Whittier Cameo        
Sarah Orne Jewett        
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brooch09.png Played by Karen Raynes

Sarah Orne Jewett

I was born in South Berwick, Maine and lived there throughout my productive literary life. My father was a doctor and he allowed me to accompany him on his house calls because I was frail of health and could not attend school some of the time. I was educated at Miss Olive Raynes School and was a graduate of Berwick Academy.

I became a novelist, poet, and friend to many influential writers of my time. John Greenleaf Whittier was one of those friends. After he read my first book Deephaven, which was about the people in a small Maine seaport town, he wrote to me with a lot of enthusiasm. He enjoyed the book so much he even gave copies of it to his friends. He liked my stories, calling them "charmingly written, natural and restful." karen_0668-denoise-clear_cp1_fx1_med.jpg I admired his writings also. We corresponded often; he signed his letters "thy friend."

He was like a grandfather to me; all sugarplums and no discipline. He always praised my work and I was always able to discuss any matter with him, including my interest in Spiritualism. He visited my home in Maine, as well as my close friend Annie Fields' home in Back Bay, Boston. I lived part of each year with Annie, finding friendship, humor, and literary encouragement there for all of my life. I would visit Whittier's homes in Holderness, NH, and Amesbury, Danvers, and Newburyport, MA.

I loved to travel, as it was a chance to immerse myself in a place, and through each place and its natural surroundings to identify with past lives. Whittier wrote a poem for Annie Fields and me on our trip to Europe in 1882. It was called Godspeed.

Annie and I attended Whittier's last birthday party in 1892.

Note.Whittier was warm-hearted and his affectionate nature gave him a wide circle of friends, lecturers, and poets. One writer and friend was Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward.