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Miss Anne Whitney
Care Messrs. Sprague, Soule & Co
Thurs. P.M. Apr 11 th '61
Carrie's liberal gifts make me covetous of [deletion: or] more. Her last came to hand on Tues. evn'g with a letter from Mary S. another from Mary Hudson & a note from Addy. Blessings upon all the dear writers [deletion: ing] & grateful thanks for all such favors including that from yr own dear self wh. I know is some where on the way. As Mr Patton is attending his wife upon some singing excursions up the river, one [deletion: or two] days delay may occur in the receipt of yr first word. But more, I think James will prevent by coming himself if no other way offers. This lovely day too may [deletion: will] tempt him into the country & so we plan to day's errands so that we may meet the 4 pm train & him if he comes in it.
Evn'g - We met neither James nor Mr Patten - but the latter did come later & here is yr welcome word with another from dear Katie. It is so good to hear
that all's well at home & no new cases of fever at W.N.
Respecting the children I am sorry if you went home with any ill-founded fears. Eddie is wholly unwilling to go without Maggie & as I have not invited her, I have given up the expectation of him. Franks wants to go, & though I am a good deal afraid of homesickness I shall not like to disappoint him. I can only deal with him by truthfully setting before him the dark possibilities of the case & the bright probabilities & let him choose. Yr message from Carrie makes me very unwilling to propose the matter again & it is doubtful if I do. Miss Harris' school is about to close - there is no decent one in S. Orange. It was in learning these facts that I asked most innocently (ie foolishly it must be allowed) if M. wld like to go to Belmont, thus placing Carrie in an awkward position from wh I can only extricate her by inviting M to our house if any where. Of course Mother's wishes are to be consulted & if she says nay
there is an end of the matter. I think M. ought to go to school & if a good one were within walking distance I think it w'ld be as well for her to be at home as in B. The poor child is uncomfortable, if not absolutely unhappy. Who is the wise friend who will minister to her spiritual need? I know I cannot. Frank I may help. Emma I sh'd be glad to try to help, if I know that James really desires it. Do not be frightened my dear child. I will remember that I have other duties & will not try to impose disagreeabilities upon any of my friends. No I am thinking of going home next week, as Margt's affairs are not definitely arranged, as the schools are in such a state of uncertainty (Eddies also) & as E thinks of coming on soon, I think it will be as well to let the subject rest for the present. My plan has been to leave her next Mon - spend 3 days in B - one of them with the Mannings - & return by boat or car on Thurs. as I shall deem at the time most agreeable. All my correspondants think I ought to stay with M.
I don't know if I ought. She is most of time very cheerful but sometimes her face bears the marks of deep distress & I am sure even my company is better than none. I know home goes on well enough without me, but am not so sure that my absence does not lay burdens upon some of the dear ones there wh ought not to be laid. Will you give ever so much love from M'gt & me to all who bear us so kindly in their remembrance. To the double home first. To the Stones, Lamberts, Shannons, Barnards & Lockes as you see them - & mine to Susan if she is with you & to Kate. Tell K. I expect she will become in my absence a thoroughly trained housekeeper. M'gt has obtained a very verdant looking maid of all work who promises splendidly - not in word but in deed with a good deal of M's help in the kitchen & Ellen's invaluable services in the nursery the housekeeping goes on quite satisfactorily.
If I have got to answer Miss L's note, I think I had better do it here - send it on. We have had almost a summer's day - a visitor says she heard that there was sleighing yesterday in Boston. I don't believe it though there is a drift in Belmont. Let me hear of that matter & all else you can find leisure to write about to yr loving Sarah.
[written up the side of the page] Fri. A.M. This is heavenly weather, but till yesterday the east wind blew & I cld not believe with less sharpness than in Belmont. James is coming out tonight I shall be glad to see him. Does not Carrie think of coming in with E? Tell her I will keep house for her.
Whitney, Sarah and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Sarah Whitney, to Anne Whitney, Boston, Massachusetts, 1861 April 11" (1861). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 372.