Helen Hunt Jackson 2-1-15 transcription
Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 2, Ms 0156, Box 1, Folder 15, 1 letter
from Ann S. Banfield to Helen Banfield, 1906
47 Pinckney Street Boston April 24th 1906.
My dear Helen
It is too bad that there is but one, no three little things, (they can hardly be called anecdotes) that I can write you about Aunt Helen's life. There are some others but they are of too naughty a kind, to be proper for you to use. When I see you again I will tell them.
Pa & Ma took the very greatest pains in educating my sister Helen. Ma used to give her words, that she must introduce into a composition. She gave her foregoing & subsequent, "The foregoing composition is to show the use of the subsequent words," was the way she introduced them.
In Amherst at that time there was no Bakery & if company came unexpectedly sometimes people had to borrow cakes from their neighbors. Ma had to f-r-o-m- one day from Mrs. Prof. Hitchcock, our next door neighbor. She sent Helen for it, she comes back, to Ma's side, as she was entertaining her company & says Ma, "Mrs. Hitchcock is sorry she didn't have any more cake but she has sent you all she had."
Another time she was in the room with Ma & visitors & Ma told some things about her to them & Helen left her play & went up to her & said "Ma tell something else that I have done."
Ma died when Helen was but thirteen years old & I but nine & we were never together again excepting during our vacations when at school & as we visited each other after we were married.
These anecdotes I heard relatives tell of her. She was a very uncommon child. There was an interesting article that she wrote, entitled The Naughtiest day of my Life." It was published in some Magazine, a great many years ago, perhaps your Papa may know which one & may have it to show you. It told of her running away from home, when she was a child, taking me with her, but I turned back. I hope you can see that, for it is very entertaining.
I was delighted to get your letter written in your Easter vacation every word of it interested me & it makes me very happy to think of William & your being in Sunday School for I love Sunday School & always go when I can. This past Winter I have been very much interested in Prof. Genung of Amherst College, who has had a Bible Class in the new Old South Church here. His subject has been "The Life indeed." Perhaps you & William have studied his Rhetoric it is used in schools.
I was especially interested in hearing of your class supporting a little girl in India, for Pa used to support a boy in Persia, his name was Moses & he used to write letters to Helen & to me & sign himself "your brother Moses."
Your Mamma was devoted to Sunday School, if she were living I am sure she would go with you all to Sunday School. I wonder if you have heard that Everett Davenport was confirmed in the Episcopal Church over a year ago. I think, it was owing to the influence of Pres. Mr. Stone & his son Channley Everett boarded with them in the same place s-t-d-n- Rutland, Summer before last. Mr. Stone had to go there for his health, he died the following Winter: Channley is now in Yale College.
It is terrible to me to have Richie at Sea. I was thankful to look into his face once more, I did not dare expect to after such a long voyage as he had started upon. Mr. Sanford told your Aunt Anne that there were seventy two shipwrecks during the time that Richie was out & coming back into port for repairs.
I had hope he would not go to Sea again during my life. Aunt Mamie came down to see him & she staid to take care of me when I had a succession of attacks of Lumbago, but she goes back to Wolfboro tomorrow. My young woman (maid of all work) Matilda was married a few weeks ago & her husband is very impatient to have her begin keeping him so I so not know what I shall do.
Has your Papa made plans for your Summer? Without Aunt Kitty perhaps Wolfboro would be too lonely for you. San Francisco I loved, it was our home for one Winter. Richie has been there a great deal. It is horrible to think of the suffering now there. Too bad to have to write to you on my business paper. I am out of my other. With great love to you & all my grand children & their Papa and Aunt Dora.
Your loving Grandmother
Anne S. Banfield
maintained by Special Collections; last revised, 2-2008, jr