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[in pencil, upper left hand corner: 3] [in pencil, upper right hand corner: [Dec. 1, 1907]
[Printed letterhead: 4 West Fiftieth Street.]
Dear Miss Whitney
Believe me I am very grateful to you for trusting me so far as to give me this picture of yourself - After you had been so kind to send the likeness of your friend, I could not help coveting this and yet troubled a little at my own temerity - and a sentence in your letter made me feel that you two had felt it to be temerity - in me to ask - So I am doubly grateful if you had a doubt and overcame it. What a life we live in New York! I try to avoid overcrowding in my days and yet four days have gone by since your gift came and I -
begin to wane at thirty-seven and it is a great treat to have a new one spring up on itself, unsolicited and vigorous. So that little breath of frost out of your cool north blowing over the new plant, growing in southern soil though it be, only showed me that it is hardy!
Your sorrow for your beloved friend brings you nearer still. Five years ago, my nearest, dearest friend died suddenly at thirty-five, breaking a cord to this world for me that never can be tied up again - She was a niece on both sides to Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Dana. Her father and brother had spent five years at Brook farm, and she had grown to what she was, a gifted, beautiful, vivid creature, in a home whose intellectual and moral atmosphere I have never seen equalled in any other home. I've sometimes wondered whether your inspiration derived in any way from Brook farm. It seems to have left an abiding impression on the lives of those who really knew it, even to the third and fourth generations. Now I must not ask you to write to me. Such things are a tax. [on right side of page: Sunday]
And her I was interrupted and two more days have gone by! I can only ask you to forgive
[stationery heading: 4 West Fiftieth Street.]
what seems like neglect, and explain that we have had people staying in the house for Thanksgiving and that my time has been unusually occupied all the week.
I want to send you a magazine or two and a little book in which you may make some acquaintance with my husband. His literary work is all done in the rare intervals of a busy medical practice and he himself feels that it scarcely deserves the name of literature. But I should like you to see some of it. Only I beg that you will not task yourself to acknowledge it, unless it should come easily to you to do so. He gives me
bound like [illegible] to a revolving wheel, - have been unable to free myself even for half an hour to sit down and thank you- But I have thanked you continually in my thoughts and am beginning now to feel a little familiar with this lady of the deep eyes and commanding look. How much a look tells. It is a kind of summary of the whole man or woman, is it not?
The face has flowered, I think, from the Puritan tree.
Going back to your letter, your scattering shot implicating me among the "Redundant" class of women, did not frighten me in the least! I stand to my guns! Wh enthusiasms
in a message of thanks and appreciation, and of sympathy too for the loss of the friend who was so much to you.
Most warmly and sincerely yours
Antoinette Rotan Peterson
Most of my letter was written on Thanksgiving Day which would have been a so much more appropriate date -
Peterson, Antoinette Rotan and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Antoinette Rotan Peterson, New York, New York, to Anne Whitney, Boston, Massachusetts, 1907 December 1" (1907). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 982.