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Letters, 1863-1865.

Author: Ellen Tucker EmersonEdward Waldo EmersonJohn Haven EmersonRalph Waldo EmersonEdith Emerson ForbesAll authors
Edition/Format:   Book : Manuscript   Archival Material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This collection contains one hundred letters all written by Ellen Tucker Emerson to family and friends. The majority of the letters (45) were written to her sister Edith (1841-1928), who spent twelve months in New York undergoing the water-cure. Eleven letters were written to her brother Edward (1844-1930), who was often away at Harvard College, twelve to her cousin John Haven Emerson (1840- ), and seven to her
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Details

Genre/Form: Correspondence
Named Person: Edith Davidson; Edward Waldo Emerson; Ellen Tucker Emerson; John Haven Emerson; Lidian Jackson Emerson; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Emerson family.; Edith Emerson Forbes; Julian Hawthorne; Sophia Peabody Hawthorne; Una Hawthorne; Elizabeth Hoar; Charles Russell Lowell; George L Prescott; Sarah Alden Ripley; Anna Ward
Material Type: Manuscript, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Archival Material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Ellen Tucker Emerson; Edward Waldo Emerson; John Haven Emerson; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Edith Emerson Forbes; Edward W Forbes
OCLC Number: 191276046
Description: 1 box (100 letters)

Abstract:

This collection contains one hundred letters all written by Ellen Tucker Emerson to family and friends. The majority of the letters (45) were written to her sister Edith (1841-1928), who spent twelve months in New York undergoing the water-cure. Eleven letters were written to her brother Edward (1844-1930), who was often away at Harvard College, twelve to her cousin John Haven Emerson (1840- ), and seven to her father. The remainder were to friends and other relatives.

Most of the letters were written from Concord, Mass., and in lively prose detail Ellen's life in the Emerson household and in the wider Concord community. The family was firmly based in Concord from which town Ralph Waldo Emerson traveled widely lecturing and Ellen made occasional visits to friends and relatives in Boston, Canton, Naushon, and Plymouth, Mass., and Newport, R.I. Ellen writes of: her visits to "Aunt Ripley" [Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley (1793-1867)] at the Manse where Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Sanborn are boarding for part of 1864; her Dante studies with "Aunt Lizzie" [Elizabeth Hoar (1814-1878)]; and her labors with Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne (1809-1871), Una Hawthorne (1844-1877), and Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934) in behalf of "Mrs. Mann's fair". She describes skating on Walden Pond [14 January 1863], visiting Edward's newly decorated room at Harvard [6 January 1863], attending Anna Ward's wedding at the Catholic Chapel [30 January 1863], listening to Mr. Alcott and her mother discuss education [8 January 1864], and monitoring the behavior of her "daughter", Edith Davidson, her ward for several years.

The Civil War, the ever-present background, was for Ellen a spur to patriotic action. She attends the Soldier's Aid sewing circle and works on fundraising fairs and balls. Emotionally she was most concerned with the well-being of her cousin Charles Emerson (1841- ) who served on the staff of General Nathaniel Banks. William "Wilky" James (1842-1910), a friend of her brother's and a frequent visitor, was wounded during the attack of the Mass. 54th on battery Wagner. She was particularly distressed by the deaths of Col. Charles Russell Lowell (1835-1864) and Concord's own hometown hero, Col. George Lincoln Prescott (1829-1864), whose funeral she describes at length [1 September 1864]. In her 3 November 1864 letter to her friend Addy [Manning?] she betrays her mixed feelings about the war: Oh, what a blessing it is to live during this war, to know all the high heats of patriotism, all the glory of the soldier's character ... I think that all this new, heavenly atmosphere came from the war, and pity a people who live in peace. But I want the war to end soon nevertheless, of course[.].

These letters are an important addition to the two volume Letters of Ellen Tucker Emerson, edited by Edith E.W. Gregg (Kent State University Press, 1982), filling gaps in 1863, 1864, and January of 1865. It seems probable that the pencil markings on the letters--"go on" and "omit" were made by Ellen's nephew, Edward Waldo Forbes (1873-1969). According to Edith Gregg, he marked up transcripts for possible publication but in this case it must have been the originals which were not available to her.

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