Letter from Anne Brewster to Mary Howell, July 26, 1864

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Letter from Anne Brewster to Mary Howell, July 26, 1864


Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892
United States--Boston
Political Affairs
Atlantic Monthly
Gender Norms


Brewster writes about meeting a bishop, other encounters, and her novel St. Martin's Summer. She does not plan on working in the summer and fall as she is "living enjoying existence." Brewster mentions the Boston Athenaeum and the Atlantic Monthly, for which she wants to write. She fears a potential re-election of Lincoln and blames abolitionists for the war.
Eventually, Brewster speaks about the tense relationship with her brother, which forced her to take care of business affairs herself. She regrets this as she thinks that "[a]ll business & money affairs are foreign to our natures & men should protect not wrong us."


The Library Company of Philadelphia


Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892


ABP 27 10





Letter Item Type Metadata


[page1] My love

if I had my will you should live forever more in Newport—You think threble [sic] as much of me and never wrote me such charming letter in the whole course of our long intimacy. The improvement nay total reform in your immoral habit of irregularity is amazing Indeed I find this new letter law of mine is working admirably. You, Nan & Sarah Cuyler are changed persons now I get my fair share of letters while my own have gone up to their proper value I have just rec.: your last letter and read it. I can just imagine the disgust you feel in your present society such persons are intolerable and all enough to put us out of humor even

[page 1, vertical] I had a nice letter from Fanny Fuller a fortnight since I replied bit yesterday I had a letter from last Thursday answered it Sunday

[page 2] with Divine Nature in its most beautiful forums my friend who do you think the good Lord sent to see me today. No less a person than the [inserted] Holy Apostolic Bishop of New Jersey—we had a charming chat together and he was especially taken with +++-+++. His Grace took a seat on the sofa beside +++-+++& her mistress after he rose to go and caressed the slut but the little wretch shewed [sic] her teeth & growled out "Get out with you I'm a Protestant!" Luckily His Grace did not understand dog talk and he told her a charming story about his cousin Mr Roosevelts Skye. a dog that has been taught to sit on his kind legs and sing several notes of the scale–Then looking in +++-+++'s lovely little face he said she looked intelligent enough to be taught any thing adding that

[page 3] of all dogs he liked them the best and pronounced +++-+++ a little beauty. Of course he won my heart He is a most charming person—talks easily & well—uses the best expressions for example he spoke of George Sumner whom he knew very well and said he had "a well furnished mind" was not that apt and clever? We agreed in politics and of course I did not tell him I read Revues Germanique & M. Renan though I came within an ace of quoting a passage from an Étude on Education by M. Renan very apropos to our conversation the subject of which was [last five words inserted] - the superficiality of the American mind & culture – After he left I walked up stairs with a sort of ready-to-go-the-stake-for-my-religion sort of feeling that was especially healthful & refreshing


[page 4] Oh time! Time! why will you fly so swiftly when one is contented. My summer is floating by noiselessly but very rapidly—Don't reproach me for not writing Mss's. I am not idle. I am devouring books and my mind is lying fallow[?]—wait for the harvest You have read Ladder of Life by this trime & of course like it—I lay awake Sunday night until early morning reading it— forgetting or rather excusing the loosely woven indeed imperfect plot—for the detail was is so perfect & vraisemblable—She writes so intelligently and intelligibly about music—Her description of that Pastoral movement in Corelli's 8" Concerto describes nay characterizes exactly the music of that day Beethoven's middle style you know is full of those "labyrinths of tied notes

[page 5] and moving inner parts I have set to music and sing with intense satis-faction to myself that song Natalie sang to Laurent "Those other Times"— I have not read "Barbara's History" but shall this week—Entre nous I like Ladder of Life better than any thing Miss Sheppard ever wrote even Charles Anchester Her English is so English all the pretty attractive errors in [inserted] real nobby English talk (of course you know the distruction between "nobby" & "snobby") which remind me when I hear them from the lips or see in the books of educated Englishers of what Mme de Maintenon said cleverly about women's ungrammatical style in writing, in a letter to her spiri-tual director Abbe Gobelin—Vous savez que, dans tout ce que les femmes écrivent, il ya toujours mille fautes contre la gram -maire, mais, avec votre permission, un agrément qui est rare dans les écrit de hommes"

[page 6] I would give my two dear little fingers to write such a book as Ladder of Life—but then I never shall for I fret over a plot if it is not tightly linked in every part and I am too exact

St Martin's Summer! Heaven bless you my love I don't know any thing about its October prospects—I only know that +++. must become pregnant speedily & promise to be delivered at some given time if not I shall withdraw the Ms: from him and take it with me to Boston to try my luck there among the Athenians – I have a half dozen things flitting through my fancy "moted sunbeams" – I shall not work this summer nor an autumn I am living enjoying existence. When I return home in Nov: and am settled I shall go to work and do something

[page 7] I shall take on that musical sketch about the mysterious death of the singer at a sea side Hotel and try to push it into the Atlantic if possible. not the Ocean of that name my dear but the monthly so yclept of course. Lincoln to be re-elected! Not if any thing can possibly prevent it – If he is the country will be entirely ruined that is there will be no longer a United States—of course there will be a great and mighty government here but not the old Union. The past four years ignorant and reckless misrule with that Imperial Loking [sic] Gorilla at the head of affairs has well nigh destroyed us—for the sake of the dear old Constitution let us pray most heartily for the Democrats to be enlightened

[page 8] & helped in the choice of a leader that all may go well with us yet for with all my sympathy for the South I do not wish to see ultra Southern rule established– Good Bye to real democracy and true liberty then—We shall see a military Empire established or Dictatorship in three years time should Lincoln be re-elected & Lee or Davis be our ruler—for the tooth with all its resources cannot stand the struggle much longer – Indeed just so sure as this draft is enforced the reaction will take place – The very ones who fomented this unholy strife, those detestable abolitionists see it and are already striving to grasp peace as senselessly as they seized on War Mr W. writes to me constantly about public affairs – He wrote a famous

[page 9] article in the Intelligencer a fortnight since which caused a great sensation It was called "Our Late National Humiliation" and the President & government were rebuked in the superbest and most scathing English It was on the subject of the late siege of Washington – A cabinet meeting was held, for the President & Secritary at war were furious, and a proposition made to put the Editor in Old Capitol Prison, but three members of the Cabinet cooly + endorsed the Editorial & said they had already congratulated Mr W. on his manly utterance of the truth & had also thanked him. Of course the cabinet meeting broke up

[page 9, vertical] I have not written one half I have to say—So write soon to give me a chance to relieve myself +++-+++ is like Frank more lovely than ever

[page 10] the ghost of like Macbeth's banquet with the ghost of [last three words inserted] Banquo at the board "in most admired disorder" The next day the P. Master Gen: called on +++ +++ & innvited him to take a drive with him. They visited the ground occupied by the besiegers + could no where find proof of a large force than 500 men having [inserted] being encamped in front of Washington! This is en confidence except Mrs [...]Siers of course she will be pleased as she agrees with me in politics. Give her my best love Tell her I did not write that letter to her to inveigle her into a correspon-dance – but to express an apology for an omission of ceremony and to acknowledge her courtesies – While I should be very happy to hear from her and should enjoy a correspondance with her undoubtedly at the same time I do not wish to bore her into one

[page 11] I can form some idea of how much her mind and heart are burthened with her new cares – I never lost a good husband but I did lose a good brother who through the influence of [last three words inserted] what one of Shakespeare's termagant exasperated wronged queens would call "a devil's dain", was turned into a bad brother and I had not only to manage my business myself as she is bravely doing but protect my little all from dishonorable unjust claims forced on me with all the wicked cunning of a skilful angry lawyer – So I can sympathise with her and hope I shall see her as safely through all her be wilderments as I at last came out But such women as we are were never intended for "Widow Black

[page 12] -acres" – All business & money affairs are foreign to our natures & men should protect not wrong us – Some how however man instead of feeling for women's helplessness nine times out of ten take advantage of it. But she is blessed in having male relatives that look to her interests. May God & His Mother keep them upright ans watch over her. and now dear good bye– You cannot tell how I love your letters so write often. I sent you a Chronicle & so did Frank containing an account of the "Hanging Match" by Frank himself—He is more satisfactory than ever and grows in friendships grace daily & hourly. I am enjoying about once a fortnight the charming society of Sophie Buck's handsome intelligent stylish husband. He was here last Sunday eve till near midnight God bless you Love your



Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892


West Commerce St, Bridgeton, NJ, US

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Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892, “Letter from Anne Brewster to Mary Howell, July 26, 1864,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed April 22, 2024, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/813.

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