Sarah Orne Jewett House


A hundred years is a tremendous while. I think it won’t be funny if a hundred years from now, some girl like me should find this diary somewhere and wonder about me. I guess I will write my journal with a view to your getting some improving information, young woman! Let me tell you first that I am a very “sinfle,” bad girl and it is very much for your interest that you live in the time you do instead of the age in which you might have come across me. And I will add for your virtue the maxim, “Be virtuous and you will be happy.” Now if anybody gets this book before the hundred years, don’t burn it, so the young woman can have the benefit of what is intended for her. I am going to make believe your name is Phebe, and tell you things, instead of the way everybody keeps a journal. I don’t know anybody named Phebe, and I hope yours won’t be, truly, for I don’t think it is a very pretty name, though it may be the fashion in 1867.

–Sarah Orne Jewett (diary entry, September [29?], 1867