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William S. Jackson 1-1-7 transcription
William S. Jackson Papers, Part 1, Ms 0235, Box 1, Folder 7.
Letters between William S. Jackson and Helen Hunt Jackson, 1874-1884. Transcribed by Nancy Knipe, 2009.

[undated] Thurs. Eve.

Bad boy – who didn’t write to his girl yesterday as he promised he would! – He doesn’t deserve a word tonight but I want to send the enclosed note from Scribners & my reply & have you see if I have said the right thing. – I do not like this note, for one reason: it looks as if Dr. [Holland?] had put them up to proposing to publish the story direct in book form without its going in the mag. At all, -- on the other hand, it shows that the S.H. stories have a pretty good market – if they are anxious to get the publishing of a new volume. –

Be sure to read the notice of Dr. [Hollands?] “Topics of the Time” in the last Nation. It is awfully severe, but true.

It still blows a gale here. I never saw anything like it. – If this weather lasts I shall be glad to get home, though Mr. Parrish says it is very hot at C.S. – Here it is really cold – delicious autumn weather except for the wind. – Lizzy Parrish came down with him & Frank is coming for the 4th after all. –

Glad of the papers & mags Please mail the Tribune every day -- & do write dear darling, if it is only a word or two. –

Your loving Peggy.
&. – Have another two sonnets today --$25 – am making notes on the story. –


WM. S. JACKSON. Treasurer.
Colorado Springs, Colorado. ……..Oct. 24, 1874


Dear Helen


Now you see I am very glad you did not put off writing until Sunday. You see I have sent you off two or three notes to you one committing the unpardonable breach of not waiting for a reply – I have your letter with draft of house & also the one enclosing the letter from the [Misses/Miners?]. I found my little niece had sent a book to these [Misses/Miners?] & no doubt they were much helped by your thoughtfulness in their behalf. Such things are and ought to be a great pleasures to you.

I have not seen the Countess yet. She is spending the week at Genl Palmers. Mrs. Lows is also up there, they are preparing some treatments for winter entertainments. I go up tomorrow to see them & will write you then all the news. [crossed out: In mean]

Now for business. The Boutwell house is vacant & will not be rented before Nov. 1st. [crossed out: They are] The owner is trying to sell it at $3,400 & if not sold by Nov. 1st it can be rented at $50 per month. It will take from $150 to $200 to put in good order, this the owner will not spend, nor will not take off the rent Shall I rent it? Telegraph me yes or no, as you think best, but don’t fail to telegraph. I like the house much in many ways & have a half a notion to buy it. If I thought you would be content there for a few years I could buy it and not build just yet, but perhaps the better way will be to rent for a year with privilege of purchase during the year, don’t know that such a trade can be made, but think so. Don’t fail to telegraph either yes or no to renting & at once, as I must know your mind by Nov 1st & there is now no time to spare.

Love I say in a hurry

Hope the Doctor came to see you & you had a good time. The Sun has been shining its brightest every day since my [returning?]

With love Your WSJ


WM. S. JACKSON. Treasurer.
Colorado Springs, Colorado. …….. Oct 30 [?] …. 1874 [?]

Dear Helen! The first storm since my return is now on us & it is winter & cold, this is the annual fall storm. After this will likely come fine weather again. Think of it, this is the first cloudy or disagreeable day since my return—say since the 16th.

On Sunday evening I went up to Glen Eyrie & took dinner with Mrs. Palmer, Countess, Gerald, & Mr. & Mrs. Lows were there. They had been spending some ten days with Mrs. P. in the absence of the General. Countess & Gerald returned yesterday & I called on them in their cosey little rooms in the [row?].

The woodpecker perched above the door is as pretty as ever, & the borders of leaves to the pictures you made are still evidences of you having been here. It will be a long time before the visible evidence of your stay [crossed out: can] will be obliterated & how much longer before your influences (unseen) upon our lives & happiness will be lost. – I have your “old & new” and have read the story – like it – also have read Barton on Business men. His is a very sensible view – will send the article on Educating poor – I am sorry you are having such bad weather. Where have all the Indian summers gone to, we used to have them when we were young you know.

Hope you & the Doctor will have a good time. Am very sorry you can’t go to New York to see your friend & especially your sister Mollie, I have somehow an interest in her.

About the [Heliotypes?]. They are at hand, & countess has made her pretty speech. She will write you perhaps by this mail. The browns that you like so much cover the mesa & foot & hills. I think Sunday night was one of the finest moonlights I ever witnessed. The mountains were so clearly marked against the sky & [crossed out:I?] how near they looked as I galloped across the plain. – I note what you say, “There were things I should have said to you in that last long talk we had” -- I am very sorry you left anything unsaid that had better, or ought to have been said. In all my relations with you I have endeavored to be perfectly frank & outspoken, that there might not be any misunderstandings or [heart burnings/bruisings?] hereafter – I impressed on you as forcibly as I possibly could that I was not in a position to go into an extravagant way of living & that if I was in a position it was contrary to my instincts & to what I believed right. That people who wasted money unnecessarily on themselves, were not using the goods put into their hands to the best purposes. On this point I was quite pointed perhaps & for the reason that I was sure your life had been with those who could live more freely & expensively than I felt we could. – Now I have no desire to be less than very comfortable & to have every thing necessary to that end. Will our notions agree as to this? – this point & one other, -- that I have often felt you would alter the [Creature?] very much if you could, -- have entered into my doubts. Now if there is anything you should say, write me fully & frankly – that you can write clearly your mind & feelings there cannot be the slightest doubt of. Even though you can’t talk them when riding in a buggy -- I have written you about the Boutwell house & will no doubt have your answer before this reaches you – as to the picture, I cannot get one in Denver worth anything & will wait until I go east again, there we’ll do just as you want me to. Though that I don’t promise to do at all times by any means, & this you must make up your mind [too?]. For I must lead my life & it must be a life of business – I don’t know anything else & am now too old to learn anything new, even though I want to. So dear girl don’t attempt to draw me out of my business rut until I am ready to quit & go traveling or something else & then we can have a good time if all goes well, & if it don’t we are surely strong enough to meet the fate that is in store for us & meet it bravely. –
I [am?] with much love
Your Boy.
Can you read this letter
I doubt it. –
[Written on the back:] thanks for the “old & new” I like to read what you mark for me & the [Paten/Raton?] discourse was profitable

One of my little nieces sent a book to the [Miners/Misses?] in answer to your appeal. She was telling me of it when I was at home.


Denver Col. Nove.9, 1874

Dear Helen:

I have yours of 1st [inst?] in which you demand a reply. How often have you told me in reply to my questioning, that promising to be your wife covered all the ground. May I not say with equal fairness taking you for a wife & promising to be your husband answers more fully than words of mine can the questions you ask. I told you long ago not to look for the ordinary demonstrative kind of letters from me, that I can’t write them & don’t want to write them. If I was to sit down & tell you I could not live without you, that life is robbed of every thing worth living for if you don’t come to me & a whole lot of speeches of this kind, I would simply not be telling you the truth, but when I say to you, that weighing all the conditions for and against I determined if you were willing to make you my wife I could tell you the truth. –

But the crotchet you seem to have in your head now, arises from our not understanding alike the conditions on which we parted at Littleton. I was of the impression it was understood that we would be married this winter & as I wrote you the other day in reply to your [favor?] so full of doubts, so full that was really afraid to go on with our plan & at once proposed another that I was very desirous of your carrying out. –

Now Helen there is no use of our being foolish about the matter—either we are going to be married or we are not. I had decided that we would be & thought you had agreed to the same arrangement before leaving Littleton. I want to carry out this plan yet unless you dissent from it. –

Now suppose we do carry out this plan.
1st In matter of income I have no certainty of $10,000 a year. Last year was a fortunate one for me & besides I have already put into this house bot [sic] for us $4000. You ask for changes that will cost perhaps $1500 & furnishing & fixing getting out here &c will cost say $1500 in all $7000 or nearly one half of my available cash capital, or according to the interest recd out here a reduction of my income of $2800. to begin with.

I have from the very first impressed on your minde [sic] that you were marrying a comparatively poor man & asked you could you be content to live a life requiring to economize.—

Now what I want is this
1st that nothing is done on this house except the absolute necessities such as putting up wood shed & wash house. That the repainting & other changes we can make as we find we are able. It may be very soon, besides I would not make any of these when you were not here. Now this is one of the best houses in the town & it is odd enough if two people can’t be made reasonably comfortable in it without such an outlay as to make it burdensome.
2nd Furniture: What I desire is to live as plainly as possible. I don’t want to buy anything east except what is absolutely necessary say linens, china, silver &c., & we don’t want much of either. What I would like better than all would be for you to get together your own things & send them out, we can add what we need afterwards. Suppose we do begin with only a half dozzen [sic] spoons & plates & eat off of a pine table. People ought to start at the bottom & work up. We are living for ourselves & not for others. If we are comfortable & contented what do we care for the opinion of the world. I do not want to spend in addition to what you have if I can avoid it [over?] $1000 in furniture just now.—
3rd Servants:
If you transfer servants from where they receive $12 a month to where they get $25 you do them a service for which you should be paid for. You should not agree to do it free, this is simply a matter of justice to yourself . There is no reason in your paying over $25 per month either; wages are going down as help becomes plentier.

Now I have written you just as plainly as I know how to talk what are my wishes. Can [crossed out: I carry] you be content without a lot of silver without much china, without much show in any way. Then we can fix our little home by degrees to suit ourselves & if we are prudent now I have no fears of the future. We can take care of ourselves.—

Now my dear girl if after thinking this all over & not fussing & worrying about it, for that tendency will ruin anybody (I don’t like to hear you say you are worried nearly sick &c.) My philosophy is do the best you can under the circumstances & then avoid fretting –

The House: I came up here yesterday & will send you the measurements on Thursday after my return to the Springs.-- Will go down tomorrow Tuesday & may get the measurements off on Wednesday . Will try—

As this point I was interrupted by the learned & elegant gentleman Mr. Lows who asks me to breakfast with him eating is a fine art with him. Tonight for it is now 12.oc. has been spent with Mr. Archer (whom you will remember having met [crossed out: him] & his wife at Twin Lakes.) Mr. Blackman a Englishman of means & Dr. Kingsley a brother to Canon Kingsley & to my way of thinking a much smarter & pleasanter fellow. I like him much notwithstanding he got gloriously drunk, as well as the other two, having been sick for sometime I could not drink & by that unfortunate & yet fortunate circumstance, I escaped making a fool of myself as they did to perfection.

Now I go to bed & bid you a good night & repeat the shower of kisses you sent me. I go to the Springs in the morning & will write you a hasty note with diagram of house
Your Boy


[penciled in upper right corner: 1879, which seems inconsistent with the timing of 1879 letters. So this letter has been placed earlier. 1875?]
#! Sat. Pm --
2 o clk –
Dearest – Weren’t we sensible people to forget that no train leaves K.C. on Sat eve! – When the conductor told me this this Am I could have howled. A day & a night alone at the Coates House! -- Dear can’t you beg borrow or hire a memory? We must have one in the family! –

Your roses are pressing in a book – the last ones that my darling will cut for me this summer; -- I shall keep them. – You have not been out of my thoughts one moment yet. – I shall not reach Chicago till Mon. – Your Peggy –


[Undated, but this letter logically seems to follow the previous one. 1875?] Kansas City
Sunday P.M.
Dearest Will –

This has been one of the longest days I ever knew – I have slept away all I could of it – now in an hour I shall be on the move again, – and shall feel better. I am afraid I did not act wisely in coming away by myself – to be alone is not good for me just now – come just as soon as it is any way possible, my Darling, will you not? But I know you will. – It is only five days to the college meeting & after that is over you can soon be free. –

I have to go in a section tonight! -- No drawing room on the C.B. & [going?] regularly at all – only “stray cars” – on the C. & S. –twice a week Tues. & Fridays -- The little conductor was as good as possible to me & I would have given a good deal to have gone straight through in that car. – We were not to reach the supper place Sat. night till eleven o clk – so after I had finished my supper I put a [pigeon?] & some iron clads & a cake in a paper & gave it to him & he was very grateful for it – said these irregular meals made him ill. – He took the position “for his health”! – queer thing to do for one’s health.

If my clothes had not all gone on -- & if I were not ashamed, I do believe I should turn back today. I feel so homesick – no, not homesick –It is not the house I want – nor anything nor all things in it. It is only you. -- Write very very often, my dearest one, W
Your own Peggy.


[two penciled notes in upper right corner: ca. Sept 13, 1875; and then below this: ca. 1879? This later date doesn’t seem consistent with letters from 1879, so it has been placed earlier in the file.]

Good day my Peggy,
How are the waves? How do you feel? How do you get on? What is the outlook? How is the stomach & the head & How is my Peggy generally? Well I sincerely hope. –

Peggy: I have received your letter from Chicago. I feel with you, since you are going to have a good & prosperous journey full of enjoyment & profit.

If you make the effort you promise yourself to make you will get out of any rut you are now in & I will certainly—my darling girl, do all I can to aid you –

There is a brighter day coming for us if we are true to ourselves. We are both going to be happy & contented –

You will lead your life in your work & in which you are doing good. I will lead mine in a business line [crossed out: which] It is the only line in which I can hope to succeed & if we are halfway prudent and temporal wants will be well cared for – you will come back to me in September next, with a new mucus membrane & with all the old cobwebs brushed away. Only a clean sunlight of love & trust left in their stead.

I promise you you will find me meeting you even more than half way—

I feel the new & better time dawning & full bright day will come on your return. Keep good courage & make the most of your self.
Given from affectionate Heart.

Remembrances to the Horsfords.

[Env. Sept. 3—C.S. To London, Eng. Undated. Very possibly belongs in another file of letters from WSJ when HHJ was traveling in Europe. Headed 3. with curator’s note: no other pages 7/84, meaning 1984?]
I am having the walk around the grounds filled up & rounded. It got worn into
hollows so that water would lay after rains. The Pbn. Church people are sinking cellar under the end of their church in which to put an heater. I bot the dirt taken out in excavating.

Now in regard to money matters. I wrote entirely frankly about that. I told you then if remember right that I wanted Peggy to spend whatever was necessary to make her trip a success. So far as traveling & seeing things are concerned & doing whatever seemed wise it would be more than foolish to go to Europe – Having suffered the wrongs of a sea voyage & gone through all the expense to turn around & not accomplish anything. That would be an absolute waste of money & strength as well, both wastes being sins –

For myself I don’t know that I have lost any more money since you have been gone, on the contrary, I hope I have made $3000 or about enough to pay for my girls trip abroad but my girl is wrong if she thinks I ever told her I could clean up with $117,000 dolls. Peggy should never name figures. She always increases the amount especially if she wishes it should be larger. You should remember that the quality of “too muchness” predominates in your nature in every thing almost. I should think a thousand times since I have known my Peggy she has had the best time in her life, or she never suffered so in her life before, or it was the most horrid experience she had ever had & so on through the list, entirely true I think for the time being, but is an extravagance of speech as well as feeling. – What I want my girl to do is to go on doing what seems to her for the best. I cannot possibly decide on her plans in anyway. If she makes money out of her ventures she will be in luck, but I shall not build any castles out of the proceeds until the funds are in hand. Brains are at a discount in America & perhaps I might truthfully say in the world. I wonder if they will be in any better demand in the next world?

Goodby my sweet Peggy

Lovingly & Lovingly yours Will

Now Peggy I enclose the Whiskers the ugly coarse things. Don’t you feel ashamed of them. Goodby – Goodby---



Thursday June 28.

Dearest Will—

I meant to have sent this letter off by todays mail—but I was too late. -- I am all settled – finished “Hard Scrabble” yesterday – shall mail it to C. U. – tomorrow. It is a good paper. –

--Mrs. Parrish says there has been a card from Saxe Holm in the Tribune. – do look over your Tribunes & see if you can find it. It is queer [neither?] you nor I saw it. -- & it is very queer Gild[?er] has not written to me. – his putting the S.H. card in the newspapers however looks as if they meant to hold on to S.H. – I want them to take my next story & I want it to be ready by Jan. 1st. – Think I can do it? -- I begin “Nelly’s Gold Mine” today – pick up something for it every day ; -- shall be quite ready to come home a week from today ; -- this is the dirtiest place I ever saw – our worst dust storms never exceeded it. Tues. we could not drive at all -- & I think I shall not be able to today – Yesterday we had a good drive, & a great search after a spring of soft water. – I really dare not drink this water here -- & as for washing in it, I’d as soon wash in a gravel bed. – I [crossed out: have] brought home last night a big pail from a spring three miles away – it is softer, but not very good. –

Will – don’t tell – bedbugs! -- had to buy cedar oil yesterday & have the bed done over – never slept all Tues. night! – in the walls I fear. -- It is just as well the Countess couldn’t come. She wouldn’t have liked it -- & I don’t believe the Basses would either: -- the food is not fit for Mr. Bass to eat –
I like Mrs. Brewster very much – She is an uncommonly sweet little woman – She has two servants now & is much relieved – one of the women is a [tall?] savage from Kansas, with her hair down her back; -- sweet creature in a dining room! –

Last night as I was standing out on the [crossed out: piazza] little porch at the Parrishes -- & leaning on the front railing, the railing gave way, & out I tumbled – way out across the ditch! – Wasn’t I dirty? and weren’t they all frightened to death --? But I was not in the least hurt -- & this morning I am not even stiff! – I certainly am made of India rubber I do believe -- Think how much less a fall crippled poor Molly for life. –

Goodbye dearest Will – I hope for a line from you tonight. Tom Parrish wrote back from Pueblo & so might you, if you had been a good writing boy! – Be sure & send me a line every other day; -- & tell me all the news. – Give my love to that next door chum. –

Your loving Peggy. –

I miss you old dear –
[written across left margin at beginning of letter:] Can’t you slip in a dozen toothpicks into your next letter? –


Aug. 7th Mon. pm

Chicago Tribune Office

No passes for us dear—I have been to both R.R. station, & office -- & they say that [?Marcus?] has not had passes to give beyond Pittsburgh since Feb. – He is out of town – I left your note for Allen his representative -- & the passes as far as Pittsburgh may be found in Allen’s drawer they say! – Mean time I go out to Jessy’s for the night, with Mrs. Lloyd—It is unbearably hot here -- & I am enjoying her – [?Situation?] -- I shall see if that old [Gov.?] can’t get me passes on some other road tomorrow – Goodbye my dear dear one –

Your Peggy –
My stay over two nights with Jessy if all is well –


On the train

Wed. Eve –

Aug. 13 --

7 Pm. [1879 in pencil]
Dearest Will –

The Porter says he can put this on board a train going west tonight, so I write line, to kiss you goodnight, & to remark, which my language is plain that the Lake Shore & Central N.Y. R.R. is one I never wish to travel on again. Such a day of dust I have hardly ever experienced -- & the Porter says it is not so bad as usual! -- “Terrible dusty road” he says -- & I believe him. I don’t believe you would kiss me, if you were to come into the car this minute. –

I have read six novels today, to drown myself out of consciousness of discomfort – don’t remember a word of any of them!

I had a good time with Jessy – Baby sick however – teething – Jessy sent her love to you & said you promised her solemnly you would stop the next time & you must. – I hope we can. I should like you to see their lovely place – under trees – on the very shore of the lake – big home furnished, only $200 a year! Winetka is full of empty houses -- & only 16 miles from Chicago. I don’t know what people are thinking of – I saw one house, in a lovely grove – house as large as ours – rented Jessy said for $5.00 a month!! -- Good place to go to economize. – I have been “out” to but two meals, since I left home! My lunch basket & milk have done wonders – I find ironclads, milk & fruit a satisfactory repast – I quite grudge the $1.20 I have paid today for two nasty meals – in very disagreeable society – I haven’t seen a civilized person since I left Chicago except the black porter, who is a gentleman in his way.

Goodnight my beloved one – I am sorry I came away from you – I believe I’ll never leave you again, of my own free will, as long as I live! -- Though if one spoke the truth, it could not be said that I came of my own free will exactly, this time, did I? –

We came through Buffalo today – I suppose the Basses will be back in C.S. – by the 13th or 20th. -- Goodnight – if I weren’t sitting in the public car, I would be foolish enough to put a real kiss down on the paper just here -- & if I did, would you take it off on your lips, dear? -- Remember to write a word as often as possible – I do hope you will not have to go to Leadville – Goodnight & goodnight & goodnight my Will. Come, Come.

Your loving Peggy
Shall be in N. York at 7 Am tomorrow, D.V.—


Brevoort House

Aug. 18, 1879
Dearest Will –

The rain has poured here now for three days – My hair is soft and shiny, my skin feels like satin, and I should think at a moderate estimate I must have perspired several quarts . – already. I look a good many shades whiter, but I suppose the salt water wind and sun will scorch me red again as soon as I get to Mt. Desert. So do not expect to find me a lily when you come, “when you come”! Ah when will that be! Your note of the 14th this morning received, and your telegram of last night make me feel blue about your coming.

I do most earnestly hope that you are [needlessly?] discouraged about the sale of the mine. – but I cannot help wishing that you were here on the ground to see to it. “If you want a thing done, do it yourself,” is a motto I have learned to have more and more respect for, every year that I have lived – and that’s a good many!

I go to Boston by the Fall River boat – it will be very rough around Point [Judith?] I fear, but I hope to sleep through.—

You have been a dear Will to write me every other day – we’ll you keep it up? I am sure you would take the trouble if you knew how eagerly I watch and wait for the letters, and how much they help to relieve the sense of weary loneliness which I feel away from you. It is all very well for you to say “Have a good time,” – I can’t have a really “good time” without you. All I can do is only making the best of the next best thing – but that I shall try very hard to do. You may be sure, my dearest husband. –

I am very glad to get away from New York, and I shall not set foot in it again, till I come here to meet you. It is the mouth of hell – I wonder God does not burn it up as he did Sodom & Gomorah [sic]. If I were God, I would not let such a thing as a city exist on the face of my fine and beautiful world; -- it is almost time, I am sure, for this earth of ours to fall off and never be heard of more, in the universe – fall off of its own decay, like a lone dead thing. – All the beauty and perfection of art, all the song, and music and loveliness and good on which I have hitherto taken delight, on which I have hitherto had my eyes fixed, as only poor blind poet’s eyes could be! -- I see now that all these things, are so small so fleeting so few, so powerless beside of the huge sin and wrong, that I wonder we know they exist at all. They are no more than one poor little flower blossoming for a moment on the edge of a volcano into which it must fall.

This is what I have been thinking during the past three days. Also I have been led to think very deeply on the significance of any one persons suffering in such a great sea of misery. A man’s heart broken or a woman’s heart broken, one more, more or less! It is no more than one more, more or less of the poor insects crushed under foot in an hour.

If one could constantly keep this in view it might make one a little hard, probably, but it would keep one calm, would it not? And be a good antidote to the selfishness which is in all our hearts and [crossed out: which] cries out for happiness. Why do we all think that we have the right to be happy? Who told us? Who promised it to us? Yet all our ruthless rebellion against the hurts and wrongs we meet with, is because they give us pain. Very well, what then? Why should we not have pain! What right have we to expect anything else.

You see I have been thinking strange thoughts these three days when I have gone away from these months of Hell, perhaps I shall no longer think them all the time. I do not know.

I enclose the [?] letter you forwarded me. This is bad news indeed. – What is to be done now? I shall do nothing, & tell no one, till I hear from you. I shall merely say to Mr. Tufts that the time of Mr. [Bachlors?] return is entirely indefinite. I should feel much easier about the selection of a new Trustee, if you could be here to inquire about the men – to see [them?] -- & to assist at the turning over the estate. It is a great disappointment to me to have to give up [?] – but it seems selfish even to think about our disappointment in the face of such trouble as this. I think Lee’s letter a very brave one. Be sure & tell me when you write exactly what to do. What I wish to do is to have everything as it is till you come.—

My dearest one – remember that I want you to promise to telegraph to me the night before you start so that I shall be there and be in N. Y. to meet you.—I find that Mt. Desert is a whole day’s journey from Bangor! -- & it will take me two days & a night at the very least to make N. York, and I shall not feel easy to be so far away, unless you promise to let me know long enough beforehand to be sure of meeting you. – Now I will send this letter off to let you know I am in Boston, & will tell you in my next one about my day here. Your loving Peggy.

Parkers. – Tues Eve. –
I was interrupted yesterday afternoon and had no time to finish my letter before going to the boat, so brought it along with me to mail here. We had a terrible night – one of the roughest I ever experienced – Seven boats did not go out at all. – I slept very little – and in consequence, felt very tired this morning, but I was not absolutely sea sick, and this gave me great satisfaction as auguring well for my being a better sailor than I feared in case we should take a long voyage next winter. --


Parker House
Friday PM
Aug 22, 1879
Dearest Will,

I have not written you a word since Tues. except the hasty postscript to the letter I brought on from N. York, & mailed here. – I have been quite ill – in bed all day yesterday, & on the lounge today – a severe attack of bowels troubles –I am very sorry to have to stay here so long, for many reasons – it is frightfully dear -- & I wanted to get to the Sea -- & o & o – but still it can’t be helped. I shall not be well enough to go till Monday. -- & then I propose to push on at once to Mr. Desert. – Now I will give you an account of the singular meetings of the first twenty four hours I spent here. I sallied out from this home about nine Am Tues. morn., the morning I arrived -- & who should I see standing on the first corners of Tremont & School Pl, waiting for a house car but dear old Sara Clarke with whom I was in Rome. I had my arms around her and had kissed her before she saw me. Then I went with her to her studio & talked a long time. Splendid old woman seventy two years old and working away at her pictures as enthusiastically as ever. – I made an engagement to go out early Wed. morn., to Jamaica Plains to her brothers house, to see her great work, of which I have several times spoken to you, her Dante book sketches of places and castles which sheltered Dante in his exile; it was bought by a Mrs. Mitchell of [Milwaukie?] –(husband a banker worth millions) but Sarah has it here for some months to exhibit it to her friends – here I was hurrying to take a 7:40 train Wed. Am when not five steps from the corner where I had met Sara Clarke, a man’s hand was laid on my shoulder, & I looked into Mr. Bass’s face! He and Mrs. Bass had just arrived from N. York, were on their way to the Parker House! – I had to rush on, to catch my train – had a pleasant hour with Sara C her great book (which you must see when you come – it is a marvel) -- came back to town, went into a restaurant to take a roll & glass of milk – while I was eating, glanced up, & saw Mrs. Charles Elliott passing the door! Chased & overtook her & brought her in. – Now was not this wonderful three such meetings in twenty four hours?

I went back to Parkers & lunched with the Bass’es! & Gen Palmer & Mrs. Nullen & Daisy & Maud were in the restaurant! – Mrs. Nullen is radiant, Will, there is deviltry going on. –Mrs. N. looks fifteen years younger & so happy it is like bride & bridegroom! -- They are staying at Nantucket beach, & the Gen. comes every morning. – After lunch Mrs. Bass went with me to call on Mrs. Goddard, whom she had a great desire to see; -- then we all dined together (Mr. & Mrs. Bass & I) late in the eve. Mr. Bass does not look as well as he did & coughs more.—He is coming back to Colorado next week – but Mrs. Bass is not coming at present, on account of her father’s health. She is not well herself either. Little Guy’s death has been a dreadful shock to them all. – Yesterday I was in bed all day -- & saw nobody, but Mrs. Bass & the Doctor who was here twice. – today I am better but still very much prostrated by the severity of the attack. – It has been a great comfort to have Mrs. Bass here – I cannot bear being alone. This forenoon, Mr. & Mrs. [Horcher?] have been in. They are staying at Magnolia near Manchester. She has been very ill, & looks terribly haggard & thin. It was a bad miscarriage. – They are going to Northampton for September & to New Harmony for the winter. He looks ill too. – I believe they made a mistake in not coming to Colorado. – The mercury stood at 88° here yesterday -- & I think it must be higher today – everybody complains of the heat, but I do not suffer at all. My hands & face are moist, & my hair is curling up with perspiration. –

If I am well enough, I shall go to Mt. Desert on Monday – I find that there is a telegraph to the island & I can come from here in a day & night – so if you telegraph to me the night before you start, you can be sure of my being in N. York to meet you. You say nothing in the last letter today received about coming on; -- but I am all the time hoping that a telegram will be handed me. – You are a dear Will to write every other day & tell all you do. You would be more than repaid if you knew how glad I feel when I see a letter in your handwriting. I am glad your College meeting was such a success. You do not say who gave the party to which you went at the Hall, on the night of the 15th – Nor if you were one of the “old people who had a good time dancing.” Did you my Will? –

I am rejoiced to hear that the girls take good care of you – you have not yet given a dinner party, I see. – Don’t wait too long till Betty gets “her hand out” of all the ways, -- Tell Betty I shall send the cloth for the undergarments she was to make, next week, the felt also for those skits I shall buy. Monday if I am well enough to go out. –

I had a good talk with Howells on Wed. He was most cordial and spoke in high praise of the stories. –

Miss [Shettell?] is to arrive here tomorrow eve & stay at Mrs. Goddards. If I am well enough we are all going up there to tea with her. – She is a lucky girl if every were one. –

Goodbye not my dearest one – I miss you, miss you, every moment – I hope most fervently you are arranging all things with a view to our taking a good long journey very much. The moist air here relieves the physical discomfort I had suffered so terribly from in Colorado – but there is not the least mental diversion for me here – it is all the same old grooves – faces, and things. – I long for new scenes, [inexplicably?]; that is the medicine I need. – and I know you will provide for it for me, if you can. If you can’t, I shall try my best without it, but it is what I need, I realize it more & more.
Your loving Peggy
You will be amused at the acct. of Mrs. [Greenough’s?] poems. The “Maiden Countess” [You --ent?] we have read!


[penciled date, 1879]

Monday Pm
Aug. 25
Dearest Will—

I have just come back from a lunch at Mrs. Goddard’s with Mr. & Mrs. Bass, Mr. & Mrs. Howells, Miss [Shettell?] (who is staying at the Goddards you know) -- & I. It was very nice -- & I had a good talk with Mrs. Howells whom I had not seen for twenty years. – Now I am just off for the Mr. Desert boat – leaving at 5:30; -- at 6 Am tomorrow I change to another boat, & reach Mt. Desert at 5 Pm tomorrow. – a good long journey you see, but there is a telegraph to the island so I am at ease in my mind on that subject of hearing from you. – I shall probably write you a pencil letter on the boat tomorrow – Goodby dear dear Will – I miss you more & more—
Your loving Peggy


[date penciled in: August 21 1879, but should be August 28 1879] Mt. Desert;
Thurs. Morn.
Dearest – I have but a moment to catch the mail which goes by the 10 o’clock boat – but will just dash off a line, to let you know I am safely here, I’m afraid the letter will be ages in getting to you, for Mrs. Hunt says they are sometimes two whole days going to Boston! – It makes me feel very far away – I mailed you a line Mon. Eve. In Boston – but before taking the boat. – We had a calm night—for the ocean! – I did not like it at all. – at 6 Am. this morning I changed to another boat at Rockland Me. -- & at 11 Am. we were here, not so long a journey as I had been told – from 6 pm Monday to 11 am Tuesday. Mrs. Hunt met me on the wharf – My breath was taken away by the sight of the town, when I was here it was a wild spot with two little country inns—Now there are fifteen large Hotels! A regular watering place! – But the beauty of the place can’t be hurt by all the 3000 people! – It is lovelier than I remembered – it is Princeton out at sea, & surrounded by islands! I will write you more today, if I can only get a table! -- I shall stay here a week certainly & perhaps two – if I get no telegram from you – but what I am longing for dearest is to be off journeying with you somewhere – are you planning for it? Working towards it? – Goodbye & Goodbye
Your loving Peggy.

There is a telegraph here – so your telegrams to Roberts Bros. Will be [repeated?] to me here --.


Tuesday Eve.
Dec.16, 1879
Dearest one,

I came by boat last night – had a most envious interview at the Brevoort just before leaving with that Rev. Smith who made all the trouble between [Tibbles?] & party & their Agent. – Mrs. Goddard says he is probably a little crazy. I thought so while he was talking with me. – Mr. Ward by the end was on board & we had a capital talk all the eve – & in the cars this Am. -- I never saw so much of him before. He is an interesting old [fox?]. --

--Boat was late – I did not reach Mrs. Hunts till nine o’clock; stopped at Roberts for letters. –

Charles Howe nephew of Miss Mary Shamoni reached here today – he has been buying river land at Mr. Desert; --the island offered Mrs. Hunt at Somer’s Sound for $200, they now ask $[5?]00 for ! – If I thought you’d ever have half a million – I’d go down there & buy a place for our summer shanty my boy; wouldn’t we like six weeks there every summer! My! --

The Transcript tonight copies my Tribune letter entire – with a tremendous endorsement of it – I do believe it is going the country [through?]. Mr. Goddard & Mrs. Goddard have been here this evening -- & Mr. G is going to copy it –he says it is a splendid paper”! – Will, do you know I begin to have a half superstitious feeling about this irresistible [impulse?] I feel to say especial words & phrases – as if, things were put into my mind from outside! – I know – if my own consciousness is any evidence of anything, that I write these Indian things in a totally different way from my ordinary habit of composition – I write these sentences – which would ordinarily cost me much thought & work, to get them so condensed – as fast as I can write the words. – Goodnight – Dearest one – I kiss your eyes. –

Wed. Eve. –

Worked all the Am. on my paper; lunched at Mrs. Hunts old aunt, Mrs. Blakes – had heavy dinner of six courses – I felt like a fool all the Pm – I do believe I am forever set against mid day dinners – the thermometer was 76° -- in Mrs. Blakes dining room –out doors 30° & a fierce East wind. – going out into it, I took an awful cold & came home at 5, feeling [wretched?]. Really these furnace heated homes are devilish.—

Tonight Mrs. H. has read me her paper on Wm. Hunts work – It is a superb piece of criticism – analysis -- & feeling – I am sure everybody will be astonished at it. –

Today came your first letter from home – it sounded very cheery – as if you find all well – but think of its long snowy winter there & such comfortable open weather here. -- have not had a moments discomfort from cold yet -- & my room here is perfectly comfortable with a moderate wood fire -- & not furnace heat let in at all
[Letter ends here without closing. Perhaps missing another separate page?]


Boston. Dec. 26

Dearest Will—Your letter of Dec. 20 is at hand. It made me feel blue at first, but I am so sure that your sense of justice is strong. – that I give up my lows with the hope of yet influencing you to feel warmly with me on this Indian business.

First I will answer some of the sentences in your letter. –

You say

“I am sorry you are printing anything in [Tibbles?] Book”. – I can’t imagine what you mean – Is it my bad writing which has given you that idea! – I have not written a word in Tibbles Book. – I have written a notice of it, which was included in the Eve. Post -- & has waked up that paper so that it has had two good Editorials since on the general subject.—

2d. You say I am “going open mouthed after the Secretary of the Interior!”

If you read my “questions” I don’t see how you could say such a thing. I have never so much as mentioned his name! – I have never made the slightest attack on the Dept. even! – It is only on the laws – the Government position towards the Indian. – If Leo. [Schurz?], & Hart were angels, they could not have the Indians properly treated, while the laws are as they are. –

You say I am “berating him as a worthless scoundrel”! – I am strongly inclined to think he is a dishonest – or at any rate a dishonest minded man; his expression which he uses in an official Document given to the country at large, is proper matter of comment & criticism.—I do not think an honest minded man would have used that expression

“Mere vindication of a right to a title to a piece of land.” – but I treated of it, only in reference to the [Poncas or Roncas] -- & I have never yet written one word bordering on a “personal attack” on the Sec. -- & I never shall. Merely as a matter of policy I should not -- & certainly as a matter of taste. –

So far from the Tribune’s not doing anything about the Indian question – they have published two of the sharpest possible Editorial notes, -- first endorsing my paper -- & then holding up the Secretary’s reply to the ridicule it deserved, and asking “How many American people will be satisfied with such explanation as these!”

You say
“Now will you [crossed out: & Tibbles] take charge of the Indian Bureau? You & Tibbles would make a nice mess of it if you had the matter in charge.” ! – Do you think that is fair argument? logical? -- Because I am not able – as I most certainly am not, to “outline” or [can?] conceive of a proper & detailed system for the management of 220,000 Indians – is that any reason why I should not be qualified to protest against broken treaties – cruel massacres -- & unjust laws . – A woman does not need to be a statesman to know that it is base to break promises – to oppress the helpless -- ! –

You say “for myself I am giving no attention to the Indian Question.” – That is really the secret of all your feeling about it. You feel much as I felt four months ago. – If you had read the evidence which I have read, mostly in official reports in this last month, I believe you would feel more strongly even than I do! – & above all you would never say such a thing as you say in this letter

“The Indian will never get my sympathy, until he will work honestly & industriously for a living, which I have but little faith of his ever doing.” – That is true of only a part of the Indians -- & not of any single tribe that has had any [crossed out: fair chance] thing like a chance! -- How much would you work, if Government could pull you up at any minute & carry you to Indian Territory! – if men could steal all you owned & you couldn’t sue them? –

Spite of this, there are dozens of tribes who are working – some who are even manufacturing -- The Choctaws took a prize for cotton last year! – I tell you Will when I get a lot of such sharp salient facts as these all collated & set together, you will be more astonished than you have ever been yet. I am incredulous myself, all the while, as I come on fact after fact about these people. –

You say I have got the reputation of being “excited” on this matter. – I am stirred to the core with a great & solemn indignation – not against any man – or men – in particular – but against the whole position & action of the [written above the: our] Government – for one whole Century! & I profoundly believe that the time has come when the whole thing is going to be righted – not this year – or perhaps next – but a new feeling is “in the air” -- & new agencies are at work -- & the people are going to be [reached?]. – Congress can right the thing – slowly – but it can be done. – the only thing that is clear to me is that nothing ever can be right, in the Indian, so long as he has no protection of the law, & the glaring inconsistency of bringing him to trial for murder, in courts which [will?] refuse to try a white man for murdering him, is grotesque. –

You say “Keep cool! Keep cool” – Now my darling – that is just what I do keep, my brain. – Mr. Hale – Gen. Armstrong, Mr. Goddard – all said I had not written a word a “cool headed man might not have written”! Mr. Hale said, “When he read my article he leaned back in his chair & said aloud “Nunc [dimittis?].” (that is the beginning of the Latin chant “Now let me depart” -- Gen. Armstrong wants me to come to Hampton, & says he will take me to Washington if I want to go there! – Of course, a paper written about Hampton, showing how well the Indians work, & learn, would have great impact [?] now. –

Dear heart – by virtue of your organization , you ought to be as strong for justice to the Indian, as you were for justice to the Negro. – Don’t let the wicked & selfish atmosphere of the present Colorado talk about the Utes warp your native instinct for justice. –

I can’t write a word or words, with any heart, if you are not going to feel with me, in it all. -- & I do feel as earnest & solemn a “call” as ever a human being felt to -- work for this cause. –

--So much in re Indians!

--My cold is better today. I can speak aloud though in notes like a crows. – Dr. Nichols thinks I may be able to go to N. York on Tues. – or Wed. – if the weather is good – I am hoping you will not arrive till Tuesday – I know you will be so disappointed not to find me there -- & above all to find that I am ill. -- I am very apprehensive that I am not going to be free from this bronchial trouble at all, this winter. It is an ugly customer.-- Your remember I told you last winter it was a serious thing, to have four attacks of [almost?] bronchitis one after the other. –

I hope very much that there will be an apartment for us at either the Berkeley or Grosvenor. – If I am to be shut up in the house most of the time, it will make it much less intolerable if I can have a pleasant sitting room -- & in part, it will be almost a necessity for my work, if I go on with this Indian research & writing for I shall see a great many people with whom I do not want to talk in public parlors. –

I shall see among others, the wife & daughter of a former Agent of the White River Utes. Mr. Hale has sent their letters to me. – They are going to be present at the trial of those Utes they say, whenever it is, to see that the Interpreter tells the truth of what the Utes say! – Suppose you & I were to be tried for life, in Russia without one English speaking human near us, except a hostile interpreter! – and what a token of real good [in?] even those poor Utes, that these women who lived among them are eager to come forward for their help now. –

Goodbye dearest one – I do hope you will not be long in N. York without me.

Love to Mrs. Botta & the Prof. –

Your own Peggy, --
I forgot to tell you that Prof. Botta said

“Tel Mr. Jackson he must come by Jan. 1st without fail – our proojeects [sic] will require him to be here.”

The Prof. Seems to count on you -- & I think is very fond of you.—

I have done something which I hope you will not disapprove of it, my boy – I have ordered a thick dark nice suit, to be ready for you, as soon as you come. -- It is as thick as your mixed one – out of solid dark color – to have a pair of striped trousers for every day wear -- & a pair of same cloth –when you want to keep on same suit for dinner. – I came to the conclusion that that mixed suit was only suitable for traveling & for Colorado – nobody wears such cloth as a business everyday suit in New York -- & you could not wear your fine mulberry cloth every day; it is not appropriate, & is not heavy enough either. –

Mon. Morning
Dec. 29, 1879
Dearest Will – Your line of Dec. 23rd is just at hand. I am partly relieved -- & partly sorry to hear that you will not be in N. York till tomorrow, for I was depending on your Decision as to what to do about coming to Mrs. Bottas. -- I hope you will get there tomorrow, & telegraph to me immediately. I do not believe I can come any way before Thursday. --

I have not the least idea of touching on the question of the Ute massacres. I know nothing about it.
--But the question of the U.S. keeping its treaties with the Utes is another thing.—and you are entirely mistaken in saying that the White River Utes had no interest in that money – if Gov. P. told you so, it only shows that he like everybody else does not take trouble to investigate.

I have the Articles of the Treaty here! – in the official Rep. Of Ind. Com. For 1873. -- & the whole account of the Council – Meetings opened by prayer every day, by [Brunot?] the Com. – a good man I don’t doubt. -- & the poor Utes so encouraged because he “asked the Great Spirit to help!” . –

The treaty is with the Chiefs of the “Confederated bands of the Ute Nation” –The Tabequache, Muache, Capote, Weeminnehe, Yampa, Grand River & Uintah bands of the Ute Nation.” –
Of these, the “Grand River Yampa, & Uintah bands are at the White River Agency & the others at Los Pinos! -- So much for Governor Pitkin’s knowledge of facts!

Dear you may be sure of one thing that I am not writing -- & shall not write one word as a sentimentalist!

Statistical Records – verbatim reports officially authenticated, are what I wish to get before the American people; & are all which are needed, to [form?] public sentiment. – The ignorance of everybody on the subject is simply astonishing – my own included – till six weeks ago, & even now I am only beginning. –

Molly writes that there is a possible chance of a apartment there – for us -- & I am so delighted – that would seem home. [T.?] –

Mean time however – the rooms are engaged for Wed. at the Brevoort – so we can go there. Goodbye – Just wait till I kiss you.
Your loving Peggy. –
Article 5th of the Brunot Treaty with the Utes (all the tribes enumerated) –
“All the provisions of the treaty, of 1868 not altered by this agreement shall continue in force & the following words from article two of said treaty, viz “the United States now, solemnly agree that no persons except those herein authorized to do so, & except such official agents & employees of the Govt., as may be authorized to enter upon Indian Reservations in deliverance of duties [confirmed?] by law shall ever be permitted to; [pan?], ever settle upon or reside in the territory described in the article”, except as herein otherwise [worded?] are hereby expressly reaffirmed! –


Sat. Morn.
Dear Darling, I enclose Mrs. Botta’s letter for you to read. – in deciding whether I would better serve you at her house—or stick to my plan of going to the Brevoort,-- I am afraid she will be hurt if I don’t come -- & her loving kindness touches me to the heart. – but I do hate to make so much trouble -- & I know that the house generally will be a purgatory, no matter how comfortable my own room is. -- & if I come down with a second bronchitis there I shall be, helpless -- & in bed for a week. You can tell her, by last winter how severe these attacks are. – I’ll do as you say about it—love. You can telegraph to me -- & if you decide I am to come to Bottas, you must go to the Brevoort & give up the rooms for a week.

Dear – I enclose a few statistics for you, out of the official reports, to show how well Indians can & do work when they get a chance -- & after, they begin to be civilized. – I think these figures will astonish you.—

Your loving Peggy.


[The following items are dated 1884 and 188-]

[not a letter, but a small note card with following handwritten]:
I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer, or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Feb. 19, 1884


[another small note card with following printed]:
The Lord is strong to do His will,
Rest then, my soul, be glad and still;
He will not faint, He cannot need,
His forces far thyself exceed.

Why spend an effort or a thought
On that in which He helps thee not?
And if He helps thee, why not sing
And tireless through all labor spring?

Lo, He is thine! His vigor seize;
Rest in the Lord and take thine ease!
Thy God is good for many a day;
Rejoice and in the Lord be gay!


Telegraph from W.S. Jackson to Mrs. W S Jackson. May 28, 188-



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 transmission or delivery of Unrepeated Messages.

This message is an UNREPEATED MESSAGE and is delivered by request of the sender under the conditions named above.

A.R. BREWER, Sec’y NORVIN GREEN, President

Dated Colorado Springs Col 28 188

Received at 109 STATE STREET, Boston, May 29

To Mrs W S Jameson [sic]


Parker House Boston

Good bye Peggy

W.S. Jackson

3 paid by rate

[Printed message up left margin: READ THE NOTICE AT THE TOP.]

The following undated clippings are also included in the file:

A Fruit-Dealer’s Practical Joke, from The Louisville Courier-Journal

The Care of Girls, from The Watchman

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