was planning for and talking of going home in the spring when the coughing commenced. - Was sitting in his chair & sprang up with Countess holding his head was helped to the bed & died without a struggle.

Thus has passed away one of natures gentlemen. A kind husband. Loyal friend & an honest & just man.

Hastily yours


I spent the night at the rooms with the corps.

Colorado Springs Sunday [note added later in pencil: To Boston, Mass]

July 18th, 1875

My Dear Cucumber,

Enclosed I send you slip cut from the N.Y. Tribune [included in file, describes heat], now if you can keep cool under the conditions therein depicted you must be cucumber or some other equally cool vegetable. By the way I became so used to reading the N.Y. Tribune while you were here that I have been buying it daily from the newsman ever since, so that my evenings are ordinarily spent in my room or office. Last night we had a game of whist in my rooms & continued it until midnight - this is the first disappation [sic] of that kind I have indulged in since you left. The Picnic in little Cheyenne & the Party at the mansions are the other occasions of my disappation - of these I have written you-

I was never stronger & better than now. Though do not weigh so much as during the winter by ten pounds, -- only weigh 152 lbs now. - Have some little dyspepsia - not badly - I am just in receipt of your nice letter from Cambridge where you had been visiting the Scudders. Your sonnet "Freedom" is strong & is a just & proper defence [sic]of the poor negros [sic], who have made bungling work in their first efforts in the exercise of the privilege of freemen.

"Phoeniciana" is capitally told & showes [sic] what one determined courageous will can do, besides revealing so clearly the injustice of cast in any and all its forms, how it melts away before love trials & the outcasts often come to the surface as the real characters, possessing the true courage & strength. Social position is not & should not be a measure in any sense. I despise & utterly condemn any & everything that borders on cast or exclusiveness. -

As I wrote you hurriedly on Tuesday last would be the case, we buried the clay of Gerald DeCoursey on Wednesday services at the Church 5 00 arriving at the grove about ¼ to 7. The rains stopped for a day and gave us a beautiful evening for performing the last services to our friend and companion. Paul [?], Dr. Bell, Dr. Reed, Major McAllister, Mr. [Whittore?], Mr. Thos. C. Parish, Mr. Mallowell, Mr. Summers & myself, Mrs. DeCoursey was as brave as could be expected. She has excluded herself from people since the death very much, this I think bad for her. She should interest herself in her surroundings, things & people, as soon as possible. - I go in to see her daily & will see her this afternoon again. Gerald leaves but little property perhaps 2,000 in his own name life insurance policy of $4,000 & Countess has 2,000 of her own thus making total amt. left to her ------ $8,000. What she will think wise to do I have not learned indeed matters are not yet clear to her in her stunned & grieved state. They will clear after while - "time makes all things clear". - I rather think she will do well to go back to Phila. among her people. The will has not been opened as Gerald had written on it "To be opened in the presence of Isabella & my father," they have written Mr. DeCoursey to see if he will come out. Since the funeral Mrs. Wood ("lighbor"?) has been quite ill but is all right again. -

I have no doubt you will [crossed out] have already written Mrs. DeCoursey [If not crossed out] while I know nothing can really do her any good, a word or two from you would be comfort to her temporarily while she is learning the way of the new & lonely life. If she only has resources enough about her to do something, to be either useful to herself or to others, better to others, she will soon find a way out of her trouble, but if she sits & folds her hands dreaming over and over of the past & lamenting as to the future, she will be a trouble to herself & to others around her. [This - crossed out] I am a little afraid she will settle into a kind of melancholy. I hope sincerely there is no danger of it, for there is no sense (& you know I can't have patience with any [thing crossed out] form of action not based on common sense) in such a course it [might crossed out] does no good to the dead & is of untold damage to the living - I will write you more about her in my next.

We have been having the most terrible washes on the road: last night we had more bridges carried away so that today there will be no trains. Our losses on the road are very heavy from the freshets.

Yours with love,


[Letter written on letterhead: Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company, Treasurer's Office, Wm. S. Jackson, Treasurer, Colorado Springs , Colo.,]

[note added later in pencil: To: Princeton, Mass]

July 25th, 1875

Dear Helen:

I have just come in from hearing Mr. [P… crossed out] Webster preach, the first time for three months. His sermon was a very strong one one of the strongest I have ever heard from him. He cut up Conservatism in every shape, very severely, charging it with all the persecutions, despotisms & superstitions entailed upon us. Extoled the so called atheist & free thinking naming Voltaire, saying they were atheists & infidels only from the standpoint of the Conservative & not in fact. Poor Webster if he only had a sole [sic] in his work, there is no telling the good he could do, but he preaches purely intellectual sermons far above the average Comprehension of his hearers & having no sole in them at all fall still born of no effect, leaving a kind of tickelling [sic] of the intellect nothing more. - This afternoon I drove up to Manitou with Chas [Duigre/Dwyre?] -- drove up Englemans Canyon to "the Iron Ute" spring & up Williamses Canon as far as we could drive. Stopped at the Manitou Hotel took a good drink of punch and drove home just ahead of a rainstorm. It was truly a splendid drive in the evening & I wondered what you were doing, whether you could possible [sic], anywhere else in this world, find circumstances so satisfactory & satisfying as to enjoyment, as they were here this afternoon - temperature just right, no sun shining on you, but lighting up the greenest of the green mountains & foothills. You know how these dimples in the foothills do come out, & what a glory the sun from behind the clouds sometimes does lend to them & the mountains [tonight crossed out] this afternoon & evening was the perfection of the suns efforts.

Well, Again I write that the road has been washed out every day since I wrote you until Friday last, now at last it does look as if clear weather might be counted on. Let us hope so, for we have been punished severely, for what offence I know not.

Your letter written just after word of Geralds death is just at hand today. I do not know what the Countess can do, or will do, but she is not so badly off as many and is connected so that she can & will receive help if it is needed. Her estate is worth about $8000 I think, though as before written to you I am not sure of that. We of course cannot do anything for her now by way of offering her a home with us & if we could I don't believe it would be wise for her to accept it as she has her mother to look after. They can live on one half the money in Phila. that they can here. It is clear to my mind that she should go east as soon as she well can. This however is for her to decide, when she sees [it clear--crossed out] the matter clearly. She of course is adrift now. - As for ourselves we are going to need all the means we have and may be very hard pressed some day if you demand such expenditures as our original plans contemplating. I will write you fully before August 1st. The outlook for business in this section was never so gloomy as now. Everybody is feeling & getting poor.

Hastily & lovingly yours.

I have not time to read this over & don't know what all I have written.

4. ColSpgs. Aug 15, 1875 [note added later in pencil: To: Princeton, Mass]

Dear Helen:

I have your's of Aug 7, enclosing list of questions. These I will answer seriatum [?] as I can. -

1st. Miss Morton has been much better, but was bad again last week, is now better-that is today, so says the pleasant Miss [Neelby or Neeley?]. I did not see her myself enquired by proxy -
2nd. Mrs Bissell is about as she has been, rides out nearly every day
3rd. Mr. Van Orden has gone east, at last advices [sic] was in Albany is better, both as to his throat & heart disease, than when he left here. He expects to return this winter.
4th Mrs. Stub I have written you about recently & had better not say more. 5th Miss King is about her old fashion, as peculiar & I think rather interesting, as ever.
6th Mrs. Little [?] did not secure the Post office, no change has been made. She is working the Gazette office & is I believe at her best fashion.
7th "What is Mrs. Palmer about &c." This is a very difficult question for me answer [sic]. I don't have much to do with Mrs. Palmer in anyway & don't ever expect to have. She is not my kind of person at all, at all. I do meet her occasionally & hear of her oftimes. She is now on a visit to Manitou Park with Mrs. Hoppel Miss Potts & some others. She appears to me to have no object in life except that of seeking a good time. This I doubt if she ever finds until the motive is a higher one than simple amusement. She has called on Countess several times & has shown sympathy with her in her trouble.--
8th There is quite a lot of sickness in town, some little fever. Any quantity of smells. The wet weather has been no advantage in keeping down smells. You can go along the street after a rain get almost any perfume you want. Even I notice it occasionally, & you say my nose is not good for anything. I never did understand how so insignificant a looking member as your nose could do so much work - a large share of it that had better be left undone. -
9th. I am wearing my last summers dark mixed suit. It does first rate now you are not here. I am really very well off for clothes until winter. I will relent so far as to send you my old suits to be cleaned, & there let us stop on the clothes question for the present.
10th I did not take the parcels of magazines you left in your rooms in the Row. The few articles of furniture still remain in Miss Kings rooms I will send them to my room before I go east
Miss King will give up the rooms in the row about Oct. 1st, perhaps not before Nov. 1st, depending on the Competition of Mrs. Steels House.
12th. I have seen Mrs. Hunt but once since you left & I don't think she intends going east this year - I never want to have anything to say in their plans in anyway again, for I feel that the Gov. prefers to make his own arrangements & as for me he shall do it without the slightest suggestion from me.
13th. Mrs. Kames will not keep the Col. Spgs. Hotel next year. She starts for California next week; a man by the name of Cameron takes the House tomorrow (Monday) -
If we are in Col. Spgs. This winter I have no fears [but that--crossed out] about our getting rooms.
14th. I have tried on a pair of the gloves & they fit up to a dot - just the thing, only I don't need such gloves at all. It is a waste of money on finery for one whose inclination is "forneust all sich.--
15th. I ment [sic] that I would probably leave here by Sept. 15th. This is not positive but I do not want it to be later than this date if I can help it. This ends the questions. Have I not been faithful to the texts? - The views of scenery around Princeton suggest an interesting place. Your sky palor [sic, parlor?] home is no doubt attractive. I am glad you are so well situated. I have no doubt infinitely more comfortable than you could have been here & then you have your sister Mollie with you which is a great comfort to you. -- In matter of spelling as you know I never set myself up, am just as apt to go wrong as right, even though I know how well enough. Often spell the same word two or three ways in the same letter, but I do know the difference between sole, soal, & soul & the funny thing about that is, that it should have come to me so clearly that I had misspelled it long after the letter had gone from me.
As for Webster he is now seeking the nomination for county Suptnt. Of Public Schools. Says he wants to stay in this section. I don't think he will be elected, as he will be attacked by all the other churches & his opponents generally. His career will be so open to attack that he can't stand I think. If his friends knew what they were doing they would not advocate his nomination for his own sake. - I heard a man say this afternoon that he had heard that Mrs. Hunt knew a great many things against Mr. Webster. I am very glad I warned you to stay entirely out of the Unity Controversy for I plainly see every thing anybody has said in connection with Webster is to be bandied about from mouth to mouth & the result will be an unpleasant [mess?] & finally that C.B. Webster will go to the wall completely. I pity him as I almost never pitied a man before. He is wonderfully proud in Directions & yet he has not that quality that keeps him from doing ugly things. He has really no moral principal at bottom as basis to build a character on. He is a fit subject for some terrible deed should the temptation come in his way. - but I will never be a party to kicking the poor fellow lower & lower. That is what is sure to be done in the end. Conant is after him gathering all he can against him, writing wherever he can find he has been & collecting statements wherever he can find them of ugly reports of his doings & sayings. - When a man is on the downward road how everything works against him. The vacancy on the Gazett [sic] was just the place, had he been clean. The opening for the School Superintendent would also be at his disposal was [not - crossed out] there not so many damaging reports as to his character - (Many of them not true no doubt),

I regret I cannot tell you at all what our plans are to be definitely. All I can say is I intend if I can well do it to give up my connection with the Railway on [Jany?] 1st & this I have said to no one else in the world, and if I could close my banking business then we would take a trip across the big ditch, but don't borrow trouble. It matters not where we are or live. It is how we live & are. Contentment is the jewel most to be prized & [felt?] [crossed out: There/that?] in the future. [Yrs with love?] W.

[additional note at top of page 3: Grasshoppers are back, again thick Are taking what little was planted. It is very discouraging to the farmers & gardners [sic].

[Despite closure above, p. 4 continues the letter]

I have turned your questions over to the Countess, who says she will answer them. She no doubt will do it much better than I can & have. That Saxe Holm matter is very funny & why in the world don't you write a story right now so that it can come out on the heels of all this advertisment [sic].

I wouldn't bother about them dear Ruth Ellis on the sunny side of thirty or anybody in Texas, unless she realy [sic] did begin writing under the name Saxe Holm & then I don't see what you are to do since you have so positively denied the work. -- That letter of Seymors is an amusing one & Word praises the In Memoriam". I stick to my original impression. It struck me unpleasantly that you would allow your name to be given to anything connected with the Beecher Mess, remotely or otherwise.

If Beecher was innocent & you are sure, his defence [sic] is proper, but if a doubt exists then every thing connected with the whole matter is so rotten as not to bear writing about in any way - Tilton will die a Bohemian in the lowest walks of litterary [sic] work doubtless - very against meddling in dirty water.

[appended at bottom, perhaps as addition to sentence, following doubtless above]:
Wouldn't you like to ride in a "Jinrikisha" to move people than the frog." Things look oppositely to him.

[added to top of page]: love to your sister and say I am quite ready for that promised kiss. - I forwarded a note from Thos Parish about some grasses that I forwarded also.

Aug 26, 75 [note added later in pencil: To: Princeton, Mass]

Dear Helen,

I have just finished a long letter to Genl Palmer on finances &c. And as my minde [sic] is running that way will say a word to you in the same direction though perhaps you will have no interest in so dry & unpoetical a subject. -- If you will remember I told you a year ago, or rather I intimated to you that the outlook in the territory was not very flattering, what were then mere straws, pointing to the dull depressing times to come have developed into actual & positive conditions, upon the territory & the Country with startling earnestness. -- Nothing of any importance has been sold in this town for some months & prices have receded fully 20% already. How great the fall is going to be no one can guess. The condition in this place is a fair example of the condition in other places, indeed it is not so dull & depressed here as it is in many other places. -

Banks are loosing their deposits, for the reason that the tendency, during great deppression [sic] in business & want of confidence in values, is to concentration in the money center of the Country.

Large supplies of capital formerly came into the territory for investments in Real Estate. - This is now all cut off as no sales of Real Estate are being made. The only industry of the territory that is holding it's own & actually improving is Mining. This is growing & will in a few years be the great & absorbing interest in the territory. When I came here four years ago the product of the precious metals was about $3,500,000. This year it is estimated it will reach at least $7,000,000 doubling the product in four years. With a prospect of a much more rapid increase for the future. Dull times does not hurt mining. On the contrary it benefits it, since it makes labor more plenty & cheap & more readily controlled and since the dollar produced is a standard of value & not fluctuating as is the case with manufactured goods It follows that the times when the dollar in gold can be produced for the least cost & will buy when produced the most goods is the time when mining should be & will be the most prosperous. R.N. Clark is giving his time entirely to mining and has I am glad to say got hold of interest in a first class mine, is making money out of it. He has severed his connection with this Company and is devoting his whole time to the mine at Rosita. I went up with him last week a 34 mile drive from Ca?on city. It is wouthout [sic] except one of the finest, If not the finest drive in the territory. I wonder we have never taken it. No I do not wonder that, since I did not at all comprehend the attractions. - It is next to the Boulder Canyon drive, though not specially attractive as a canyon. The outlooks & glimpses of the broad plain that one gets from the hights [sic] as we clime [sic] the foothills are the great attraction & then when you arrive at Roseta [sic], the look across & into the Wet Mountain valley with the [Maui?] Range behind it is something wonderful. I know of no part of the Range that begins with this part of it. But I won't say more for we will go and see it this fall or winter. -

At last, at last our rains are over & we are now having clear delightful weather. - The constant wet drove away a large share of the visitors at Manitou & from the territory. If we could only have them now, they would enjoy it and our merchants &c. need the droppings from their purses. I have clearly seen this year how much of the prosperity of sections of Colorado is dependent on the receipts from tourists & strangers. ----

The Countess is well. Mrs. Parish is stopping a few days with her. Miss Webb wants me to go to the Grand Canyon with her & Miss Wood. She wants some steady head as Mr. Wood won't let them go without some proper escort.

She wants to go soon as she takes Miss Morton east first of Octr & do[esn]t want to leave without seeing the Grand Canyon. -

I don't like to say I can't go to her but it is a big undertaking for me. I am however disposed to go with them as she probably will never be in the territory again & you know I like the girl very much.

With much love,

Your W
I wrote to you a little hasty note from Denver. - I go today up to Hunts Ranch with Major McAllister & Mr. [Bacon?]. So you see I am on the go a good share of the time. -

I wrote Genl Palmer this morning saying my plans had been fixed for a long time to go east by not later than Septr 15th & asked him to give me full information as to requirements of the business of the Company so that I could arrange everything before leaving. I know he will not feel like having me away but I can't help that now. He expected fully to be back before this date when he left but now I hear nothing about the date of his return, so I go off without his coming. -

I am willing of course to go wherever you think best to be married, but let it be quiet & in the country if possible. Wolfborough of course if that is your wish. How are we to be married?

Col Springs Col Sept. 5th.75 [note added later in pencil: To: c/o Grosvenor House, corner 10th St. & 5th Ave. NY]

Dear Helen:

Your letters of 26th & 29th of August both came to hand yesterday. The one of August 29th containing the slips from the Nation &c.

I had written you on the early part of last week saying I would be on in latter part of September (this mo) & that unless you wished it otherwise we would be married.

I have made my plans to come in & will carry them out if possible. -

What we will do latter I don't now know & I don't think we need worry much. It won't make very much difference should the china be of one pattern or of another & the silver spoons can be dispensed with altogether should there be a good reason for it, for my part I don't care for or want either china or silver -

It is very certain we will be in Colorado Springs for some months & if you really need some new clothes I would modestly suggest you get them & be done with this vexed question & stop that cause of worry at once -

As to where we are going to live, or how when we get out here, let that matter take care of itself - Let us "take no thought of the morrow." If however you prefer to remain east rather than face this uncertainty why of course you can do so until some positive & definite plan is [matured?] My decided preference is to be married at once & no more talk fuss changing in any way shape manner or form about it -

As to your test on the money question; and this I will write on seriously & without a shade of flippancy, I am averse to Spending money unnecessarily, but for proper & legitimate uses am quite willing to give [for all crossed out] as far as my means will permit. I have told you repeatedly I was comparatively a poor man - A very few mistakes would wipe out my small fortune & leave me to Commence life again - I shall expect you & have no doubt in your willingness to acquiesce, to respect this condition & [curb?] your love of expenditures for pretty things that are not essential to our comfort as to the necessaries of life. I would like to be worth a million, then I would not feel that there need be the care & watchfulness in expenditures that we must use, or we will find ourselves growing poorer instead of richer - I don't want, that we shall go backward. Even was I worth a million I still would want to feel that all my means was put to a good use & not squandered - It is a great responsibility to spend a large fortune to the best advantage, so that it does the most good in the world. I wonder if ever I will be tested as to my ability to use it properly?

Now I am going to fess up to not writing you since Monday. On Monday morning I wrote you, went to Denver, back on Tuesday, went to Grand Canyon with Mrs. Wood Miss Wadleigh & Miss Webb, got back on Saturday & found your two letters referred to above. I will telegraph to you in the morning so as to relieve all your fears. I intended writing before starting to the Canyon but was kept so busy it did not get done. -- My trip to the Canyon was simply that of guide & [care] taker it was hard work for me although the ladies were as agreeable as possible - the lunch put up by the Woods & Miss Webb was capital - I wished you could have been there to enjoy it with us, chicken potted, bread & butter (good), sponge cake, ginger snap cream cookies, & [claret?] in plenty with lemon & ice it was composed of. - We stopped at the McClure house & the ladies all liked it very much - Mrs. Sheetz made herself very agreeable and was appreciated by the party. Her pert daughters have gone east to school leaving a quieter & more business like atmosphere about the house than formerly - The weather for the trip was all that could be wished, indeed we are having wonderfully fine weather now, a little warmer if anything,. Today has been a lazy day for me - wrote some business letters in the morning & after a big dinner with only Mrs. Steel, Mr. Steel, Miss King, Mrs. [Updenwin?] & myself at the table-Nena thrown in - I went to sleep & slep [sic] two hours. The rest of the Steel household have gone to Manitou Park. [biz! ?] Mrs. McCauley, Mrs. DeCoursey, & Katie, Mr. & Mrs.Wellesley -- Mrs. Steel breaks up her housekeeping about the time I leave for the east. What will become of every body I can't guess now. To my story of the day after the sleep - went to see Clara & Major, the first time in over three months I think - Found Clara pleasant & inquisitive - From there went to Major McAllisters & took supper & here I got a good lesson in domestic economy. Major says that $75 a month is plenty for his family to live on outside of the girls wages and fuel that $1200 a year is more than he expends in family expenses all told & has all he wants in every way. Would not exchange with Genl Palmer to day as to comfort and living, who spends one way and another $8,000 a year - A very good lesson can be learned of Major & Lib -they are content & happy in their children & themselves - working out their destinies together & for one another. I never got into the family quality & condition as I did today - they are not to be despised by any means and many persons who turn their backs on their simplicity might learn a lesson from these very good people if they would -

The Nation still goes for Beecher as shown by the slip enclosed. Other papers throughout the Country have almost forgotten the matter & don't pay any attention to either party. How soon events that seem to shake society to its center are forgotten -

The setion [sic] on government guarantee of circular letters of credit is good & to the point.

Susan Coolidges "A Blind singer" is touching - "a low refrain caught from some shadowy memory of patient pain" -

We don't want a glass box outside of our window. -

I don't remember the lines of yours in Aug 8th Independent on which Miss M. E. Bennett bases her poem "The Grace of Receiving." -

I will write you the middle of this week sure.

I don't believe I can get away before the 20th of Sept., will all the leaves be off. I hope not.

Yours lovingly, Will
[note on back of p.1]:
Haven't yet found the photo [Horbwells?] Row [Hernsby?] has none & never had. - Some other artist got it out

No[t used ?] as you see -- WSJ

Col Springs Col.

Sept. 13. 75
Dear Helen

I have just received your's of 6th enclosing your sister Annie's letter & also your's of 7th enclosing the studs.

You are just right, we will be married quietly at your sisters and then go on our way rejoicing I will get a certificate in Phila. that we may have all things in readiness to sign, for you see there has to be control about this matter as in all other business matters -- Now you don't want to be buying me studs. Did you not know all my studs were screwed in & not put in like buttons, so you see to wear your studs would necessitate my buying a new set of shirts entire - all the same, thanks they are very nice -we can doubtless change them for those with screw shanks when I come on. ---

I wrote you yesterday to the Grosvenor House & gave countess this as your address & write you now this note to tell you

Yours hurriedly

A delay in the train by damage to a bridge enables me to get this off on this train

With love Your W
I will not get off before the 20th & if delayed longer will keep you advised.

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