Harriet Beecher Stowe Letters

1844 to 1860

Hanover students from His229 "Women in American History" (Fall 2015), taught by Sarah McNair Vosmeier, transcribed these letters. The originals are in the Beecher-Stowe Family Papers, at the Schlesinger Library of Harvard University. Images of the letters are available online.

(NB:  The text below has been minimally edited -- to supply paragraph numbers and occasionally to clarify sentence and paragraph breaks.)


Harriet Beecher Stowe, letter to Calvin Stowe, 23 May 1844
Transcription by Ashley Eden (HC 2017), Cait Kennedy (HC 2016), and Jennifer Gilly (HC 2018) from an online image.


May 23.

My Dear Husband

{1} So you complain of me, - well , before this time you must have received my two letters, & been suitably delighted & so you might have been had you appreciated the bustle & turmoil & confusion of mind in which I wrote -- The fact is that I do not feel that our ardent & amiable friend Mrs B -- realised what she undertook in taking this house, my family, & other boarders

{2} She is ardent & executive, but not consecutive & systematic - - has not the talent alone to arrange and regulate a large establishment as ours will necessarily be. This has thrown a large part of the labour of arranging upon me, & gives me still a larger share of anxiety . . . . Still on the whole she is extremely capable in particular things and very amiable & willing to receive advice & suggestions. She has also a very amiable good girl tho not a very smart one - - Mr Boardman is always gentle disinterested & obliging -- takes excellent care of Fritz & of all out of door business. We had to day the offer of two more boarders, ladies, in one entry chamber which with Mr & Mrs McG. nurse & child increases our family to the account of six - We sit in the morning a long table which goes quite across the dining room for then children & all come - - at other times they sit at the second table We are expecting Henry Eunice & their children at anniversary also Sarah Beecher & little George --

{3} May 25 Received a letter yesterday from Charles at Ft Wayne -- a [illegible] revival has commenced & he is almost beside himself with joy & can scarcely believe his own eyes but feels as the seventy did when they found that they could work miracles "Lord even the devils are subject unto us" - - You can see the letter if you go to Hartford. Aunt Esther has a copy of it sent her -- Father rejoices you can guess how much -- To day have been busy most of the day, helping about family matters -- do hope we shall get done sometime, & when we are, every bed room in the house will be carpeted finished & occupied you will scarcely find room for yourself if you want to come back -- How strange this mode of life seems to me! -- I scarce know myself & in the bewilderment scarce mis you since I feel as if I was somebody else -- Whether after all we shall make any thing with all our trouble may be doubted If we get thro a little cheaper it is the most I hope

{4} -- Bye the bye I think the Evangelist owes me something will you enquire about it for me -- They sent me Feb 7 [1833?] -- , [strikeout: Those pieces were worth, I think. 17. $25 -- [strikeout: after] after receiving the two dancing school pieces - - Those pieces were worth about 17 -- then there was a short piece worth about $7 Then the Dickens piece was about 12 or thirteen & the last Missionary piece $25 making what they owe me about Thirty one or two dollars -- I have some more pieces partly written which I shall send on soon -- Those dancing pieces with which the account begins [strikeout: conn] are [strikeout: in] sometime after Feby 11 -- 1833 -- Now if you can go to the Evan office & look over a volume you can soon find how the account stands - $25 being paid -- The pieces are The dancing school 2 no. The pilgrim (or some such name) -- Dickens -- The Western Missionary -- I have not got the titles right but the subject matter is so -- I am obliged to let Mr Boardman have some money he wants it for current expenses - & I shall want the command of that money -- I intend to write more soon & have three pieces now already planned & shall write more I sent my preface to Dodd. I think it is a pretty good one considering - - & if he will send me a ten dollar bill for it just as a fee I'l say "thank ye sir" & take it -- [strikeout: The g]

{5} Now if you want to see a sketch of my manner of life it is thus & so -- Rise at 1/2 past 5 - - breakfast 6. Morning prayer meeting till 7. Work in garden till eight -- then come in the house review knives spoons castors & all the table paraphanalia count & see that every thing is in proper order -- 1/2 past [paper torn: nine?] call the children into school sing a hymn pray with them and give them a bible lesson half an hour long -- the Life of Christ freely described in the style of Charles' lectures -- they are very much interested -- They then spend a half an hour on their texts & bible lessons for sunday -- Then read in a class & then sew till dinner time -- They are pretty good children -- nothing very smart has been said by any of them tho' lately -- To day little Miss Eliza by dint of frisking & figuring about, instead of learning her lesson contrived to lose her dinner privileges & to have only bread & water in her own apartment -- After dinner I noticed Hatty gliding very quietly up stars with her own saucer full of custard which she had saved up for Eliza -- The child is always doing such things & yet strangers suppose she is not nearly so affectionate as Eliza

{6} -- Our affairs proceed prosperously on the whole -- I think Mr & Mrs McG -- will really be quite an addition to our circle -- I am very tired to night & must go to bed farewell

{7} By the way Kate must wants me to say to you, be sure & get Johnny Ross' Experience down in writing - & I do hope you will not lose the opportunity.

{8} Monday no letter for a week - I hasten to send this lest you should have missed some of my others - - - -

{9} Give me love to all dear N England friends wherever you meet them & do not fail to attend to the business part of my letter - - I long for the time when you will retrn & we shall be once more a united family together.

Yours afftly

H B Stowe

Revd C E Stowe
S Natick


Harriet Beecher Stowe, letter to Calvin Stowe, 9 July 1844
Transcription by Clinton Bly (HC 2016), Nicole Hoene (HC 2016), and Amanda Hopkins (HC 2016) from an online image.

My Dear Husband,

{10} This is the first day since I have been here at Indianapolis that I have felt any thing like well - - having been tormented with a cold, rheumatic pain & a violent cough & to day is one of those insufferably close, damp, disagreeable days that make one feel as if in a steam bath - - Henry & Eunice & Talbot & I have been since dinner lounging & gaping about like fish in a pail of water, scarcely knowing whether we are alive or dead - - in this miserable half & half condition I bethink me of writing to you. All hope of keeping up much of a correspondence seems to fade from before my eyes, as I am at Indianapolis, & you, any where & every where & letters before they reach either point must necessarily grow pretty old - - I have been here a week & four or five days and find here just the calm placid quiet retreat I have been longing for - - You have no idea of the commotion that I have lived in ever since you left - - The moving in of Mr & Mrs B __ the cleaning the whole house the shifting & rearranging of rooms, the preparing for boarders, & then the company anniversary week & after Henry Eunice little Hattie & Henry, Sarah & her nurse & little George - - with Mr & Mrs McGuffie & Master Charley - - In all we had ten children in the family - - - - & when I came away I felt completely worn out - - & perhaps my ill feelings here are but the running down after such an excitement. Sister Sarah, appears increasingly noble & lovely - that fool of a Boy was [sneaking?] around enquiring of Kate! Whether she was [strikeout: shur] sure there was no hope! only think! - - Sarah seems to become very much like her mother who was one of the noblest and loveliest of living women. Mrs McG __ does not prove as agreeable on all points as I expected - - She is too selfish & exigiante - - [strikeout: How] yet she is a fine sensible woman, & possessed of many generous and estimable qualities - - I don't like the term selfish, it covers too much ground - - Elisabeth does not seem to me to be naturally selfish, but only to have streaks of it - - one thing I know that I wont take my friends as boarders, for one sees too much of them! - - poor human nature. During my absence Boardman writes that they have taken Mr & Mrs Chase, [strikeout: wife &] child & nurse - - I am weary at the thoughts of such a housefull - - is it necessary! - - It depends on me whether they remain after my return - - I don't know what to say - - I wish the summer were through & this boarding business closed, I am heartily sick of it - - It is too noisy & disquieting & harassing - - When I come home Anna will take Hatty & Elisa to Charlestown & I wish I could go off with Henry & Freddy till you return & so be out of the scrape - - Had a letter from Anna tonight - little Georgy & all the children are well - & Georgy really says "Mamma" & has a tooth & the promise of three or four more - - By the bye you must manage to see Georgianna May & tell her that her little name sake will do her credit one of these days. Give my love to her also & tell her that had it not been for that same little Georgy I would have come up with you this summer

{11} I cant tell you how much such a housefull as we have worries & annoys me, but if you think it necessary why I must try to bear with it till you return & then I should be glad to go back to our own family circle - - but you can decide what is best on your return - - I have often regretted that there was no definite agreement between Mr B. & you as to rent terms &c for I do not know now exactly how we do stand - - I have let Mr B have about $25 & he keeps his accounts quite exact, or seems to - - & as he was a merchant probably knows how better than I do - - nevertheless I do the best I am able - - I will let this boarding matter go on the whole & let them have as many as they want only reserving one room for self & children & I hope it will lessen our expenses - - I am glad you are learning trust in Christ - - Be sure that if we make it our first object to do his work[strikeout: s] he will provide for us - - & tho as you once remarks he will not keep our accounts for us, yet he can in a thousand ways help us to steer through - -

{12} July 9th. I am not well yet - - to day am reduced to calomel & gruel - - very sick all day yesterday vomiting & what not- Pretty miserable at letter writing. Now my dear, as you will want to bring home a little matter for your wife will you go to [several lines cut out]

{13} Also see if you can get for me there either some guano or poudrette sufficient tell the man for about twenty plants I want to pot for my window this winter - - I read with some interest as Bro Goodman might say, your remarks in Cleveland - - I hope that you really feel in your heart a new impulse of spiritual life, while you seek to impart it - - Broth Goodman's reports are some thing the sleepiest, tho Anna writes me that Proff Allen came home much Elated - - Do you know I am seriously thinking of breaking up our "connection" & coming here to I - - to take a class of young ladies & so influence the state - - Such pretty girls as they have here & so uncultivated - - I really long to do something for them - - teach them to be women - - & not - - men corruptors & destroyers - - Female education is at a low ebb in this state

[several lines cut out]

{14} refined - - strong mind & winning manners who would come to Indianapolis, with a view not merely of teaching a school but of forming the centre of female influence in the state. - - Henry says he wants only the woman & he can move the whole state for her. [cross-written on last page:] - I can think only of F Strong and H Brown [words cut out] they are permanently located. M Hudson [words cut out]] would & if she & Sarah Day would undertake the [torn paper] they could - - Suppose you think the matter [words cut out] what can be done

[marginalia on first page:] I must send this letter off to day __ Farewell Yours H

Revd C. E. Stowe
South Natick

[In a later hand:] Visiting at Indianapolis, Mr Stowe at Natick


Harriet Beecher Stowe, letter to Calvin Stowe, 27 May 1846

Transcription by Emalee Moore (HC 2016) and Sarah McNair Vosmeier from an online image.

Brattleboro' May 27 1846

To Dr Stowe from his wife H. B. S.

My Dear Husband

{15} The account of your health in your  letter gave me serious uneasiness - - & I think it very important that you should, as soon as possible, take the course most  favorable to your restoration - - & that course Kate & Dr Wesselhoeft   & I all think will be for you to come here for water treatment & stay till October. 

{16} Yesterday Kate wrote an account of your care as I stated it to  her, for the Doctor -- at the close she stated our limited means &  that we could not command over three hundred dollars for our  expenses, over & above the other family expenses. He advised you  & me to stay till Oct. here, with the assurance that this [diem?] should avail to meet all the expenses of a residence of both of  us here that time. So Providence has opened the way -- as this   will be as cheap as your staying at home. & even cheaper if  you hire out the house. 

[marginalia:] By this I understood that he would make no charge for attendance

{17} The Dr wishes you to come as soon as possible as the moderate  weather is better than the hot. You can, if you come immediately probably secure a room in our boarding house -- which as the best  & most reasonable one, is in great demand

{18} It seems far better for you to take efficient means before you are more  reduced - - & thus you may be saved from a year of more of expense & interruption of labors. The  more I read (we have Water Cure  books in plenty) & the more I talk with Dr W. the more I am convinced of the efficiency of this course for every sort of disease - -  For in reality it is only a strict & rigid enforcement of all the laws of health - with the tonic use of cold & of water for the the [sic] whole nervous system - - on which you know every organ & operation depends.

{19} The Dr treats us with great kindness - - seems interested for us - - told Hastings I should not be shortened in time by expence - - & as board & incidentals are [$9.50?] a week I suppose you & I will have no other charges to meet here. The Dr is an honourable & liberal man & after what he said to kate there is no risk in trusting him to get us thro' for as long a time as he thinks it best for us to stay.  He has in many other cases shown great liberality to other patients with limited means.

{20} I think it will be the best way to put Henry with Mrs Fowler - - if she can take him - - if not Mrs Blackwell perhaps will do it.  My anxiety about your leaving the children will not be so great as what I should feel if you remain & run the risk of hot weather & other liabilities

{21} So far Sister Katy has written in my name - - a word now from myself. - - I do not feel at all disposed to trifle with symptoms like yours - - Mr Bates case is a solemn lesson in point - - you must do something efficient this vacation or you will certainly break down for good at the beginning of next term - - you can in no way [conduce?] with three months so many healthful influences as by taking the Drs offer here - - if not cured you may at least be put in such a track that with care you will be getting better & not worse all winter - - Not for years, have I enjoyed life as I have [strikeout: had] here - - real keen enjoyment - - - - every thing agrees with me - - - - & tho might right hand has not yet found [recurring?] I think it cannot but come right when [strikeout: all] health rises in ever other respect - - I could tell you worlds of Gods nearness & goodness to me - - of heaven begun on earth as I walk among these beautiful mountains wreathed with foliage & sparkling with cascacades - - God has been inexpressibly near & dear - - - - This whole affair I now commit to him - - This [strikeout: summer] season has been the deepest trial of my life - - death has been every hour present to me -- or worse than death a helpless life - - but still I have thro all had a heart of joy - - You & I have offered prayers that God perhaps can only answer by fire - - be it so - - I hope to hear immediately whatever result comes will be God's will & best

{22} Love to Father & Mother



{23} PS Harriet wants you to get Miss Goodman to select three of the poorest comfortors -- two cotton sheets -- One of the comfortors must be the largest size you have.  These bring [strikeout: On] & you will save five or six dollars.

{24} Also bring two wollen blankets - - they will have to be cut probably.  & Miss G. must select such as will do best.  Bring all the crash towels there are.

{25} I walk habitually five miles a day - - at intervals between my baths - - never in my poorest days less than three - - in some good days I have walked 7 - - & not suffered for it - - Nothing but the local disease remains - - but it is always so here - - the general health first improves & then the specific symptoms yield.

{26} Engage Mrs Boardman to see that we hear from home regularly once a fortnight thro some of our friends

Revd C E Stowe
Walnut Hills

[in a later hand:]
From me in Brattleboro May 27, 1846
To Mr S at W Hills


Harriet Beecher Stowe, letter to Calvin Stowe, 20 Feb. 1847
Transcription by Sarah McNair Vosmeier, Claire Harvey (HC 2017), Rebecca Drake (HC 2016), Kendra Johnson (HC 2016), Keeli Stewart (HC 2018), and Jordan McHenry (HC 2018) from an online image.

Brattleboro Feby 20

My dear Husband

{27} I have been thinking very much of you last night & to day & am therefore moved to write again.  In reflecting on all your excellent traits, your kindness of heart & capability of feeling & appreciating all that is tender & generous -- the earnestness & sincerity with which on our first marriage you told me of your intention to make me happy & the kindness with which you then treated me - - how for many of the first years of married life you shared with me the care of our helpless sickly little ones watching with them daily & nightly with unwearied tenderness - - I have been led to ask myself how could you ever have become so altered as to say & to feel some things such as you have since then expressed - - I am satisfied after review that it is a morbid disease - - I am certain when & under what influence it arose & now see by what causes it has been increased & to what results it has grown & what faults in me have increased it - - It first arose when your mother was in the family.  Before that time in all our sorrows we had at least a united heart & I never heard any thing from you but kindness except in moments of excitement you well know the state of mother's mind at that time - - with no unkindness to her but simply because I think it a fact I will say that I think at that time she succeeded without meaning it in producing an alienated state of feeling in your part. She constantly pointed out my faults and kept up that perpetual state of complaint and irritation which in your nervous and suffering state laid a foundation for a morbid  [closeness?] & since that time you have been predisposed to view me in a wrong light It was never till after (this) that I heard any thing from you as if you had been too complying or I too exacting. - - you had shared my cares & borne  with me any sorrows - - & had you not then been in a morbid & nervous state a state predisposing to dark  & misanthropic views the ungenerous idea of thinking whether I get more than my share of attention never could have made a lodgement in your mind. You know as much as I when both parties begin to stand for their rights & to suspect the other of selfish exaction that there is an end of every delicate & refined affection & a beginning  of coarse and brutal selfishness. Christ says If  I your Lord & master have washed your feet you ought to wash one anothers feet."  - -  is not this the true way? Since that time - - of Mothers stay in the family I have plainly seen two [currents?] in your mind - - one of morbid brooding almost vindictive blame looking with a brooding and jealous eye on my faults - - exaggerating them & predisposing to impatience  - - There were certain ideas that mother dwelt very much on that you were often repeating in moments of hasty impatience.  & they were these that I was extravagant in expenses - - that I needed much waiting on - - that I inclined to keep too much help &c &c.

{28} This last idea you expressed so often that at last I sat down & drew out on paper an account of the years we had been married the sicknesses I had had and the help I had had & you confessed that "where one woman [would?] have less ten would have had more" & I believe that idea was finally removed - - -- But when you have not been in this morbid current of thought your views of me are exactly in many prints the reverse  - -  Your letters contain contain full admissions of my laborious conscientious self denying life as a wife & mother.   You are at times fully sensible of all that I have done & suffered -- of the difficulties I have had to meet and the undaunted firmness with which I have met them - -  If I should lay the things in your last letter side by side with many others you have written one would see how exactly contradictory they are.

{29} Now with regard to my self I freely confess that I am constitutionally careless & too impetuous & impulsive easily to maintain that consistency & order which is so necessary in a family - -  that I often  undertake more that I can well perform & so come to mortifying failures.  I also see now plainer than I ever did before that I have felt too little the necessity of conceding to such of your peculiarities as seemed to me unreasonable - - & have too often pursued my own purposes without reference to them - - I could not realise then as I do now - - But these faults seem in connection with my whole character & with the sincere efforts I have made to overcome them how different are they from the morbid pictures that you draw when brooding in hypochondriac gloom over everything - -  How different from your own admission in better hours - - [illegible strikeout].

{30} I hope you rightly take the spirit & intention with which I say these things - - I cannot blame so much as pity you who have been so long & so severely tried - -   You have always struggled to do right & you forbid that I should have a harsh and unkind feeling where you have failed when so sorely pressed - -  Not a shade of any such feeling remains on my mind or agitates my feelings  I feel nothing but love & the deepest desire for your happiness & comfort & am only impatient with the circumstances in which Providence has placed  me when I feel the strong impulse to go to you & love & comfort you - - You have evidently been making progress in self government & gaining the victory over yourself & I doubt not that we shall yet see many good days together - -

{31} As regards my leaving - - I am somewhat uncertain - - There are such signs of an approaching crisis that the Doctor does not think it would be prudent for me to leave for some three weeks, instead of going next week - -  There is an evident effort of [motive?] now to throw of those chronic nervous affections of the arms & right side which are such a drag upon me& as usual it makes me feel more [weak?] than common  Over the spine where the seat of this weakness in my arms has been & when I have suffered so much pain & soreness small clusters of little blisters are occasionally thrown out. they are intensely sore but  - - As yet they are but imperfectly developed - -  Come out and disappear again but whenever [strikeout: may be]  the nurse rubs the spine it feels precisely as if she were rubbing in nettles - -  When fully developed the Dr says they will be deep sores & will form the crisis of the disease. All his doubt is whether the system is strong enough to throw them out but in two or three weeks he can tell this. Meanwhile my whole system seems affected & agitated with nameless commotions.. It is some risk to leave in such a state - - I might be rather sick on the road far from my doctor & from help - -  A lady who left Monday on the verge of a crisis was was brought back last night in her husband's arms. She had gone as far as Norwich & spent one day there & was so sick that she had to be brought back with all speed - - This two or three weeks  however will only take up the time  I want to spend in Hartford N Haven & Philadelphia so that after all I shall not come home much later only I shall have less time on the road - - but you may still direct to me here till farther warning & if you will pay postage it will some lessen my expenses & enable my money to hold out.

{32} I do not think I needed the cautions on this subject of [saving?] in your last letter - - all my matters here have been arranged with rigid economy - -  necessarily so - - indeed if I stay much longer [illegible] some of my clothes will stand in need of the Providence bestowed on the Isrealites in the wilderness - - I pray daily that God would direct me in all things & I strive to follow his Providence - - pray also for me that if it be his will I may now cast off this lingering disease & be fully restored.

{33} What seems to me curious with regard to their eruption is that it is exactly over the place where so much tartar emetic ointment has been rubbed in & that it feels precisely like that well remembered sensation I have noticed for a month past that whenever the nurse was rubbing my back with her bare hands that it prickled as if she were rubbing with tartar emetic or nettles long before any external eruptions began to appear.

Tuesday afternoon

{34} We have had a week of extremely gloomy weather raw leaden grey chilling with falls of snow alternating with thaws.  I can assure you that to pursue our cold regimen in such weather requires no small fortitude. I had felt so glad that my apprenticeship was almost over & now the thought of spending three weeks longer seems intolerable and now suppose that at the end of those three weeks I should be in the middle of eruptive crisis do you tell me what I ought to do - - for I dont want the worry of deciding - - The eruption begins to be more permanent & discharges a little - - I feel exactly as if I had on [Hartman's?] emetic -- Well it does seem as if I could not wait any longer but must come home however I suppose that it will be three weeks at least before the Penn canal opens -- perhaps four or five

{35} I have spent the morning reading & singing hymns to a poor sick woman whom I was telling Anna about - - & it was greatly comforting for me to tell her all the comforting things out of the Bible & to sing "Begone unbelief" & now I wish you would read would that hymn - - one of John Newtons best.

{36} If I dont write often for the next two weeks  dont be alarmed - - I may be much more numb & it may be very inconvenient & difficult for me to write.

{37} Still keep up hoping in God - -  & assuredly we should yet praise him.

Yours in love


To be sure of having this reach me here you must write immediately.

Rev C E Stowe
Walnut Hills
Near Cincinnati Ohio

[in a later hand:]
Feb 20 to Mr
Stowe W Hills


Harriet Beecher Stowe, letter to Calvin Stowe, 16 Sept. 1849
Transcription by Sarah McNair Vosmeier and Sydney Hornsby (HC 2018) from an online image.

[smeared: August] September

My dear Husband

{38} I was no less disappointed than you to get your letter some two days since with all its particulars yet am satisfied that the Dr is right & that you ought to stay - -

{39} I have really felt too unwell to write for a week past - - nor am I better now  - - Not that I am sick, only overtasked wearied & dragged out - - [strikeout: I tried to] After having been without [Americas?] help during most of the hottest weather, she at last staid with me only two weeks & went away.  Emmeline is a young girl only 14 - - Charley has been cutting teeth & had influenza - - I have had all the fall purchases to make - - the fall sewing to plan cut fix &c if not to do - - & for six children that is not a trifle - - & in short my mind has been strained so that I have now scarce any feeling but one of incipant weariness.

{40} I began to feed Charley, but as he was sick unluckily I had to take him to the breast again - - I suppose it is nursing such a great fellow that weakens me - - Besides when I take care of him he wont feed - - He wont hear of milk from me - - unless it is of one particular sort & he acts roystering & boyish like a great fellow who thinks women made for his especial convenience -- Then our cooking stove smokes -- & I can't get any body to help me move it & can't move it upstairs yet either & it draws so poorly that we can't bake in it at all - - and both pumps till last week have been so that it cost ones hearts blood to get a drop of water out of them - - Last week I was desperate -- went to town got a man up who took up the rain water pump & mended it so that now goes well enough the other squeaks on as usual -- the water smells like despair just as it did last summer & we have to send to Mrs. Parkhursts for all our water.

{41} Well -- is that enough --The fact is my dear you must excuse my writing much -- I am going to make a serious business of getting better next week -- If I can hire a woman to do my work for two or three [strikeout: months] weeks I shall get Emmaline to take Charley and keep him out of my sight till he has got well learned to eat & then after that I shall get along -- Annas time is all taken up in teaching -- she cannot help about the matter at all.

{42} - -  Don't let us despair - - you nor I - -  God is good to us - - I pity you from the bottom of my heart - - for there is no abyss like the homesickness of water cure - -  I became quite conscious that one might die of it as the Swiss did.

{43} It is now time for me to go to bed - -  Il write you again soon.

Your affectionate wife

Revd CE Stowe
Care of Robert Wesselhoep [Wesselhoeft]

[in a later hand:] To Mr Stowe at Brattleboro
Cholera not yet developed


Harriet Beecher Stowe, letter to Lydia Jackson Beecher, 29 Oct. 1850
Transcription by James Bignotti (HC 2016), Brianna Burns (HC 2016), and Allison Wolfe (2016)

Brunswick, Oct. 29

Dear Mother,

{44} I was sorry to not have seen you & Father again before I left Boston - - I assure you that as the time of in gathering comes when we are all drawing around our firesides I miss the old study  fire with the sofa in front of it  &. you & Father cozily seated in either corner - - our Thanksgiving & Christmas will be lonely without you & I am quite inclined to join in the homesick regrets of the children - - -

{45} It is true that God has given me many warm friends in this distant land - - friends who are willing to do all they can for me but still how can I help these regrets - - I commend my husband to your motherly care &  hope that you & Father will look after him a little, & uphold his heart for I think he feels quite lonesome. - -  Mr. Stowe needs three new shirts - - and as there are no women that I know of here who do that kind of work as well as those we used to employ on the hill I have concluded to have them made there Mrs Ford cut & made four for him just before he came away. -- If you will be kind enough to choose some cotton & linen for the purpose at Ayers where we have an account she can cut & make them by one of those which she has already done. Should it be that she have moved away   [strikeout: I wil]            Mrs Sutton could do the thing almost equally well - -

[strikeout: We have]

{46} We have been very anxious about Sarah, who has been very dangerously sick with an abscess in her side - -   It has been a dreadful thing but she is now recovering we hope that in this way the western miasma may drain off.  Charles appears delightfully - - He is growing solid in mind & is under the influence of a most excellent & deeply christian spirit - - He appears to give great satisfaction as a preacher & may I think obtain one of the best places in this part of  the country when he chooses - - 

{47} If God would give me such a set of sons as you have raised Father, I would not ask him for silver or gold - -  &  would be willing  to go thro all the racket & tear of the old Litchfield days for their sake - -

{48} My little boy grows so exactly like him I have lost that I feel almost sad when I look at him He is now not four months but he weighs 17 pounds & is very strong & active   - - yet I look still  with fond regrets back to him whom I have lost tho God knows I would not recal him.  I do not see that the present takes the place of the past - - & tho I call both Charles still I feel for all the likeness that there is that this is another & not the same

{49} -- Well I hold to my heart the text we have here no continuing city but we seek one to come

{50} We had a very pleasant visit from old Dr Woods -- He looks quite young & vigorous & writes yet as firm a hand as any young clerk of thirty --  He sent me half a bushel of quinces off his own trees with a note saying that he wanted to express his affectionate remembrance of my Father by showing me some little kindness - - I hope next year Father will settle down & get out his sermons as the old Doctor has done

{51} I cant write much now but you will hear from me thro my husband often Give my love to Mrs Allen & Mrs Bates -- & -- but I cant begin to say all that I would send love to [strikeout: all] ---

[strikeout: Affectionate [illegible]]

Afftly yours,

H. Stowe

(I am almost crazy as you see)

Mrs Dr Beecher
Walnut Hills


Harriet Beecher Stowe, letter to "dearest brother," 18 Apr. [c.1860]
Transcription by Jessica Reed (HC 2018), Peyton Spaugh (HC 2018), and Audrey Furnish (2016).

April 18

My Dearest Brother,

{52} Last night on going to bed I had an experience so singular that I must relate it to you. I had had a letter about the temptations which [envisioned ofred?] which deprived me of sleep & sent me to prayer.

{53} I called Georgie to my bedside and begun to talk with her. Suddenly [my] mind seemed to be taken up [torn: and?] carried beyond itself with the wonderful power & greatness of Christs atonement  and I said to Georgie "Why have we given up prayer for poor Annie?  Did not Christ cast seven devils out  [torn: of] Mary Magdalene? Is not Christ able to save those souls whose bodies have become so defiled and [wreched?] that deliverence from sin is impossible while they  [sic]

{54} Then came a strong impression on my mind that some soul was to depart that night  - -  I asked Georgie to read from the prayer book the prayers for the dying & the commendation of the departing soul    While she was reading them I was intensely moved & thought within myself let me remember this is the 27 & consider what I shall hear.

{55} When Georgie left me again my thoughts reverted  to Anna  - - I thought Why have I not had faith to pray for her. When Christs atonement is such an infinite proof of love   Did God so suffer for us - - is any thing too much to ask of him for us   Does not Christ hold the keys   of[Hell?]  & of Death & then again by an irresistable impulse  I seemed to raise her up in my arms [torn: send?] her to Jesus  I seemed to stand with her before  the cross & give her up to him.
{56} To day when the telegram  came I felt an awful peace  a fullness of trust in Christ's infinite mercy of him & thro him & to him are all things.   I feel that Georgie [torn]    I prayed besides Annie's dying bed last night & that our prayers were heard & your many prayers [torn: illegible]  dear brother -- Christ [torn: Jesus?] said to the Evil Spirit 'I charge [Torn: illegible] come out of her & vex her no more & I see her sitting at his feet clothed & in her right mind.

Your loving sister


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