Sarah Orne Jewett House

“Marsh Island was all sold… Can we be happy enough?”

Dearest child,

Your lettering urging me to come to you was awaiting my return after the board meeting tonight.

We had a very stormy time. The treasurer wanted Ward 7 to give up their assistant again and I was very indignant. I don’t know when I have been so stirred. Mary had gone away a few days to pass with Mrs. Lowell at Chestnut Hill and I was alone in the breach. They saw they must do it at all over my dead body and so reluctantly withdrew in a most manly fashion.

I cannot help feeling it very keenly after all I have done that they should press me so hard. I feel hurt; it is a kind of blackmail which if they were not so ignorant, they would be ashamed of. They do not exert themselves to raise money themselves, they do not give it.  They are …. And thereby injuring the work and I must be here to devise ways and means to prevent it.

Mr. Millet has just been here bringing good news! Luck news! The Marsh Island was all sold (the first edition, I mean). Ah me–Is that not beautiful? Can we be happy enough?

Mr. Lang came after Mr. Millet. They are all going to Europe. Poor little Mrs. Lang is quite poorly and I gather that the newspaper attacks on him have really cut her to the quick this winter. He bears it all in a most manly fashion but he is distressed about her condition. I think a year abroad will probably restore her altogether, but he is evidently anxious.

How thankful I am, my darling, that you are through at the dentist’s. I did not know you must go.

I am sorry not to be with you dearest child, but I cannot. I am pressed on every side.

Thank Mary for the thought, but I must imagine South Berwick in all her loveliness this time.

Your ever loving A. F.

Note: This letter from Annie to Sarah is undated, but Marsh Island was first published in 1885.