Colorado College Tutt Library

Helen Hunt Jackson 4-1-3 transcription

Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 4, Ms 0348, Box 1, Folder 3, Letters from HHJ to her niece Helen Fiske Banfield
Transcribed by Nancy Knipe, 2002

Letter 1

June 2, 1885

Dear Helen,

Mr. Fiske has sent on the codicil for my will-wrong-so I have had to send it back. That will take two weeks.

In case I do not get it here in time to sign it, I want to impress it on you to carry out its provisions. The $100 a year to Effie for the whole time she has been with me--& the items for Maggie Jackson & Mrs. Price as I have written them out. I am also impressed with a fear that by the wording of my old will all my personal property at the Springs will come to you - books furniture etc. If this is so, please give it all back to Mr. Jackson. Let the home stand untouched as it is. Tell him this is my latest wish, however it may stand in the will.

I trust it may be so [ordered?] that some one who has known & loved me will be the mistress of the dear home.

Lovingly Aunty.

Letter 2

[no date]

Dear H.-

Among the things at the Berkeley, you will find a curious square made of three strips sewed together - & hand wrought in gay colors on white-It is from Damascus - very old called a Kilim. I was going to have it to throw over the foot of the big lounge in my room - which was to be covered with an old gold colored stuff which Mrs. Hunt has. & some fringe also to trim it. The fringe can be dressed over, so as to answer very well - and the lounge will then match the low chair covered with the same stuff. I do
hope you can keep all this furniture & make a pretty home sitting room somewhere. You will not get half its value to sell it-such an old claw foot table as that is not picked up every day & the little Japanese cabinet has not its match in N. York! The biggest Indian baskets I use for wood baskets, to stand by the fireplace. They are very effective. You better give Annie Davenport one. All made by the Mission Indians in Southern California. There will come to you in the trunks from Colorado two very handsome linen table cloths -- matching two sets of large dinner napkins which will go in the trunks from here to you. I'd like to have Annie Davenport have one of these sets, - they are equally valuable. There will be some more new table linen in the trunks -- use it at home or put it away till you have a home of your own - as you please.

The foreign China, glass etc. at French's will have to be all unpacked there & set out on a counter to be reassorted [sic] & divided & then repacked - half to go to Annie & half for you. I have asked Miss Horsford to meet you there to tell you where the things are from which is of course half their interest. The Horsfords have duplicates of it all.
My clothes will all be sent to you - use them as is best in the family. Don't one of you put on a shred of black for me-this is my earnest request. The White Pongee silk dress trimmed with the Indian work, I would like kept as it is. It will be an interesting heirloom for your grandchildren -- if flood & fire spare it so long. The embroidery was done by an old Mission Indian Woman, 84 years old, in San Juan Capistrano Cal. (She had never worn spectacles). She is the one described in my article in the Century Mag. on the Mission Indians.


Letter 3

July 19--

Dear Helen--

You'll get a curious medley of notes after I am dead--Every day I think of some new thing -- & my memory is growing indistinct.

I am seized today with a misgiving that in my will, made in 1880 -- in which I leave my property chiefly to you, I did not remember to put in the legacy to Dr. Cate of the $1000 I promised to leave him or his heirs -- to pay him for taking me to Colorado. If it isn't there You must pay it. It is an obligation. I have also thought I would [better?] suggest to you to divide my best clothes between Annie Davenport & yourself; if she has no feeling about wearing them, some of them will come in well in her wardrobe--& among the white dresses is a linen lawn trimmed with open work done by the Indians , -- let her have that -- as you have two done with work made by them. There is a big bundle too of similar work -- let Mamie & Kitty each have some to keep -- It will be interesting to your grandchildren! I do hope you will be able to keep all the furniture of my apartment in New York. It will go a good ways towards making a pleasant sitting room for you all -- if you can only persuade your mother to a fixed home somewhere.

The big writing desk I want you always to keep. Ramona was written at it.

Lovingly, Aunty

Letter 4

[two notes on one sheet, dated at bottom of each note]

Dear Helen-- As long as you live, and Katy and Effie live with Mr. Jackson I want you to give each of them $5 at Christmas as a present from me

I have just thought of this as a way of keeping myself in relation with them and doing them a favor.



Aug. 7.

(over) [written in lower right corner]

Dear Helen --

Among the things at the Berkeley you'll find a queer shaggy old thing -- a lecteric [?]--glass broken, Latin Psalm printed on it. It is from the old San Diego Mission. Have that carefully packed & sent by Express prepaid to
Mrs. A.C. W. Truesdell,


Aug. 8.--

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