Click here to return to the Tutt Library Home Page
Helen Hunt Jackson 5-1-7 transcription

Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 5, Ms 0351, Box 1, Folder 7, letters from Helen Hunt Jackson to her sister Ann (Mrs. E.C. Banfield), 1871-1876.
Transcribed by Nancy Knipe, 2003.

Tuesday, Feb. 27
Col. Springs-

Dear Annie

Your letter of the 21st has just come - I had been looking for it for some time. I am very sorry indeed to hear that E. does not seem to be any more successful - I hoped that his old associations in Washington would have helped him at once into a lucrative business, if his health held out.-

You ask me if I can think of anything you could do to earn money, I cannot think of anything dear, which you could do which be sure to succeed except the taking of boarders. You know I always told you, you had a fortune in your housekeeping talents. Ordinary housekeepers do not make money in taking boarders - but you would: -- I have often thought that if all else failed you could go to Amherst, & have a pleasant house & congenial society, & educate all your children in your own house, because there are good schools there, besides the college -- & after the girls were too old for the Academy they could go on by private lessons from the tutors or professors - It would not be so disagreeable to take boarders in Amherst as elsewhere for so many of the professors families have had it to do. - My friend Mrs. Potwin [?] had a very nice house & made a good comfortable living there - by her taking boarders & Mr. Potwin's fitting boys for College.-of course in a large city there would be more chance to making a good deal of money - but it would be harder & more risky.-this is the only thing dear Annie I have been able to think of, which you could do to earn an income - but I hope very much you will not be obliged to do it. - in a short time now Helen & Annie will be able to support themselves by teaching, & after that, I am sure your income will be enough for the rest of you to live one in a quiet way. -- You will have certainly $2000 a year -- & think how few ministers or country professors have any more.-

I will send you $120 out of my April payment:-- and if that is not enough to enable you to pay the girls bills at Vassar, I will send you another $120 in July. - Don't worry about the Vassar bills.-I shall not let anything incline you to think of taking the girls away.

Love to all.

Yours ever affly, Helen

[included in same envelope, but may belong elsewhere, small, lined piece of paper with the following:] I had just such a card as this -- & wrote to them to send to you! As the few letters I had were mailed up in Newport! - I am not sure either that I have any.-]

[Black bordered paper]
Princeton [House?]
July 28, 1872

Dearest Annie,

I arrived in N. York a week ago, last Wed. The hear was simply horrible; -- our journey had been quite comfortable on the whole, though not so much so, as going out.-

My rooms in Bethlehem are let till Sept. 1st to four people ($40 a week!) I told Mrs. B. I could not ask her to keep them because I was uncertain about coming back. But I was very sorry not to be able to go immediately up there. However, I have found a most delightful spot here. It seems as high as Bethlehem & the house is I really think the best I ever saw. I never tasted such food, in a boarding house before. It will about spoil me for Mrs. Barrett's.- If E. had not been with you, I should have come to Wolfboro for this month. But I could not wait even a day before getting settled - it was so hot -- & I have so much writing to do. - But I shall stop for a day or two to see you, on my way up. The 1st of September.-

I have a fearful load of letters to get off tonight so can say no more -

You must take the Independent, if you want to know about our journey, Four long letters have been printed already. Love to all.-

Yours affly -

P.S. -

I have asked Mrs. Barrett to send you down one of my white cambric dresses which I shall not need this summer & thought it might do for Annie or Helen; -- also a pique.-

[Black bordered paper]
Princeton -
Aug. 11, 1872
Sunday Eve.

Dear Annie,

I shall certainly insist on paying half of the cost of the stone, wherever you put it up, and be very much hurt if you do not let me do so. - My feeling about it is unchanged however; I think in an enclosed family lot of that sort, there is not need of special stones; my own preference would be, if I had a family to have such a lot, with the name on the gate - but no stone ever put up in it - neither a mound [?] lift! -- and I think as I said before, that your children need every cent of your income and more too --. And that our mother if she could speak would tell you not to spend any of your small resources on putting up a stone with her name on it, which in all probability no human being would ever stop to read! - But for the very reason that I consider it so foolish & uncalled for an expenditure on your part, I all the more wish to share it, if you are resolved on making it. - I shall be glad to diminish it by one half! - Let me know as soon as you decide, and I will send you the money.-

I hope very much that you will send Annie to Vassar College. One of Mrs. Davies' daughters is a teacher there, and I know through her, a great deal about the college. It is the only public seminary in the country I should be willing to put a daughter in. - I am sure you would be satisfied with all the arrangements; and the table is excellent; & the training in all ways admirable.-

As for Richie, I know of no school to suggest. I have always hoped he would go to the Naval Academy.-

It would be quite out of the question for me to come to Wolfboro now. I engaged a room here till the 1st of Sept; -- & I am very busy indeed, writing my account of the journey for the Independent -- & also doing [?] other writing. I spent so much money on the journey that I want to earn all I can this fall! -- But I will stop on my way up to B. -- & see you - perhaps for a couple of days; but I shall be in haste to be settled there as two months is a short time at best -- & I must go home the 1st of November. - They have built two bay windows out of the parlor at Mrs. Barrett's & run them up into my sitting room & bedroom - so that the rooms are lovely, I know; -- they also have an open fireplace in the parlor -- & everybody says the house is delightful this summer. Bethlehem was never so full before - not a bed to be got in the town! Give my love to Cousin Ann. I went to the house while I was in Boston, before coming up here, & found it shut up. - Love to the children & much [?] to you -

Yours always affly - Helen

[Black bordered paper]
Tuesday Eve.
Sept 24-

Dear Annie,

I shall come down Saturday & spend Sunday with you - going on to Boston, on Monday.

In great haste


[Black bordered paper]
Sat. Eve. -
Oct. 5, 1872

Dear Annie -

I was so sorry not to see Julius. I went twice, but he had not come in. I am afraid he has been quite badly hurt.

If I were in your place I should stop a day in Boston & go out to Roxford & see him. I should also see Mr. Healy. I did not have a moments time to see Mr. Hale; I think on the whole it would have teen bad policy.

My friend Mrs. Ayer, (the one to whom Judge Ames spoke of the affair of the Trustee ship) says that you can file an injunction, & prevent the sale -- & that nothing is easier than to have the Trustee removed -- & that to sell a piece of property like that, against the owners will, is an outrage - unless the owner is an idiot or minor; -- I have written to Julius tonight - telling him I wanted to have a talk with him & learn all about the S.E. matter - that though I have of course no voice in it now, I sympathize entirely with you -- & I think you must surely misunderstand things, because you fear its being sold without your consent - then I say "you surely would never take such a step as that would you"? -

If he does, you may rely on my doing everything that can be done, to oust him, forth with; but I do not really believe there is the least danger of it; I can't think he would do it. -

I came up yesterday - staid over Thursday, to hear Miss Cushman read. -

Let me know as soon as you get home, -- if there is any new development about the S.E. matter.-

We shall get to be just like Grandpa & Uncle Vinal, beginning every conversation with

"Now, there is my south End houses"-
Love to all - Yours ever affly


[Black bordered paper]
Sunday Eve
Nov. 10th 1872

Dear Annie,

I got back here on Wed. night, & have been very busy as my woman who usually helps me pack & unpack &c. is sick. I am still in a good deal of confusion, & have no time for letter writing. But I must [?] return these letters & reply in a few words to your letter.

My dear girl, you seem to have the strangest inability to comprehend the legal position of a Trustee. - Any Judge would laugh in your face at the proposition to remove a Trustee, because he would not "do as you wish" in regard to the management of property.

A Trustee is morally & legally bound, to do what he thinks best, for the property; -- & he has absolute power; & nobody can help it.

I do not believe that any stranger would have been one half as considerate of your wishes as Julius has. I do not see what more he could do; short of joining in the position against the sale, & you could not expect him to do that where his honest judgment is in favor of it.-

I certainly should not join in any petition to have him removed, now, for I think you have no cause of complaint - against him; I told you - and I told him that I had told you so - that if he sold the property, over your head, against your remonstrance [?], -- I would; but he not only has not done that; he has refused to join in the petition to have it sold; & will remain silent & neutral, until he is obliged to appear in court as your representative; I am very sour indeed about it all -- & shall be sour if the Court deems a sale; for I do believe the property will increase in value still; but I do not see, as Julius says, how you can get income from it, in its present state. Cousin Martha says that the buildings are in an awful condition. - She wants it sold, just as much as Mr. Allen [?] does; I think the movement comes just as much from that side of the estate as from him.-

There is no need of asking Judge Ames or anybody else, whether you can have a Trustee removed, simply for disregarding your wishes. Everett would tell you that as well as anybody else. You would have to show that he disregarded the true intent of the estate. That is all that any trustee is under the least obligation to consider.

If you think you could get along, a year, or perhaps more, without any income from S. End, -- I would make a fight to hold on to it; I hope you can keep it - but I think there would certainly be an interval in which you would have little or no income. --

Don't send back the Independents. I had already written to Prof. Tyler that there was no picture of our father, which I thought sufficiently good to be engraved. I would prefer not to have any such picture in the book.

P.S. I asked Julius whether my signature or assent, would add any weight to your opposition to the sale -- if I should be your natural heir, in case such an impossibility took place, as my outliving all your children. He said, he thought it might; -- so if your lawyer advises it, you can have a paper drawn up stating that I oppose the sale as earnestly as you do. If I owned my quarter now, & had children, I would not sell it unless forced to.-and I very much hope you will not be forced to.--

[no closing or signature]

[Black bordered paper]
Dec. 23rd

Dearest Annie,

I am almost anxious at not hearing from you; but hope it is only that you are busy.

I sent you a package of books yesterday for Christmas -- & I enclose today, a check for $25.-of which I want each of the children to have $3.00. -- & the remaining $7. - is for you to buy something for yourself with. I think it is so much nicer to get just the things one wants, & the children all like pocket money, you know.

I go to N. York tonight - spend Christmas at Mrs. Runkles [?] & shall be in N. York [?]Slater Hotel [?] &c. - for ten days or so.-

Send to Care of C.A.. Runkle

320 Broadway. -- Goodbye.

Breathlessly - yours ever Helen.

[3-28-73 penciled in; black bordered paper]
Sunday Pm

Dear Annie,

I have been too busy to write - we set out for Colorado next Sat. - Mrs. Emma Guild [?] & I. - Shall be at the San Denis in N. York either Sat. or Sunday, I don't know which. - write to me there: after that - Hatton House.


Love to all - I am half wild with all I have to do before Wed. - when I go to Boston for three days & do not return her. -- Goodbye -

Lovingly Helen

I am very well now though not quite as strong as before I was ill. Dr. Wesselhorft's [?] medicine cured the trouble in the bowels in one week! - the 10,000th of something he will not tell what

[6-15-73 penciled in]
Parker House
Boston --

Dear Annie -

I came on from N.Y. here on Wed. night - it was a quiet visit - but I was so horribly uncomfortable there - I did not think I could be worse off! - And I am glad I came - for I am so perfectly comfortable here & the air is so much better. I have not sat up at all yet - but the Dr. says I can tomorrow -- & he thinks I can travel by Sat. I am going to Littleton [?] where Mrs. Barret has engaged a room for me in a home I know about. I must have mountain air -- & be near a homeopathic Dr. - my throat is much better - but still painful & I am very weak -- & there was so much of the diptheritic [sic] quality about this attack that I shall feel no confidence whatever in my old body for some time to come. - I could not come to Wolfboro on many counts [?] -- ; the air is not nearly so heavy as Bethlehem or Princeton - but if I am well enough, I will stop & see you as I go down to Princeton, the middle of July. - Tell Helen I received her letter - am glad she liked the things -

Lovingly - Helen -

Col. Springs
Nov. 12. 1873-

Dear Annie

I was very glad to get your long letter. Somehow, I feel much farther away than I ever did before. I suppose it is because I feel now that this is my home. We are going to housekeeping! You will be glad to hear this -- & I am very glad to do it -though it is in a horrid little house, not half so convenient & pleasant as yours -- & very imperfectly furnished. But we call it picnic-ing -- & I can at any rate have good food which I cannot at the Hotel. The house is like a city house - two built together - a parlor & dining room & kitchen on first floor; two fair sized bedrooms & two closet bedrooms over head - no back stairs - & nothing particular to do anything with! - But in Colorado one does as one can -- & the situation of the home is very pleasant & close to all our friends; so I expect to have a very good time after I squeeze myself & my trunks in! -- & I do long for private mashed potato!

Tell Everett I thank him forever, for not sending on those wax leaves. If there is anything I hate it is wax leaves -- & this is the third set of them I have had presented to me. -- If you don't hate them pray stick them up in some corner of your house; back of the cooking stove, I think would be a good place for them and keep a big fire! -- only don't tell whose they are. Some bird of the air might carry the matter to Mrs. Brainerd's ears. -

I suppose you were not really in earnest in your inquiring about Colorado as a place fore this winter - Much as I should enjoy having you here, I could not advise you to come. It is no place for any one to live cheaply.-Board is $15 a week at the lowest -- & very bad. You couldn't live a month on the food we are eating at this Hotel. There is a good Hotel at Manitou, five miles away - where we thought of staying; but it was too far for Will to ride back & forth. - This is a higher priced House - now about full. Then the cost of the journey is so great; you could not come out under $250 [?] possibly! - one fare is $81 - without food or sleeping berth. -

Wait till we have our own house, with some rooms in it -- & then come & make me a good visit. - As for climate, I don't know but Wolfboro is quite as good. We have had four hateful raw icy snowy days out of the last nine! I begin to think the winter is going to be as bad as last winter. - The days between have been lovely & warm & bright-- & the changes therefore have been very sharp.

I honestly believe if you can be brave enough to be contented in Wolfboro, you could be better there than anywhere, unless in some inland place in Florida or S. Carolina, Aiken perhaps. -- But no place is good for us where we cannot be cheerful & contented; -- and there is no doubt that it is better for both you and me to avoid extreme cold. Dry cold, however is not harmful unless it is very extreme, and as soon as the Lake freezes over the air in Wolfboro must be very dry.

We are both well and very happy. I think we have not made a mistake. I am glad you & Everett liked Will so much. You would like him better & better the more you knew him. He is pure gold, through & through. I cannot but wonder at the strange fates which kept us so long unmarried -- & then brought us together in this remote spot. Love to Everett & the children - Write often. -

Yours lovingly


My cook's name is Mrs. Christ!! Pronounced with the i short however. I have not yet found a satisfactory second girl. It is hard to find a good waitress and seamstress which is what I want. -

Will would send love if he were at home. He is at the Bank or the R.R. Office from nine Am till seven P.M. except an hour or so at dinner time. He is too much driven.

[Black bordered paper]
Col. Springs
Wed. Feb. 4, 1874

My dear sister,

I am distressed to hear of your sieges of all sorts! And how I sympathize with you in having allopathic treatment for Kitty, I do not need to say. I don't see how you can bear it -- & it seems to me that if you try a system you do not believe in, for three weeks, & a child does not gain, it is only common justice to let you then try the system E. does not believe in. - You have far more self sacrifice in you than I have; I could not give a child allopathic medicine; -- I have always thought it far more essential that husband & wife should agree on medicine than on any other point. Poor dear little Kitty - how she must have suffered. I hope she will be on her little feet again before you get my letter. -

Lucy Abbott (I mean Johnson!) wrote me the other day that she had heard through Mrs. Whittlesey that you were expecting another baby very soon! -- I hardly think this can be so - surely you would have told me. - I hope it is not so - when a woman has men & women as sons & daughters, I think additions to the family are not to be desired.

I am more than delighted to hear how well Richie is doing. I felt from all he had told me in Boston that his teacher had been very injudicious; but I think it much less desirable for a young man to study alone. Do you really believe Richie will go through college? He did not seem to me to have a real love of study; but I think he would make a good lawyer.-

I am sorry Abby Banfield did not stay longer in Colorado. The air is so rarified - (6000 feet above the sea you know - the height of Mr. Washington) that at first every body feels a little trouble about breathing. I myself cannot yet breath with my mouth shut tight in walking! -- But it does seem to be the most wonderful cure for lung troubles; I don't' believe half the people in this town have two lungs! - I like the climate better & better - the scenery too is grander to me every day; -- But the food grows more & more intolerable - it is pretty tough living. - Yet we have every day ten or a dozen different kinds of preparations of meat for dinner! -- entries with French names -- & all tasting simply and solely of bad fat & smoke! -- if it were not for Emma's [?] oatmeal gruel & Graham Cakes I could not live at all; -- & as it is I am really afraid of getting dyspepsia. -- & cursing my throat at cost of my stomach!

I do not see why your letter should have been ten days coming! I cannot read the postmark but it is dated the 25th of Jan. -- & it reached here only today. - They come though in five days from N. York.-Goodbye my dear sister - do write immediately - just a line to let me know how Kitty is; -- I am so anxious
about her. - Tell her her auntie wishes she could come & help take care of her. - Love to all -- & much to you dear Annie - Yours affly - Helen.

[Black bordered paper]
Col. Springs
April 26., 1874

Dear Annie,

I was just on the point of writing to you to know why I did not hear, when your letter of the 12th came. I felt sure that Kitty must be ill again. Poor little thing what a time she has had! And you too! - I ache to think of it. I hope you will never again have your judgment overruled about a doctor. I have no doubt Kitty's long illness is the result of the allopathic drugs she has taken. That is one thing I never could do - no matter how much I loved a man. - give up to him on the subject of medical treatment.

Thank you for telling me all about the children. I wish I could see them - hope I may, this summer; but I wonder very much, that you should come north - at all for your summers - there are such lovely mountain places in Virginia where the air is just as cool -- & where Everett could come every week or two. -

I like Dr. Cate heartily - thoroughly -- Did you not know he came out here with me? - I have more confidence in him than in any one except Dr. Wesslehorft [?]. - But I do not think even being near him would tempt me to take a child to Amherst air. I have a greater horror of it than ever; -- if the home out at Pelham Springs were well kept, I should rather be there, than in almost any place I know of. - But last summer it was simply inconceivably bad. I think I never tasted so bad food in my life. - it is a shame for it is such a glorious situation. -

I have had two bad colds & some sore throat with each cold since I wrote you, but am very well now. On the whole I think that the sore throats were not worse is a stronger proof of how well I am then if I had had none at all - for there has been a real epidemic of sore throat here! Even here! And every other one I have heard of except mine, has ulcerated - But I did not have a single white spot! -- & kept them both down with my own good medicines rather than send for the homeopathic doctor here, whom I do not regard as a homeopathic at all, he gives such low dilutions. [?]

I have of course been distressed by the newspaper comments on E's conduct - but have had full faith that he would come out all right in the end. If has been evident I think to everybody that the Secretary intends to make a scapegoat of him [? Damage to paper makes this unclear] and sneak out of all responsibility himself. - It is a sorry business the whole of it. [Everett Banfield works at U.S. Treasury Dept., Washington D.C.]

I am terribly [?] sorry for you about the $40,000 - Don't you wish you had had a little more faith in Julius? He would have had it all snug in Bond & Mortgage for you, at 8 per cent, & you would be having $3200 a year! -

Molly fell from a chair and broke her hip! Last August! -- She is still very lame & suffers horribly. I hope to take her to Princeton with me next July, for two months.-I shall leave home about the last of June.-

Goodbye - Love to Kitty -- & all the rest. Do write - just a line, oftener. Yrs lovingly-Helen

P.S. I slip in a tiny little birds wind for Kitty. - it is the wing of a little snow bird which I have had in my room for two or three weeks. This morning we found him dead behind one of the trunks. - Poor little thing - I don't know whether he got smothered, or whether he was sick. - I have had four - first a little broken winged one. - two months ago; him I have still - then we got a mate for him & the two together were very cunning [?]; but the mate had stronger wings & flew out of the window one day - then one of the waiters caught a young one for me - but she flew about the room so violently she tore my leaves all to pieces & I had to give her away. Then this last one was brought me a little while ago by Tommy, our landlord's son. - A boy had hit its wing with a stone so that it could not fly at all. - It was a dear tame little thing & I loved it better than the other one I had had so much longer. - They are most beautiful little birds - the breast is mainly white with a black crescent on it, & the head is beautifully marked with black; & the males have two tiny little plumes turning back on the top of the head, like ears turned back which give them a very mischievous look. - They run all around my room like little kittens -- & eat cracked wheat from morning till night. When they are quite hungry they will come & eat out of my hand -- & when I have my breakfast up here, on a tray, they come & perch on the tray & nibble the bread. - I have an old box cover down on the floor in one corner, & that is filled with gravel, & is their home - but they have not staid there very much, except at night. - the poor little broken winged one is so lonely he runs all about looking for the other in every corner. - If we have another snow storm perhaps I can get another bird. They come in great flocks, thousands in a flash down from the mountains, as soon as the snow falls. -

[Black bordered paper]
Col. Springs
June 4, 1874.

Dear Annie,

If I waited as long as you do before answering your letters, we should hear very seldom from each other. But I do not wonder in the least that you do. I only wonder that you ever get time to write a word. It is certainly a marvel that you have got through the winter without breaking down utterly. -
I am quite undecided about my plans --& therefore, quite unhappy.

You know you & I hate suspense more than anything. Mrs. Runkle does not decide whether she can come out & travel with me this month -- & I can't go alone -- & I can't come home without seeing a little more of the territory, for I must have the material for some more papers for "Bits of Travel at Home" which Roberts wants to bring out next fall. - I think the chances are now just about even of my staying here all summer; --& if I stay all summer, I don't see how I can come home in the fall, to encounter[?] a winter! So after all I may stay here a year & a half! - Write to me here, at any rate-for if I move off, my letters will be forwarded to me.-

I do most sincerely hope no trouble will come to Everett in consequence of the Sanborn business. I have not pretended to read the newspaper accts[?] of it. There were too tedious; -- & I could not understand them. -

Give my love to all the children & to E. - Goodbye

In great haste -

Lovingly ever


[Black bordered paper]
Col. Springs
June 16,

Dear Anne,

I had seen by the papers that E had resigned -- & thought it on the whole the best thing he could do.

I only regret that he did not do it before all this trouble. If he had gone back into law business two years ago, it would have been better.

I have sympathized with him & you very deeply through all this affair. It must have been very trying indeed. I am sure he has been treated very unfairly throughout. Nothing will ever make me believe that he knew of anything wrong in the affair. -

I am no longer in that hated state of suspense, having decided to stay here all summer. Mrs. Runkle gave up her journey & that decided me to stay -- that, & the feeling that it would be a risk for me to return to the East till my throat is stronger. I am very well - but my throat is still weak - I feel fatigue there - on exposure to damp air, even here. - I would not much wonder if I staid a year, now. It will be of course imprudent to return in the autumn to encounter a winter.-

What do you mean by the "Same state I was in four years ago"? - I did not have sore throat & diarrhea then--; that was just after I came home from Europe.-- I do hope your throat is not going to trouble you. It is an ugly corner to have trouble in - though it is better than lungs.-- Last week I had a delightful tip into the mts. With Gov. & Mrs. Hunt of Denver, & Mr. Jackson -- & who do you think? Prof & Mrs. Botta & Mr. Chas. Butler of N. York!! They returned here & spent two days with me, -- & I enjoyed the visit extremely. They are so enchanted with this country they think of buying & spending summers here.-I myself could live here contentedly all my life, I really think. It grows more beautiful every day.-

Goodbye - Love to all - Let me know as soon as you decide on anything. I do wish I could help you. -- Yours lovingly, Helen.

Take aeonite [?]for sore throats. It always helps me, quicker than anything in the first stages --

[Black bordered paper]
Col. Springs
July 9, 1874

Dear Annie,

Your letter about took my breath away. I don't know whether to be glad or sorry. It is a total separation of course - nobody crosses the continent for visits! And I am afraid you will not like the climate of S.F.[?] - I believe you hate wind as I do -- & the winds are terrific -- & three months of rain always seemed to me an awful thing; but perhaps you will live inland somewhere, by & by; & at any rate you will enjoy the journey. - I wish I were going out with you. Perhaps I may come, before I go home; -- I am only three days from S.F. here.-

As to the voyage, I can only tell you that it will be safer to take thick clothing; oh dear, I hope you won't be seasick all that time!

I had forgotten that you had a book case of mine; what sort is it? Is it at all pretty? If so, that & the sofa, had better be boxed, ready for transportation, & left in Washington. Stored, subject to my order--; the other things also.-

Have you any of my silver? - I lent all I had stored at P.&Bs to Jenny Abbott, & she wrote me that the spoons were all plated. I thought I had some real silver ones & perhaps you had them. Keep them, if you have - I don't want them, only I thought I would ask you.-

Take a receipt from the place where you leave my sofa & book case -- & send me the exact address. I may be glad of both of them - If I should decide to settle permanently here. I should; -- I am thinking of it.-

I am very glad you are so much better. You will need all your strength to make this great change; -- shall you go to Wolfboro at all? -

Let me know exactly how & when to write to you -- & when you set out. Now if you were only going by land you could come by way of Colorado & see me! - goodbye - love to the children-I should not have known Kitty's picture.-

Yours ever lovingly Helen.

[Black bordered paper]
Aug. 6, 1874
Col. Springs

Dear Annie,

What a time you had getting off! I am glad to think of you as at rest in Wolfboro.-

Your list of my possessions in Washington quite appalls me.-Do you say that they are all boxed? And what is the storage to cost a month? - If I decide to settle here, I shall want them all; if not, I shall wish you had carried them off with you, or sold them.

It is very funny about my tea spoons. Jenny A. says those she has are plated & -- you say those you have are -now I do feel very sure that we had some real ones; didn't you think we did?

I am so sorry you are going by water to S.F. - If you had come by land, you could have come by way of Colorado & seen me -- & the place where I may live the rest of my days. Now, it seems very doubtful whether we ever see each other again in this world! -

I think I shall go East in September--; but I have great doubts whether my throat is strong enough to bear an Eastern winter; -- I think I shall probably come back here in November; and I would not wonder much if I stay indefinitely. I can't live in Newport anymore, -- that is certain; -- and there is not other place I like on the whole so well as this.-I wonder whether you will like California. I fear very much that the S.F. climate will be bad for you; -- I think I should like living in Oakland better - just across the bay; the university is there -- & more quiet & cultivated people - not so rich & flashy [?] as in S.F. -

Molly is at Corner of E. 15th St. & Union Square - over Savings Bank - but she will not be there, now - she is up at Newburgh.-

Goodbye dear Annie - I hope you will have a prosperous voyage & like your new home. I wish we could have seen each other - Love to all the children & E-

Yours ever lovingly Helen

[Black bordered paper]
Col. Springs
Aug. 20, [74 penciled in]

Dear Annie,

I don't suppose from this letter will reach you - so shall make it short. I find yours waiting me on my return from a trip in the mts.-I am very very sorry to hear of E.'s illness - & hope it will be temporary. The California air will be the best possible thing for him if there is a tendency to paralysis.-

I expect to come home early in Sept. - Even if I have to return for the winter, I must come East for two or three months.-I can tell by the middle of Nov. whether I can bear the climate.

I shall not set out before the 3rd or 4th so there is time for you to write to me again here, if you get this -

Lovingly ever - Helen

Sat. Oct 2d [1875? penciled in] -

Dear Annie -

I have decided to be married immediately & go right back to Col. with Mr. Jackson. - we plan now for the 19th or 18th or 20th - can't be sure which. - We will have to come up the day before I suppose - to reach Lake Murphrengry [?] the night after our marriage, will we not? We shall go to Col. via Montreal.-- Of course I am in a great whirl - had four days in N. York this week - four of the hardest days in my life - eight hours a day in a coupe, shopping! - Yet I have only bought three gowns! - I am so glad of that little glimpse of you - & the children; shall not be able to go up to Vassar the time is so short. - am to rest here five days (to be unwell & pack up, if that is resting!) - go back to New York Sat - via Newport - then to Penn. - to see Mr. J's mother -then back to Boston & to you - on the 18th I hope but it may be the 20th - Can I sleep a night at your house if I come up the day beforehand? Of course, Will would go to the Hotel - He is here now - & sends his love to you - "if you think I ought to" he says! - You will like him I know - everybody thus far has liked him so much - He is the sweetest & sunniest soul - & yet has great decision [?] & force of character - I am very glad I have decided to marry him - now that it is over. -

Lovingly -


[Colorado Springs postmark, 1-17-76 penciled in]

Dear Annie,

I was very glad of your letter, tonight received. I had been on the point of writing to know what had become of you: -- I am very sorry indeed to hear that you are not perfectly well. You have been so strong & all enduring for so many years, that I can hardly realize that you can be anything else.-- If I had a room you could exist in, with the children, I should urge you to come here I believe, spite of all the cost of the journey;-- but there is no use in talking of that. My spare room holds & has to hold - besides the bed, bureau & washstand.-three large trunks, two wooden boxes, & a wardrobe! Of course it is not a very sightly apartment for a guest, but in Colorado, one does not mind. The house is half of a house - much more like a little city house, than like a country one. Mr. Wood a Canadian who has come here to live, & built a very pretty place for himself, put up this little double house to rent -- & he sacrificed everything to getting as much income as he could out of a few feet of ground! -- The rent is $600 a year - which for a seven roomed house, with - next to no ground, is really dear. -- there are two quite good sized rooms on the first floor - opening together with - folding doors -- These are the sitting room & dining room - I have had the folding doors carried away & have curtained the door way with - coarse heavy brown blankets, -- with red & yellow stripes. You would not believe how pretty such coarse material can be - I have a table cloth for my dining table -- & on a round table in the corner, of the same blankets -- & my German girl has fringed them both -- & also an upper fall to the curtains, with coarse brown yarn - with a little red zephyr & yellow zephyr, in spaces, to match the stripes.

It is very effective & artistic; & if the floors were only of wood painted dark brown, would look lovely! but the carpets are pretty ugly -- & are about enough to ruin a room --
--I have covered the furniture with pretty chintzes -- & the walls are well covered with pictures; -- I have one low book case filled with books -- & corner shelves across every corner, with books on them; -- two of them have long narrow looking glasses hung above them; -- a thing which is very effective in a corner always! - in the corner above my writing table, I have a big horned owl! plenty of gay leaves & Japanese pictures make the rooms very bright -- & on the whole they are extremely pretty rooms.-

The kitchen is back of the dining room, but does not open from it; there is a narrow passageway which has a sort of big dresser for dishes in it. - The kitchen is a tiny one. I don't know how Sophy [?] gets along with it.-Up stairs, there are two tolerable chambers over the sitting room & dining room, & two very narrow closets between them - then there are two tiny little hall rooms - one front & one back.

Will sleeps in the front one - opening from mine -- & the two girls have to sleep in the back one.-

--There is an air chamber overhead - into which by help of a step ladder we hoisted some of our trunks. - You can see what a squeeze it is.

Yet it all looks very pretty & homelike now -- & is in perfect order; -- always barring the dust, which would drive you wild. - I dust my own sitting room every morning - there are so many traps. I don't like to trust a servant; -- In two hours after I have dusted you would never believe it.-

I am utterly perplexed about your money affairs. it certainly does look as if there were something wrong. I cannot understand your not having more than I do & I am very glad Charlie Tufts is going to investigate matters - I myself had $250 less at fall [?] than Julius told me I should have & I have written to ask Mr. Poor [?] for an explanation. - When Julius comes home we will have things straightened out.-I am about $600 over drawn! - But I hope to earn that much before April. -My girls are both very good - the second girl is the best waitress I ever saw - waits as well as a man; -- but I do not like her much. I have an indefinable sense of misgiving about her somehow.

I am sorry to say that - I also had a "visitor" last week. - I am afraid I am not going to have any children though it is too soon to give up all hope yet. I do not see why I should not have. I am perfectly regular & in good condition so far as I know.
--Goodbye - Love to E. - Will sends love to you both

Ever affly Helen

I shall send you by mail tomorrow a warm polonaise I had last year. It may be of service to you in your cold climate; also a coat of Wills which I think may be worth making over for Mamie.

--All those gowns in the trunk I thought would be of more use to Annie & Helen than to me. - I do not need such fineries any more.-The laces you may send in a letter. I did not know they were left in. - E's coat &c. will be good for Helen's or Annie's children to use in tableaux! When they are thirty years old!

Col. Springs
Feb. 9, 1876
Wed. PM.

Dear Annie,

I do not see how you could expect Mr. Poor to know about that specific $5,000, invested by Julius some time ago; --& his letter seems to me perfectly satisfactory & courteous - Unassailably [?] so, under all the circumstances.

His letter to me in reply to my inquiry why my income was $250 less than I expected, was also perfectly courteous & satisfactory; he said that $220 of interest due Dec. 1st had not been paid; owing to the hard times;-- but was promised next quarter.-

I believe Mr. Poor to be perfectly honest, though he is not the person I should choose for Trustee.-

Neither is Charlie Tufts. I should never ask for him to be appointed in Julius' place. -- Aug. Bacheloer [?] would be my first choice. I think that he would take it. - I hope there can be some method devised for you & me to have separate Trustees, if any change is made. We so totally disagree as to all business matters. - the proper way of regarding trusteed property &c. - that it would be much better I think of all our business interests could be entirely distinct.

I am not yet prepared to say that I wish to change from Julius to any one else; & at any rate nothing can be done till he returns. No judge would remove a trustee without hearing his side of the case. -- My own notion is that he will save all dissatisfied persons the trouble of removing him - either by going to the bottom of the sea, or by throwing up all Trusteeships as soon as he returns! -- Let me know what you hear from Jacob [?]. - I am truly grieved for your trouble & perplexity about it all - but I see nothing which can be done at present. -

Yours lovingly - Helen -

The Cases came safely. I had overlooked them. The blk. lace is not thread [?], & is of no value; I am sorry you took the trouble to rip off the Val. - It was not of sufficient consequence.-

I sent the coat by itself some [?] days after the polonaise; I presume it has arrived by this time. I don't know that it will be of any use, but if not, you can give it away to somebody else.

Col. Springs
May 2 -

Dear Annie,

I am sure you never need think for a moment of any such idea as "mendicancy" in connection with anything you say to me. -

If own sisters could not say to each other the whole truth about any such matters, it would be a pity. - I am only too glad to give you anything I have which will be of use to you: -- and you need never feel the least hesitancy about taking it.

I wrote you about my cook's being ill in bed, I believe: -- she rewarded me for my nursing, -- by being crosser than ever to Elize, after she got up & finally wound up by throwing the scrubbing brush at her head! -- This happened at twelve o'clock on Sat. the 15th - of April. At four that same afternoon, the old woman was discharged. Poor thing -she cried bitterly - but there was no use in trying to patch up any more hollow peaces between the two girls, & of the two I chose to keep Elize. - for one week Elize & I did all the work -- & then I got an excellent woman from Denver - really the very best worker I ever saw! - She is not so good a cook as old Sophy - but she will learn very soon - for she wants to -- : she had lived eight years in one place! - She is as neat as a Shaker -- & the quickest person I ever saw. -- She & Elize take to each other like boon comrades already - so I am in smooth waters once more. - However I still keep on doing the upstairs work - I like it so much: think of that! - and it gives Elize so much more time to sew.-

I am glad you are so well. I felt all along that that climate would not do you any serious harm; an inland N. Eng. climate seems to me one of the best, unless one can come to exceptional places like this, or California.-I begin now to think about breaking up. I dread it -- & I am very sorry to leave this dear little box. - I shall come East about the middle of June. - perhaps you can come down & visit me in Princeton.-

I can't send Richie the Independents with my articles in them, because I keep the articles; -- but I will try to write to him some day. Still I can not promise - for I have now letters three & four months old unanswered. Writing is a terrible task to me, I write so much. - Goodbye - Lovingly always

Love to E. & the children - I hope E's hip did him no harm --

May 31, 1876
Wed. Eve.

Dear Annie,

I should have answered your letter of the 23rd at once but I have had friends staying with me, and have not had a minute to myself. They have gone today, & I was just thinking what a good quiet time Will & I would have by ourselves tonight, when he came rushing in at five o clock to say that he must go to Pueblo at six - as witness in court. So I am all alone tonight -- & very much disappointed. - Three weeks from today I expect to start for the East -- & as we are to take a weeks trip to the South in that time it leaves me very few days to do all I had hoped to do before getting off.-

I am very much distressed by what you write about Richie, but I cannot say I am surprised. I have never felt since my talks with Richie at the time of his trouble in Exeter [?], that he had real moral stamina. I fear very much that he will always be a source of great grief and anxiety to you. It may seem a very hard thing to say, but if he were my child I certainly should not send him money. If he had a proper manly feeling, knowing how you are situated, he would work his way home before the mast, rather than ask you for a dollar; -- he is a man now -- & must meet [?] the chances of a man; he is a sailor, and sailors can earn a living.-- His story of having been knocked down and robbed may be true; but I do not believe it; and he ought to have had a great deal more than $100. by this time, unless he has been leading a life wrong in some way. - I am deeply sorry for you - deeply; -- and deeply sorry for Richie too; but I feel very indignant with him; and I am entirely certain that if it were my own child, I should not send him a cent of money - at any rate until his story were confirmed by some one else. Can you not write to Capt Todd? Did you not tell me that you knew Capt Todd, & liked him so much? or liked having Richie with him? I had some such impression.-

I had hoped to send you $150 before this time, but I have taken much longer than I expected to, to finish the work by which I shall earn it. However it is nearly done now, and I expect to have $700 by the time I set out. - I have had only $225 from Mr. Poor since Jan.-I was heavily overdrawn last year -- & there are $400 arrears of interest unpaid on these two quarters. Of course I feel that Julius would have made the men pay up - but Will says that it is such hard [?] times now, that everybody has to lose.-If I had had my board to pay this winter I should have indeed been in a box; but luckily I have earned that as housekeeper! Will puts $200 a month in the bank for me, to run the house on. I thought I could do it easily on that, but I haven't; -- I think I must have spent $30 or $40 a month more -- & all the extras I pay for myself - besides buying all sorts of odds & ends for the house. It is perfectly astounding what numberless [?] things one wants in a house, is it not? - But after I get my own income going regularly again, I shall feel quite independent - of course if I really needed anything I should ask Will for it - but it would be very unpleasant to me to ask him for a penny for my own personal expenses - I have a very peculiar feeling about that.-He has resigned his position as Secretary of the D. & R. G. Railroad - so his salary of $2000 a year stops the 1st of Aug.-and then unless he goes into some other business - or extends his banking, he will have only about $2000.-He means now to go to Japan - take a rest & play spell; I hope very much that we can; but I do not set my heart on it yet.-You must not have any hesitation about taking this $120.-for I can spare it as well as not -- & I always intended to pay my share of those tombstones. If you don't take the money I shall spend it for Helen & Annie, the best way I can, in N. York - so you could much better have it yourself & lay it out [?] where it will help most.-- It is a right & privilege to help you educate the girls. If our situations were reversed, you would do the same for me -- & I should have no sort of hesitation about letting you. I shall never have a child of my own, probably, & yours are nearer [?] than any others. In great haste.-always lovingly,


Wed. June 21st [6-21-76 in pencil]
Col. Springs

Dear Annie,

In midst of packing - hot as blazes - off on Friday. -

Write to me at the "Grosvenor," Corner 8th Av. & 10th St., New York - I shall be there till July 4th or 5th.-

--I was sorry after I sent off my letter to you that I had said a word about Richie. Of course no one can judge for another : -- but my feeling of indignation against Richie was so strong that it led me to say what I had no right to say. - Richie is a man - has been having a man's wages for a long time, what has he done with it all? - Mr. Jackson says there is no port in the world where a sailor cannot get a chance to work his way on a vessel in some way or another -he feels as I do that Richie must have spent his money -- on a wrong [?] life -- & that to send him more is simply to open the way for him to continue to do wrong. -
But you must forgive me for speaking so strongly. I know if it were Rennie in such a condition in a foreign land, it would be very hard for me to refuse him. -
I am very much disappointed not to have the $150 to send you now - I expected to have received quite a sum of money from Scribner's this month - but they have delayed - and I am afraid I am going to be disappointed about it -- & as I am to have "next to nothing" Mr. Poor writes me, on July 1st (!!) I shall have to use Will's money for all I need at present and that I very much dislike - However I shall get the money before long, and then I shall send you the $150 -- & you need not consider it as for the grave stones at all, if you don't like to. - Call it my present to Helen & Annie - towards their education. - You must not take them out of Vassar. I will help you all you need to keep them on. - this is only my right; -- & I am thankful that I am now in such a position with a good kind husband, and a competent income, that I can well afford to do it. -- Goodbye

Lovingly ever -


July 5, 1876

Dear Annie,

I sent you a bundle of Inds. from N. York last week - hope it will get through all right, & prove useful; but I must ask you, if there came in it a petticoat of narrow striped black & white cloth, to send it back to me! I can't find it in any of my trunks & think I might have put it in there by mistake; it is my summer walking petticoat -- & I have nothing to take its place. If it did not come with the things for you, somebody has taken it.-

I was so sorry to miss the girls - both in New York & Boston-but I shall run up to Wolfboro with Will for a day or two. - when he comes - so I shall see them then.-I hurried right through Boston on Monday - (arriving at 8 -- & going out at 3 - I was in such a hurry to get up here & get settled.-

I shall send you a check for $120 this week. I have got the money I expected & can do it as well as not -- & am only too glad to.-spend it for whatever you best like - If it is not enough to make it possible for the girls to go back to Vassar - let me know what more you need -- & I will send it to you. They must go back.-That is a fixed thing. I should be very much grieved if you took them away without consulting me, for I can help you about it as well as not.-

Goodbye - Love to all -

Yours lovingly - Helen

P.S. Send the skirt by mail -

Mt. Pleasant House - Princeton, Mass.

July 6, 1876
Thurs. Pm

Dear Annie,

Here is the check.- I hope it will come all in good time. - Your letter sent to the Grosvenor [?] has just reached me. - I am inclined to think that your not hearing from Richie means that he had taken passage on some ship for home. I hope so. Most earnestly.-

I hope you will not have Annie & Helen avail themselves of the Fund to which you refer.- Please don't do such a thing as that, while I am as well able to help you as now. - I thing the effect of such assistance is not good on young people's minds - for many reasons.- I hope I should not have any false pride, if I were really absolutely poor, & could get an education in no other way. But I think a proper pride ought to keep us from it, till the very last resort. - I do not know what the conditions of this Fund at Vassar are - but it will be a very peculiar one, if it would not be mortifying to the girls to come in, on its terms. The "Beneficiaries" in all institutions are marked & commented on. - I hope you will let me give whatever more you need. - If you will feel happier to call it a loan (not this $120 - but anything further you need) - You can: & pay me when you have the money to spare. Any way, so you don't let the girls go as charity students.

Ever affly


July 9,

Dear Annie,

Please don't bother me about this money! I wanted to give you that amount, this spring - and so I called it for the grave stones - but I didn't mean it to be exactly the same & not a jot or little over -

Your honesty & conscientiousness'll be the death of you yet! - Now if you really will not take but $105 yourself will you permit me, to make a present of the $45 dollars to my two nieces Helen & Annie - to be expended on some of the many needs of their wardrobe? -- that will help also in regard to their going back to College. - Now please don't be obstinate about this. It isn't kind when I do so earnestly want to help you & the girls along. I am sure that if our positions were reversed - if you hadn't a child in the world -- & had a husband as well able to take care of you as I have - and I had five children to educate on a small income, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to let you help me all you wanted to.

If you will feel any happier to call all after this a loan & give me your [?] notes for it - all right. I won't object - anything so you let me help you instead of going to a charity Fund. - But this $150 I had all winter determined to give you, as soon as I received the money I had earned. I can share it just as well as not, & you will grieve me very much if you return it again.-

I hope Will will be here three weeks from next Thursday that is Aug. 3rd. - If he can get off the 29th he will. - I miss him intolerably -- & shall never again leave him so long if I can help it. Goodbye -

Yrs ever lovingly Helen.

[additions written on first page of letter] I do indeed sympathize with you in your surprise about Richie. It must be almost harder than any certainty [?]

My love to the children -- & to E. - You do not say how E is. - I know nothing of any boys' schools, except that I dreaded them all; -- could not Mamie study with some minister? There are many who bd [abbrev. for board?] boys for college.

July 30

Dear Annie,

You will think I am forever writing to reclaim my duds from You!

I really think the heat must have given me temporary softening of the brain in N.York - I did so forget about every thing. The blue serge turned up all right at my dressmakers in Boston after all. - The black silk I think perhaps I left at home. If not, it has been stolen.-

I can't tell when we will run up to [Brattleboro crossed out] Wolfboro. Will has been detained by business… & cannot start till the 5th. - that will bring him here the 9th or 10th - If he would like it, I should like to run up to W. - at once from Boston where I shall go to meet him ; -- but he may be too tired of railroading to take any more at first; -- & the Stearns's are coming up here on the 15th to stay a week -- & after that Mrs. Ruckles [?] - we cannot leave before the 1st of Sept. when I expect to break up here --, & that will be the time we shall come to W. - but we will go to the Hotel dear - not come to your house to make more work for you.-

I hope it is doing Cousin Anne good to have rest & country air. She seemed to me half crazy when I saw her in Boston. She is too much alone. Give my love to her & tell her I did not come up from [?] till Thurs. Eve. & I went to her house Friday noon just an hour, Annie said, after she had gone to the [?]. -

Have you heard from Richie yet? - Give my love to all -- & write soon -

Yours ever, Helen

Aug. 18. 1876

Dear Annie,

I am rejoiced to know that Richie is all right. It must be a great load off your minds..-I can't understand his not writing himself, but the Consul's letters are enough. By the way, they are most curious expressions of the English language, & the use of capitals, are they not.-

I am surprised to know that Cousin Ann has left W. I thought she would stay till Sept. 1st & hoped to find her there.-our present plan is to come up, on the 28th. -- & stay two or three days - if we can get rooms at the Hotel. I have to lie by at that time & thought I would take it in Wolfboro.-so as to see you quietly - before we start off. - Will has to set out for Colorado on the 17th & we have our programme all written out for each day till then, just as we did last fall. I have about made up my mind to let him leave me here for a few weeks - He may return in Oct.-- & the two journeys for me will be both hard & expensive: -- so I know it is wiser to let him go alone; -- much as I dread the Aug. [?] left here.-

--Would it be better for us to go to the house where Cousin Ann was - would they take people for three days? - Now don't say a word about our coming to your house. I could not be comfortable feeling all the while that you were doing the work we made.

Goodbye - Will sends love.

Yrs ever -


P.S. Yes, I did get Helen's letter & the Ind.[?]

[Aug. 20, 1876 penciled in]

Dear Annie-

Will has got badly poisoned with ivy! - He is very sensitive to it-has been twice so poisoned in Colorado that he was in bed three or four days! -

--So instead of packing today, as I expected to, I have been bathing his face in a solution of copper ax [?] -- & giving him belladonna! -- & I don't believe there is the least chance of our coming up to Wolfboro on Monday. - Still - these poisons are very incalculable & he may be all right on Monday & if he is much better tomorrow I shall pack up; -- but I want to prepare you for our not being able to come at all; -- in that case, -- couldn't you come here after you leave Adams [?]? on Wed.? - We must go to Newport on Friday that is - We must if Will is well enough; -- if we can't go then, we shall have to give up that visit too; for we must get to Phila. On the 4th - There we shall have only eleven days for the Centennial, & for Will's friends; -- for Will must start for Col. On the 16th.-

How vexatious such things are. - I will telegraph to you on Monday, if we have to give up Wolfboro for this time. -- If you get no telegram on Monday, you may know we are still planning to come.-I hope we can. I want to see the girls -- & to have them see their new uncle.-- Goodbye -

Yrs ever -


Wed. Aug 23.

Dear Annie-

This is indeed too bad - I suppose it will seem absurd to you for us to find it impossible to postpone our visit a single day; -- but this is just how it is; -- the 28th is the last day I can venture to count on for traveling; -- I shall probably be taken unwell, that eve; -- I must have those two days of quiet; -- I have promised to go to Newport to the Woolseys [?] on the 31st. - have the 1st there; -- to Hartford, to Charles Dudley Warners the 2d -- & to Phila the 4th.-- & that will leave us only 11 days for the Exposition & to visit all Mr. Jackson's relatives (!!) whom he gave great offense last year by allowing so few days for them -- & to whom he promised a good visit this year! He absolutely must start for Colorado on the 17th - That is what hurries us so. So I still think we must come on the 28th - as we planned -- & if you have to go on the 29th, we must talk all we can on the eve. of the 28th - I am very sorry because there is a business matter which I which I wish to discuss with you, relative to our Trustee. - Perhaps you will not have to go till noon on the 29th - If there is anything I do hate it is to be hurried in this way, but I begin to think it is my destiny. - Perhaps you will find after all that you cannot get ready to go on the 29th -- & you will bring up your sewing to the Pavilion & sit & sew with me all day there--& and I will help you. - Will you please engage two rooms for us there? - Sunny -- & with a good view, & opening together?

--We will come down & take as many meals with you as you like while you are at home; -- after that, the girls must come up & see us.-

I should feel very uncomfortable to move [?] Helen & Annie into the attics. I am sure we shall all enjoy seeing each other much more if we make our headquarters at the Hotel; -- we are just as much obliged to you for the invitation -- & I hope you will not mind our postponing the acceptance of it till you have a "spare room" without turning you family into garrets. - Goodbye - Love to all -

Affly ever


Wilton [or Milton] N.H.
Sept. 19th

Dear Annie,

We fled for our lives from Philadelphia on Thursday last - Molly went in the morning -- & Will & I followed in the afternoon. He had not intended to go back to N. York, but I felt so miserably ill, that he was afraid I was coming down with the fever, & went on with me, to see what change of air would do. He was all used up himself, also - seven days of bad food, fatigue & stench, had pretty well finished us, but one night at the Brevoort -- & two good meals set us on our feet again - really New York which I never before thought sweet in Sept. smelled like a fresh country hill after Phila! - Dr. Nichols says I was severely threatened with the fever - probably nothing but drinking distilled water saved me. We bought two quarts at the druggists every day & did not touch a drop of anything else. Three of Mr. St. John's friends in Newburgh are down now with typhoid fever and [?] not expected to live. They all carried it from the Centennial & he wrote imploring Molly not to go. -

--Now I suppose you will think I am a monomaniac on this subject - to implore you not to go -- & above all not to take the children -- & I will not say any more about it - You must decide for yourself - I can only say that I wouldn't go through it again for one hundred thousand dollars cash down! - Even aside from all the danger of fever, the fatigue & confusion are enough; -- 80,000 people on the grounds the last day we were there - it was just like the corner of Washington & Winter Sts at 4 P.M! - What can you see in such a crowd? - Many of the places eight and ten deep in packed rows around the things we wanted to see -- couldn't get near them! - the mere fatigue of seeing so many faces was awful! -- & Everybody looked so dead tired - the poor women especially - there will be thousands of women who will never get over it as long as they live - as for Everetts kind - if he can stand a day of it, he can stand anything in life! - Both Molly & I had pain in the back of our necks -- & behind eyes just from the strain of looking steadily [?] for five hours - I came up here on Sat-- & hoped to like the place well enough to say a fortnight - but I do not -- & I shall go either to Brattleboro or Milton - to Brattleboro if Mrs. De Coursey can go with me - otherwise to Milton. - Will started for Colorado on Sat. night -- & I have another tiresome month to get through with - I am praying perpetually that the Colorado legislature may go democratic in which case he will be back here by the middle of Oct. & we can do what we please. - I do not feel at all well yet --, I think it will take me two weeks at least to recover from my fatigue - but I do not think I shall be sick - I think I shall go to N. York to stay with Molly, about Oct. 7th. -- Write to me - Care Roberts Bros. - Boston. I go down tomorrow. - Yrs lovingly - Helen

Oct. 15

Dear Annie,

We go to Boston on Wed - I shall stay there & in the vicinity for ten days or so & then go to N. York.-
Let me know what you plans are.-

Will writes that he thinks he has very slender chance of being elected. I hope he is right! - three weeks more of suspense, -- & then I shall know.

Has Julius Palmer written you of his having [?] reduced the rest of the Pitts St. property from $120 a month to $100 -- & another, from $60 to $40 - making $90 a quarter less income to each of us? - I want to know if these two plans are related [?] to that Irishman [?] you spoke of. - When Will comes on next month we will look up these matters.-

Good bye -
Lovingly ever


Parker House -

[11-1-76 penciled in]
Wed Eve.

Dear Annie,

I have just read over Grandpa's will - & I am dumbfounded to see that he does not say a word about any bond at all! - it has occurred to me that perhaps the Mass. law requires a bond in all cases where the will does not specify that none shall be required. If so we are all right.-Ask Everett, please, & let me know at once. - I almost thing it must be so. - else why should there ever have been any bond given?

--I also see that this will specifies that you & I can only will away our property by a will made "according to the Massachusetts form"' -

--Now I made a will, in Colorado - leaving all my property to Will - but I care say that it was not in Mass. form. - and I wish [?] Everett would just write one out for me, in fewest horrible words - according to Mass. forms --& send it to me as soon as possible. It need take but few words I think - I wish to leave everything to Will - without any reserve or limitation - He will attend to them all. -

If Everett can send it this week, send it here; -- else send it to the Grosvenor, New York. I feel very anxious to have it all right. -

What a bother a little money is! I really dread having any trouble about this new bond. Perhaps Will won't think it worth while - What does Everett think? - I suppose it will not be very interesting [?] work to write such a will as I want - or I would not bother Everett with it - I hate to go to a stranger -would it not be legal like this

"I H.M.J. &c. - give to my husband William Sharpless Jackson all the property which I own, -- personal & other wise" -- That ought to be a legal if it isn't. - Ask E. to tell me about figuring it & all that. -

Yrs ever lovingly


Nov. 1st [1876 penciled in]
Parker House
Wed. Oct. [crossed out]
Nov. 1st

Dear Annie,

Your note has just come. I recollected [?] after my letter had gone that I had not told you anything about "law business in Denver" - the reason was that I did not know anything about it. Will could tell you better -- & I will ask him, if I ever behold him again! I am utterly worn out with this long waiting., & am sorry I did not go back to Colorado with him, & make the best of everything I should have had to contend with there. Still, I should hardly have seen him, or been with him much there. He has been on the go all the time. -- That crew of wild beasts, the Colorado legislature, comes together today; so I hope a few days may decide it, but in Will's last letter he told me, what if I had known before, I should have gone out whether or no, I think - that sometimes a legislature has squabbled a whole month over a senatorial election! -

--The only thing I know about Denver is that I loathe it; about as much as I do Washington; so you would probably like it! - One thing is certain however that it is a very bad place to go to without money - I can't bear to see anybody come into Colorado who is poor. -

I think you are a brave woman to go to Washington as you are going now. I do really admire your "pluck" & patience; -- & I think it ought to be rewarded - I hope it may.-

Cousin Ann & I went out to Newton [?] last Sat. & saw Aunt Maria at Alonzo Fiskes. We had spent so much time going over to the centre of the town first.-- & it was so threatening a day, that we staid only half an hour. Aunt Maria has grown old - the wrinkles are deeper a good deal; -- but she seemed well. - They were all glad to see us.-

I shall go to New York on Saturday I think - where will you stop as you go through? I can have a glimpse of you there perhaps - or will you go straight through. You must let me know.-

Julius does not pretend to say that the bondsmen are good. One of them is in bankruptcy! - he says however that the other Admiral Thacher is worth more than the whole bond - but Will was told that he was worth only $10,000 - Will takes the position that no bond ought to be required of a Trustee - says wills are now generally drawn up without any such requirement. - I do not know what Will will think it best to do when he comes on. I shall do exactly as he says. I don't know & can't judge about any such things. - Thank you for the will. I shall take good care of it & return it safe.

Love to all - affly ever Helen

New York
Nov. 16.

Dear Annie -

I learn today by a note from Cousin Ann that you have put off leaving Wolfboro till the last of this week - now, since you have put it off so long, can't you put it off a little longer, so that you can meet us in Boston? I have a telegram today from Will, saying that Teller & Chaffee are elected -- & he will start for the East, on the 20th that will bring him here on the 25th at latest - a week from tomorrow -- & we can go right to Boston, the next day; -- I think if you & Will put your two heads together, the business matters of one estate would be much better locked up; -- you see Julius may refuse to show Will, or tell tell [sic] him anything; --& I am perfectly ignorant about it all. -

Thanksgiving is the 20th. Why don't you plan to spend that with Mary -- & have two or three days there? -- I am sure it would be much better if you could. I shall stay here till Will comes -- You can fancy how profoundly grateful I feel that he is not elected; -- I feel like a new woman. - goodbye - Let me know what your plans are -

In haste lovingly


Top of Page     

Click here for CC Home Page

Helen Hunt Jackson

Special Collections Home

maintained by Special Collections; last revised, 2-2003, jr