William S. Jackson 2-3-35-38 transcription
|William S. Jackson Family Papers,
Part 2, Ms 0241, Box 3, Folders 35 - 38, letters on HHJ's death, August
1885, transcribed by Julie Perfors and Amy Brooks, 2004
[Please note: the transcribers sometimes used an ellipsis in place of illegible text.]
My dear Mr. Jackson,
When I wrote you yesterday how little did I dream that the lovely woman, the incomparable poet & humorist, was passing, or had already passed, beyond the consciousness of Earthly things!
This morning's papers bro't the sad tidings, & today the whole civilized world mourns with you, & holds you sacredly apart from common humanity because you were hers. God grant you peace in the midst of the overwhelming sorrow!
With deepest sympathy
A. C. [A ?]
[Zapato?] August 29th 1885.
Wm S. Jackson
We were greatly shocked to hear of your great loss in the death of your wife. If it can be any comfort to know that many grieve with you who never saw her and who only knew her through the good things she has written, you certainly may feel that you are far from alone in your sorrow. I wanted to write to her and tell her of my sympathy & love when I heard of her continued illness, but the fear of seeming obtrusive kept me from it. I am fond of everything I have ever read of hers & her verses have been a blessing to me. I am sure that her memory will ever remain a [green?] spot with all who enjoyed her friendship, and to you whom she blessed with her love & companionship. What can be said to avert the and void which I know Will you will feel? Nothing; but to such a valued friend as you have ever been to us in our sojourn West we would wish to send our assurances of tender condolence, praying that you will be enabled to meet the trial with fortitude & faith.
Yours with sympathy in which Will joins
[M. G. Adler?]
Letterhead reads: St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company. General Traffic Manager's Office St. Paul, Minn.
Aug 18 1885
My dear Jackson,
I know that I can say nothing to comfort you for the loss you have sustained. I can only imagine how dark the world must look to one who is bereaved of a life companion but I wish to assure you of my sincere sympathy in your sorrow.
W. S. Alexander
1519 Pine St. San Francisco
Aug 30, 1885
Dear Mr. Jackson.
I send you a copy of the "Overland," with the little account of Mrs. Jackson which I have written, and hope there will be nothing in it which you would rather not have had said. I should have been so glad to have advised with some of her friends in regard to it; and would have submitted the MS. to you, but the time was too short. It was written under every disadvantage, when I was crowded with other writing. Much of it was written at late hours and it was revised hastily. But it was a work of love. Someone else would have done it if I had not; and I did not like to entrust it to a stranger.
Mr. Jackson, have you that copy of Wentworth Higgins "Outdoor Papers" which she wished me to study, and which is referred to in the sketch? And is it anything on which you place a particular value. If it is not - if, as I fancy, it is an old book of no great interest to most readers - perhaps in a shabby dress. I should value it so highly - but do not send it to me if it is something you desire to keep.
I want something else much more - a picture of Mrs Jackson. Her face will always be distinct in my own mind, but I do not want my children to forget. If you have pictures to spare, will you remember me?
I am [loth?] to make these requests for you are probably besieged with similar ones. But I hope you know that I am very easily turned off, and not to be offended if it should not be agreeable or convenient for you to comply.
How her loss changes everything! Last Thursday I went on a long drive up above Saucilito. The day was beautiful and the woods full of lovely things, but it seemed such an aimless journey because I could not carry back to her some boughs of evergreen, branches of laurel or the homely hazel brush, or mosses from the tree trunks - things of which she was so fond.
You will like Miss [Coolbriths's?] modest tribute in the "Overland." She was here today.
With sympathy and Regard.
Flora Haines Apponyi.
Please give my kind remembrance to Effie. Her faithful care of the invalid is one of the bright spots of this summer's recollection.
The little Editorial notice in the Overland was written without my knowledge. The portion which refers to the reminiscences is not well expressed.
Walnut Creek Aug 17 / 85
My dear Mr. Jackson
It is with profound sorrow that I have just learned of the death of Mrs. Jackson, and that too late to be present at the ceremonies.
A bright star has indeed gone out; you have the sympathy of the whole republic.
H H Bancroft
Wolfboro Aug. 18th '/85
Dear Mr. Jackson
That Helen is gone where I can never see or hear from her again seems impossible to me. I seem to be walking as in a dream ever since I knew that she was in such a critical condition: after those telegrams from you which gave so little hope, I felt nearly distracted, I did so want to see her once more. It is an [incomparable?] loss to me: it seems to me that I cannot bear it & if so to me, what must be to you, the still more afflicted one. My heart aches for you. I can only mingle my sorrow with yours. She was so much to love. I never ever thought of the possibility of her going first. I have felt that after I had gone, she would be a mother to my children & would never see them suffer. I really am stunned by this bereavement, & go through my many duties almost mechanically. It seemed a [mockery?] that just as she was lying [so low?] Mr. Fiske had an appointment for me to meet him & see about repairs on a house. It was there that the sad news came that shut out my hope, which was fluttering still even after your telegram telling the disease: I thought the Doc. might be mistaken. Cousin Joseph Schefield handed me the paper that contained it. He & Cousin Ann are deeply afflicted by it. I think they are not as much surprised at the fatal [termination?] of her illness as we are. It seems now to me that I was blind not to realize her danger before: but her notes had the same vigor of expression & they deceived me.
I believe she is near us still & is helping us more [perhaps?] now then ever before. I have always had the same belief about our father and mother taken [from us?] before we could realize their loss.
I am very desirous to know more of her last days. I am sure you will write to me about them unless you can come & see us. We would be very glad to see you.
Mr. Fiske read to me Helen's note to him enclosing an envelope to our Helen to be opened after she was gone in which she said she should wish her to secure her things from her rooms at the Berkley. A duty sad beyond expression & it seems as though Helen cannot bear it unless you are there to help her. I spoke last Thurs. night with them (Helen and Anne) at Kennett. They also learned the sad tidings shutting out their hope which had been as strong as ours from the newspaper. They feel as deeply bereaved and lonely as I do. Few I think can be as sincerely missed & mourned for as Helen. She was truly wonderful: her presence seemed so felt across a continent.
If in any way I can help you bear this great [crawling?] grief I shall be glad: to know that we are overwhelmed with our loss is all I can say. - I shall hope to see you.
In deepest sorrow yrs,
Anne S. Banfield
Everett, Mamie and Kitty are deeply bereaved also & full of sympathy for you & unite with me in love to you.
My greatest comfort comes from thinking of the glory of her character: if so great when [clothed?] with mortality what must it [be when it has put on?] immortality.
Sept. 25, 1885.
This note for you, dear Uncle Will, has just come in my good letter from Miss Woolsey. She thought you now to be here; I wish you were, I am sure. She most touching notes from Miss Thibault. It nearly breaks my heart to read them - just here, too, in the midst of my present occupation; but I am trying to be brave and for her sake, I must not grieve nor write this way any more. As ever,
Your sincerely sorrowing & loving niece
Aug 13th 1885
Dear Uncle Will:
I was pained to learn today that Aunty had gone from among us. Yet glad that her sufferings were over. Words seem to mean but little at such times as this, but I want to tell you that you have my heartfelt sympathy in your great bereavement, and please be assured that I shall always remember with deep gratitude Aunties many kindnesses to my Mother, Sisters & all of us. We trust our loss is her gain.
Yours Very Truly
N. F. Banfield
Wm S Jackson Esq
Traverse City, Mich. Sept 2/85
My dear Mr Jackson,
With the sense of such personal affliction as attaches itself to one's own family, we perused the notices of the fatal illness of one whose name had become a household word, until the "curtain had fallen" and the sweet life had gone out, when it seemed like the departure of an intimate personal friend.
Not to intrude ourselves upon your sorrows, we beg to be permitted to lay our "Ivy Leaf" upon the mound of mementos with which the dear [name?] of "H.H." is garlanded.
Our profoundest and tenderest sympathies accompany these lines for your good self in your deep trouble.
May I ask where Mrs Jackson was laid to rest?
Cordially & truly
K. C. & S. [Barnes?].
Albuquerque, New Mexico
August 17th 1885
Mr. W. S. Jackson.
My Dear Sir.
The Denver papers bring the sad news of the death of your much esteemed wife, and, though almost a stranger to you, I cannot refrain from writing you my heartfelt sympathy in your [sore] trial and bereavement.
Death has only gotten the body of Helen Hunt Jackson, her spirit, i.e. herself, lives, and will live on while God liveth. She loved the songs of [Zion], and everything which could be called beautiful; but what were these to the "New Song" and unfading lustre of the Home Eternal. Her "works do follow her." Though called from earth, she yet speaks through her many beautiful writings, her pleadings for the oppressed and helpless.
May you be comforted with that only comfort, which can support at such a time - the comfort which cometh from God!
I send you "The [Wells of Baca?]," by Dr. McDuff, which I trust will be solace to you. It has been a precious message to many bereaved ones.
"Peace be unto you!" Again assuring you of tenderest sympathy.
I am, with high regard.
Very truly yours.
[Sam B. Barnitz?]
18. August 85.
Dear Mr Jackson
By the time this letter reaches Colorado I presume that you will have got back from your sad journey.
I can't tell you how shocked I was to know that [weakening?] death was near to Mrs Jackson nor what a grief her death is to me.
That she should die of cancer is the most inexplicable fact to me - and I long to hear all the particulars. I wrote her a letter which I am sure she never received - and sent one telegram that I hope you were able to send to her. Will you write me.
I feel sorry for you because I know the news must have been unexpected. Her vitality & spirit were so great, that I cannot realize that [life is quenched?], indeed I think much as I shall miss her that I shall always feel that she has gone away and will return.
I wish now that I had cut loose from everything last spring & had gone over to California for two or three weeks & talked about it but did not [quite?] the [best way dear to get off?].
To you [the loss?] will be terrible - to us all it is irreparable. I hope to see you before long, and if there is any way that I can be of service to you in carrying out her wishes about her personal matters at the house - call upon me to any extent. These are things difficult to do, that you might not find time to do, but you would prefer some friend to assist you in.
Any thing where I can serve you, I shall do willingly.
Mr Bass is well and will write to you. I should have liked to send some of the flowers from the New England [hillsides?] to put on Mrs Jacksons grave. She liked [every tree?] flower & leaf - but from ocean to ocean was too long a journey for the [frail?] blossoms.
Good bye my dear friend. You have my sympathy & I am anxious to learn what you alone can tell me.
Fanny Bass [Frances Metcalfe Bass]
Dear Mr Jackson
I am about to start in with new servants as Maggie leaves me to go to Boston in September. If you are going to break up house keeping or close you house, I would be glad to lose Katie and Effie if you would speak to them. Will you kindly telegraph me what your plans in this regard are.
You are often in our thoughts and I know that time will teach us all how great Mrs Jackson [was & is?] - One cannot realize at first.
Believe me -
Frances Metcalfe Bass
P.S. Telegraph to 32 If you wish to retain one servant & part with other I would like the one you don't need - and if you would speak to her for me. I would be obliged.
Aug. 19. 1885
Dear Mr Jackson:
I thank you both for myself and Mrs. Bass for your several telegrams of Mrs. Jackson. The first time I think that the idea that she was in any danger arose in either of our minds was the week preceding her death, - on Thursday - that a press dispatch appeared in the N.Y. papers saying that she was in extreme danger, and that you were with her.
It had all seemed to come so suddenly that those of us who knew her vitality supposed it [must after all be an exaggeration, but your message of confirmation left no hope. The world can ill afford to spare her now, just in the full flush of her mental powers, with all the earnestness in their exercise which comes from growth in years and experience and very close observation. Had it been within the ways of a kind Providence to have spared her in health for another twenty years, to which she was entitled, the world would have been a vast gainer. She had just entered the field within which she would have [won?] triumphs for the great cause of right and justice, which is at the bottom of all advancement either in public or private virtue. The world will never know how much it has lost, only those who knew her best will know that, and those who knew her best have not only the consciousness of that loss, but added to it is all the [pain?] of private grief.
Of all these yours is by far the greatest. You will find much consolation in the future in recalling the memories of the past; to these you will constantly [recur?] It must have been of the greatest comfort to her and to you that you were with her constantly during all that period of time when she knew that she had entered the valley of the shadow of death.
Days only, but years in thoughts and experience. To her a whole life-time was crowded in that last week, for I infer she knew her last days were entered upon about a week before her decease. Then with all her consciousness, with all her mental thought, with you beside her, the sum of her all life was before her. Those days will never die with you. They must seem to you worth more than all else of your life.
She did not seem to have been created for death. I can not think of her, as overthrown by disease. Her of mind and body seemed to be beyond its assaults, and I prefer to remember her as I knew her strong, alert, and with all the exhuberance of the keenest relish for life. I have never known Mrs. Bass more overwhelmed by the loss of a friend however close. And knowing your loss I need not assure you how deeply and [sincerely we both console with you.
Lyman K. Bass
Aug 19. 1885
My dear Mr. Jackson: -
I have received here, forwarded me from N.Y. your note of the 8th [instant?] enclosing Mrs. Jackson's dying request to the President. You may rest assured that her wishes in respect to the President shall be complied with in such a way as will insure his attention. I expect to be in New York during next week, and in case the President comes there on his way to Washington I will deliver her letter in person, and endeavor to get assurance that he will read the Century of Dishonor. If I cannot see him personally I will write him so as to call his attention to the question. You shall be fully advised of all that occurs.
Her letter shows much strength of purpose and wish that it can excite nothing but admiration. I am not certain but her dying letter may be the means of accomplishing more good for the cause she had at heart than all the exposure of other philanthropists for a decade. How deep a hold must the cause of the downtrodden have taken of her! The quality of heroism has not died out unless it died with her, but "the blood of the martyr is in the seed of the church." With warmest regards from Mrs. Bass
very sincerely yours
Lyman K Bass
August 13th 1885.
My dear Mr. Jackson,
It is scarcely necessary for me to tell you how deeply distressed Mrs. Bell & I were to see the sad news in the paper this morning, and how much we feel for you in your bereavement.
The morning before Mrs. Bell & I were going up to Denver together & we were wondering how the poor sufferer in California was getting on & I was telling that from the little we had heard of her symptoms, I feared that she was affected with the fatal disease We were [right?], she died.
Being in Denver the morning it was known I was much struck with the universal feelings of sympathy expressed for you by everyone I met - even [those?] who were not at all near to you as acquaintances or business friends.
Early in the morning came a report of another [dynamite?] attack which was reported to have de-railed a train near Monument killing several passengers I am glad to say the report proved entirely groundless. & I cannot help feeling that this great personal loss may have the result of putting an end these shameful attempts to destroy [more?] innocent lives.
I [hope we may?] soon see you back amongst us again.
Mrs. Bell wishes me to express to you her deepest sympathy.
Mr. and Mrs. W A Bell
Letterhead reads: Office of Dr. WM BOERICKE, 834 Sutter Street, below Leavenworth St. San Francisco
Oct. 27 '85
To Mrs. E. Banfield
At the request of Mr. W. S. Jackson, of Colorado Springs, I take this opportunity to inform you of the nature & character of the illness of his wife that led to its fatal issue early last August.
Mrs Helen Hunt Jackson sent for me immediately on her arrival in this city from Los Angeles. This was March 14th.
I found her suffering with an attack of Malarial Fever. The were soon controlled, but a persistent morning Diarrhea continued.
A general nerve [penetration?] developed with the disease. While her general appearance, spirits & interest in affairs were good & almost [unexceptionable?], the persistent diarrhea, loathing of food, and a very suspicious symptom namely nausea of a very aggravated kind - convinced us that we had a much more serious malady before us as we at first looked for. And it could not much longer be doubted that this inability to take any nourishment, except the simplest & this in the smallest quantity - this fearful, unchanging nausea, ever present in its terrible malignancy - the acidity - & the very gradual & steady, progressive loss of flesh - much more rapid than it could be as the result merely of the inability to take up nourishment - all these grave symptoms forced upon the attending physicians the diagnosis of some very grave degeneration of the stomach.
Not until late however & even then it was for some time a fear rather than a certainty. For she never had any pain. Her sufferings seemed concentrated in the one symptom of Nausea - This never left her for a moment until the End. Towards the close the characteristic "coffee-ground" vomiting took place & nothing stopped it & the [shaking?] but hypodermic injections of morphine. Though the case seemed very occult in its nature at first there could be no doubt for several weeks before her death that the enemy which would surely destroy her life was Cancer. I never told her so, knowing her horror of that disease as she had so often expressed to me during [Gnrl?] Grants sufferings -
From the very beginning she felt sure that this would be her last illness. Long before any of the physicians who saw her from time to time admitted its grave character or recognized it at all - she told me repeatedly that she felt the "seal of Death" And months before her decease she commenced arranging her affairs - a little every day. And by the time she could no longer work everything had been most perfectly attended [to?] - every minute detail had received her thought -
Mrs J. was a hero in her suffering & had absolutely no fear of Death. Towards the last she longed for release from the horrible agony of the ever present Nausea & saw that release only in death - She knew that everything had been done that the [two?] schools of medicine could suggest, & now that we can look at things from this distance, we can see how inevitable the result was from the very first. Now, too, we can understand how the shock to the system of the fractured leg & the consequent long confinement to one so active before, together with the subsequent malarial poisoning & this at the critical time of life - the Menopause - all helped to so depress her physical state & favor the development of any latent disease tendency. This she had in the hereditary [taint?] of Consumption, which in her case took the form of Cancerous Degeneration.
I shall be glad & ready to answer any questions as to further details in regard to her illness & my acquaintance with it. I only regret that it was not possible in the present state of medical knowledge to have had any other result.
With kind regards
Very sincerely yours
S.F. Nov 16/85
Mrs E C Banfield
In your favor of the 6th you ask "at what time do you think the cancer commenced? If after broken leg is it your belief that she would have had a cancer from the effect of hereditary [taint?] even without the malarial fever " I cannot tell just when the [taint?] expressed itself as a living entity in the form of cancer - potentially it was always there, but I believe that it was the unusual combination of favoring circumstances of a depressing nature, that caused its development & rapid evolution. I am inclined to believe that she could have passed through life to old age without any cancerous manifestation had not the depressing events occurred. For just see the fatal combination - A broken leg in a woman put through the "change of life" which latter condition alone frequently is sufficient to favor the development of latent hereditary [taints?] - but besides we have in this case a malarial fever added just at a time when recuperation of the severe strain of the fracture ought to have taken place.
In regard to your other question of her mistrust of the real cause of her disease I think she was ignorant of it until almost towards the end. The absence of all pain & the uncertainty of a diagnosis by her physicians prevented suspicion. Had she known it I feel sure she would have employed old school treatment in the hopes of being poisoned by powerful drugs.
You must not let this development of a dreadful disease in a near relative make you anxious about your own or children's health. There is no necessary connection at all. Keep your health at par & do not "get run down" & you will do your part so far as we mortals can of preventing the development of hereditary tendencies - We all of us have our weak spots - no one is excepted - but these need not prevent our enjoyment of a large measure of health & happy life received every moment from the Source.
Very sincerely yrs
My dear Mr. Jackson
The news of your great loss reached us here & although we had seen by the papers a week ago that the event was impending, we still hoped for better news & the surprise & shock were great when the sad tidings came. Helen was so full of life & spirit that it is almost impossible to associate the idea of death with her. She had far more than the ordinary gift of vitality, both physical and intellectual. But why speak to you of her extraordinary gifts, when you know and loved them so [well?]. We are here in her old home at & among those who knew and loved her & all feel deeply her death. As a writer, her loss is a public calamity: She filled a place that no one can occupy who is now on the scene. But it is in her private life that she will be most regretted - those of us who knew & loved her will have a place in our hearts that no one else can fill. We that hope to hear from when you can write & to learn some of the particulars of her last There have already appeared many obituary notices showing a just appreciation of her character and writings.
Botta joins me in expressing warmest sympathy with you in this sorrow & our kindest regards.
Ever sincerely yours,
Anna [C.?] Botta [Annie Lynch Botta]
P.S. I enclose one of the many notices I have seen though not the best, the only one I have at hand.
Letterhead reads: Sanitarium, Open from Sept. 1st to July 1st.
Lakewood, N.J., Sept. 5, 1885.
My dear Mr. Jackson;
Although uncertain whether this will reach you, I must at least make the attempt to express to you my hearty sympathy for you & my sense of personal loss in the death of your wife & my friend. And yet, from a similar experience, I know too well how barren & useless are all such expressions, all attempts to console. Yours is no common loss - there was only one Mrs. Jackson; but it is the noble, loving woman for whom her husband will mourn - not for the brilliant intellect or author. The host of her friends will, as they well may, mourn the loss of such an intellect, of such a writer; & the world is poorer for her death. But a comparatively few knew what she was as a woman, although none so well as you. Will, my dear Sir, it is "better to have "loved & lost" such a woman than to have lived half a century with one of poorer [clay?].
I wrote a few lines to her, directed simply to San Francisco, a few days before her death - the day I heard first of her illness, but too late to reach her.
Very truly yours,
H. J. Cate, M.D.
Aug 13th. 1885
My dear Brother,
Thy sad telegram reached us this morning. Although we knew Helen was very sick we had hoped constantly for the best, and trusted that her strong will and cheerful disposition would enable her to [make?] a successful battle with disease, so that we are illy prepared to realize that she has really passed away from us. - All our thoughts go out to thee in loving sympathy in thy great loss - that thee should be so far away from thy relatives adds to our sadness, which is already deep, for Helen had greatly endeared herself to us in the few opportunities we have had of becoming acquainted with her, and we have always looked forward to more frequent meetings when we should be able to enjoy her beautiful character, not only thru' her writings, many of which have been a great source of comfort to me, but in frequent personal intercourse. The wisdom which has seen fit to guide her footsteps away from this world at this time, when it so much needed her good work and beautiful life seems [inscrutable?] to us, but like her own "blind [Spinners?]" we must submit and try to feel that her threads have run their appointed ways. I wish that we may all be given grace to make the memory of her noble life & character a continual inspiration for a truer and more perfect living. I am glad that my children will always remember their Aunt Helen as one who seemed sent to make the world better.
Mother is well and sends her love and sympathy to thee in which the whole family unite. Paul [Ceraraty?] is here during his two weeks vacation, as is John also, he wishes me to convey to thee his sympathy, and to say that being away from home he had no idea Helen was so very sick, else he would not have troubled thee with his affairs at a time where thee must have already felt overwhelmed. Thy letter of the 5" this moment recd, two hours after the telegram. We are very thankful to know that Helen did not suffer pain, and trust that she continued so until the last. We will hope to hear from thee soon again. Maggie is still at State College we expect her home in a few days. I will forward thy letter however at once.
With the deepest sympathy aff thy sister
Alice J. Chambers
Letterhead reads: Board of Home Missions of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States. (Meetings - second Thursday of each month.) Rev. Jacob A. Clutz, General Secretary
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Aug. 16th 1885.
To Mr. W.S. Jackson;
My dear sir: - May I presume in having met you so recently, to express to you the great surprise and regret with which I learned from the Denver papers of last Thursday of the death of your wife. It was never my privilege to meet her personally, but many and many a time have I followed her magic pen in its vivid descriptions of travel, or the vigorous discussion of social questions, and especially the wrongs of the Indians, and always with so much sympathy and enjoyment, that I cannot help feeling that in the death of "H.H.", I too have lost a personal friend; and I know that thousands more will feel the same. Allow me, therefore, to express my deepest sympathy with you in your sad affliction and also the hope that you may be comforted and sustained, not simply by the memory of a sweet and noble life, grandly lived, but also by the knowledge that a great company of her readers and admirers mourn with you, and by the [more?] blessed consolations which come from God.
Very Sincerely yours,
Jacob A Clutz
247 Fifth Avenue
Dear Mr. Jackson,
Yesterday I received your note from San Francisco, but a couple of days before we had the sad news of the passing away of Mrs. Jackson.
From what I have heard and read of Mrs. Jackson I am sure you have to bear up against a heavy loss, and my wife and I beg you will receive our sincere condolences in your affliction.
With kind regards
My Dear Mr. Jackson
[Geo. W. Coppell?]
Los Angeles, Aug.17, '85.
My dear Mr. Jackson,
By the local paper, we have known of the sad news - the death of your beloved wife.
I can find no terms in which I could satisfactorily express the grief of my wife and myself. Our grief, I think, can only be exceeded by yours as our sympathies for Mrs. Jackson were very great indeed.
The good qualities which distinguished her in the highest - the credit, the respect, the esteem which she deserved made her loss a very universal one - many are the tears that will dampen these pages as I write.
Inevitable circumstances has taken from you a true and amiable wife; from humanity, a good philanthropist; from society, a winning member; and from the world, a literary genius.
How cruel is death! - still such is each one's destiny; and now is the time when you should strive with patience - Providence will be kind to you and will stretch her soothing hand.
My wife and self should love to be near you so we could help to soothe the afflictions that oppress your heart.
We both sincerely hope that Providence will give you that deserved consolation.
A. F. Coronel [Antonio Coronel]
Troy, Winona Co. Minn.
Aug 23 [86?]
My Dear Brother Will,
A recent letter from Paul, who has been spending his vacation in Kennett, brought me the first news of Helen's death. We take a Chicago Daily. I had watched it closely, but did not see any notice except of her severe illness. I was still hoping for a favorable report of her condition when Paul's letter brought the sad word that she was beyond all our hopes and fears. She has past from the experiences of this life and has now tasted whatever of joy and peace there is in the great hereafter. She has gone in middle life and has escaped the burden and suffering that come with increase of years. The world can ill afford to lose her thought and culture. I have [been?] over in my mind the list of women who use their pen. I find none so truly gifted as she was. Her writings showed deep thought and a true appreciation of human life and character. There was no shallowness about her mind. I am glad she wrote Ramona. [Melo?] said once when he heard of her sickness Mamma, Is Aunt Helen so sick she cannot write us any more pretty stories?
I can imagine something of your loneliness when you return to your home, with the knowledge that Helen will never more cheer it by her love and presence. You have been much alone in your married life, hitherto there has been a looking forward to a family reunion. I have wished often we could have seen more of Helen and visited you in your home. Our [paths?] have been [wisely?] separated. We have known and enjoyed her through her writings and shall miss her greatly. You have our deepest sympathy in this severe affliction. May you have the comfort and support of the invisible presence that guides and controls the spirit of our lives.
Paul wrote that Helen's remains were deposited in a vault in San Francisco for the present: if she left no wish in regard to their final disposal, it would be a pleasure to all of us to have them lie in the pretty cemetry of Longwood. I remember that she has lost parents, children and husband; it is a natural desire to be laid by them.
Milo has gone on a visit to Minneapolis and to his brother who lives in the Red River Valley, Minn. He must return to Nashville in a few days and then our summer will be ended. Bessie must go early in September. [Melo?] and I will wait here until the warm weather is out of the way.
Our farmer & men are busy stacking the grain. We expect to thresh soon and will then know the result of our harvest. We have 50 grade short horn claves and 10 full blood short horn claves. Most of them are very promising. Stock is much lower this year than last. Will be very glad to hear from you when you have time to write. Affectionately your sister R. J. [Cravanh?].
Lincoln [Mi?] 8.13.85
Thy sad telegram rec'd this morning. Our thoughts are with thee in sorrow and love. I had faith that we would have better news for I could not believe thee must lose thy good wife so soon. We feel sad that thee is so far away from thy people & we would be glad to do something to give thee comfort. Write us soon.
With much love from Frank & the boys & thy sister
Mary J. Darlington
Lincoln [Minn?] 9-17-1885
My Dear Brother;
We are feeling anxious to hear something from thee. I wrote thee a short letter soon as I rec'd the telegram giving us the sad news of Aunt Helen's death. It was sent to 1600 Taylor St. San. Francisco. These lovely "September Days" with their golden rod and astors remind me continually of Aunt Helen and every day I think of your visits in the past Can thee not come to see us this autumn? At least I hope thee will write us and tell us how thee is.
With much love Thy Sister
Mary J. Darlington
P.S. Maggie was here last week. All were well as usual at Bloomfield. Mother had better health than usual this summer.
August 15, 1885
My dear Uncle William,
Please accept my deepest sympathy for your great affliction. I can not bring myself yet to believe that I shall never again see dear, dear Aunty on this earth. A great part of my world has gone with her, she stands out so clearly in my very earliest childish recollections, as the one related to us who made everything bright and happy. And it has always been so. Our first thought whenever a hard place has come to us has been "if Aunty were only here". I really feel for my little mother that she has lost not only a sister but a mother. She (Aunty) always seemed to me to have such a care of Mamma.
I can not bear to think of the terrible sickness and suffering, now of your great loneliness. I have been hoping against hope all this last week of suspense, and now I feel stunned by the blow. Please let Helen and me know if there is anything in our power to do for you now, and some day we shall want to know more of the last weeks of that precious, bright, brave life.
With deepest sympathy and regard,
Anne Fiske Davenport.
Beverly N. J.
Sept 2nd /85
My dear Mr Jackson
The package you sent me from San Francisco reached me a few days ago. You who know how I loved my dear "Hannah" will realize how precious it is to me, and how more than all, I prize the thought that she remembered me and her own dear hand wrote her farewell. The sad news was so unexpected I can scarce realize it yet, only I feel that life can never mean the same to me again, now that she is gone. I am sure I need not tell you how I sympathise with you, what idle things words are at such a time, but you know your sorrow is mine also. You will not cease to care for me will you, now that you have not her to speak well of me? I know how much of your regard I owed to her, it dear friend. I long to hear something of her sickness and death of which I am quite without the means of hearing except through you. Do you think you could spare a little time to send them to me? And if you come East now that I have a home of my own will you not let me have a little of your time to recall "the days that are no more." I send you my love, and am ever your sincere
Mrs. Gerald DeCoursey
PO Box 103.
Aug 24. 85
901 Clinton Street
Dear Mr. Jackson,
We read with great regret of your bereavement; & though our acquaintance will, perhaps, hardly justify me in so doing, I can not refrain from sending you the assurance of the deep sympathy of Mrs. Dickson and myself in your loss. We have spoken of you very often; and trust that it will not be distasteful to you to know that we hold you in our thoughts as a friend for whom we cherish a profound regard.
With best wishes,
Very truly yours, Sam'l Dickson [Samuel Dickson]
Mr. W.S. Jackson
I must not write you a letter, dear Mr. Jackson, but you will [let?] me tell you that in my deepest heart, I truly sympathize with you. How you must mourn is faintly shadowed to us here in the grief we feel in knowing that our dear, rare brave and loving Helen will not greet us again in this world.
You will come to us, will you not? When you come East and let us love you as of old, for your own and for her dear sake. You cannot know how prized you are by her friends, and how often Bertie and I have spoken of you with true appreciation and affection. Let us feel for you now, and [work?] upon your joy in the many warm friends who love and honor you.
Yours Most Sincerely
Mary Mapes Dodge
Bay Shore Long Island N.Y.
Sept. 13. '85.
Dear Mr. Jackson; -
My silence has not been due to either neglect or forgetfulness. Letters
of condolence are poor comfort and for this reason I do not like to write
them. You know my regard and admiration for your wife and will believe
that I was shocked on learning of her death. I had not believed the newspapers
when they reported her illness as I know how they are given to exaggeration,
and was therefore the more unprepared for the worst fact.
Embossed Stationary reads: C.H. Fiske Counselor at Law Boston
Dear Mr. Jackson
Your sad telegram, announcing Mrs. Jackson's death, yesterday afternoon, at San Francisco, was duly received by me this morning.
It is only within about a week that I have realized that she was so ill,
[or?] so near death.
I think that at such times but too poorly express one's feelings. There seems very little to be said. No one can tell the loss to the survivor, unless he has had such an experience in his own life. The sense of the great loss, and the utter loneliness in this great world, come home with overwhelming force. I always feel that, to the person who has gone, it is a great gain. She has passed from great suffering and weariness, beyond the point which is always dreaded in life: and now is at rest.
I feel a great sense of personal loss, for although I have only personally known her for a few years, yet during this time she has been so bright and [cheering?] and so kind in every way, that I feel that a very dear friend has gone. And there are so few left. Each year they grow less & less in number. You have my sincere sympathy in your great loss, and my best wishes that the recovery be softened in your reflection of the happy years of your married life.
I telegraphed you this morning, as I wanted you to know that I had heard of her death from your telegram.
By a singular coincidence, Mrs. Banfield happened to be here today being called here yesterday to examine with the advisability of some repairs to one of her buildings, and was much affected at the news.
Mrs. Jackson left a will
in my possession & also a sealed
envelope to be delivered to Helen Banfield, after her death. I have also
certain bonds & of hers in my possession.
C. H. Fiske [Charles Fiske]
To Wm S Jackson Esq.
(Address the Century Mag. N.Y.)
Aug 20, 1885.
My dear Mr Jackson
With your telegram before me it is still very hard for me to believe that Mrs Jackson is really gone. I had not at all realized the severe nature of her illness. I thought it was of the old [supposed malarial?] kind - & that she would soon be herself again. The announcement of her death was therefore a great shock to Helena and me, as as a great grief. Ordinary words of [condolence?] seem out of place; you know you have our deepest sympathy.
We want to give the world a fitting portrait of her - if possible - in the magazine. I am gathering all the pictures I can find to select from. Have you any you could lend me for the purpose? There has something been said in some of the papers as to my suggesting to her that she should write prose. This is not true, of course; but in the magazine her career will be traced.
People are asking about the S.H. stories. What is your opinion & feeling about that. I feel that I have no authority to tell about that; though I remember, I think, that at one time she came near doing so - to [put?] down the false [claimants?].
Some time - perhaps when next you are east - perhaps you can tell us some then of her last days.
Very [sincerely?] your friend
(of Century Magazine)
My dear Mr. Jackson:
You are so much in my thoughts and my heart that I want to write just a word to tell you of my affectionate sympathy. Mrs. Jackson was very dear to me, & besides loving her, I have a genuine admiration for her great gifts and for her work. It seems very hard for such a full, rich, warm life to go out of this world. I know only too well how much you will miss her. I can not understand why as we advance in life we walk steadily from one sorrow & loss in life to another - but all we can do when the trials come is to speak to each other a word of tenderness and honest sympathy - and that word I send you now from the depths of my heart.
Martha LeB. Goddard
73 [Pinckney?] St.
Aug. 21 - 1885
Printed visiting card of Mr and Mrs J F Crank
Miss Graham at Prof John LeContes Dwight Way Berkeley. California
For H H Jackson an humble offering to a grand woman she is not dead she only sleepeth
From Mary Graham.
Aug. 11. 1885.
Dear Mr. Jackson:
I have just seen the sad sad news of Mrs. Jackson's death. I would not be [...] that she was not to for us long and happy. I cannot let the hour pass without writing to express my sympathy and sorrow. It is many years since I have known her, - and, - of course, - have the friendship among my choice treasures. She has done so much and been so much that the world seems without her. Pray feel that none of us are so far away, but that we always hoped to see her soon. And accept from such distant friends the [assurance?] of their sympathy.
Always, dear Mr. Jackson:
Yours very truly
Edward E. Hale
My dear Mr Jackson
I thank you very much for sending me Mrs Jackson's books. That I shall enjoy them "goes without saying" for the pleasure they afford and the proof of your very great kindness to me. I shall keep the books for our little boy most carefully and shall be greatly disappointed in him if he fails to appreciate that pretty Colorado story as I do. It will always be a regret to me that I had not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with Mrs Jackson.
We wished we could have seen you at our [table today?] and beg you to remember there is always a place for you, on this and all other days.
Thanking you again for so kindly remembering me, I am
Katherine [J.?] Hallett [Mrs. Judge Hallett]
Dec 25th 1885
Aug. 22. 1885
Dear Mr. Jackson
Accept my respectful sympathy.
I take the liberty to enclose a sketch which I was [ ed?] to write for the Nation. I have written another for the Critic. If this seems hard in tone, it is because I tried to avoid the contrary.
T. W. Higginson [Thomas Wentworth Higginson]
224 N. Washington Sq.
Dear Mr. Jackson.
It was with deep regret that we learned of the serious illness, and later of your sad trial in the death of Mrs. Jackson.
We recall very pleasantly our glimpses of your beautiful home, which her cheering presence made so bright, and we desire to express our sympathy with your loss.
Very Sincerely Yours
L. S. Hinchman
Estes Park, Colo.
Aug 22d /85.
My dear Mr. Jackson:
The intelligence of Mrs Jacksons sudden death has been a great shock to me; and my heart goes out toward you in deepest sympathy.
How completely I can put myself in your place, and taste with you the bitterness of this cup, you will appreciate when you remember that I, too, have drained the same to its dregs. I cannot, therefore, refrain from this inadequate, but very sincere, assurance of my fullest and most appreciative sympathy.
If I were with you I would take your hand in silence. But being absent, please believe that I am not unmindful of your grief. In fact your bereavement is the common bereavement of us all: for who did not know and love (though they may have never met) the gifted author of so many of our American classics!
Though my acquaintance with Mrs Jackson was but slight, yet I have the pleasantest recollection of her several calls (at our house in Col. Spgs) upon Mrs Holt who had the highest admiration for her and love of her literary work and spirit.
We are all the poorer for her untimely taking off. But the separation between the now and the hereafter seems to me - and I dare say, to you, too less and less enduring and impassable the older we grow.
Believe me dear Sir
Very faithfully yours
Wm J. Holt
W.S. Jackson. Esq
My dear friend,
Last night only brought us the saddest news, for which we have indeed been waiting, since the receipt of your telegram. - It is very difficult to realize how great a loss we, with all your friends and greatest of all yourself, have been called to bear. It is a very great while since I have personally been so much grieved. You know it is many years since we were permitted to [move?] ourselves among her friends. We all join in tenderest sympathy for you, and wish we might be present to mingle our tears with yours.
I am affectionately yours,
E. N. Horsford [Eben Horsford]
[Aug 21, 1885?]
Sylvester Manor [N.Y.]
My dear Mr. Jackson.
How can I write you or tell of my sorrow for Mrs Jackson and my great great sympathy for you. I cannot tell you at all. If I could only have seen her once more, have done something for her in some way during her illness, it would have been such a pleasure.
But I am so grateful that I have known her, that I shall always have such beautiful memories of my days with her, and especially of my beautiful summer with you both in the dear little home. That is the most precious of my memories, for I know your daily lives and her great pleasure and enjoyment in every spot around her. I think it a most lovely home.
I know it is asking too much for you to write us about Mrs Jackson but I do want so much to know a little so I shall write to Helen Banfield. You will not forget us, will you, and when you come to the East you will come to see us whenever you can. For we want always to have Mrs Jackson in our lives. Mama and Papa join with me in truest sympathy, always your friend
My dear Will,
I scarcely know where to address you & I am sure I do not know what to say to you or how to comfort you. I have had so much trouble, so much sorrow, that I never attempt a letter of condolence for the simple reason that they have seldom given me any comfort beyond knowing that my friends thought of me, loved me, & sympathized with me. You know dear Will how long I have loved Helen & how strongly attached we were. There was no woman, no friend, that she was so tenderly attached to & so intimate with as myself. I have been extremely anxious since she came to S. Francisco she had written me but once a week for the past two months - very short notes - serious & thoughtful & never once saying she was better or in the least hopeful - Her last was written the 2 Aug, most pathetic & touching & loving. I am thinking of you, dear Will all the time & I want to know where you, how you are, when you come to N.Y. so that I may meet you there. & where dear Helen's body lies, & what discoveries the doctors made. I wrote to you some days ago, but you were on your way to S.F. Thanks for the telegram. If there is anything I can do for you let me know. I am interested in you & always shall be for yourself & for dear Helen's love for you - Should the good and faithful [Effie?] come East (Helen had told me she probably would) I wish she would [stop?] with me a day. I love that woman for her devotion to Helen. Had I been strong & well I should certainly have gone to Helen. I do not want to trouble you but you must write to me & I must be at home to receive you if you come to N.Y. Always yours
M. H. Hunt [Mrs. Washington Hunt]
This world is a lonely place (without Helen) to me - I am loosing all my nearest and dearest.
Attached address: Mrs. Wayland
Broadway [Care?] of Greenfield
20 Fifth Ave
My dear Will,
You were very kind to write me so long a letter & I am very grateful for any news from or about dear Helen. This morning I [had?] a letter written last May (which I suppose you found in your package of letters to be opened after her departure,) she then thought she could not last much longer. It is very strange I could not realize how ill she was all these months. I want to see you very much dear Will & are you not coming here soon? I shall make short excursions in & around N. York - but I must be here when you come & always want to see you when you are in town. - How soon do you intend to give up these [sorrows?] if you give them up at all? Let me do something for you if I can. It's all so strange, so sad, so unexpected, I am sometimes afraid I shall be left without a friend. I was never so intimate with any woman & I think I knew every thing about Helen from beginning to the end & she was very dear to me, a very uncommon and long attachment. Dear Will write to me soon & send to my town address -
M. H. Hunt [Mrs. Washington Hunt]
Is Denver your home?
Telegram dated Aug 14 1885
Pittsburg PA 14 to Wm S Jackson 1600 Taylor St SF
Telegram received Maggie and Josiah here and Join Sallie and self in love & sympathy. Can I do anything for you
C H Jackson
Kennett Square Aug. 20.85
I reached home yesterday, coming from Pittsburgh by way of Chester.
The despatch telling of Helen's death met us at Pittsburgh, it was a great shock, for I had hoped, although I had learned from the newspapers that the Doctors had said that she could not get well. I felt the keenest anxiety and grief, lest all had not been as thee would have had it, had we recognized sooner the fatal nature of her disease. Thy letter of the 5th, sent here, reassured me. I would have felt it such a privilege to go to her: but I felt that she would wish to have her sister, if any one. How wonderful that she could be so brave and cheerful after such long suffering! Our thoughts are with thee in deepest sympathy. We loved Helen dearly. It is very hard to believe that we shall never see her, or speak to her, or hear her voice again. We can only cherish her memory, and try to be truer and braver in our own lives because we have known her.
What is to be the final resting place of the dear body?
Did she express a wish in regard to that.
We hoped that a letter would reach us to-day. We have had none since that written on the 5th.
Mother is well, and all who are here. Paul is spending his vacation with us: he expects to go back to N.Y. on Monday.
With love and sympathy,
Thy sister Margaret B. Jackson
Kennett Square Sep. 12. 85
My Dear Brother:
Still no letter from thee. My heart sinks with disappointment and anxiety every time the mail comes in and brings no word from thee.
We fear thee may be ill. I wrote thee about two weeks ago telling thee that no letter had reached us since the telegrams came announcing Helens death. We sympathize deeply with thy sorrow and loss. We too feel a sense of personal loss, for we remember with keen pleasure your brief and rare visits to us. Our rides in the pleasant October days are treasured in my memory.
Was not Susan Coolidge Helen's most intimate literary friend? There is an article by her about Helen in the [U.S. ?] I was much interested in one written by Jeannine Carr of California and published in the Woman's Journal. I would like thee to see it and will send it if thee wishes.
Was there a good photography of Helen? I think it would be impossible to do justice to her bright and animated expression in a picture.
Dear Will - Please write us soon. It is painful when our friends ask for thee to confess that we do no know how nor where thee is.
We suppose that thee has returned to Denver and is deeply engrossed in business; but since we do not hear from thee, we fear that sorrow and watching may have made thee ill, and that thee is not able to write to us.
Will Helen's body be brought East for final burial?
Emma [Lambom?] is in Kennett now. They are going to put the girls in a school in Conn. Emma said she was going to write to thee.
Thee has heard, I suppose of the deaths of [John Marshall, Edwin Brisius, and Mr. Carey?], Anne's husband. Alice Jackson, [Calebs?] daughter has gone to a school in Mass. and the boys go to Newburgh-on-the-Hudson soon, to a preparatory school.
John Chambers is in Pittsburgh. I believe he is determined to go into the brick business.
Mother is well. She went to Longwood to [meeting?] yesterday.
Thy Sister Maggie B Jackson [Margaret B. Jackson]
[Aug 15, 1885?]
Printed card of Mrs. Oliver Johnson, 404 East 23rd St.
Reads: With saddest sympathy,
Helen Hunt Johnson
At a recent meeting of the New York Indian Association I was instructed to convey to you our sympathy in the great bereavement that has fallen upon you; and also, to express to you the very high appreciation in which Mrs Jackson is held by us, in view of her character, ability & great usefulness in the line of effort to which she directed her mature energies. We are deeply sensible that in her death the Indians have lost a warm, faithful & powerful friend. But as a writer, her influence is not limited to her sphere of personal activities nor to the times in which she lived. Hence we have good reason to hope that the words she has so forcibly uttered through the press will now only tell favorably on the destiny of the Red man in the present but also in coming generations.
Hoping that in your sorrow you have the consolations of the Divine Comforter,
Mrs D. P. Kidder
September 8th 1885
Dear Mr Jackson
Mrs Lee and I had the privilege of knowing your wife when she was in Los Angeles, and we hoped when she left us that there were many years of friendship before us.
We have been now nearly two months in the mountains and it is only lately that the sad news of Mrs Jackson's death has reached us. It were idle to sound her praises when so many thousands mourn her - those who knew and loved her can best sympathize with you in your loss.
Mrs Lee heard from her two or three times after she left Los Angeles, and altogether failed to realize the gravity of her illness. She will never cease to regret that she was not able to send some message of affection - not even to strew flowers on her grave.
I trust our names are not altogether strange to you, and that you will not feel that we intrude in assuring you of our profound regret and sincere sympathy in your great sorrow.
Very truly Yours
H. J. Lee
Hungerford. Berks. England.
Sept. 22. '85
Mr. W. S. Jackson
Colo. Spgs. Colo. U.S.
My dear Sir,
I am loth to intrude on your grief, - and yet more unwilling to refrain from laying my little bunch of Forget-Me-Nots on the dear grave wh. has been so lately made. Alas! When the "Gazette" had told me the short, sad story, I went about feeling stunned. It didn't seem possible that those bright eyes were closed in death, the cheery voice stilled, the pen laid down forever (in this world), and that gracious presence gone, gone. How well I remember her repeated acts of kindness to me, from the awful day of my dear Husband's death, to the time when she came to seek me at the "Training School" (you came too) & took me out to some Restaurant where we had a long chat over our meal. And her sayings! It comes to me that no one ever said such common-sense, such strong, such kind things to me in my widowhood as she did. You would be amazed if you knew how many of her sayings are stored up in my memory. - Those pleasant days when she let me come to lunch with you two will live in my recollection for long enough. I see her at the head of the table with those keen eyes of hers glancing from one thing to another; the "witches kettle", full of flowers, stands in the centre. Elise - wasn't that the waitress' name - moves quietly about, while Mrs Jackson dissects the "Psalm of Life", and calls our attention to the awkwardness of the line
"Be not like dumb, driven cattle."
Or perhaps she laughingly tells me how the cook came back after a holiday, & complained that, in the house which she had visited , "it was very trifling boarding" ! - And its all over. - I have been for a long time wanting to write and beg her to give me another portrait of herself. She gave me one when I left the Springs, but I disappeared at the "Training School", and I have been unwilling to think that it was [stolen?]; but as I regarded it as a great treasure and I think one or two others took the same view, I am afraid that there was something wrong about my loss. However if you could spare me a photo of her whom we both loved I should treasure it even more than the first.
Do you recollect [Mr. Liller's coming to you for a copy of "H. H.'s" verses that he might insert one of them in the "Gazette"; and I, being [sad?] to make the selection, chose that exquisite little poem "Down to Sleep". Oh how lovely it is with its musical flow, and its pathos so deep that I never read it without tears! She and my lost darling are both "laid down to sleep. God grant that bye and bye we may all meet in our Heavenly Father's house where there shall be "no more Death, neither sorrow nor crying."
The D. & R.G. seems to have a "troublous" time between Men and the Matter: the dynamite trouble seems worst of all, so cruel and cowardly.
Colorado Springs seems to have settled down into a health resort simply; there is not much of the hum of the business, I fear. One thing delights me and that is the "Liller" School: the very mention of it gives me pleasure. Excuse this long letter, and accept my kind regards.
[R. I.?] Liller.
Winnetka. Sept. 4 [1885?]
My dear Mr. Jackson
This is sad news that greets me on my return from a six months tour in Europe.
I had heard that Helen was ill, but never dreamed that it was anything more than the natural result of her long confinement because of her broken leg, and this simply awful, sudden death overwhelms me.
What that great magnetic woman was only one who lived with her knew; knew how bright and [bonny?] she was from early morning till night. I shall never forget the inspiration and help your grand wife was to me in the time I lived near her for so many weeks at the Berkeley. I have always felt that her unselfish kindness to me had saved me much physical suffering. It seems impossible to believe that one so full of life, so capable, so strong, so alert is not with us.
Dear, great, noble Helen, I cannot bear to think of this world without her here.
Are you still to stay in Colorado, and will you not sometime come to see us, say stay a Sunday or a few days over with us? We shall always have a warm and tender place for you. I want to beg from you some simple little thing that Helen used to use. I loved her faithfully, though I am afraid this last year she had reason to feel that I did not. My own heart has been so full of keen anxiety about my Husband, who has fallen into a dreary condition of helplessness, and continuous headaches that I have given little sign to those outside the narrow circle of my life. I went to Europe with him to try what a perfect change would do for him, but when I returned in July he seemed very little better. Why, why I cry must such peace as yours, such a home be broken up, and why must this dreadful anxiety lie like a dark cloud over my dreams of the future.
May Heaven help you in your loneliness
Jessie B. Lloyd
My dear Mr. Jackson:
It is impossible for me to realize what has happened. Until the day I telegraphed the thought that Mrs. Jackson might not recover had not occurred to me. I felt that her illness was becoming tedious and exhausting, but the cheerfulness of her letters and the reported statements of the physicians completely misled me. I know how to feel for you because I feel so deeply myself. Mrs. Jackson was not only the most brilliant woman in the country; she was one of the noblest, most generous and inspiring. I have lost a friend whose place will never be filled. It will be a great consolation to you to see the steady expansion of her influence and her fame; and you will [see true?], for widely as she was known and greatly as she was honored her true measure has not yet been taken.
I want to hear more about the last days and when you are in New York again I hope you will let me know so that I can see you. And I must have some portrait of Mrs. Jackson. Is there any photograph or other likeness of her extant of which I could secure a copy?
It is a matter of great sorrow to me that I did not get a letter to her written in the knowledge of her condition. There are some things I wanted to say to her. But I suppose she understood them; at any rate she understood my affection and appreciation.
Hamilton W. Mabie [Hamilton Wright Mabie]
Aug. 15. 1885.
My dear Mr Jackson
We were all exceedingly shocked & [pained?] to hear of your great loss. Indeed we cannot realize that it can be true. We cannot think of Mrs Jackson other than as one full of life and health.
I know how empty words are at a time like this. But I could not refrain from attempting to express to you how deeply we all sympathize with you, and how truly we feel that we too have cause for sorrow.
With kindest regards for all
Ellen S [Mellen?]
Aug 14 1885
My dear Mr Jackson
I have heard of the death of Mrs. Jackson with surprise and sorrow and desire to extend to you my hearty sympathy.
A. M. Merriow
Letterhead reads: Roberts Brothers, Publishers
Boston Augt 17, 1885
My dear Mr. Jackson
It is five days since the wires tolled her death and I cannot yet reconcile myself to the fact. It does not seem possible for since then I have recd a letter written by her with apparently all the vigor of a person full of life. Reading it seems like holding communion with a spirit and that is what she says will be the case.
Millions of people are mourning a loss which no one can feel as you do.
T. Niles [Thomas J. Niles]
I return to Boston in a day or two.
[Sep 6, 1885?]
Dear Mr. Jackson
I recd your letter just as I was on the point of leaving for this place. When I return I will send Mr. Stebbins a complete set of Mrs. Jackson's books as by that time our ed. of "The Century of Dishonor" wh. contains her Indian report will be ready to publish.
I want very much to learn some particulars about Mrs. Jacksons last days. I heard from her last under date of Aug 7. She had had a consultation with another physician on the day before & she wrote that she supposed she had but a few days to live. I took it for granted the nature of her malady had then been told her for the first time, because in all her previous letters she had never hinted that she suspected it to be incurable. We only know now what the papers have stated that it was cancer in the stomach.
She had always called it Malarial fever wh. we thought she had contracted in Los Angeles. We want also to know about the funeral and where she is buried.
She wrote me very explicitly what to do about publishing her writings. She wanted a new collection of her poems, a volume of travel articles, and she hinted at a collection of stories. She sent me the manuscript of a story - "Zeph" wh. she hurriedly completed, & I have also the manuscript of "Elspeth Dynor" wh. is also incomplete. The material for the travel volume she also sent me. Everything else will have to be collected from the various magazines & journals in wh. they appeared unless you can find them at your home.
I suppose she retained copies of everything, if not in Mss, then the printed copies.
I have been told that she contributed articles to the Atlantic Monthly over the signature of "Jane Silsbee" and that perhaps she might of used other nom de plumes wh. we do not know of.
If you cannot aid me by Sunday, me anything I shall be obliged to get copies from the sources in wh. they appeared.
Of course the "Saxe Holmes" secret is never to be officially divulged.
I have kept everything wh. I have seen wh. has been written about her, Mrs. Goddard in our Daily Adv. Mr. Higginson in the Nation, Miss Woolsey and Mr. Ward in the Independent, Mr. Mabie in the "Christian Union," Jeannine C. Carr in the Womans Journal, are all touching tributes, wh., if her belief is true, must have caused her to be glad that she had such true friends.
Yours Very Truly
T Niles [Thomas J. Niles]
Do you suppose she left any data or writings wh. would enable Miss Woolsey to complete "Elsbeth Dynor." This is the story written several years since, wh. has been in the of Mr. Gilder of The Century.
Boston Aug. 13/85
[my?] Dear Mr. Jackson,
I have heard with very sincere regret of the death of Mrs. Jackson, and I beg to assure you of my heartfelt sympathy. You know how much I esteemed her.
Yours very truly
H. H. - A Tribute
As disappears a Star
As dies a Song away,
The shining star
The [singer's?] song
With tears and sighs
W. E. Pabor
NY Aug 28/85
My Dear Mr. Jackson
I was shocked to hear on my return from abroad, by your telegrams to Mr. Rap that you had given up all hope of your wife's recovery. The sad news has come of the final event.
Will you allow me to express my of the great [and especial?] loss we have suffered in [connection?] with all of her friends & neighbors in the little circle at Colorado Springs and my sympathy with you in this grievous affliction.
Wm J Palmer [William Jackson Palmer]
No. 472 Putnam Ave. Brooklyn. L.I.
Aug. 29 - 85.
Mr. W. S. Jackson,
Most respected Sir: -
Since writing you a card of heartfelt sympathy, several friends, also literary writers beg to extend their sympathies.
I have but recently returned from "Fair Lawn" our country seat on the mountain-side, where I have been summering, or I should have previously tendered deepest regrets.
As I mentioned before, I am as yet simply a young writer in amount of classic experience as well as of years.
I contributed to magazines, during my girlhood days, and, up to my husband's death, my life was one of unbroken sunshine. He left a large estate; yet I resolved to devote much of my time to literature and music - having attained much success in vocal music - diligently pursueing both to forget my great woe. - from choice rather than remuneration.
Should you feel so disposed, I would regard it as a great favor if you would kindly send me a list of your late wife's works - and those I may not find on sale, of earlier date, I will willingly exchange with you for works of my own publication, which are expensively bound. I do not devote all of my time to works mentioned. I have a fine home, in which many of my brightest hours are spent in beautifying it - caring little now for worldly fashion, I have cultivated quite a culinary acquirement - enjoying the task, after a brisk morning drive, usually.
The culture of music and literature, - a few calls, fill up the hours of the day profitably - leaving me happier in not idling, or trifling with the 'golden moments God gives' to beautify, and refreshen our lives anew. Pardon this digression. I believe you encourage talent, I think is beautied by usefulness.
I remain yours very resp'y -
Mrs. M. Elie Parge.
No. 472 Putnam Ave., Brooklyn L.I.
Aug 29th 1885.
Mr. W. S. Jackson,
Most respected Sir: -
Permit me to extend my deepest regret at the loss of your estimable wife - also removed from the ranks of literature, - we mourn.
Although only a young literary writer myself - since the death of my husband - two years previous, - I have written two American works - one of which has met with success, the other to be ready for late publication January, Providence so willing.
Hence my chosen pursuit lends a kindred tie to writers.
I cannot close without expressing my thoughts originally - such eminent lives as the one you have lost, is, as the rose-bloom that jewels existence! Time can never veil with haze - those works - that, like the granite and the modest laurel - shall proclaim for ages after.
Again tendering you my sincerest regrets, I am
Yours very resp'y -
Mrs. M. Elie Parge.
472 Putnam Ave., Oct. 21st 85.
Mr. W. S. Jackson,
Most respected Sir: -
I cannot help writing and mentioning, - that I have purchased "A Country's Dishonor" and expect to peruse it many times with pleasure.
No greater happiness have I, than the few short hours I am enabled to devote to literature.
Lovely autumn weather, - golden and health-inspiring. I cannot go out and enjoy. For my mother is so ill, I cannot leave her couch; And so, - from early gray mists of dawn, - till dimly changing sunset, I try to content myself with the busy duties Heaven sends, and deem it - sunshine.
But only when the rosy-tinted past, lingers painfully in my widowhood, and I realize precious moments are fleeting fast, - that, - caring little for pompous society - I cherish an intensive longing to excel in literature. - Long only, - for kind fate to intervene by placing only a little more time - in place of arduous rounds of duties - to peruse and to fit myself, now in the spring-time of my life for benefitting culture.
Pardon this digression please, but as your late estimable wife was so valuably enlightening humanity - you can best understand all that besets the path of beginners.
But oh Sir, you cannot be expected to know the pitiful drawback - of having but little time - very limited library and in earnest striving simply the least encouraging experience - feeling the great need I truly do.
However wasted hours many of our sex have in abundance - money and disposition to lavish on vain taste, this writer has none of the above to spare. Only the gifts God gave, and ambitious perseverance to aid me. Would it be wrong then to say, if I could only assist in the literary work the lamented left off, I would be so grateful to Heaven - and gladly ask only reasonable success to crown my efforts. The work is oh so greatly needed. Besides I would like to exchange my own published volumes for hers.
Trusting, respected Sir, I may not have trespassed in the information I trust you will have kindness to impart, - I remain in true sympathy
Yours very respectfully -
M. E. Parge [M. Elie Parge]
Brooklyn. L.I. #472 Putnam Ave.
August 19. 1885.
My dear friend,
It is not for me to intrude upon you in your sorrow nor would I venture to write the usual empty words of condolence - but I want you to know only this - that the ending of the beautiful and gracious life has brought to me a sense of bereavement - to me, the casual friend of an hour - and that I have had you in my mind very often since - and suffering myself from a great calamity - the loss of my mother - I have felt for you an affectionate sympathy which I have been unable to refrain from putting into words - futile and incomplete as all words must be in face of death - but heartily sincere.
To/ Mr William S. Jackson
N.B. 28th Augt - 1885
My dear Mr Jackson
I was greatly shocked to hear yesterday of Mrs Jackson's death, and hope you will allow my sister & myself to express our deep sympathy with you in your sorrow.
Although we never had the good fortune to meet your talented wife yet we have heard so much of her from mutual friends in Colorado, and have derived so much enjoyment from Helen Hunt's writings, that it is easy to associate her with those who made our visit to Colorado such a happy one.
Such changes seem very hard to endure. We lost our Mother a fortnight ago and can feel with you how very conspicuous is the vacant chair.
Yours very sincerely
[Wm E Prandy?]
[August 20, 1885?]
My dear Bro: Again and again have I written to thee and put my letter to one side. We all feel so sad for thee. I had been watching the papers for a long time trying to glean any news of Helen. I was not surprised to hear of her death. I was sure from what was said about her she was seriously ill.
I have thought so much of thee. I wish thee would come home & visit with us. Thee would not be so lonely if thee could see mother.
Maggie was here yesterday on her way home from Pittsburgh. We talked of thee & how we regretted we could not have been with Helen.
I have felt again & again as though I could fly to thee. Will, life is dreadfully lonely sometimes to me. We never forget, only try to be brave and faithful to the duties assigned us. I often wonder why in the economy of nature these deaths should happen. Why those who seem so useful & necessary to us should die. Helen was so good & bright & beautiful. Her life web is spun, she now sees all that was dim and shadowy. While we are blind. I hope earnestly that faith like hers may clear our dim eyes & that we may see as she does. My gratitude to thee knew no limit & this has brought thy unfailing kindness to me & mine constantly before me. If I could do one thing for thee. Katie is a noble, good girl if thee would like to have her with thee, as a companion, at any time I would gladly spare her to thee. She is eighteen years old now & will soon be a young lady. Will thee keep thy home in Col. Springs? Write to us often, that we who love thee most, may be near to thee
With heartfelt love thy sister Hannah [Hannah Jackson Price]
Sept. [15?] - 1887
Dear Mr. Jackson
The accompanying letter is, of course, extremely stale; and, under some circumstances, I should have thought quite too much so to send you.
But - upon finding it this summer and reading it, as the original, you did not, as you told me a year ago, , I preferred you should know just how I felt at the time (and - I might add - still feel) so venture to send it to you now, hoping, however, it may not open the wound of two years ago.
Charlotte C. Reed
[Rustic Beach?] P.G.S.
Aug 24. 1885
My dear Mr. Jackson
Picking up a paper in this far away place this morning, I was startled and grieved beyond expression to see the item about your wife. I had heard that she was ill in San Francisco; but having always looked upon her as a model of health and vigor for a woman of her age, the possibility of her malady being anything serious, had not occurred to me.
It is the anniversary of my precious little one's being taken from me. I had just seen depart from this hotel a gentleman who had been stricken with paralysis on the boat, on his way here with his family for his summer vacation. I looked away from the window, as his carriage rolled off and my eye immediately fell on this paragraph in the paper in my hand. It made me feel quite ill. So often as we are reminded that "In the midst of life, we are in death" yet always it brings the same shock.
I grieve for you in the loss of your gifted and brilliant companion; I mourn for the world at large to whom she gave so much pleasure by her writings; and would I could say that I sorrowed for myself, as I could have done four years ago! but, for me, it makes it all the sadder that she was not the same to me that she had been. I never knew the cause for her change towards us. I always felt innocent of any cause. I could only surmise that some malicious, or scheming, or jealous person had intentionally embittered her against us.
I tried, as opportunity presented itself, to show that I was still "friendly" but apparently in vain, for I never had a response.
Now, I shall try to forget all the pain that I have felt during these years of misunderstanding and only remember all those many, many kindnesses shown us by her, the many pleasant hours we have enjoyed her society, and the much admiration and affection I had for her those early years, when the people were bound together by stronger ties than of late since "the apple of discord" seems to have been thrown in our midst.
Forgive me if I say too much now in this your bitterest hour; but I could not be silent, neither could I say less.
Hoping you will accept this in the spirit in which it is written.
With much sympathy for you in this great bereavement.
Believe me, what I always was,
Your sincere friend,
Charlotte C. Reed.
2, Suffolk Lane,
My dear Sir,
I do not like writing you, even on business, without expressing my sympathy with you in the bereavement which you have lately undergone, and which I heard of with very great regret. Pray accept this expression of my sincere sympathy: &
Very truly yours
[A. G. Renshaw?]
Monday Aug '17. 85
Dear Mr Jackson
Mr [Barlow?] informs me that you will be in Denver this Evening and I meet you with [assurances?] of deep sorrow and how we are all afflicted by Mrs Jacksons death. We had no idea she was so seriously ill. My heart has been with you in your great sorrow. I have drunk of the same bitter waters. When I lost a devoted beloved wife children were left me - props round which the bruised & broken tendrils of my love could twine. But you are left alone. Your home is desolate. The bright, cheerful, buoyant being who made it the center of so much happening, is gone forever. We do not know how to prize blessings until we lose them. I have loved Mrs Jackson as a very dear friend and been proud and happy in her friendship. But very few are left so dear to me. It is difficult to realize that I shall see her no more here. Sympathizing with you most sincerely & deeply I pray that you may have strength & fortitude to bear up under the great bereavement.
Mrs Risley & Olive unite with me in [assurances?] of affection and sorrow
H A Risley
Letterhead reads: Monte Carneiro Ranch [Kansas?]
My dear Mr. Jackson
"The heart knoweth its own bitterness," and even the touch of sympathy is almost more than the wounded heart can bear; but one longs to express something of sympathy, even if [less?] in the vain hope of giving any comfort than in the desire to give voice to one's own sorrow. We had known, from your letter to us and from letters from the east, that Mrs. Jackson had been very ill and could not hope to be strong for some time to come; but we were fearing for her only the long prostration when at Helena I took up an eastern paper with an allusion to "the late Helen Hunt Jackson." No illness can be so long as to prepare one for the last great shock, which always must seem sudden, and I seemed as much startled and stunned as if I had known nothing of her long weakness. Dear friend, none can speak words of comfort, and you know too well what the world is feeling at her loss to need any assurance of the grief and sympathy of others; but you will let us try to draw nearer to you in the bond of a common sorrow, greatest to you, but great to all of us.
We hoped to see you when we came through Denver, but arrived only to find that you had left the night before. We leave ourselves for the east next Thursday, having completed the beautiful trip through the Yellowstone whose only blot was the sudden shock of the news at Helena and the sad thoughts trooping with loving memories through our hearts as we passed through Colorado Springs for the first time without entering the beautiful, hospitable home now closed in sorrow.
With sincere regard from us both -
Alice Wellington Rollins
Berkeley Heights. Sep. 22d/85
I have just heard, through Mrs. Johnson, that you are in the East, and perhaps in New York. Cannot you come to us? I cannot tell you how much I want to see you and hear from you all that you will tell me about dear Peggy. I will not say, 'about her last hours' because she has never seemed to me more intensely alive than during these last weeks. All the barriers of distance, of pre-occupation, of cares that filled up my moments and separated me from her, are gone now, and she is near, and real. It is the compensation of what we call Death that, if it takes away the friend, it leaves the angel. And I cannot help being glad that she went away in the fulness of her powers and of her wonderful charm. It must have been so hard for her to feel the tragedy that lies in being always young, and being no longer able to appear so. She was a queen in her own right. To have seen the sceptre depart, or her diminish, would have left her life lacking something which it needed. And this royal abdication seems a fitting end to the royal state she held. We were away from home when the news of her illness came, away from mails and telegraphs, and I did not know that there was any apprehension of a fatal result, until the day before the last. If I had known, I should have written or telegraphed. Then I meant to write you as soon as I reached home, But we have been here two weeks, and the house has been full of visitors, all the time, and I have had no cook and only one inadequate maid, besides, which, in the country, means work every day and all day. And, as usual, I have let the trifling cares, stand in the way of the larger desire. But, dear Will, I am hungry to hear of Peggy, all that you can tell me, and to see you. Cannot you come out on Saturday afternoon, and stay over Sunday, or on any afternoon of next week? [Mr. Runkin?] goes to Washington on Thursdays, and may possibly not return till Sunday morning, but that will make no difference. My present visitors will be here till Saturday morning, else I should ask you to come at once. But I feel as if I could not let you go back without seeing you.
Always, with deepest sympathy, and affection,
Bertie [Lucia Calhoun Runkle]
Aug 23. 85
Dear Mr. Jackson
I desire to express my sincere sympathy with you, for the terrible loss you have sustained in the death of Mrs. Jackson. Oweing to the kindness of mutual friends, as well as by the various paragraphs that constantly appeared in the daily papers, I knew she was very sick, but did not realize the end was so near, so that I was shocked when the sad information reached me.
I look back upon my visit to California as one of the pleasantest periods of my life and realize it was oweing principally to Mrs. Jackson kind and sympathetic friendship, therefore among the thousands in the Eastern States who mourn her death, I fell I am unusually qualified to realize how great is the loss to you.
Mrs. Sandham wishes me to express her sympathy with you
And believe me
Hy Sandham [Henry Sandham]
1609 [Larkin?] Street
Sep. 27. 1885 -
My dear Sir - I thank you for these beautiful books, the work of a noble mind and heart - They are associated in my feeling with one of the most impressive experiences of life, that makes me debtor to her who is gone, and to you who are here: - To her whose strong-winged spirit beat the air with courageous trust: to you whose grief is so worthy and so true -
I am yours sincerely
Dear Mr Jackson
I have only just heard the sad news of your great bereavement - and, if I may speak of it also - of the deep loss that all of us have sustained who ever knew dear Mrs Jackson. I feel that I dare not intrude any words upon your great sorrow, save very simply to express my deep & heartfelt sympathy for you in your grief. In this expression of feeling, my father & mother sincerely join: although they naturally cannot feel the news as I do, because they were never fortunate enough to see as much of dear Mrs Jackson, as I did. For my own part, I can never forget her constant kindness to me, & to my dear brother; nor how her bright & delightful company lent a never-to-be-forgotten charm to my first journey to America. That winter in Colorado would have been very different to me if she had been absent: & I call to mind one delightful day after another that I spent with her - & many happy excursions that I made with her, both in Colorado & in Europe - with a sense of profound sadness at the thought that these pleasant days can never be repeated. I grieve to think that her wandering, busy life and my own, had interrupted our correspondence of late: but the memory of all I did enjoy with her & of her goodness to me, remains fresh, always, in my mind. Of her justly-won fame & of the tributes it is now receiving, I will not speak; perhaps it is not what you think of most now - although the universal acknowledgement of the great work she has done, must be a pleasure, & a deep one, to you. I myself can only say that personally her writings are always a refreshment & a pleasure to me & that this feeling is shared by many very able people, whom I have had the honor of introducing to her books. - I know no details - I can only trust the end was free from great suffering - ; that she had the support & comfort of your presence at the close, I have heard.
I trust you are pretty well. Some day, when you visit her resting-place, may I ask you to lay upon it, for me, a little bunch of flowers she was so fond of them. Please forgive my writing you so long a letter after all - but I know you will - for you know the feeling that prompted it. With sincerest sympathy & regards from us all -
Yours very sincerely
Alma G.[V.?] Strettell.
Aug 18th 1885
Mr. W. S. Jackson
Mr. Thayer and I wish to extend to you our deepest sympathy in the loss of your wife. I knew her only through her works and I had for her the highest admiration.
Mrs. E. A. Thayer
1317 Hyde Street. 1885.
My dear Mr Jackson,
I am sure that at this moment we are both thinking of the same thing (it is quarter past four o'clock) - indeed what else have we thought of?
Not as you do, but oh so much, so much do I miss her! Think how many weeks and months I have been with her almost every day - I feel as if there were nothing to live for, no place to go - it's too dreadful!
Of course you are home by this - or are you stopping in Denver?
In one way what a fortune you are so more than usually occupied. But I, who saw how she worried about you, think of you every time I take up the paper, lest there be more awful news from the strikers.
I am rested and better than last week, but I can take no pleasure in anything - it is a sad but great comfort to have her dear things about me on my own writing table and about my room as she used to have them.
I would rather have these than anything she could have given me - they were more her than all the rest.
I got today a beautiful ring from you both - though I have had only her initials "H.J." put inside with the date when she said goodbye to me. You will see it when you come.
Let me hear from you when you feel able to write, if only a line - and believe me always yours sincerely
This came just as I finished my letter. I had written to the Bishop for Mrs Jackson two or three weeks ago and he thinks I am a man, evidently.
Geneva, Ohio. Aug. 15, 1885.
Dear Mr. Jackson:
Need I refrain from sending you this sign of my profound sorrow? If obligation for heavenly kindness and immeasured benefit gives the right to grieve, then my right can never be contested. None, it seems to me, can owe to her more than I. -
Only within the past week learning of her dangerous illness, I was on the point of writing her when the final word, read in a newspaper, made void my intention. - That was yesterday. - Last night there seemed to be more stars in heaven, but less light on the earth. - If it might have been permitted me to know her closer, as those who were frequently in her presence, and who have, now and ever, the definite image of her face and the imprinted remembrance of all her ways! - But the features of her mind and the irradiation if her spirit's countenance are with me. - I cannot feel that she knew, altogether, how much she was to me, and what continual thankfulness rose out of my heart towards her. - I hoped, and cheerfully believed, I might one day meet her and tell her all. It is very hard to know that this may never be. -
The knowledge and the imagined feeling of her sufferings during the last year move me to tears.
Heart-bound to her by the memory of her generosity and kindness, I am
Yours sincerely & sorrowingly,
Edith M. Thomas
Sept. 12. [1885?]
Dear Mr. Jackson:
Do you remember that this is the day she died just a month ago: died no, but passed hence to a nobler and broader life. Your letter saying how happy she is in the activity of her new life. I do indeed believe it and that she will find scope for such grand action there as will fully satisfy her. No result of our efforts here does quite do so: but I think of her now as having entered upon so broad and complete a life that our imagination cannot take its measure. All nature teaches us this progressive development. I see nothing in God's laws wh. shows that He has made anything to remain forever in one state. Only do you remember what Tennyson says in In Memoriam of Arthur Hallam? That forever he who went first will be so far in advance of those who come later as to make a wide difference between them but then he solaces the momentary pang by adding
"But what delights can equal those
"When one who loves but knows not reaps
"A truth from one that loves and knows?"
How well learned will she be in that spirit love for which we do hunger, when we meet her again. What noble activities will she have engaged in if she have not indeed organized something; for I take it, our next stage is as natural to us there as is this now, and that there are degrees of development wherein are many needing help. If there are she will find them. I too believe what you express that "She does come to us, and is with us and about us in influence and affection." I would add too that she is so, consciously to herself. I don't know how you will like the article of Mrs. Apponyi. I regret the relating of the incident of the poor woman who thought she had a vision. I consider it bad taste to publish it and I shrunk from its publicity somewhat as I feared you would and I feared too it would have been offensive to Mrs. Jackson. It wounded me as a sacrilege to my own heart would have done. I hope you are not grieved. There is another matter there which has troubled me greatly. The note in the "[EAC?]". How it could come I know not. I think it must have been by the brother of Miss [Skinner?]. She, poor girl! is so over worked that some things might easily pass her sight. How she knew that Mrs. J.'s M.S.S. were destroyed I do not know. I did not tell her and Mrs. Apponyi did not know it. & Miss [Skinner?] was particularly told that you gave Mrs. A. no data and wished nothing to come as from you. We feel dreadfully about it but I don't know how we could have prevented it. I feel personally as if I had been false to a truth without knowing how. I have made several efforts to see Miss [Skinner?] since & shall eventually succeed & perhaps get some explanation. I have taken a great liberty to-day. If it offends you, you have but to say so and it will not be released. As the 12th came round I could not let it pass without a testimonial. I took a bunch of the wild ferns she so loved to the place of Mr. Grey and left them on her casket. I saw no one but the young man who was at the funeral & knew me. Of course I had to say that you had told me where she was or I would not have been admitted. I do hope this act will not be distasteful to you. You know I shall never forgive myself that I allowed anything to keep me from having come to her a month sooner, and now it is with a kind of tender selfishness that I feel that I have done for her what no one else can. I feel a little as if it were an atonement.
You do not know how much I thank you Mr. Jackson for the confidence you placed in me by telling me of this temporary placement. They all think she was taken East with you unless Miss Thibault knows.
You see I am still in S. Francisco. I shall be so during this month probably. Will you remove the dear remains soon? I thank you for the prompt attention to the relics wh. will indeed be doubly dear to me for themselves and for the hand that gathered them. I presume they are in Ventura now.
The [C ?] are still in the same place but about to move. Are pretty well. No serious illness followed Mrs. C's fatigue.
Miss Thibault was as usual when I saw her last. In closing it would be idle for me to say how deeply I feel with you in this loss. You know only too well and that also I grieve for my own: for a much closer acquaintance had sprung up between us than would in so short a time under ordinary circumstances. Sometimes we live a life time in a few weeks: and somehow she [sensed?] insensibility which has encased my feelings ever since I lost my only boy two years since, the boy who was at once my child and my friend. Anything will always reach me addressed San Buena Ventura, Ventura Ca. For the present I am here and if you come to S.F. Soon I shall hope to see you again.
Kind regards to Effie if you are at home.
Amelia C. W. Truesdell
P.S. Have you a photograph of Mrs. Jackson? Is the cut in Harper's Weekly good of her some years since. Have you that stylographic pen she used in bed? Don't you think some of her inspiration would linger about it yet. I see by your letter you do not use it.
Handwritten note on envelope reads: "Sept. 14 The box has reached Vent." [Ventura]
Dear Mr. Jackson:
Thank you for the promise of the photograph when you have them taken. I have none: anything sent to "Ventura Cal" will always reach me.
Did you not see Mrs. Apponyi's article about Mrs. Jackson in the Overland? If not I will forward you a copy if you drop me a line to No. 517 Mason St. S.F. I think you would like to read it - it is simple and discursive but very loving and true. She sent you a copy. I shall be here long enough to forward it after your reply if you have not seen it. I had hoped I might see you when you came to S.F. but fear I shall not unless you are here before the 15 as I shall by that time have settled the business which detains me I trust. I have felt a certain satisfaction in keeping a kind of silent [guard?] while she is here. I go by the outer office and think how little any of the crowd suspect what a treasure is held within, and I look at the cold walls with almost a tenderness.
Have you succeeded in purchasing the piece of property of which you spoke? When you have all accomplished, please write me about it all and tell me how it looks and if you are pleased with the result.
You may indeed be thankful for the work wh. keeps your mind occupied, for the greatest of a sorrow is not at the immediate event, but in the long and dreadful months wh. follow when the loved footstep never comes. I've been through it so many times that I can trace each step [on?] from the grave - but impossible as it seems to you now there is healing. Time is a master.
Amelia C.W. Truesdell
My dear Mr Jackson:
I learn with deep regret of the death of your wife, and beg to tender you my warmest sympathy in your great bereavement.
Wm Wagner [William Wagner]
August 13th 1885
Telegram dated Aug 14 1885
New York 14
to Wm S Jackson
I tender you my warmest sympathy in your bereavement
Oct 31. 1885.
My Dear Mr Jackson,
It is a constant [report?] to me that I did not keep up at least my end of the [communication?] with our dearly beloved friend in the last months. But I went South early in the spring and did not [return?] till [May?], and the last I heard directly from her she said she hoped to be at our house in May. From May on till recently I have been traveling and so busy that I have had no moment when my mind could get into the state to do what it could do to show my love and great appreciation of Mrs. Jackson. Of her [illness?], indeed I did not hear till almost the [end?], and when the end came I was still away from home and had no opportunity to write a word in memory of her. I mention all this because it must have seemed strange to you that neither Mrs. Warner nor myself have written, not that I imagine you will doubt either the depth of our affection for her or the heavy sorrow that we feel at her loss. For me at least a great light and joy has gone utterly out of this world. I have the highest [appreciation?] for her genius, but her [friendship?] for me was one of the most precious things I [had?].
I have not written a word yet - I thank you for the [newspaper?] articles you have sent me - for I was away [so?] that I could not write the obituary in my own journal, and I have not felt like joining those who [sound?] into to attract [writers?] to their [success?] by [revelations?]. I mean, however, to write a short [open letter?] for The Century, if Gilder will [take?] it. I am very heavy hearted all the time when I think of her. She was such a [royal?] soul, and such a [royal?] friend. It would have been impertinent and only [false?] to have [expressed?] my sympathy with you in your sore bereavement. But I know what it is, all who knew her know the of it. But the is quite a [large?] to the world and to humanity. I know that the thought of their loss is no mitigation of private bereavement, but the public affection of her memory must be a tribute precious to you.
We have lately had sent us, by [her wish?], an Indian [brass plaque?], which we value exceedingly as a testimony of her remembrance. It hangs in a place of honor, and constantly reminds us of her love and her great heart. I trust that when you come east you will find time to run up and see us. We will give you a warm welcome. With Mrs. Warner's kindest regards and sympathy, believe me
Chas. Dudley Warner [Charles Dudley Warner]
Kansas City, Sept. 1. 1885.
William S. Jackson, esq.
When visiting Denver and [Manitou?] recently, with my wife, I called at your office in Denver, hoping to hear of Mrs. Jackson's return to Colorado in renewed health. You had left Denver, and soon after we heard of your departure for California. We of course, feared the worst that could happen.
Soon after our return to this place we saw notices of her death. I need not say we were greatly shocked. We had looked forward to seeing her again with most pleasant anticipations. And now, we are never to see her again on earth. It almost seems as if it could not be true, and as if a person so strong and vigorous mentally could not have succumbed to any form of disease. But alas! all that is left of her now are her works and our loved memories. It is dreadful to think of her sufferings, and not all that can be said of the value of such discipline can reconcile one to it.
You have doubtless seen some of the notices in the Eastern papers of Mrs. Jackson. The Boston Daily Advertiser contained an especially appreciative one. My wife thinks it was written by Mrs. Goddard, whose husband was my associate as proprietor and Editor of the Advertiser. These kindly words are greatful to see, and yet I can imagine that they may appear almost like a profanation to you. It seems like a tiresome meddling with private griefs, and yet, in a certain sense, she belonged to the public. By her writings she had moved interested thousands upon thousands - the most of whom had never seen her. And what was said in print merely gave voice to what was said in private.
What a beautiful life was hers! How charming and beneficent her writings. Mrs. Goddard sent us her last story of Indian Life, and we read it far away in Florence. I wrote her a letter as soon as we finished it - telling her of our great interest in the book and its objects. I think that book possesses a value and interest not inferior to anything that has been attributed to "Uncle Tom's Cabin." It should have made her famous if she had written nothing else.
Pardon me for writing so much, and after all, saying so little. But allow me to tender our warmest sympathies in this your hour of bereavement. Our only excuse is that we too, have met with a loss, as well as yourself. - although immeasurably less.
We shall be settled in our new home in Boston, at No 131 Newbury Street, by the end of October; and if you chance to be in Boston it would afford us very great pleasure to see you.
My wife joins me in kindest regards and best wishes.
Respectfully & truly your friend
Edwin F. [Waters?].
Salt Lake City, Utah
August 22. 1885
W. S. Jackson Esq.
Excuse the liberty I have taken in addressing you - a perfect stranger, but believe me it is not an idle curiosity that has called forth the desire, to know something more of Mrs. Jackson, than the papers have told us. If there are any special notices made, or sketches of her life published, or of her literary work I would be glad to know where I could obtain them. I wept for her when I heard of her illness, yet hoped she would recover and that I should see her once again in all her loveliness and strength of character. She was one of the most charming and fascinating of women. I fell in love with her when I first met her, as indeed who could help it - her conversation was like an elegantly polished poem. I think I could never tire of her society. I spent as much time with her as I could when she was in Salt Lake two years ago, but had I known I should never see her again, I would have made a greater effort to lay everything else aside, that I might see her more often and hear her discuss those questions in which her interest was much absorbed.
As it is however, I have some pleasant hours to look back upon past in her sweet company, and she was one to whom I could speak with ease as though I had known her intimately. I mourn with you, and as far as lies in my power I sympathize with you in your great bereavement; but God alone can bind up the broken heart, and pour the healing balm of consolation into the bleeding wounds; giving that sweet peace that comes only of trusting in Him.
I have an ardent desire to obtain a picture of Mrs. Jackson, would it be asking too much of you to inform me if there are any, and whether you are willing I should have one. I assure you it would be very gratifying to me, to have one, and I think she would be more than willing herself. She knows something of the intense admiration I cherished for her, and I have good reason to believe she cherished for me a warm affection. I might go on writing of Mrs. Jackson until I wearied you, with words, but I could never express in language my love for her and my appreciation of her life-work. The memory of the happy hours I have spent with her will ever be a source of infinite pleasure; she touched with exquisite sympathy the finest chords in my nature. Among the many people I have met in the course of an eventful life, only a very few have ever impressed me as did Mrs. Jackson.
Pardon me for intruding upon your time and patience, and believe me devotedly attached to the one, whose loss you must feel more deeply than any other possibly can.
Emmeline B. Wells
To W. S. Jackson Esq.
Letterhead reads: St. Mary's Hall: rt. Rev. H.B. Whipple, D.D., Rector; Miss C.B., Burchan, Principal; Rev. Geo B. Whipple, Treasurer and Chaplain.
Faribault, Minn. Aug 13 1885
My dear [Lev?]
I do not know the address of Mr Jackson. Will you forward this to him. I do not know where my heart has been more deeply touched than to day when I read the news of Mrs Jacksons death.
I revered her for her deep pity for the poor and helpless, for her heroic defence of a wronged people. In common with thousands of her countrymen I admired, honored, & loved one of the most gifted and [greatest?] of her sex. When we last met she was the picture of perfect health & I cannot realize that she has left us to join the greater company on the other shore. For her I cannot mourn for she is in the care of our God & Father who loves those who share His for the sorrowful. She is with those redeemed ones for whom Our Savior passed this way before her. Will you assure all of her loved ones that I send them my love & sympathy & will pray God to on their hearts & lead them all the way until they are reunited where partings are over & "the former things passed away"
H. B. Whipple
L. Thibault Esq
Do you know this old ballad?
"I have heard of a beautiful [home?]
"Little children are never hungry
"They say the sun shines brighter
"And some of my neighbors tell me
Sioux Falls, Dakota
My dear Mr. Jackson:
I have just heard of dear Mrs. Jackson's going [home?]. The world seems changed since the news came. I never thought of her as dying. And we have no right to think of her as dead.
Death can never for one moment be associated with her.
I have always looked forward to the time when I should meet her again. How often I have wanted to show her my fine sturdy boys and wee girl.
I have been in such constant communication with her thru her writings that I shall miss her [more?]. But it is so sweet to think of that wonderful life going on in in brighter [fuller?] opportunities.
"Who knoweth what hath [much?] of thee"?
I hesitate to break [with?] the awful solitude of your grief, yet if [one?] who loved her may have the right to intrude, think of me as sympathizing with you with full heart.
How [much?] she opened up to me!
Yr's very Truly
Eliza L. Wilkes
August 15th, 1885
I do not think that either of us can [bear?] many words on the subject of the great loss that has come to us both, but I must just tell you that I am grieving for you from my heart of hearts. The summer has anxiety about our precious girl, but I never gave up hope in spite of all - in spite of her own brave patient resume of her condition and her evident disbelief in the chance of recovery. I never gave up hope till yesterday brought the news that hope was ended.
I am so thankful that you could be with her for those last two [months?] for I have [freely?] comprehended the extreme difficulty of the [position?] and the impossibility of throwing aside or neglecting the trust placed in your hands, as you might have [done?] your own private business taking the She comprehended it too as I know from [her letters?].
It will be a great comfort if you can some day find time and heart to write me a little about the end - how she seemed when you got to San Francisco - how she seemed as the last moments [drew nr?]? My last note from her was written August 2nd the day you got there. I shall miss her letters inexpressibly. She has scarcely missed a writing for the past fourteen months. And it will be hard indeed to let Sunday go by writing to her.
We must comfort ourselves, dear friend, [you?] in your heavier sorrow and me in mine by the thought that she is spared what would have been hard the long dragging discouragement of and [unpained?] health, the and decadence of old age. I still find it impossible to believe she is dead. She abounded with life. She seemed so full of the very essence of it. And lived so much more [enthralled?] than most of us every day that she did live. That it seems as if loosing her the parted with a portion of its vital [heat?]. But I believe, and I hope you do, that she lives still, in some more perfect and satisfactory way and is not lost to us forever. I hope the lesson of the patience, courage, cheer and unselfish desire to make it easy for everybody around her that she suffered will help me to bear it better when my time too comes to die.
Dear Will - do not forget me or let me [quite?] drop out of your life because she, who first made us acquainted, is free. Let us be friends always for her sake.
God bless you.
Sarah C. Woolsey
[ Cottage. Jackson N.H.?]
September 23. 1885
My dear Will,
I learn [through?] a letter from Mr. Oliver Gleason that you are already in New York. & I fear that my note of the 11th of September was too late to reach you in Colorado. In it I asked two [favors?] came to Cali. for our darling is already laid to rest. And I cannot come down as I desired. The other was, that if the furniture of the Berkeley rooms was to be sold. I might speak for two with which I have special associations. I not designate if dear Helen has already made a different have any [formal?] in the matter. I should only embarrass you by expressing any [wish?]. but you will let me know how the matter stands to allow of my writing before it is finally concluded.
Dear Helen sent the material for four new valences to Mr. Niles during the last [month?] of her life. And he only waits your sanction before I think you will be glad to learn that he [proposed?] to have the selection of the and the short stories in my hands. I or not think the could be so lovingly desirous to make what should [be?] or I. And it will be a comfort and pleasure to feel that I am doing [something?] still for her. -That is one of the hard things when those we love die. They do not need us any more. Zeph is already in for the sake of making the new safe - And I have corrected the [...] It is a powerful story. And so far finished that I think find with the conclusion.
Dear Will, I fear there is little chance of me meeting this time, as [you?] are so far away. But if you come to New York again this winter can you not come to Newport? I long to see you.
Your affectionate friend,
Article in the Daily Gazette [Aug. 14, 1885?]
Yesterday morning we published the sad news of the death of Mrs. W. S. Jackson. It has only been known for a few days that her illness was serious, and, while private letters recently received have occasioned much alarm, the news of her death was a shock to the whole community. There will be mourning among the thousands of people who knew her through her writings, but the sorrow comes nearer to us who have lost a kind neighbor and honored friend. The sunshine which her sweet songs and charming prose have brought to the former they still have, but we have lost the genial sunshine of her presence forever. For over ten years she has made this her home and she has had a deep and abiding interest in everything that concerned its permanent prosperity. Her heart was never cold and her pen never idle, where any movement was on foot to make this city more beautiful or healthful. She loved our canons and mountains and has revealed their beauties to the world. She was jealous of any effort that would mar or monopolize these beauties, and her earnest efforts to save Cheyenne canon to the public will be remembered. Her objection to tolls was not personal because a free pass through the toll gate was tendered her. This she refused. But she saw the number of families of working people that went to Cheyenne canon on Sunday and knew they would be deprived of this beautiful resting place if toll was charged, and hence her earnest championship of a free canon for the public. To this community the loss of such a friend is irreparable. What the loss is to those who were numbered among her personal friends cannot be told.
The world knows Mrs. Jackson chiefly as a writer. But this is not the place for elaborate criticism of her literary work. Her active literary career, so fruitful in imperishable contributions to our prose and poetry, will call forth careful notices from those who can speak with more authority and discrimination. The place of one whom Higginson called the first woman poet in America and whom Emerson called the first American poet is assured. But we will refer to her later writings, not to speak of their literary merit, but because they tell so much of her noble nature. In 1879 the sad story of the Poncas told by "Bright Eyes" enlisted all the warm sympathies of her woman's heart. It incited her to investigate the alleged Indian wrongs and she found a blacker page of history than she had dreamed. This led her to write "A Century of Dishonor." A whole winter was spent in our large libraries east in gathering materials for this work. The drudgery was immense. The work could not have a large circulation and could not add to her literary reputation. It was a labor of love in behalf of a injured an oppressed race. Her visit to California in 1882 revealed to her the terrible oppression of the Mission Indians. Since then her time has been almost exclusively given to investigating their wrongs and trying to right them. She has held a government commission to investigate, without pay for her services, and has made elaborate reports to the government that have had great influence in official circles. The magazines have also been used to aid in this cause and her widely read articles on the Mission Indians in the Century have aroused general sympathy for their misfortunes. But she did more. Her interest in this cause inspired the most important addition to American fiction for the year 1884. Mrs. Jackson naturally had a great aversion to people, especially women, with a cause. She did not belong to any of the women's organizations that worked in a public way for political or social reforms. Her career had been almost purely literary. She had written almost exclusively works of imagination or description where there was no "cause" except her own sweet fancies. But the story of Indian wrongs turned the whole current of her career. She stopped writing to please; she forgot any ambition for literary fame, if she ever had any; and she wrote only to tell of Indian wrongs and to arouse the public and secure redress. Ramona was well for the purpose , and it served it well. At the same time it has given, what she did not seek, the most substantial basis on which her literary fame as a writer may rest. We have referrred at length to this part of her life work because it reveals so clearly to the world the nobleness of her nature, her intense love of justice, the quick sympathy for the wronged, the strength of moral purpose and the generous impulses that only her near friends fully understood.
But this tells nothing of the more womanly graces with which nature so wonderfully endowed her. The home her presence graced and her taste beautified, the social life that her nice feeling refined and her sunny disposition brightened, the friendships that she made valuable with the rare qualities of her mind and her broad sympathies, the high tone of thought and feeling that her presence everywhere inspire best testify to these.
It is inexpressibly sad to have such a light go out when burning so brightly and beneficently. It is not given to many to lead a life so full of blessings to others. Literature that she adorned, the Indian whose cause she championed, her reader who felt the genial glow of her writings, the friends she loved, the home she blessed, have all met with a loss that only years will reveal.
Col Springs Oct 22/85
My dear Kate
Just to thank you & your good Father & you all for your kind words of sympathy & sorrow with me in our incompariable loss I write you this line. Tomorrow I go to San Francisco & expect to bring back with me, to this place, all the earthly remains of the strong, brave, [true?], & loving woman whose life has gone from our sights. With sorrow for our loss but with joy at the full belief in the life beyond in which Helen died. I am
Your friend Wm S Jackson
My dear Miss Woolsey -
I don't think I can tell you how much pleasure your letter to me has given me. I did indeed ask you to write to me, but I have often thought since that dear morning that I was at your house that I was ashamed of myself for asking so much and I little thought that you would remember to write me. I am so glad to know everything that you told me. I don't think the road to the mountain where Mrs Jackson is buried could have been opened when I was in Colorado, for although we went so often to Cheyenne Mountain, the description of the spot is not familiar to me. I wish I could see it. Don't you think that it is very unusual for any person to come so intimately with all the interests of his in his friends as Mrs Jackson did. I wasn't surprised when Mrs Jackson was first gone from us that we were continually thinking we would like to tell her one thought or incident, or have her opinion of some act or advice for some decision, but as time goes by it seems just the same, and I think no day passes that Mrs Jackson is not thought or spoken of: and so we have thought of you very often this summer and I thank you so much for your letter; I think it must have been a very happy summer for Helen Banfield with all its sad memories.
[Mount Desert?] seems a long way from Island and I fear that this year your kinsfolk on their little island cannot hope to see you, but we do hope that another summer we may see the fulfillment of the promise made so long ago to let us see you in [one's?] own home and know you more.
My father and mother send their most cordial regards, and will you not give mine also to your [Justin?].
Always most cordially
12th August, 1887
Dear Miss Woolsey,
You know I can't help thinking of you today - can't help telling you so. I feel that you feel, only just so much more deeply, all that I feel about Her who lives in my heart more today than she did when I last looked at her two years ago.
Then she was gone - so impossibly far off - now she is with me so often. Only I want her voice beyond words some times!
My seeing you seems very remotely probable - though it shall be some day. My poor mother is perfectly well in body with a mind that daily closes to all outside impressions, and I shall stay and watch the shadow for many years, I think.
Do you understand it all? I am in a very hopeless darkness.
S. Thibault. [Sara Thibault]
Forgive my saying this to you
Portsmouth. Aug? Sept 15th /85
My very dear Sarah Woolsey,
dated Aug. 13th I opened last Sunday morning. It was such a pleasure to [read?] it. Your quick sympathy I was sure of, but I did not count on so many loving words, & they touched me deeply. I have been [truly tried?] & wept many tears over the sad change which has come into my life, & have been at times quite [rebellious?], but I am better now & better able to bear it. It is only a little month last Saturday since I parted from my sister [Ellen?] it seems an age, one short fortnight in England, setting sail the 30th of August, arriving in Boston last Saturday after a weary tempestuous voyage which shook me up, & literally cast me down in such a manner that the effects have scarcely past after all these days. I shall only marry one, dear, & it shall be you. I have often said if only you had been a man I would never have [asked?] till you asked me to share my life with you. I will wed you with a ring which I will put upon your finger when we meet. I will not be a very exacting wife, nor a jealous one, only a very loving one. I want to hear all about your visit to Helen's home, some day when we sit side by side you will tell me. When that will be I scarcely know for I am so bewildered now I can make no plans, further than this that I am to go next week to North [Hanover?] to visit a niece whose husband it is has been building or superintending a hospital which is being constructed in that neighborhood. My sister Mary is such an invalid, & her [Commodore?] also, that I feel I have a [mission?] here, & I am only too thankful that there is something definite for me to do - [a p.c.?] poor Annie reported Emily better, poor Annie. She has had a very anxious summer. She said could make no plan about [Mary?] returning to America - Miss Irwin had been with [them?] for a few days, & Miss [Gorhaus?] was there on her way to spend a week more or more. Dora I hope is well? Give my love to her. I long to embrace you both, but there is plenty of time now, no hurry to cross that stormy ocean. Europe seems 6000 miles off, I am sorry to say.
Your loving and affectionate
Engraved visiting cards to Wm. S. Jackson, dated Nov. 9, 1885, from Mr. & Mrs. Henry Burke Closson, 110 East 47th Street and Miss Ellen Brinley Bacon.
Aug. 15 1885, card signed by H. A. Risley, F. O. Wood, Elizabeth R. Risley, B. W. Steele, William S. Jackson, Fanny C. Parrish, and Sue F. Wood with the following inscription:
I do not count the hours I spend
maintained by Special Collections; last revised, 8-2004, jr