WSJ 1-2-12 transcription
William S. Jackson Family Papers, Part 1, Ms 0235, Box 2, Folder 12, 1884-1885, letters between HHJ’s niece Helen Fiske Banfield and William S. Jackson, often discussing HHJ before and after her death
Transcribed by Nancy Knipe, May 2001
36 letters, with enclosures, arranged chronologically.
[1.] Letter addressed My Dear Boy, and signed, Your Uncle. Notation: On the way. March 15th. 84
March 15th. 84
My Dear Boy
Just [?] some words to let you know how I am getting on -- Since I am going towards Peggy as fast as I can I need not write to her I therefore send a line back to the "boy" I left behind me--
Left Denver last night nine twenty five and we are now within one hour of Lincoln Neb where we will take dinner. The road is in good order & all goes well --
We have twelve passengers in the car & not one interesting one so far as I have discovered as yet -- the woman opposite one is a full sized yellow haired variety actress. Plays whist reasonable well, but otherwise is unattractive --
Then we have a middle aged woman & little girl -- well enough -- but in that dull level that do not interest. The little girl is only interesting by reason of being fond of her dolly which she nurses constantly -- Then there is a man & wife & two children. The woman is very very sick, coughed all night & the poor patient man was up the whole night with her -- she cannot leave her couch at all & evidently has only a short time to live in this world. The little children look healthy and are very good. The men of the car are middle aged men of a coarsish [sic] common type. One a Jew from San Francisco, who effects to be funny but fails.
We played a short rubber at whist -- the jew & the actress against myself & a man from Georgetown, Colorado. they all played well, but were a coarse common set, so I withdrew & went to sleep -- which as you know I am good at the first day out. After all I left the novel, only a woman, that you were good enough to get out for me -- The wind is blowing across these broad prairies at a fearful rate & whistles around the car a doleful tune, but the sun shines bright & the wind is a soft one -- Goodby with love--
[2.] Letter addressed My Dear Tom and signed Your Old Uncle Will. May 17, 1884. Written on EL PASO COUTY BANK, COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. letterhead. Names of bank officers included on letterhead: W.S. Jackson, Cashier; J.H. Barlow, Ass't. Cashier; W.S. Jackson, C.H. White, J.H. Barlow.
Written vertically along left margin: I enclose a China [?] letter
May 17, 1884
My Dear Tom,
When I went home & found the beautiful afghan I was surprised & pleased, but one second thought I was pained that you should take so much trouble for an old man when you might have been working to please a young one -- still all the same the old man appreciated your thoughtfulness & interest.
The house is very quiet & lonely without you -- Your letter from Pueblo is at hand. I will think over the Metcalf matter & write you later & on another matter you need not worry -- I have sent your trunk by freight.
Lovingly Your old Uncle Will
[3.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. May 24, 1884.
Care H.A. Towner[?] Esq.
350 Dearborne Ave.,
May 24, 1884
Dear Uncle Will:
Your note of the 17th gladly received yesterday; it was forwarded from St. Louis. I am glad you liked the afghan; for it gave me great pleasure to make it for you. It hink aunty will like it too, with the sofa in its new covering. I wonder if Ege has finished his work yet.
I was exceedingly sorry to hear of aunty's last illness; she wrote from Boston several days later than she expected to be there, -- as you must know. You will be disappointed not to greet her hom the 18th of June. I hope she is well again now. My good times continue, tho' of a very different sort from those I had in your home. I have not heard from Mrs. Risley as I expected I should. In my surprise that Wednesday p.m., I may have given her to understand that I could not be spared from home another winter -- to teach; which I suppose is the truth; still, I should like to know the detail of Mrs. Metcalf's offer, -- if she called it that, and I have written so to Mrs. Metcalf, I mean Mrs. Risley. I may run across Mrs. M-- in St. Paul. I heard from Mrs. Bell that she was to be there. I hope you have not given yourself any trouble in regard to this matter. I feel sure that Mamma and especially Aunty would veto it at once.
Thank you very much for sending the trunk by freight. I wrote Nathan this a.m. not to expect me until the last of next month -- as I expect to visit in Detroit & Evanston before going to Minn.
This a.m. we are going to the Grand Pacific Hotel to see the bridal party who are bound for the Far East. Bert is constantly planning for my enjoyment, and our quiet times at home are very delightful. I walked along the shore of lake Michigan yesterday, and was pleased with the sight of so much water.
Good bye. Always aff'ly,
Helen F. Banfield
Love to Caroline.
Do you see her?
[4.] Letter addressed My Dear Tom, signed, You old uncle W. At top of both sheets: EL PASO CLUB. June 1st 84
June 1st 84
My Dear Tom,
"What is so sweet as a day in June." I have no boy with me now to go off this afternoon to enjoy the drive with me. Last night I went with Miss Nolden to see the Trubadores, a local company of minstrels. Mr. Sneden-Parrish & Sid [?] Hamp are the only ones you knew I think. Their performance was very laughable indeed & some of it really artistic for that sort of recital -- Miss Nolden did seem to enjoy it very much. She was off yesterday on a pic-nic up the toll road with the Picket family & claims to have had a delightful time
To-night (Sunday) I have the whole Adams family to dinner. They start east tomorrow morning -- Mr.& Mrs. Risley, I think I wrote you before, are in the east now -- Mrs. Jackson has not yet started west but of that you will be advised as promptly as I will -- I expect to learn of her starting in a day or two. We are having the most wonderful rains ever known in this section at this season of the year & the county is looking O. so fresh & green! Your old uncle W.
Kind regards to the Towner family & especially to your friend "Burt"
****Gap in letters from June 1st, 1884 to July/Aug. 1885****
 Letter from WSJ to HB. Aug. 5/85 noted at top left. [July 1885 penciled in following address]
Aug. 5/85 1600 Taylor Street
San Francisco Cal.
My Dear Helen
Peggy is very very sick -- much sicker than you or I ever saw her before -- Sick almost unto death -- I have the very gravest apprehension. She never recovered from the Malaria taken at Los Angeles -- after coming to San Francisco she got some better but soon relapsed, and has been steadily growing weaker & weaker from that time, say three months ago. She does not suffer what is ordinarily known as pain, but has a malignant & terrible nausea, cannot now take food. For the past two weeks she has taken very very little of anything & now she practically takes none at all -- With all this discomfort & starvation, she is as bright, brave & clear as possible --
O Helen it is so hard to sit by & see this wasting go on & not be able to do a thing to stop it -- All the Homeopathic Physicians of any standing here have seen her & yesterday I called Dr. Lane the leading Allopathic Phyn . I am not much encouraged by his diagnosis, but we are faithfully carrying out his orders.
I am broken to pieces by the alarming prospect but I cannot shut my eyes to the danger & write you frankly of it. Of course, a change may come & the stomach act again & then all will soon be well. There seems no trouble save the refusal of the stomach to take food.
Everything is thrown off at once -- We are now giving enemas of milk. Mrs. Jackson says give my love to them all & say I cannot write now without tireing [sic]me--
I hope I may be able to write you more encouragingly soon.
Wm S Jackson
[6.] Letter from HB to WSJ. August 7, 1885.
Quisset harbor House
August 7, 1885
My dear Uncle Will:
These long weeks without any word from dear Aunty, and the startling newspaper items with regard to her condition, made sister Anne and me feel that we must hear something directly from you -- hence our telegram yesterday afternoon. The suspense in waiting for you reply is not easy to bear -- it seems as if I were so helpless in the suffering and lonliness [sic] thro' which you and Aunty have been passing lately; the last kind letter Aunty wrote me was month before last. Mamma was encouraged by its tone. I was not; and it has been hope against hope ever since; tho' I have trusted her recovery would be sure, even if very slow. These miles of separation, how they have cut us all off from paying the attentions, we have so longed to give! I have gone thro' many summer pleasures, but they have been tinged with sadness -- yes, all, because of my dear Mother-Aunty's illness. My heart is very heavy and sad, and yet I am hopeful. Please believe, dear Uncle Will, that your nieces are truly sympathetic in all your anxiety. I beg of you to give Aunty our most loving greetings. Two girls could not more deeply appreciate what she has teen to and done for us these many years, than do we! Oh, if your word may only be brighter than the last from S.F. When you have time and strength, please let me have some word by letter from you -- it seems a long time ago since I saw you in Colo., and yet I am, and ever shall be very, very grateful to you. -- You know for what! Do not fail to call upon me if I can ever be the least help to you. I am with Anne this month -- she is in a delicate condition and needs her great sister's help and companionship. Our William Rufus is as fine, hearty and happy a boy as you'd wish to see. He is very dear to me as you can easily imagine. 10:30 a.m.
Your heart rending message has come, dear Uncle Will, and I long to be with you near Aunty -- it is hard for me to write all the sympathy I feel; but I must tell you of the love, admiration and loyalty I always have for Aunty, and I shall hope on that she will be yet spared to her husband, her nieces, and the long list of friends known and unknown whom she has benefited. Any or every word that you may write me will be most thankfully received. Trusting that our blessed Aunty is able to receive our messages of affection still, and that you will be given abundant strength in ever anxiety, I am most sadly and aff'ly yours,
Helen F. Banfield
Thank you for replying at once, but Oh! how my heart aches.
[7.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. August 11, 1885.
Quisset Harbor House,
August 11, 1885.
Mr dear Uncle Will:
You can easily appreciate the relief we felt yesterday at seeing a little item which said that a rather favorable change had occurred in Aunty's condition. We are very hopeful that she will rally from her low state and great suffering. Our anxiety is only equalled by our sympathy for her and you -- both being very great. I spent last Sunday at Nantucket; my friend pointed out the house where Aunty stayed at Niasconsett years ago. I could hardly be patient in returning -- such suspense as I was in for 48 hrs! Aunty's own account of herself to Mamma was pathetic enough. How often one's strongest point becomes the weakest. I remember your telling me that you have looked at dear Aunty with wonder in the use of the organ which now fails in its use. I wish you might help her! You will give her our love -- let her read my notes if she is able and cares to see them. She has always been and always will be my dearest Aunty; my heart has her impress [?] from morning till night and in my dreams, I have what I long for, a happy hopeful visit with her. Hoping you keep well, and have strength equal to your day -- I am, as ever, aff'ly,
Helen F. Banfield
[8.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. Aug. 14, 1885.
Quisset Harbor House,
Aug. 14, 1885
My dear, dear Uncle Will:
What can I say to comfort you in these lonely, sad days. My heart aches constantly in its own grief and that for you; my loss in dear Aunty is irreparable; I must be brave and be reconciled for what is our loss is her gain. Your kind, sweet, courageous telegraphic messages have made me almost hear your familiar and always helpful voice. Mamma has appreciated the words, but I, because of your exceedingly great goodness, could go farther. I feel with mother and sister that our strong tower has fallen -- every city, almost that I know, is identified with dear Aunty's cheery bright face, and kind deeds. We are in deep sorrow and my pen hardly holds its place -- so unable I feel to sympathize in mere expression. I am grateful for the dear, grand, noble life that has this week ended -- but Oh! I wanted Aunty longer here with us. I hope my last note will not seem strange; but my hopes were raised even after you had told me what I must expect. But Uncle will, -- for dear Aunty's sake, and for the loving & devoted memory I shall have for her, I shall strive to follow, in all possible ways, her bright example; cheery, tho' lonely without my cherished counsellor to fall back upon; how touching & appropriate the nameing of Majella Lake -- I trust the last hours and moments you had together were blessed. These days of waiting and longing for all word from Aunty's bedside have saddened us -- but we know all that you can send will come in due time. Mamma was with Anne and me -- Aunty's special charges, last night -- and we lived our past events with Aunty in sincere love and gratitude. Every word has seemed different from what I intended to write, but each nevertheless, carries love and sympathy for you in your lonliness[sic]. Anne joins me in all wishes and will write when she can. Ever aff'ly
Helen F. Banfield
P.S. [attached on separate slip of paper] A very comforting beautiful note has just come from Mrs. Washington Hunt. It was wonderful that Aunty wrote each week -- so bravely amid her intense suffering! Oh! dear me, but I rejoice she is out of pain.
Lovingly, H.F. B.
[9.] Clipping from New York Post, Thursday, August 13?, 1885
Headline: HELEN JACKSON.
Her death in San Francisco--A Sketch of Her Life
The illness of Mrs. Helen Jackson resulted in her death in San Francisco yesterday.
The news of the death of Mrs. Helen Jackson--better known as "H.H."--will probably carry a pang of regret into more American homes than similar intelligence in regard to any other woman, with the possible exception of Mrs. H. B. Stowe, who belonged to an earlier literary generation. With this last-named exception, no American woman has produced literary work of such marked ability, and in all the minor matters of literary execution Mrs. Jackson was by far superior to Mrs. Stowe. Her fame was limited by the comparatively late period at which she began to write, and by her preference for a somewhat veiled and disguised way of writing. It is hard for two initial letters to cross the Atlantic, and she had therefore no European fame; and as she took apparently a real satisfaction in concealing her identity and mystifying her public, it is very likely that the authorship of some of her best prose work will never be absolutely known. Enough remained, however, to give her a peculiar hold both upon thoughtful and casual readers.
Helen Maria (Fiske) Jackson was the daughter of Prof. Nathan W. Fiske, of Amherst College, whose 'Manual of Classical Literature,' based on that of Eschenberg, was long in use in our colleges, and who wrote several other books. She was born in Amherst, Mass., October 18, 1831; her mother's maiden name being Vinal. The daughter was educated in part at Ipswich (Mass.) Female Seminary, and in part at the school of the Rev. J.S.C. Abbott in this city. She was early married to Captain (afterward Major) Edward B. Hunt, an eminent engineer officer of the united States Army. Major Hunt was a man of scientific attainments quite unusual in his profession, was a member of various learned Societies, and for some time an assistant professor at West Point. He contributed to one of the early volumes of the Atlantic Monthly (xii, 794) a paper on "Military Bridges." His wife resided with him at various military stations--West Point, Washington, Newport, R.I., etc.--and they had several children, all of whom died very young except one boy, Rennie, who lived to the age of eight or ten, showing extraordinary promise. His death and that of Major Hunt--who was killed in 1863 by the discharge of suffocating vapors from a submarine battery of his own invention--left Mrs. Hunt alone in the world; and she removed her residence a year or two after to Newport, R.I., where the second period of her life began.
Up to this time she had given absolutely no signs of literary talent. She had been absorbed in her duties as wife and mother, and had been fond of society, in which she was always welcome because of her vivacity, wit, and ready sympathy. In Newport she found herself, from various causes, under strong literary influences, appealing to tastes that developed rapidly in herself. She soon began to publish poems, one of the first of which, if not the first--a translation from Victor Hugo--appeared in the Nation. Others of her poems, perhaps her best --including the sonnets "Burnt Ships" and "Ariadne's Farewell"--appeared also in the Nation. Not long after, she began to print short papers on domestic subjects in the Independent and elsewhere; and soon found herself thoroughly embarked in a literary career. Her first poem in the Atlantic Monthly appeared in February, 1869; and her volume of 'Verses' was printed at her own expense in 1870, being reprinted with some enlargement in 1871, and again, almost doubled in size, in 1874. Her 'Bits of Travel' (1872) was made up of sketches of a tour in Europe in 1868-9; a portion of these, called 'Encyclicals of a Traveller,' having been originally written as circular letters to her many friends and then printed--rather against her judgment, but at the urgent request of Mr. J.T. fields--almost precisely as they were written. Upon this followed 'Bits of Talk About Home Matters' (1873), 'Bits of Talk for Young Folks' (1876), and 'bits of Travel at Home' (1878). These, with a little poem called 'The Story of Boon,' constituted, for some time, all her acknowledged volumes; but it is now no secret that she wrote two of the most successful novels of the "No Name" series--'Mercy Philbrick's Choice' (1876) and 'Hetty's Strange History' (1877). We do not propose here to enter into the vexed question of the authorship of the "Saxe Holm" stories, which appeared in the early volumes of Scribner's Monthly, and were published in two volumes (1873, 1878). The secret was certainly very well kept, and in spite of her denials, they were very often attributed to her by readers and critics.
Her residence in Newport as a busy and successful literary woman thus formed a distinct period of her life, quite apart from the epoch which preceded it and from the later one which followed. A change soon came. Her health was never very strong, and she was liable to severe attacks of diphtheria, to relieve which she tried the climate of Colorado. she finally took up her residence there, and was married, about 1876, to William S. Jackson, Esq., a merchant of Colorado Springs. She had always had the greatest love for travel and exploration, and found unbounded field for this in her new life, driving many miles a day over precipitous roads, and thinking little of crossing the continent by rail from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In the course of these journeys she became profoundly interested in the wrongs of the Indians, and for the rest of her life all literary interests and ambitions were utterly subordinated to this. During a winter of hard work at the Astor Library in this city she prepared her 'Century of Dishonor' (1881). As one result of this book she was appointed by the United States Government as one of two commissioners (Abbot Kinney being the other ) to examine and report upon "the condition and needs of the Mission Indians of California." Their report, to which Mrs. Jackson's name is first signed, is dated at Colorado Springs, July 13, 1883, and is a thoroughly business like document of thirty-five pages.
As another fruit of this philanthropic interest, she wrote, during another winter in this city, her novel, 'Ramona,' a book composed with the greatest rapidity, and printed first in the Christian Union, afterward appearing in a volume in 1884. Its sole object was further to delineate the wrongs of the aborigines. Besides those two books, she wrote, during this later period, some children's stories, 'Nelly's silver Mine, A Story of Colorado Life' (1878), and two little volumes of tales about cats. But her lifework, as she viewed it at the end, was in her two books in behalf of the Indians. In one of her last letters to her Eastern friends she said (July 27, 1885):
"I feel that my work is done, and I am heartily, honestly, and cheerfully ready to go. In face, I am glad to go. You have never fully realized how for the last four years my whole heart has been full of the Indian cause--how I have felt, as the Quakers says, 'a concern' to work for it. My 'Century of Dishonor' and "Ramona' are the only things I have done of which I am glad now. The rest is of no moment. They will live, and they will bear fruit. They already have. The change in public feeling on the Indian question in the last three years is marvelous; and Indian Rights' Association in every large city in the land. … Every word of the Indian history in 'Ramona' is literally true, and it is being reenacted here every day.
"I did mean to write a children's story on the same theme as 'Ramona,' but I doubt if I could have made it so telling a stroke, so perhaps it is as well that I shall not do it. And perhaps I shall do it after all, but I cannot conceive of getting well after such an illness as this."
In all this there was not a trace of personal vanity or display; there never was a more complete absorption in a "cause" than that of this woman, whose earlier years had been so different. But in all else she remained the same; time could not dim her vivacity, her freshness, her wit, her winning and persuasive manners. Few women who have such variety of nature as she had, make friends so warmly or so easily, or light up life for these friends in so many different ways. Her likes and dislikes were spontaneous, ardent, sometimes unjust; yet even the injustice was sometimes an inaccurately aimed impulse of justice in disguise; and when she was convinced of it--which indeed was not always--she would be quick to apologize to any one whom she had wronged. In literature her work was conscientious and thorough beyond that of almost any American woman; she never slighted it, never wilfully [sic] neglected details, never was weary of trying to perfect it. This applies especially to her prose. For her poetry, it is enough to say that it has won the applause of very fastidious critics--including emphatically the late Mr. R.W. Emerson--while her simpler poems are to be found widely distributed through the cottages and log-huts of our furthest borders, and have given comfort to many hearts. Many notices of her separate books may be found scattered through the magazines; but we can recall no systematic critical essay on her qualities as a writer except that contained in Higginson's 'Short Studies of American Authors.'
Mrs. Jackson died far away from home and kindred; but the spirit with which she met death may be seen in a further extract, which we are permitted to make from the letter already mentioned. It would be difficult to imagine a worthier ending to a life marked by steady progress in the direction of unselfish aims:
"As you say, we many meet and 'smile over these solicitudes.' But I do not think we shall--and I want you to know that I am looking with almost an eager interest into the 'undiscovered country,' and leaving this earth with no regret except that I have not accomplished more work; especially that it was so late in the day when I began to work in real earnest. But I do not doubt we shall keep on working. Do you not believe so? Any other conception of existence is to me monstrous. It seems to me also impossible that we shall not be able to return to this earth and see our loved ones. Whether we can in any way communicate with them I doubt--but that we can see them I believe."
[10.] A second clipping from a newspaper in included with the above. No date or source.
Old and Young.
THE GOLDEN GATE
BY EMMA TAYLOR LAMBORN.
White waves roll up against the rocky shore,
As down the broad Pacific's restless tide
Great ships sail on; and weary eyes peer wide
Through mist and fog; and waters surge and roar
Round rocks which rise, on either side, brown, hoar;
The gateway to a Paradise beside
The sea, where bloom rare flowers, deeply dyed,
Through centuries of burning suns. Once more,
O gate of gold! The morning light breaks on
Thy cities' spires and ships behind thy bars;
The cliffs are passed; the restless sea is gone;
And, one by one, slow fading, drop the stars.
Day dawns; the near hills wear a purple crown
And God looks down on peaceful bay and town.
San Francisco, Cal.
[a copy of the newspaper clipping and poem on verso are also included in the folder]
[11.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. August 18, 1885.
Quissett Harbor House
August 18, 1885
Your welcome but pathetic letter of Aug. 5th, dear Uncle Will, did not reach me until yesterday -- it was missent before going to Wolfsboro' and there it had to be forwarded here. If I had received your strong brave words promptly they would have been acknowledged in one of my previous notes. You were very, very good to write in the midst of your agony in seeing dearest Aunty as she was; every word about her suffering and consequent patience and bravery thrilled me with an inexpressible sympathy and sorrow for you both! Perhaps a knowledge of my increasing grief in the loss of our greatest in cheer, and support will not comfort your desolate heart; I little realized the depth and strength of Aunty's hold upon me; I turn in no direction of life without constant reminders of her goodness, and I am saying, "I will keep this and that for Aunty's next letter." Last Sunday I was heart broken with the opportunity gone, but I believe with her that she will see us from the new & Heavenly Home, and help us as a ministering angel, to bear up and press on with vigor thro' the duties & calls of this world. I have not seen Mr. Fiske, and I do not want to unless with you. You will let me know when you come East--please. I want to know all, tho' by heart is heavy & sad enough now. With vivid appreciation of your heavy sorrow & deep regard, I am as every, aff'ly, Helen F. Banfield.
Today's mail, dear Uncle Will, brings me last words and wishes from Aunty; they have comforted & strengthened me, even amid the terrible lonliness [sic]. I trust I can successfully carry out her injunctions -- it will be sad work. Please advise me whenever and wherever you think best. How brave & bright Aunty was to the last! Her thoughtfulness fairly overwhelmed me -- I shall realize that more & more too. Wishing again I might alleviate your suffering, and with sincere esteem & gratitude
I am your aff. Niece,
Helen F. Banfield
[12.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. August 24, 1885.
Quisset Harbor House,
August 24, 1885
My dear Uncle Will:
As I can no longer have the pleasure and comfort of writing to & hearing from my dearest Aunty, will it burden you to received word now & then from her devoted namesake? Your past kindness made me feel that I should so willingly & gladly go to you in any trouble or sorrow. How little I dreamed of the grief that was coming to us all through your deepest suffering -- How utterly helpless I feel, too, to give you any comfort. Much as I may long to do so. My hands and heart are very busy in being with sister Anne and her dear baby William -- but there is no time of the day that my loss does not come over me; sometimes dear Aunty's presence fills my whole room - in the loving & grateful memories that will ever be fresh & sacred. Her usefulnes [sic] is such a help towards preventing any delay even amid our heavy sorrow - in pressing on faithfully in what is given us to do! We are hoping each day, to hear of the burial, or of the plan for it -- we know you will write as soon as possible, so do not think, dear Uncle Will, that we are impatient. There is not a member of our family that does not sympathize deeply with you, and that would not gladly help you. All feel attached to you because of your deeds of mercy to this sister & daughter. Hoping you will receive in due time - the "oil of joy for mourning & the garment of praise, for the spirit of heaviness." I am, as ever, yours gratefully & aff'ly,
Helen F. Banfield
[13.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. August 30, 1885.
I wrote to you on Saturday (yesterday) to Wolfsboro giving you some statements of the last days of your Auntie & I telegraphed you last evening before leaving Denver saying I would write again tonight--
There is but little more to say that I said in my letter of yesterday, except to begin to straighten out the business matter that our loved one left to be carried out. I sent you from California two trunks & a small parcel with keys to you at Berkeley House New York & I sent a box of Furs to Backus Fur Dealer nearly opposite Grace Church Broadway New York. Since coming back Effie & Miss Stewart have packed up all of Mrs. Jackson's clothes & personal belongings not otherwise disposed of & have expressed them to you at Wolfsboro in three trunks -- one of the trunks was an old trunk with Rennie's things in, that had never been unpacked -- some family Photos were put into it I believe, but otherwise it was not disturbed --
I sent the trunks to the Berkeley House New York in carrying out instructions. I suppose you are fully advised about everything as I sent a letter to you care of Chas Fiske address & sealed by Mrs. Jackson.
You of course are aware that you are in the main Mrs. Jackson heir & that Mr. Fiske is her Executor
I have never seen the will but know in the main what it is. I do not know of any reason for my presence at its opening & it may be impossible for me to get away, though if I find I can I will leave here very soon & meet you in Boston & go quickly with you & do anything necessary to be done for carrying out the wish of her who will be with us no more to attend to worldly matters, but if I cannot come & I will telegraph you in a day or two, then to advise you to go & have Mr. Fiske do whatever is proper in probating the will to the end that the disposition of the property according to her wish may be made. If it is impossible for me to get on now I will certainly come east in October -- I have gone straight to work as the easiest thing & as my absence had allowed many matters to accumulate I have plenty to do. What a blessing work is, it is the salt that saves the world. Idle people must have a horrible time.
Your Auntie never could be idle & will not be in the new life if the new order contemplates her being busy.
It is perhaps best we cannot see, but how we would like to know the Certain[?]. Of one thing we may be sure she is happy & following out the law of her being -- It will be a mercy if those of us left behind, in the struggle & worry of this life, can be a Philosophic & pass away with the same calm unconcern & certainty with which she did
Goodbye my Helen
[14.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. August 31st 85.
Aug 31st 85
My Dear Helen
I wrote to you yesterday -- giving you some history of what I have done -- Have sent from San Francisco to your address at Berkeley House N.Y. two trunks & one trunk of furs to Backus Fur Dealers nearly opposite Grace Church Broadway NY & have sent to you at Wolfboro three trunks & a watch. These pacages [sic] were sent to you in carrying out our loved ones written instructions -- Effie & Miss Thibault packed up in San Francisco & Effie & Miss Stewart here. I think everything has been done according to Helen's wish -- You doubtless have a letter I sent you care Chas Fiske which was sealed by Mrs. Jackson & addressed & found among others after she had entered the new life -- I supposed this explained to you everything or I should have written you sooner. I now write this as confirming my letter of yesterday which I sent to Wolboro [sic], knowing you would get it from there wherever you would be.
If I find I can come on at all, I want to quickly come on & see you for a day in Boston & then I must come back at once. I do not wish to herald my being in the east as I cannot possible [sic] stay long enough to meet any of Helens [sic] old friends, nor do I yet feel like it
Yours hastily & sorrowingly
Wm S Jackson
Kind remembrances to your sister & the family generally
[15.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. August 31, 1885.
Quissett Harbor House,
Quissett , Mass.
August 31, 1885.
My dear Uncle Will:
Your prompt telegraphic reply relieved Sister Anne and me very much. I hope you were not annoyed at our message. We had begun to feel that you might not be well. I can easily understand that you have had little leisure and heart for much correspondence. I shall be glad to receive the letter from Colo that is already on its way to me. I hope you have given expression to your own wishes with regard to the sad & lonely business I may have to see to before many weeks in New York. I had longed to hear that you were coming East yourself -- but you know best about that. I have omitted in my other notes giving you Miss Holden's kind message of sympathy. She write: "And what will life be to Mr. Jackson? I am so sorry for him! I have thought that I would write and tell him how much I have been thinking of him, and how truly my sympathy is his -- but after all, it might be troublesome to him. You will give him my loving sympathy, won't you?" Did dear Aunty tell you of my pleasant four days visit in Norwich last July? Caroline had so much to tell me of Aunty's kindness to her a year ago last June, and, of course we lived over the sunny, happy hours which you gave us in you home, each thanking you inwardly for every kindness you showed -- it was "all kindness," that Colo visit!
Yours, with best wishes & love,
Helen F. Banfield
[16.] a. Letter from HFB to WSJ. Sept. 6, 1885.
Sunday Sept. 6, 1885
My very dear Uncle Will:
Tho' we arrived here pretty late last evening, I've had a good night, and am down before the others are ready for breakfast. this quiet half hour I feel happy in devoting to you. Awoke this a.m. with a joyous sense of relief, which I trace immediately to the quiet, restful, courageous, and comforting visit you gave mamma and me yesterday -- sad as it was to read the suffering in your face, I shall ever be grateful to you for coming to us so soon after we all had lost such strength and cheer in dear, loving Aunty. I feel my great lonliness [sic], & yours, none the less since you left us last night. We really hared to leave you; I wish with all my heart that we might have had you with us over Sunday. Sister Anne was disappointed not to see your. With the consciousness of our loss, I am helped to bear it thru' yesterday's sweet assurance that you are more than ever my own uncle. As we were unable to have your brave, helpful companionship longer, it was pleasant to find your two kind notes of August 30th & 31st awaiting my return. I am utterly powerless in trying to thank you enough for the your [sic] first long, beautiful letter, which has been such a comfort to us all. I have read I over and over already. I hope very much that we may see you in Taunton before you return to the far West. Address any message you may send to me,
Care Mrs. William C. Davenport,
63 Winthrop Street
Hoping I shall accomplish all you would have me in carrying out Aunty's wishes, and trusting that I may see you again before very long. I am always with sincere good wishes and love Your niece, Helen F. Banfield.
Breakfast now, after which I drive over to meet Richard. How I wish I were to see you face again to-day. it is a beautiful clear cool morning and out dear sunshine, baby William sends you another another [sic] kiss. I think I did not give you his yesterday, so I send that one too, today. Your affectionate Helen.
Mamma's love and sorrow that she could not see you longer.
Just a line or two more before I seal my letter and take it over to Falmouth when I drive Richard over to his train -- he has to be on duty to-morrow a.m. again, so we have had a short visit with him. He seems in excellent spirit about work, etc.; he says he has seen you, so you were right! We all saw you with Aunty in '74 -- before you were married. R- remembers it distinctly. We have been out in the summer house all the a.m. and have all wished you were with us. Dear Uncle Will, in thinking over matters, it seems as if you must have sent me some things from your home that you may have been glad to keep; if so, please not hesitate to tell me so, and I will most gladly return you anything. That is one reason I want you in new York -- it would be such a comfort to me to have you find something which might give you solace in Colo. springs. I feel as if I did not say anything that I intended; but just the look into your face, and the touch of your hand, and the walking about together on our sad errands, will always make the day stand out because of the strange combination of joy and grief. Thank you again for my copy of "Ramona." Good bye again; write when you can without taxing yourself too much. Sympathetically yours, H. F. B.
b. Note from Anne F. Davenport to WSJ. Sept. 6, 1885.
My dear Uncle William,
I have just a moment in which to add a line to Helen's letter asking you to be sure to come out to Taunton to see us next week if you are East or later when you come, and please make us just as much of a visit as you can. It will be such a pleasure to Helen to see you again, and I shall be very glad of an opportunity to become acquainted with the Uncle of whom Helen has told me so much. Please come if you can. It will be such a nice quiet opportunity for us to see you in the privacy of our home in Taunton.
Anne F. Davenport
Aug. (crossed out) Sept. 6, 1885
[17.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. Sept. 13, 1885
63 Winthrop St.,
Sept. 13, 1885.
My dear Uncle Will:
Have you gone back to Denver without coming East again? I just hope not. As I am uncertain as to your whereabouts, I shall have to use your business address. It seems much longer than a week, since I saw you -- Anne and I hoped we might have you here this Sunday; perhaps we shall have that pleasure and comfort next week or later, but do not fail to come to us sometime this Fall. I've had a busy week -- packing to get away from Quissett, and then my packing to get settled here. The comforts of home are most acceptable after so long an absence from them. It is a great joy to see Anne strengthened, tanned and well. Everyone exclaims at her improved looks; you could not help being charmed with her rollicking, healthy boy of sixteen mos. We found Will Davenport suffering from severe cold. Which caused chills one day. As soon as the President of the Bank returns, I hope Will can take a tonic in the shape of a short hunting trip. Mamma reached home safely, and found our baby, dear Kitty, nearly well. They are to send me my picture of our beloved Aunty, and the first time I go into Boston, I shall take it to 44 Boylston St., and see what that little woman can do in the line of copying.
These beautiful autumn days are full of sad suggestinnenss [sic] to me; I am, notwithstanding, (them) (enjoying) [numbers 2 and 1 appear over the words in parentheses] for Aunty's sake. Yesterday p.m. Miss Sanford took me in her phaeton out in the country, and the golden rod and purple asters were dearer to sight than ever-- because of my association of them with our common friend and dearest of kin. Who know is in Heaven. Let me hear from you soon. I have you very much in thought, and I am always thankful that Aunty was yours, and you were hers. Good bye & believe me
Your sincere and loving,
[18.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. Sept 17, 1885.
63 Winthrop St.
Sept. 17, 1885
[in parentheses to side: Use this address please]
My dear Uncle Will--
This afternoon's mail has brought me a letter from Mr. Fiske in which he says, "I see no reason why you cannot, at any time, go to New York and collect and remove Mrs. Jackson's effects from her apartments at the Berkeley without my sanction; only I presume that it would need Mr. Jackson or some authority from him." You have given me verbal authority -- have you not? Shall I need some written word from you? I shall be glad to attend to the New York matters next week. I should not leave here before Tuesday evening; so if you are coming to us again and would rather have me wait, please telegraph me on receipt of this. If I do not hear from you, you will please send some message to the Berkeley, so that I will have no trouble there. Did you get my letter addressed to St. Paul? Mamma thought you said the R.R. meeting was to be in St. Louis. I hope I was not so mistaken! I shall look for some word from you -- Certainly next week. That glimpse of you was such a comfort; I have been sorry since that I did not follow my inclination, and make it longer, but from the wording of your telegram I thought you would be in Boston just for the day, and I really was not prepared to stay all night at Parker's. I hope you have been well since we saw you, and that your winter will be less long an sad than perhaps you anticipate. My picture of dear Aunty has come from home, and I think I shall take it to Boston with me tomorrow or Saturday. I hope Marshall will make successful copies for us.
Mr. Fiske felt sorry enough not to see you. He still thinks the will should be first probated in Colorado. He wanted to confer with you about that; saying at the close of his letter, "I do not want to move in the matter of the will till I can see Mr. Jackson. I agree with you on the importance of closing Mrs. Jackson's rooms and freeing her estate from the rent at the Berkeley as soon as possible." So, now, I shall go right about the sad work that you have gone thro' so bravely -- unless you send word otherwise. I hope I shall attend to everything as you and Aunty would have me. Oh! dear -- Goodbye. It is nearly tea time, so I cannot write more this time.
Your sorrowing and loving niece,
Helen F. Banfield
[19.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. Sept. 17, 1885
Denver Sept. 17, 85
My Dear Helen,
On my return from St. Paul I found your letters, & for them thanks--
I was very sorry indeed not to go out with you on Sunday, but I would not have reached St. Paul in time for the meeting I wished to attend -- as it was I arrived there on Tuesday afternoon just in time for the meeting. It rained all the way from Chicago to St. Paul. That is a wonderfully interesting section -- I should have enjoyed a stay there in that section for weeks if my duties here would have permitted, but I am very, very busy. The best medicine in the world for trouble of any kind -- I have not yet been to the Springs but will go on Sunday.
In matter of things I sent you, they were sent just as Mrs. Jackson requested & my desire is to carry out her expressed wishes to the letter. I am sorry her expressed wishes seemed to be at variance with her will as you explain it to me, but all that can probably be adjusted without any trouble -- No my good girl I do not think anything has been sent you that I should have or would want back in any way. I hope Mr. Fiske will arrange to have you close up the New York rooms at early day -- as it is all personal property I can see no trouble in any possible way.
With love to you all
I am your Uncle,
Wm S Jackson
I will write you a word from time to time though as you know I am not much of a letter writer.
[20.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. Sept. 20, 1885
63 Winthrop St.
Sept. 20, 1885
My dear Uncle Will:
It is as natural to write to you as it was to my dearest Aunty, and I hope you do not mind my frequent notes -- the writing of each seems to relieve my sadness. I am just home from church and am basking in the beautiful noon sunshine in the pleasant L room I have at present; soon I shall give it up to Sister Anne as it is the quietest one in the house, and I shall move into the front of the house where dear baby William will be my special charge until Thanksgiving or later. I am grateful to have my heart and hands occupied, just as they are this all. You remember my fondness for children -- they always give me joy and comfort. Will Davenport has not been well for some weeks, so he is more glad than ever to have me here with Anne and the baby.
I have been disappointed at not hearing from or seeing you the past week. I know just how busy you must be and how little you must care to write letters, but please remember that any word from you will always be welcomed. I went to 44 Boylston St. last Friday and gave the order for some proofs of Aunty’s picture. Mr. Marshall asked me if he might sell pictures of Aunty -- if he should succeed in getting some that you and he liked. I told him to wait until I had asked your permission. He said quite a number had asked him if he would soon be able to sell Aunty’s photographs. You will please let me know your wish in regard to this matter. I shall expect to find the proofs here on my return from New York this week. I wish you might see them and help decide about the order of photographs - at best they cannot do our grand Aunt Helen justice. I shall always think of her as she looked the night you took me under your kind care and we started for the far West. She had been planning for my comfort and enjoyment for days, and as she kissed me goodbye there seemed to be a halo about her face. She was fairly radiant with genius and goodness! How near every one of the numberless kind words and deeds brings her to me even now! Do you take the long journey to San Francisco soon? I shall accompany you mentally. With loving sympathy over the sad route, and shall be borne up in my lonely thoughts as I recall your brave visit with us two weeks ago. Unless I hear some unexpected news, I shall carry out my plan and wind up matters at the Berkeley this week. You may hear from me while in New York. Dinner bell as rung so I must say Good bye.
Yours in sympathy and affection,
Helen F. Banfield
[21.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. Sept. 22, 1885
Denver Sept. 22-1885
Enclosed is a letter from Miss Woolsey. I wrote her all the things in the New York Rooms were yours -- I will telegraph you tonight that I have notified Mr. Slater to turn all of the properties of Mrs. Jackson’s over to you so I see no trouble in winding that matter up at once.
With love from
The weather is beautiful here now. Just such coulering [sic] & atmosphere as would make our loved one happy -- does she enjoy it now?
[22.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. Oct. 2, 1885
63 Winthrop St.
Oct. 2, 1885
My dear Uncle Will
If it had not been for dear Sister Anne’s condition, and if I could have afforded it, I should have remained in New York to greet you Sunday morning; but my week at the Berkeley was finished the morning I received you telegram, and I was anxious to return here. I found all well, but alas, today our Anne is ill, and we are trying to keep brave and bright. The Dr. and Nurse are both with her. Little William Rufus is playing sweetly at my feet. Only last night Anne, -- not expecting what is today, said to run and tell Uncle Will to come right out here for the night at least. She will be sorry if you give up coming to see me, even now; for she had given me instructions to have you come out whatever the circumstances might be. I fear now with so many extra hands, I could not provide comfortably for you overnight, but please come to Taunton for a few hours at least, as I cannot leave this home for the present.
I hope you are having a safe journey, and that your visit East will be satisfactory. I am very anxious and cannot write more this afternoon.
Helen F. Banfield
Let me know when to expect you so that I may meet you.
[23.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. Oct. 3, 1885.
63 Winthrop St.
Oct. 3, 1885
My dear Uncle Will;
How surely Sorrow enters every home! Sister Anne's little daughter was born yesterday, but she has gone from us to-day. I felt so relieved and happy last night -- as the Doctor gave us encouragement for the life of the dear tiny creature; but a change took place this morning which made us anxious, and life ceased quietly, and without pain to the little girl, about 2 oclock [sic] this afternoon. The dear Mother is sad, but very brave -- she is determined to keep so far the dear baby William who is so well and strong. How grateful I am that in this disappointment and loss my sweet sister is not left childless, -- that would be very, very hard for these parents who so dearly love children. We cannot understand God's providences, but I believe in them.
Sunday a.m. Oct 4, 1885
I did not succeed in finishing my note for last night's mail, dear Uncle Will; I will try to before breakfast; We shall have the quietest services to-day and then Will and I shall lay our little girl by the side of Anne's first baby Humphrey Davenport, who died similarly to this little sister -- three years ago last June. This will be a trying day for out Anne -- we insist her sadness will not impede her recovery. Dear Uncle Will I want to see you more than ever and there is no reason as far as we are concerned why you cannot come right here to see me. I see many friends of whose presence Anne knows nothing. Please come to Taunton, if you are in Boston. I cannot leave this home for some weeks; you will be glad that I returned here at once. I shall look for some word from you soon. Hoping you are well, I am you loving and sorrowing niece, Helen F. Banfield
[24.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. Oct. 9th 1885. Written on THE UNION SWITCH & SIGNAL CO. ,
Pittsburgh, Pa. Letterhead. Officers noted at top: George Westinghouse, Jr. President; C.H. Jackson, Vice Pres't and General Manager; Henry Snyder, General Agent; Robert Pitcairn, Treasurer; Asaph T. Rowand, Secretary.
Oct. 9th 1885
My Dear Helen
I was very sorry not to be able to go on to Boston, but it was out of the question. I am demanded at my home as soon as possible--
If I am at all fortunate I will be in the east again this winter & will hope to see you. There are compensations in the misfortune that has overtaken your sister & I hope you will not grieve over what seems now a cruel fate -- My coming to New York was very unexpected -- I told Mr. Fisk [sic] to say to you send me a Dozen of each of the photos… get what you want yourself & send me the bill for all -- Goodby [sic]; Lovingly from
[25.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. Oct. 11, 1885
63 Winthrop St.
Oct. 11, 1885
My dear Uncle Will:
My little charge, baby William, had a sweet night's rest; so he is playing happily on the floor of the library while I am waiting for breakfast. I long to have Anne down stairs again to enjoy her boy, but if will be some weeks yet before we shall have as much of the brave sister's company as we want. Baby and I have short visits with her each day. She sleeps and eats very well, and her nurse says she is getting along well. She certainly bears her disappointment beautifully; much as I mourn the loss of the sweet little niece, I feel that sister Anne's hands are quite full enough at present with one child. She and Mamma both expressed sincere disappointment that none of us saw you while you were East this last time. It was next best to have such full accounts of your visit from Mrs. Hunt. I have not been able to see Mr. Fiske since his trip to New York. He has written me that he wants to see me, and if I can get away I shall run into Boston some day this week. Mr. Davenport had to go to the city this last week. He made his first call on Mr. Fiske and brought me back the letters you returned, and also gave the orders -- as you desired, for dear Aunty' s pictures.
Now for one of the matters I wanted to speak to you about. One of Aunty's New York friends felt that the "Saxe Holm" mystery ought to be explained. I must say I do not like all the implications made in regard to the correct authorship. We do not like to have Aunty's truthfulness assailed and doubted, and if you know, and think best to reply to some of these articles enclosed, -- please write me what you'll do. I think your wisdom & judgment with regard to all statements of this kind will better than anyone's else. [sic.] I know how kind you are towards your fellow-men; accordingly I hope you will not be annoyed by my sending these few slips and asking your opinion of them.
Is the cutting I pin on about the D. Rio Grand R.R. correct? If so, will you be in Colorado Springs through the winter?
I must not write more now,-- but hoping I shall hear from you before very long, and with constant sympathy and love,
I am your sincere niece,
Helen F. Banfield
Later -- Your kind note written at Pittsburgh has just come. I think I have replied to all in it in the above. Do you know where Aunty's poems are that she wanted published as "Sonnets & Lyrics," and the stories as "Between Whiles."? Perhaps dear Aunty did not have them together. Will Mr. Niles have to go to original sources for them?
H. F. B.
[26.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. Oct. 16, 1885. Written on DENVER & RIO GRANDE RAILWAY letterhead. Office of Receiver. W.S. Jackson, Receiver. Denver, Colo.
Oct. 16th, 1885
My Dear Helen,
Do not think of taking any position in the Saxe Holm discussion. Simply say you do not know anything about it & let the matter go at that. No matter what is said or written do not be drawn into any discussion or entangling statements of any kind -- this whole mystery should be left just where it is & let the wise ones work it out their own way -- I must write a word to Mr. Niles which I have not yet done -- I have none of the sketches, stories or poems that Mr. Niles will want for making the new volume. Mrs. Jackson told me she had arranged all of that to save me trouble over a work I had not the time or fitness for doing. This in answer to your kind note, with the enclosures, of Oct. 11th
With love to your sister & yourself
Your Uncle WS Jackson
It will be nearly a year yet before I can get out of this Railway work even if everything goes straight.
[27.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. Oct. 18, 1885.
63 Winthrop St.
Oct. 18, 1885
My dear Uncle Will:
You were kind to say that I might have some pictures of dear Aunty from you order. Accordingly, when I was in Boston this last week, I told the little woman at Marshall’s to send four to Taunton -- one for this home, one for the Wolfsboro home, one for Mr. Fiske, and one for my own comfort. I had a pleasant interview with Mr. Fiske - tho’ each time, the cause of my going to him saddens me more deeply. Dear Uncle Will, I wish I had the right to sign any release Mr. Fiske may draw up, concerning your little home; you do not know how strongly I feel that everything in it is yours for all time by every conceivable right! I cannot imagine Mamma’s objecting to carrying out dear Aunty’s wishes - to say nothing to the other sides of the question. You know according to the Will, the household effects are Mamma’s, but she regards those that were at the Berkeley as mine, -- and she will regard everything in Colo. Springs - yours.
Every time I go to Cousin Ann’s now, I seem to see you in that quaint old chair in her library; she said she had not had it there long, and that she never sees it without thinking of you and thanking you for that sad, kind visit you made her. Your long, sweet letter about our cherished one, I took with me this last time. It touched both Cousin A. and Cousin Joseph deeply. Cousin A. said she did not need that letter to form her opinion of you, but that it did emphasize the attachment she feels for you. I prize all the talks I have with her, for she is growing more and more feeble. I rested one afternoon , on the same bed with her, and she seemed to take comfort in giving me visions of Aunty & Mamma with their unusually lovely Mother; her accounts always give me pleasure. The following a.m., she had her breakfast in bed (as she does every day now), and she looked like a sweet picture all surrounded with white. It was in early morning that she read your full letter, and one of the last things she said as I left her was - “Be sure and give my love to Uncle Will when you write, and say that I shall be very glad to see him any time he comes East.”
You are soon to take the sad trip to S.F. Mr. Fiske tells me. I hope you will be given strength for it. How glad I am I know the fit, beautiful resting place Aunty’s body is to have! With what intense love I shall always think of Cheyenne Mt., now! Heretofore, I have kept silence in its grandeur; henceforth, I shall feel that its beautiful lights and shadows and views are all ours - sent to cheer and strengthen while our “Land [?] of Glory” rests there.
Sister Anne is gaining rapidly - is now able to be on the sofa most of each day. She keeps brave, patient and bright, -- even with her disappointment. I still have her little William at my side at night. He is a dear comfort! My hands are full, -- and will be when I leave this home and go to the one in Po’keepsie. Mrs. Sanford and Kate are very kind to me, -- I go off on walks or lovely inns with them, so as not to be housed too much. The bells are ringing and I must be starting for church. I do hope you will be East again in Early Winter and that I shall not fail to see you then. Hoping you keep well, I am, as ever, your loving & sympathetic niece,
Helen F. Banfield
[28.] a. Letter from HFB to WSJ. Oct. 25, 1885.
63 Winthrop St.
Oct. 25, 1885.
My dearest Uncle:
As the quiet peaceful Sunday mornings return, I find it consoles my aching heart to talk with you
even if only on paper. To-day is the 4th anniversary of Anne’s wedding, and she is regularly dressed and about her room, which is a pleasant celebration for her husband. What a month October is for us all to think of anniversaries! Perhaps you are like Papa, and care nothing about them; but I have not forgotten that this is Aunty’s birth and wedding month. I had Miss Thibault’s good, long letter this week -- the one that was written August 15th. After I knew the address she used, I went to the Dead Letter Office, and also to the postmaster at Woburn, Mass; it went to that little village and stayed there two months! I have written Miss Thibault of its tardy but welcome receipt.
We have had anxious tidings from Nathan’s home this week; their little boy - 2 years old - has diphtheria! We have not had the heart to tell dear Anne; her nurse thinks she has not strength to hear such news. A line from Austin this a.m. says the Dr. gives them encouragement, but their hearts are aching. Nathan changed his clothes and fumigates before going to the Bank, and writes me from there. The very name of the disease strikes a chill to our hearts; we trust the worst is over.
I enclose a cutting which interested me - what an excellent report. Do you think the Road will do well in the future? Mamma wrote in yesterday’s note, “Give my love to Mr. Jackson when you write and tell him [crossed out: when you write] that I hope he will go up to Po’keepsie when he is next in N.Y.” I am sure we can make you comfortable in our winter’s home, and I want there [sic] very much. My photographs have come of dearest Aunty. Thank you very much for them. With loving wishes, and deep sympathy,
I am your sincere niece,
Helen F. Banfield
b. Clipping referred to in above letter. Note: Acid free paper/ enlarged. Original kept. Dated Oct. 25, 1885.
DENVER & RIO GRANDE.
Receiver Jackson of the Denver & Rio Grande Railway has made his report to the railroad commissioner of Colorado of the physical and financial condition of the road and its operations from July 11, 1884, to June 30, 1885. The physical condition of the road is better now than it ever has been. The number of miles operated by the receiver is 1316. There are 1082 miles of steel rails and 234 miles of iron rails. During the year 363,996 new ties were put in, and 481 tons of new steel rails laid. The road has 58 passenger locomotives, 172 freight locomotives, nine switch locomotives and 6003 cars of every description. All locomotives and cars are equipped with the Westinghouse air brake, and all passenger cars have the Miller platform and buffer. During the year the road employed 4196 persons, the salaries of whom amounted to $2,885,424 75. The road has expended $116, 120 for snow sheds and fences, and the cost of repairs on the same during the year was $39,876 93. In addition to this, $112,758 23 was expended during the year in removing ice and snow from the track. During the year 1,003,666 tons of freight of various kinds were transported over the road, and 224,048 passengers. The mileage of passenger trains was 1,151,324, And of freight trains 1,406,395. The total earnings from all sources were $5,485,434 77, and the operating expenses and taxes were $3,844,888 74, leaving net earnings of $1,640,446 03.
[29.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. Oct. 31st, 1885
Col Springs Oct 31st 1885
My Dear Helen
To-day we buried the Remains of the one gone from our Physical sight on Cheyenne Mountain, as she had requested.
It may seem strange to some that I did this, but I see no good reason for not carrying out her earnestly expressed wish in this matter-
If she sees & knows what is going on here it will please her -- if she does not see & know no harm is done. It was her wish there should be no funeral from here & that all should be done privately & quietly. Dr. Adams, Mr. Steele, Mr. Weitone [?], Mr. Gregg, the grave digger & Fred (who used to drive for here) were all that were present at the burial. As she had requested Fred had gathered a quantity of Kinnikinnic [sic], enough to cover from sight the wooden box that contained the sealed casket. When the box was lowered in the grave we covered it again with the Kinnikinnic before the grave was filled up - all of her that belongs to this earth is now placed as she wanted it & I feel satisfied that I have caused her wishes to be carried out as far as I possibly could.
The place selected is on a point among the pines overlooking Cheyenne Canyon & in sight of of [sic] the town of Colorado Springs. Some day you must see this place -- Goodby
With love & sorrow
Tell your good mother I will certainly come too [sic] see you at Poughkeepsie when I come east again. I have been so much from my post that I shall be very closely confined for the next few months. With love to your Sister Anne & all the rest
Your Uncle WSJ
[30.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. Nov. 3rd [?] 85
Denver Nov. 3rd [?] 85
If the Express Co has sent the package for Mrs. Truesdale to Ventura it would doubtless have reached her all all right as the package I had previously sent went all right. In mean time I have no doubt Mrs. Truesdale will have written you, or will write you. I do not think I ever changed the Independent - My impression is the paper still goes to San Francisco. I will write the Independent at once to send the paper to you at Poughkeepsie. I shall probably go to Chicago tomorrow night to attend a Railway pool meeting. This Railway business keeps me on the move.
With love to all
My address in Chicago will be Pacific Hotel & I may be there for a week.
[31.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. Nov. 15, 1885.
63 Winthrop St.
Nov. 15, 1885.
My very dear Uncle Will:
This is my brothers’ birthday -- Richard is thirty hears and Nathan twenty-five years old to-day. Are we not quite an old set now? I am writing earlier than usual on Sunday morning for we expect Richard on the Steamboat train which will bring him to us before breakfast. He arrived in N.Y. Thursday and he hoped to go to the family in Po’keepsie, but they have had various delays and are not yet started - so what is his and their loss is Anne’s and my gain. He leaves again to-night as he has to be on Shipboard Monday a.m. I am wondering how our little William will greet his six-foot uncle. He, the baby is playing at my feet, even if it is only six a.m.! Isn’t it fortunate that his Mamma-Aunty is an early riser? If I do not make myself as intelligible as I might, you will know his demands and prattle interfere a little. I could not feel sure of any other time for you to-day, so I took this first hour. I hope you are well and had a safe return from Chicago. Did you receive my letter while there?
I have had two very pleasant days in Newport this past week. Miss Woolsey and Miss Dora were just as kind to me as they could be, and I enjoyed every moment of my little visit -- of course there were many sad associations - pictures, furniture, and many items in their beautiful home suggested Aunty, you and your attractive but lonely and broken home. What offer do you suppose I had coming back from Newport last week? Mrs. Brinley wanted to know if I would not go to the Springs to teach her little boys! You know I am an old friend of Neddre Putnam [?] Brinley. I am glad Miss Bradford is gaining out there. Good bye - Helen.
Monday a.m. Nov. 16, 1885
Good Morning, Uncle Will:
Our sailor arrived before I could finish my little talk with you. He seemed well and we had a very happy day together. After he left on the 8 p.m. train I found myself too sleepy to take up my pen. Richard enjoyed seeing Dr. Boreicke’s letter - he wrote most satisfactorily to Mamma, and she forwarded the account for us to see.
You will be glad to know that Mrs. Truesdale has received the Lecterie [sic] Safely. Before I forget it let me return to Miss Woolsey a moment or two. We - Mrs. Hunt and I - could find no trace of the box dear Aunty wanted sent to Newport. They made thorough search for it at the Berkeley, and when Mrs. Trimble and I met in Boston we made careful inquiry at Parker’s and at French’s but could learn nothing. After showing Miss Woolsey the enclosed note, she suggested that possibly Aunty had the box sent to Colo. Springs. I said I would write you about it. I am very very sorry that I have to ask you to do any more of that saddest work; but if there is a box in your little home of which you do not know the contents will you make a little investigation for Mrs. Trimble’s and Miss Woolsey’s sake -- each one is anxious to have the tokens - planned to be sent. I believe every wish that was put into my hands has been carried out -- except these connected with the missing box. All Aunty’s friends inquire most aff’ly for you - their sweet interest in me is quite touching, and tho’ unworthy of it, I am sure I appreciate it thro’ my great love for her who is gone. With love of Anne and myself, I am, dear Uncle Will, Your devoted, and Sympathetic niece,
Helen F. Banfield
Please return my precious note from Aunty.
[32.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. Nov. 26, 1885
Denver Nov 26th, 1885
My Dear Helen,
I have your letter of Nov 22nd. Yes I have not written you for some time. You know how busy I am & more than that I think I have told you how I dislike writing letters. Now if I could find the comfort & satisfaction in writing that you used to do when you were in Colorado, I would write you very often, but unfortunately I seldom write a letter that am not almost forced to write.
This is Thanksgiving day & all the offices are closed so I am entirely alone. I go out after a time to dine with Judge Wallett [?] who was the Judge that appointed me to take charge of the Rio Grand Road.
I did not know just how big a job I was getting into or I should have hesitated. I go to the Springs on Sunday next. I have often seen the Adamses & they always ask after you. Mr. Steele has gone to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with a sister. He seems pretty well for him this fall. So far we have had most delightful weather & everything has gone smoothly on the road though there is always so much to do.
Mr. Weitone [?] is my assistant in my Receivership. I have just received the Release you refer to. When I come east I will fix up everything with Mr. Fiske in shape so the Executorship will run smooth so far as I am concerned.
With love to you all
W. S. Jackson
[33.] Letter from HFB to WSJ. Dec. 9, 1885.
Dec. 9, 1885.
Good Morning, my dear Uncle Will. There are just a few minutes before breakfast which I want to use in telling you of my first pleasant visit in Professor Horsford’s home. The affection they have always had for you and Aunty had made their reception of me like a sad benediction. I do not believe my blessed Aunty and Uncle have been out of mind a moment during the 36 hours I have been in the house. All have inquired most earnestly concerning you [sic] welfare, and would send their warm greetings if they knew was writing. I have learned all that is necessary about the foreign china and the Norwegian suit. Miss Horsford has a Norwegian mink which she wants me to tell you about sometime. Col. Higginson made a short call upon me yesterday morning. I told him that I felt quite satisfied with his article in the December Century. He has grown astonishingly old in the last 8 or 9 yrs. I have not seen him since my College days. Are we not to have the comfort of seeing you soon - perhaps during the holidays? I return to Taunton just for the night. Then “Good bye” to New England for a season. My people are anxious to see me after the 5 months separation.
With constant love and sympathy, I am, as ever, Yours
Sincerely, Helen F. Banfield
[34.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. Dec. 24, 85. [Notation in HFB handwriting: Ans’d Jan’y 3/86]
Denver Dec 24, 85
My Dear Helen,
I have been very neglectful about writing you - about a box you were looking for referred to in the enclosed Memorandum note sent you. I can find nothing of it at the Springs. I will telegraph you to-night I cannot come east for the Holidays as planned & promised. I am very sorry not to be able to carry out this plan, but I am in a vise as to business & cannot leave just now. It now looks as if I would be on in February, but even this outlook may be changed before that time comes. However I will be on during the winter sometime. I will go down to the Springs tomorrow (Christmas) & then I go out over the road for a few days. So far we have had a most delightful fall & winter but little snow anywhere on the line & no cold weather. [Crossed out: February will] Next month will doubtless bring on customary cold weather but it does not ordinarily last long as you well remember.
Give my regards to the family & wish them all “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year & many returns,” [crossed out: from me,]
W S Jackson
I saw the Adamses last Sunday. They spoke of some of their people or acquaintances meeting you on the train &c. &c [?] They always enquire after you.
[35.] Telegram from WSJ to HFB. Dec 24, 1885
Form No. 1
WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY
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, beyond the amount of tolls paid thereon, nor in any case where the claim is not presented in writing within sixty days after sending the message.
This is UNREPEATED MESSAGE, and is delivered by request of the sender, under the conditions named above.
THOS. T. ECKERT, General Manager. NORVIN GREEN, President
NUMBER SENT BY REC’D BY CHECK
76 CU [?] 20DR
Received at Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Dec 24 1885
Dated Denver Col 24
To Helen Banfield Everet Banfield
Am sorry I cant get east during holidays [illegible or erased words] as promised may possibly come in Feby Happy Christmas to you all
Wm S Jackson
[36.] Letter from WSJ to HFB. Jan. 10 [?], 1886. (Notation in HFB handwriting: Ans’d Jan’y 14/86]
My Dear Helen,
Enclosed I hand you a list of Silver sent to your address. The large coffee pot belonging to the Major Hunt set was stolen some years ago otherwise the set is complete. I will send you the key to the box by Express tomorrow. I did not get a rect. For the box, not did I value the contents, as I sent it off intending to call at the Express office & failed to do it. I will therefore be anxious to hear of the boxes safe arrival.
Your kind remembrance of the Holiday season reached me & I shall prize them very much. The trouble will be I will lose them, as you remember I never keep anything, but rest assured I shall try not to let them get away from me. You may not forget I once made what you thought a hard speech to you. This is your chance to say [crossed out: you] I can furnish you nice monogram handkerchiefs but I cannot give you memory, care or brains. For two days I have been down here attending to some low business & took the opportunity to look up the Major Hunt silver. While this belonged to the fixtures in the house, it still is a kind of heirloom that I thought you would prize & I send it to you for you & your mother to do with it as seems best to you. It now looks as though I would be in New York in February & I will come & see you & while there I will have my picture taken for you & Cousin Ann. I have some of the old ones somewhere, but I cannot just lay my hand on them for the moment-
With love to you all
I am Your Uncle
Wm S Jackson
Colorado Springs Col
January 10 [?] 1886
Helen Hunt Jackson
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