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HHJ 5-1-4 transcription

Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 5, Ms 0351, Box 1, Folder 4, letters from HHJ to her sister Ann, 1881-1884 and undated; letters from HHJ to her niece Helen Banfield, 1882-1885; letters from Everett Banfield to his wife Ann, 1864; telegram from William S. Jackson to HHJ, 1884
Transcribed by Nancy Knipe, 2002

[1.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. No date. [estimate fall, 1881, because of references to Horsfords. See #2, and in that letter, the reference to setting out for CA in Dec., which happened in 1881.)


Wed. Am.
Dear Annie-

Glad you got through so well. - I laughed at the thought of your proposing to me to go to Weston!

--If I had no cold, I wouldn't dare to take that trip in this weather. As it is, I shall be thankful if I am well enough to think it safe to go out to the Horsfords on Friday. - My cold is still very bad -- & if I get one bit more, I should have an attack of bronchitis & be sick in bed for ten days.-

You'll find me here tomorrow - come in when you can.-

My love Helen

[2.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. No date. [estimate fall, 1881, because of reference to setting out for CA in Dec., which happened in 1881)

Thurs. Eve.

Dear Annie-

I am just packed up - to go back to N. York - having spent one week here with the Horsfords.-I am very sorry you could not come down & stay with me at the Parker House - I was shut up in my room there a whole week - with my cold. - I would not dare to come to Wolfboro at all - neither do I dare to go down to Tauton - I can't run any risks of another attack - I suppose I ought to have started for California before now.

I go to N. York tomorrow night -- & set out for Cal. Dec. 18th - shall be at the Berkeley till I go.-

I hope you will not stay in Wolfboro this winter.-

In great haste - lovingly


[3.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. [No date. Estimate that it dates from fall of 1881, before HHJ traveled to CA]

Dear Annie -

Delayed again ! I begin to be almost superstitious about this journey.

Kate Horsford has just telegraphed

"Cornelia quite sick cannot go! see letter," -

I still hope it may be only one of Cornelia's feverish turns such as she had two or three of in Europe, which last but three or four days - but still it may be something worse - so I possess [?] my soul in what patience I can till tomorrow.-

Three weeks tomorrow since I was all packed to start! -

Yours constantly [?]
Friday Morning Helen

[4.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. Dec. 21, 1881.

Los Angeles.

Dec. 21, 1881
Dear Annie-

I arrived here safe & sound on Sunday eve. - after the most comfortable journey I ever made in my life. I had dreaded it greatly - I left N.Y. Sat. eve. Dec. 10.--& I got here Sunday p.m. Dec. 18 - and I had a four hours rest in Chicago - a whole day in Kansas City -- & a day & a night at Las Vegas in N. Mexico! - Will joined me at La Junta in Colorado & came with me as far as Las Vegas & staid with me the night & day there. It was a very interesting plan - Indeed the whole journey has been full of interest. - Will will be in N. York through January -- & will come out here the last of Feb. - so he will not be alone at home, much, for which I am glad.-

The air here is mild & pleasant - Heliotropes - roses & geraniums are in full bloom in the open air. I have a little fire however, all the time, as I am so unfortunate as not to be able to get a sunny room. The town is full of invalids & all good rooms full.-I have a good many letters to people here -- & shall have a very interesting time in collecting material for my articles - If it were not for that, I could not stand the loneliness of it - even for sake of my bronchial tubes. It never snows here - so I do not think I shall have bronchitis. I expect to stay here one month & then go to Santa Barbara for a month.-Address here, however till I give you another address. Do write often - I feel farther away than I did in Europe. - I hope Helen will have a nice time in Washington.-I thought from your description of her dresses they could do nicely, so I did not send her the silk which was rather old for her anyhow. I shall wear it next summer & give it her in the fall, to make all over in some way.-Goodbye -

Love to all - ever lovingly - Helen

[5.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. Jan. 11, 1882

Los Angeles

Jan. 11.-1882

Dear Annie-

Your letter of Dec. 28 arrived here on Jan. 8! - so you see we are a long way apart: -- I can't for the life of me remember whether I wrote you on my arrival here or not - I think I must have done so.-

I can hardly realize that I have been here three weeks & two days - I am so busy that the days fly - I was the first ten days at a horrid hotel - then got in at a queer little private boardinghouse - where the food is very good -- & I am getting used to the ways - but I do hate boardinghouses - I write or study up my notes etc. every morning till one - then lunch -- & drive every afternoon till five - Sometimes I go off for the whole day -- & I have twice spent a night at friend's homes. - I have made some very pleasant acquaintances --& am intensely interested in looking up all I can about the old Mission days - 100 years ago. - I shall be able to make a most interesting account of them I am sure if the other regions I visit turn out as full as this.-

The climate is not exactly what I expected - for it is thus far as dry as Colorado - not a drop of rain yet -- & so cold that I drive in my sealskin jacket always after four o'clock -- & have a good fire in my room night & morning.-Some days, all day long.-- Still the flowers are in full bloom every where - callas, heliotropes, geraniums, &c. - but all that you saw in San Francisco -so it is not novelty to you.-In mid day it is like summer - everybody sits on the piazzas - but as soon as the sun sinks. It begins to grow cold. - I enjoy the absence of snow -- & the outdoor bloom, & life, greatly - but I must say that I should not think it would be as a good climate for real invalids : -- I doubt if it is.-

On the 21st I shall set out for Santa Barbara - drive all the way - three days on the road -- & see two old Mission sites between here & there -

--So you can send your next letter here

--I am sorry you have not gone away from Wolfboro - It seemed to me you needed a change & could afford now to take it - but you know best I suppose.-

--I mail to Kitty today my old last years Almanac [?] cards - I thought she might like the pretty borders for something - also one or two Christmas cards I have had sent me -
Love to all - Goodbye - Ever lovingly - Helen

[6.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. April 7, 1882[?]

Los Angeles

April 7.

Dear Annie -

It seems no news is not always good news. - I was beginning to be anxious about you - it was so long since I had heard - when Annie's letter last night told me of your diptheritic [sic] attack at her house. I suppose I must have lost a letter from you as I did not even know of your going there.-

I am very very sorry you have had a touch of diptheritic [sic] poisoning - for I know how bad it is to shake off.-impossible I think : I don't believe it is ever thoroughly out of ones blood. - With every attack I get I have some of that same, old diptheritic [sic] prostration which nobody knows anything about who has not had it.-I wish I could have been on the spot to warn you against over doing - I am afraid you started for home before you were able-- & shall feel anxious till I hear from you directly.-You will need to take [?] - raw eggs & all the milk you can drink for many weeks yet: -- & above all things don't work when you are tired.- no matter what has to give way.-

I have been shut up in the house four days with a bronchial cold - the first I have had all winter - I am not sure it is not a phase of nose cold which had been bothering me greatly before this set in. - Even since the wild flowers began to be in full bloom I have been sneezing. - Will is still detained in Colorado - he was to have been here the 1st of March sure - but he has had to stay to attend to a law suit - The Denver & N.G R.R. condemned a great piece of property in Pueblo, which he owns half of -- & they would give so little for it, that the question was carried to court -- & Will is the only one who can fight it out - He telegraphed me yesterday - "case postponed again. May not reach you till May 1st." - which is pretty trying.-The Century Editors also have telegraphed that Birch the artist who was to have illustrated my articles can't come -- & they must send another man who can't be here before the 19th - so I am found to lie by, idle here -- & can have my bronchial cold better than at any other time - but I hate it all, all the same. I think spring is my unlucky time - Last year at this time I was sitting on my trunks waiting for telegrams from Will about the California journey.-

I was greatly pleased to learn through Annie's letter of the success of my plan for Helen's not teaching next year. I have never heard a word from her or Mrs. Barker[?] since I wrote about it - I suppose their letters have gone astray.-- Now I shall feel easy about the dear child - A year's rest will set her all right & who knows what may happen in that year. - I most earnestly hope she may meet some one who will prove just the right man to give her a good home -- & a happy life as wife & mother. I hope she can take a pleasant [?] going somewhere with some of her friends.-Goodbye - Do send me a line let Mamie write if you are too busy. - Send always to Roberts Bros. Boston. - Love to all -

Ever lovingly Helen
I am delighted to hear that Annie is so well -- & that you & I will be grandmothers next summer!

[7.] Letter from HHJ to HFB. Jan. 6, 1882. [Date actually 1883? HHJ was in CA in Jan. 1882]


Sat. Am

Jan 6 -

Dear Helen-

It makes me laugh to think of your fearing I should be sorry you had accepted the offer to teach three classes a day at Vassar instead of spending that time in washing dishes - scrubbing & scrubbing floors! - I can't tell you how glad I am! -- I have felt exceedingly vexed about your being tied down to this intolerable drudgery of a daily routine of kitchen work, during this year when I wanted you to have not only rest but a "good time" . ---- It is not that the housework is so very hard in itself - but it is the knowing that it has got to be done day after day after day - I have never done it - but I realize what it would be -- & I often pity even my own servants when I think of it. - It seems to me more hateful & horrible than any other form of daily routine, except the tending of; machines in steam driven mills. That I think would be worse! But that is the only thing I would not rather do, than what is called "general housework." -- It is not so very "general" - it is awfully particular, if you do it decently and as fast as you do it, you have to undo it. -- Wash a plate at nine - dirty it at one, wash it at two, dirty it at seven, wash it at half past seven, then go to bed - & get up, early in the morning to dirty your plate again to get it ready to be washed at nine! - That's my idea of housework! -- and what's true of your plate is true of your chair - your table - your pillow - your bed - your washbowl - your soap dish -- & last but by no means least, your chamber pot! -- It makes me ill to think of it! -- and it has really annoyed me, more than I could state every time I have thought of you & your mother doing it - with the misery of cold weather added too - when a paltry hundred dollars or two would save you from it all.-- The only thing I regret about this teaching is that I had hoped you would have some pleasant invitations to Albany [?] or Washington, or Boston. & I fear you may lose the chance of those. - You can't attend to getting your white polonaise & blk. Velvet skirt made either, can you? - or perhaps you can do all that in Poughkeepsie.-

I am glad you like Mrs. Cate so much. I heartily like her - and I am sure her being in Poughkeepsie will be one of the pleasantest features of your life there.-

If your father should make pleasant acquaintances among the lawyers in Poughkeepsie, & it should result in his forming some business connections there, [crossed out: & getting into] a partnership, or something of that sort -- & if you could have a few classes in Vassar, as you do now - I think you could not have anywhere a pleasanter life. - I suppose that to hear three classes a day, especially in only one study.-could be really no more brain work than could be good for you-

But you will not permit your mother to undertake all the housework herself with no servant - I am afraid she will want to try to do that - and she must not do it. She will entirely break down if she does.-She is far from well I think -- & ought for these next few years to take life just as easy as it is possible for her to do.-

I go to New York tonight. Mr. Jackson has telegraphed that he will arrive there Monday morning.

I do not yet know in what Hotel we shall be - but you can write to the Berkeley & my sister [?] will send it to me. -- I shall go there tomorrow: -- & stay till Monday -

Love to all -

Your aff Aunty.

[on back of letter]: I sent you a little box yesterday with some odds & ends of decorations I thought might be of use to you & your mother in going out so much more than you have been in the habit of doing.
--The two old hats[?] had just reached that stage when in such washing as I have to have, they would go to bits, but I thought by careful washing they might be pretty for some time yet.--

[8.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. No date.

New York

Sat. A.M.
Dear Annie -

I have a dressmaker here today -- & can't take time to answer your letter at length - but I want to secure the return mail to implore you not to be so foolish about all these money matters & above all not to oppose my plan for Mamie's going to [?] again.
--I have telegraphed this Am, to Helen; on no account to communicate your proposal to Mrs. Barker[?], that I have written you, & "hope to convince" you. - I cannot imagine how you could think for a moment of such a proposal. I consider that Mrs. Barker already makes a handsome deduction in allowing the $75.-So for your proposing calmly & coolly to take every penny of Helen's hard earned salary away from her - (even supposing she were quixotic enough to pledge herself to it beforehand--) -- I should say you would much better accept a little help from your only sister - who has no child in this world -- & who naturally holds your children next to her own! -- I am utterly at a loss to comprehend your position - I think you have a mania on the subject of debt! -- & will be as crazy as Grandpa was on that point if you don't look out! -- As for Mamie - I tell you honestly that I think she will break down into a hopeless invalid for life, if you keep her on at [?] public schools - Let me keep her at school just this year -- & then next year, if you are able to afford it, I won't say a word.-You say you want to pay me back what I have given you. I shall never take a dollar of it - never - but you may consider this $400 as paid back to me, & I choose to have it put into Mamie's schooling. -
-- Now don't grieve me --. & do Mamie a real lasting injury by persisting in this absurd idea.
--Helen's card to you expresses only the healthful & natural feeling which a common sense view of the situation would teach - I write in great haste - excuse my brevity. -- Telegraph to Helen that it is all right
-- for Mrs. B. can't keep the position for Mamie much longer.-

Annie arrived here this morning & has gone to Brooklyn - She looks tired - I hope very much she will get the situation at [Miss Runds?] -
--I am delighted Mr. Fiske had $200 for you.-- If you can have $2000 a year, you can get on very comfortably if you will only be sensible about not giving every body back all the presents thy have ever made you.-

If ever I am in reduced circumstances & need this money -- & you have it to pay me, I'll ask you for it, just as freely as I give it to you now! - I promise you that.-

Yours lovingly


[9.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. Nov. 6, 1883.

Col. Springs

Tues. Eve.

Nov. 6,

Dear Annie-

I have been many times on the point of writing to you and have wondered very much why you did not write - but I thought no news was good news, and as I have been exceedingly busy, put it off.

If seems no news was not good news, in this instance. I am very much grieved to hear of Helen's breakdown. I have no doubt malaria is the occasion of it: there are few places in N. Jersey free from it. But while malaria is the occasion - the cause is far back -in that murderous Vassar. Perhaps when you have had three daughters break down with nervous prostration, you will begin to think there is some truth in what I have said about that infernal institution. - I believe I will devote six months some time, to hunting up the list of its victims. --. A young lady has just come home to her parents here, all broken down - after only a few months there. - Setting aside all question of the course of study, the mere living in such a caravanserai seeing so many faces each day - is enough of itself to strain any nervous system. - I couldn't myself endure the mere human contact of such a crowd day in & day out, even if I had nothing to do but to walk round and suck my thumbs!-

I blame myself greatly for not having tried to hinder Helen's teaching this year. -- but I felt so deeply the probability of its being on the whole less strain on her than to stay at home & do housework, that I said less than I otherwise should.

I do hope that you will now have a servant, & let the home life be as easy and pleasant as possible. There is no reason whatever why you should not with your present income. Keep one servant - Plenty of Professors families live on incomes no larger - & live pleasantly & comfortable too. -

This break down of Helen's is probably not a serious one if she can have an easy pleasant life - If she has to do hard housework - or disagreeable housework - she may become feeble & lose mental tone.-
The worst thing about these overstrains of nerve strength in these collegiate courses is that they do not tell, at the time. - A vigorous young person like Helen can go a long way & at a very injurious pace on capital, & not know it-

But it is just like living on pecuniary capital - exactly - The first thing you know, you have neither capital nor income!

I suppose it is all waste words for me to preach to you in this way - You will go on, keeping Mamie in the same mill -- & she has not half Helen's strength to begin with.

Such a quiet home school as Mrs. Barker's is the only place where in my opinion, it is - safe, to put girls. -- Even those are objectionable; --but infinitely less than the larger ones. - Of course Mamie's boarding at home makes a great gain - but even so, I think there is too much strain on her. -

This Moloch of education is being fed at a terrible rate now-a-days. - There will come a reacting before long. - Give a woman a good strong healthy body to be a wife & mother, & bring forth healthy strong children -- & you have done not only more for her, but more for the world, than if you give her all the languages, sciences &c. on the Vassar programme. -

I have been shut up in my room for a week with bronchitis - the just punishment for having staid on here so late. - Just one year ago this week I did the same thing. - it is folly for me to stay here after the danger of snow. A week ago last Sunday, we had a frightful storm of snow & wind -- & my old tubes wheezed up immediately. I haven't had an attack since the one a year ago this week -- & I am exceedingly vexed with myself -

I shall come East next week - probably the 12th if I do not get a fresh cold - I presume I shall be in N. York most of the winter - I have nothing to take me to California again - much as I should like to go, on account of climate. However, with care, I get on very well at the East; -- anywhere, in fact, except in this dry cold air here. It is a terrible trial to be driven out of my house in this way. I hope it will not last always.

The summer was less uncomfortable than usual - as we had a good deal of rain. Whenever it rains here, it is an unspeakable relief to me.-

Mr. Jackson is well - all but his dyspepsia! - He had to be in N. York a month in Aug. & Sept. -- & that is one reason I have held on so long. I couldn't bear to go, so soon after his getting back. I hope he will come to N. York by New Years, at the latest. - but I am afraid he will not spend so much time there as he did last winter.

I shall be at the Berkeley. - Shall make a visit in Cambridge & Boston as usual. - but I do not know when it will be.

--Are you going to be in the same house in Poughkeepsie as before? - It seems to me a great deal of trouble as well as expense to be transporting a whole family back & forth twice a year as you do. Would it not be wiser to live in Poughkeepsie altogether? I should think you could hardly find a pleasanter place. -I will send a letter to Helen by this mail -- & hope I can cheer her up a little. -

Goodbye - ever lovingly, Helen

[10.] Letter from HHB to AFB. Dec.18, 1883.

New York

The Berkeley

Dec. 18, 1883
Dear Annie-

I suppose you must be somewhere but where, I have no idea - so I send this letter to Mr. Fiske to mail to you. I hope no news is good news - but I never feel sure of it now. -- & shall be anxious till I hear from you.-

I thought it better to give my little Christmas gifts in money - as one is sure to buy the wrong thing - Please five Mamie & Kitty each $5, to do what they like with -- & with the remaining $15, buy something for yourself, that you would not otherwise have bought.-

Mr. Jackson arrived here on Sunday - to my great surprise - nearly took the life out of me, by walking quietly into the room as I sat at my table writing him a letter! - He will be here past the Holidays - which will be a great pleasure.-

Do send me a line to say that you are all well - if you are!

Ever affly - Helen

[11.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. [in pencil: 1884]

The Berkeley

Thurs. Am.
Dearest Annie,

I forgot to enclose this letter of Winters.-

I think I ought also to qualify my statement last night that my judgment is against Helen's going to Colorado.

I have no judgment in the case one way or the other. What I should have said, that my instinct is of fear rather than of hope of the result of the experiment.

Still, I think that Mr. Jackson's strong impression that it would do her good, & not harm, ought to be counted for something.-

As against that, is to be set off the fact, that he is ignorant of disease, especially of mental disease - or hysterical conditions -- & always pooh poohs the latter.

I will write a line to Helen, for you to give her, if you decide to propose the Colorado plan -

Lovingly H.

[12.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. Monday P.M. [?]
[estimate this letter written early Jan., 1884, as HFB and WSJ leave the East by train for CO]

Monday P.M. [?]
Dear Annie-

A letter from Helen & Mr. J. together has just come -

Helen says she did not sleep much but "rested beautifully -

"You do not know dear Aunty how much better I feel already after the three days in N. York."

Mr. J. says

"All goes well. My boy seems very well & happy & says she is all right."

"I have great faith my boy is going to be very contented and happy." ---

So far - so good.-- Dr. Lippe says he thinks it is the thing for her. -

Lovingly -


[13.] Telegram from WSJ to HHJ. Jan. 6, 1884.

This Company TRANSMITS and DELIVERS messages only on conditions limiting its liability, which have been
Assented to by the sender of the following message. Errors can be guarded against only by repeating a message back to the sending station for comparison and the company will not hold itself liable for errors or delays in the transmission or delivery of Unrepeated Night messages sent at reduced rates, beyond a sum equal to ten times the amount paid for transmission; nor in any case where the claim is not presented in writing within thirty days after sending the message.

This is an UNREPEATED NIGHT MESSAGE, and is delivered by request of the sender, under the conditions

Named above.

THOS. T. ECKERT, General Manager NORVIN GREEN, President


469 JE [?] 9 Pair nm
Received at the WESTERN UNION BUILDING, 195 Broadway, New York,

Jan 6 1884
Dated Alliance Ohio G
To Mrs WS Jackson Berkley House
5th Ave & 9th St. NY
My boy is all right and going to be Wm S Jackson
[HHJ's note appended at bottom]: This came not ten minutes after you left the house. - H. --

[14.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. Jan. 10, 1884.

N. York.


Jan. 10, 1884
Dear Annie-

Another letter has come from Helen & Mr. J.-- She is still more[?] delighted & happy - says she anticipated much - but has enjoyed far more -I sent the letter to Annie & told her to send it to you. - I really feel that you may consider Helen's winter - humanly [?] speaking - assured. - I have no doubt now that the experiment is to be a success.-

Your own note has just come.-

If Everett really wishes you to take the children & go off, & leave him there, I think you clearly ought to do it

I think it might be quite as well for Everett to be away from you for a while, as it is for Helen. - You perhaps have not realized that.
He will not "burrow" all winter - He will go down to Boston, perhaps for a change - At any rate, he will be entirely free-thrown on his own resources, & able to live as he likes -- & I believe nothing could do him more good than to be alone for awhile.

You just take Mamie & Kitty & go to Prof. Winters. You have money enough to do it. - it may turn out just the place for you to go every winter - I think myself it will: -- & Mamie & Kitty can study six months there - play six months in Wolfboro -- & that is all the study either of those girls ought to do.-

It is all very well to talk about waiting for "Divine Wisdom" to guide you - you've got to decide yourself -- & the sooner you get out of a place where you've got to do housework with the mercury below zero, the better! -

Take those girls and go to Florida -- & let Everett do what he wants to! -

Yours lovingly -


[15.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. Jan. [?] 13, 1884.

New York


Jan. [?] 13 -

Dear Annie-

A note from our west bound people [?] this Am.- reports them safe at Denver -

I send you only the first half - as Will's note on the back had something I want to keep - He did not even allude to Helen in it! -- She has evidently already passed out of the category of invalids - She is evidently arriving as I have so often done myself - fresher than when she started.
--I sent to Mr. Fiske to find out whether Capt. Nickerson [?] had received my letter about the Florida passes -- & he said he had - but was "waiting to hear before answering" so he is trying to get them - I asked him to send them straight to you - if he could get them - so you may know before I do, but whether they come or not - I hope you will take the girls & go -
--The more I think of it, the more I think nothing would do Everett more good than to be entirely free of you all for a few months - He could visit Mary -- & Annie -- & if he liked go out & look at Nathan - at any rate he could do what he liked -- & have no responsibilities of any sort -- & I believe it would do him good. Lovingly, H. -

[16.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. Jan. 14, 1884.

Mon. Morning

Jan 14, 1884

N. York

Dear Annie-

I dare say Helen wrote to you by the same mail in which she sent this - but nevertheless I will forward this too. - I really think we may feel comparatively easy about the child now! -- & I hope you are packing for Florida.

Ever lovingly,

I have a letter from Mrs. Bass by same mail -- & she was going to see Helen the next morning -- The Mr. Steele she speaks of is a young man there for his health - graduate of Brown University - Editor of our little daily paper - a nice fellow -- & luckily - in love already - or he might fall in love with Helen, which would be a terrible pity, for he has not a dollar in the world & is fearfully out of health!

[17.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. Jan. 24,1884.

New York,

Jan 24,

Dear Annie-

Letters from Mr. J. & Helen still continue as satisfactory.

They are having a very gay time - Helen is evidently going to be a great favorite, as indeed she ought to be.-Mr. J. says, "a social success." - My friend Mrs. Bass gave her & a Miss Holbin [?] a reception last Sat - 50 people - 16 young ladies all in caps & aprons - a pretty sight - Helen will doubtless write about it.

I suppose this terrible accident to the Columbus will make you nervous about the water - It is really a safer time than ever to go by that line - because no line has ever two accidents close together. - I have no way of getting any passes for you by rail.

I have just sent off Helen's trunk of clothes I wish you could have seen the pretty dresses. The blue cashmere is a lovely dress -- & the green suit very handsome, though simple. - I sent her also, three summer dresses, to be at work on.-

I have a few little things for you too -- & was about sending the parcel to Wolfboro - when I reflected that you might be just moving - so thought it best to wait till I hear. - It is only some cheap cambrics & ginghams - I found & a cashmere for you.-

Did you say that Aunt Maria left $100 to each of your daughters? If so when you get it, will you send Helen's $100 out to her? Mr. Jackson writes me that Dr. Adams has lent Helen a very quiet horse, & she will ride with them. They all ride every day - Dr. Adams his wife -- & wife's sister, Miss Brinley. - Nothing could be so good for Helen as this - Mrs. Risley has lent her a habit - but she ought to have one of her own -- & if she had that $100, she could go up to Denver & get one made. - The Adams's all go up to Esty's [sic] Park, in the summer and ride a great deal there - they board in a sort of ranch house & live out of doors -- & I think if their friendship continues all around, as it promises now to, Helen would better go up there with them next summer. Two of Doctor Baron's [?] daughters & a daughter of Mrs. Woolsey were there last summer with the Adams's - Miss Woolsey was all broken down with malaria & prostration - & her year in Colorado made her over.

--Goodnight - Love to all -


[18.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. [in pencil, upper right corner: 4-13-84. HHJ's date at end of letter.]

Dear Annie,

I have hunted through my letters and find only this one of Helen's written since April 1st.-So I enclose it for you.-I feel as I always do after a controversial talk with you, very sorry for most that I have said.-

I hope you will forget anything which seemed to you harsh or unjust; & I hope still more, that you will never again, so long as we both live allow me to be drawn into any such talk. It is worse than useless, for two persons whose mental processes are so totally dissimilar, to discuss any of the subjects on which they disagree.

I have resolved fifty times never again to do this - but each time I see you, I am drawn into it, before I know it; and I am sure I speak too vehemently and severely, & hurt your feelings; all of which is wrong; -- & gives me many unhappy moments in the recollection. Of course you know that it is only my affection for & interest in you & your children which makes me care so deeply about your plans or way of living.-If I did not care about you, it would make no difference to me whether you & the children lived comfortably or uncomfortably - wisely or unwisely -but I care so much, that it makes me intemperate of speech, and I fear unkind in manner; and I hope most earnestly that we shall never again discuss any of your arrangements & plans.-

And I want you to understand fully once for all, that in spite of my strong disapproval of your decisions, in these matters, especially in regard to the education question, & to the home living, -- I have not only entire confidence in but profound admiration for your unselfishness, devotion & fortitude in all things where your family is concerned. I know no woman that I so much admire in those regards.-the mother does not live who has been more devoted to her children than you have for thirty years.-That your methods and management have [been-crossed out] seemed to me from first to last antagonistic and mistaken, does not in the least blind me to the excellence of your motives, the self sacrificinginess of your life.-

So please forget & forgive everything that I have said which has hurt your feelings-and let us hereafter speak only of things on which we can agree.

Lovingly - Your sister - Helen

The Berkeley

April, 13 -


[19.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. May 8. No year. [estimate 1884 since HHJ was at the Berkeley in April 1884]

Dear Annie,

Please send me my Encyclicals. - as Registered letters - by mail.-

I have kept forgetting to send for them all this time.-

No news from Mr. Jackson yet - as to Colorado[?]; begin to think I shall have to take over from here, -- am very impatient to get off now.-

Yours lovingly -

Greatest haste Helen
The Berkeley
May 8

[20.] Letter from HHJ to HFB. Sept. 28, 1884.


Sept. 28-


[penciled note: Ans'd Oct. 7/84]

Dear Helen-

Very glad to get your nice letter - too busy to write you much of an answer -
--don't you follow my example in leaving out personal pronouns.-- it is an abomination in letter writing - but I have really got so many letters to answer -- & so much other work of one sort & another I want to do before I break up here - that I grudge even the time it takes to write "I" ! --

I am gaining in walking - walk now, (instead of swinging), on the crutches -- next week the doctor thinks perhaps I can walk with one crutch & one cane - but I am as helpless as a walrus on stilts - If I were not so heavy it would not be so bad -
--I hope I shall be able to get off in three or four weeks. I am so afraid of being caught by the snow - the Peak [?] is solid white now - every thing looks like winter's shutting down earlier than usual. - I am going to take Effie & go to California, for two months of sunshine - before going to N. York.--
--I am glad to hear that Ritchie is at Wolfboro, again - he will get his passes all right. I was afraid he had gone for good . Be sure & write me where to address your box. It ought to be starting now - sometimes freight is four weeks on the way. I do hope your furs are not hurt. It was a great risk to box them up that way. We have [had-crossed out] some things eaten by moths. If I had not been helpless all summer I should have opened your box & hung the jacket up, & shaken it each day as I do my fur lined cloak.

Love to all - Goodbye - lovingly - Aunty.-

[21.] Letter from HHJ to HFB. Oct. 22, 1884.

Col. Springs

Oct. 22--


I started your box off day before yesterday - no--, Saturday - by freight; I hope it will go through all right.-

I am glad it is at last settled where you are to be - though I am both sorry & indignant that it is to be Vassar for Mamie.

--By the way - you can't see my letter to your mother which goes by this same mail - for it is twelve pages of remonstrance! - I don't know why I waste my time & breath trying to influence her about that infernal college - or about anything else! But I do hope I have said what will influence her to hire in regular service this winter; -- perhaps you can manage yourself to do it; -- if not - you must just make all the visits you can; -- accept every invitation you get-and break up the routine of [house-crossed out] as much as possible. - I am glad you are teaching Kitty & enjoy it - That is the natural thing for you to do - If you could get two or three pupils of her age in Poughkeepsie to come to the house & recite with her, that would be nice for both of you -- A little work of that sort would be good for you; -- but you must not lose your visits for it. - let me know if you need anything in any line - If you go to Washington, I think you will need one more nice evening dress, won't you?-or a handsome visiting suit - Be sure & let me know. -

I expected to be starting for Cal. by this time - but I have not gained in walking as I hoped to, am as helpless on my crutches as I was three weeks ago - from all I can learn from other people who have had comparable fracture like mine, I shall be lucky if I am off crutches in nine months! - Luckily the weather lasts good.-I never knew it so warm at this season - But any day it may snow.-I hope to go in ten days or two weeks - Goodbye -

Lovingly - Aunty. -

Write me often -

[22.] Letter from HHJ to HFB. Nov. 9, 1884.

Col. Springs

Sunday Am

Nov. 9. 1884
Dear Helen,

I sent off a package of books the other day, addressed to you -- & I meant to have sent a note to you the same day, telling you about it, -- but I forgot to do so - I meant to tell you to keep it unopened till Christmas - as a Christmas present to the family! -- But I suppose long before this note reaches you the parcel will have been opened & the books read - never mind - it's all the same in the long run; & it was exceedingly stupid in [sic] me to have forgotten to write.

I expect to set off for California [next-crossed out] this week - on Thursday or Friday - Effie goes with me - I am still very helpless on crutches & dread the journey - I have had a good deal of trouble with my right leg - from having to do double duty it has got lame & sore in the hip -- & really gives me much more trouble than the broken one! In fact the broken one gives me no trouble! - it is of course weak yet & would not bear my full weight.-but it is all right & getting stronger every day. -

--I think I shall be much helped by getting down to sea level - the Dr. thinks so too - a large part of the misbehavior of my muscles is no doubt the result of nerve disturbance from the electricity [?] here -since it stopped raining, I have stopped gaining! - do not sleep after 3 or 4 clk [sic] in the morning -- & that shows that it is the altitude which is bothering me. - I do not believe even aside from the bronchitis, that I could ever stay here more than half the year, without serious suffering. Deliver me from rainless countries and high altitudes.

I hope you are all settled - comfortably -- & will have a pleasant winter - write me often -- & let me know exactly how things go -- & if you want anything. Love to all. - Affly ever - Aunty


Los Angeles Cal.

At Mrs. Whipples

Corner Pearl & 6th Sts.
Have I ever given you a necklace of round crystal balls? Old. From Edinboro? -
If not, that is another thing stolen! - I had not thought of it for a long time, till yesterday in looking over my drawers I missed it.-

[23.] Letter from HHJ to HFB. Feb. 22 or 29, 1885

Los Angeles

Feb. 27 [or 29].


[note penciled below: ans'd Mar. 5/85]
Dear Helen.

I am very glad you have gone to Washington & hope you will have a capital time.-I trust my cheque for $30 got there in time for your fares -
--Don't mind spending your money - I will send you more in April. - I thought you would need some new gown for Washington.-- --What have you for a visiting or reception suit? I forget.-

I am beginning to think more of getting to N. York -- & very glad I shall be when I am there.-It is high time some surgeon took my legs in hand.-

I have not laid by "one crutch for good", by any manner of means -
--wish I had! - I go about in my room with only one-but I could not dare to go any where else with only one. & I do not walk one step I can avoid! -

Goodbye - Have a good time -

Lovingly - Aunty.

[Following letters seem to be out of "sequence" and are appended as miscellaneous letters in folder 4.]

[24.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. Page[s] missing.

[First part of letter missing. No date.]

…. With all you write about him. - Did he ever get the letter I sent him? I wrote him a long time ago -- And did you send him the "Blessed [?] Bees." If he is going to live in the country, he can begin on bees if he likes.-- I have no farther [sic] anxiety about Mamie.-Love to Helen & Annie,. & all-

Ever affly, [?]

I have lost several Independents lately-our mails have been all in confusion owing to the railroad war.-

[25.] Letter from HHJ to AFB. Nov. 4th [no year]

Parker House


Nov. 4th
Dear Annie-

I have been surprised at not hearing from you either here or at S.D. - or at Mr. Abbotts. But I infer that you had nothing to say about South End, & were too busy to write about anything else.-I hope you will feel satisfied with Julius's course. I do not see what more he could do: & it seems to me a great deal for him to refuse to join in the petition for sale. Simply because you were opposed to it. - However I don't see any help for the sale. - I do not believe that any Judge will refuse this request of three heirs for a fourth! - neither do I see what you could do with your your [sic] quarter if the other heirs were ugly as they would be; -- I think Julius is honest in saying that he doesn't see how you could get income from it. Still, if I were in your place, with children, I should make fight[?]. I should hold on to it if I could & tell Julius too. -- If it is worth $40,000 today, I believe it will be worth $50,000 or $60,000 ultimately.-- I go to Newport tomorrow -write me there, old address - 42 Broad St.-

Yours ever-


[26.] Letter from ECB (Everett C. Banfield) to Anne [Fiske?]. [Envelope addressed Miss Jennie Hitchcock. For Mrs. E.C. Banfield, Amherst Mass.] April 6, 1864

Boston April 6th, 1864
My dear Anne.

Yours is rec'd. Don't understand what you say "enclose bad news from Helen."
You enclosed nothing.

We are all very well. The children seem perfectly well & happy & bright & good.

The parish meeting was exceedingly dull last night. On a show of hands out of 24 present, 11 voted for the new assessment, 1 against & 12 did not vote either way.

I am hoarse. Forgot it till I first had to speak. Most truly


Have just rec'd check from Phila. For $44.32, which I propose to get cashed & pocket the proceeds!

Think I shall have to pay pew rent out of it! Shall I not.

[27.] Letter from ECB to Anne. April 8, 1864.

Boston April 8th 1864
My dear Anne,

Yesterday was lost [?], so I did not write as the letter could not have got to you much earlier than this will. We all went to church, & the afternoon I spent in a reconnaissance of the roads in my district. I presume I tramped for 10 miles, -- on foot all the way. In the Evening I arranged with Spear for repairs at the school house & with Mackintosh about the use of teams on the roads.

Annie is very much more active,-- too wild almost - Mamie has the least perceptible cold. The others continue perfectly well - go to school ½ day - Today there is no school.

Am very sorry indeed to hear such news from Helen. Anticipated something of the kind. Don't wish you to go, it there is the least danger of your taking the disease. You can probably not be needed for help. Still you must exercise your own judgment, & go if you feel you must. Your throat has been so much affected, I think you would take the disease sooner than most.

Let me hear from her as often as you do.

The school will be divided early next week & the ventilator put on by the end of next week.

Maria does well, her Sister spent the night with her last night. Perhaps she may not want to go away tomorrow.

I believe there is nothing more of consequence to write.

Be very careful of yourself. The weather is dangerous here, & may be there. Don't expose yourself evenings more then [sic] you can help.

Aside from all considerations of love I feel your value to the family too much to be willing you should incur any unnecessary risk of getting sick.

In great haste

As ever


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