Anne Brewster about Blackwood and Gender Differences, Diary Entry Excerpts (1878)

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Anne Brewster about Blackwood and Gender Differences, Diary Entry Excerpts (1878)


Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892
Gender Norms
Philadelphia Bulletin
Philadelphia Telegraph
New York World
Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


The diary entries include discussions of illness, Brewster's anticipation of death, social networking, and payment negotiations with the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and the Evening Telegraph. Brewster's brother initiated these negotiations as he thinks that Brewster is underpaid by the Bulletin. She lists the exact amount of money she would earn if she can secure engagements with the Telegraph and the New York World.
Brewster enjoys her work and the financial stability that comes with it. She comments on rich people's arrogance and argues that they are "not happy." In terms of gender difference, she observes a woman's social duties that can interfere with her work as "a man can retire to his library and be alone but a woman is different. She cannot deny herself to family members especially when alone as l am."
Brewster is delighted to expect her Cushman article in Blackwood's August issue.


The Library Company of Philadelphia


Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892


ABP 5 1, diary 1878





Diary (Entry) Item Type Metadata


[page 1] I am troubled with nausea which results from a weakness of the nerves of the stomach caused by too much work. a little rest a little less work and all will go well I hope. I was very much touched lately by a remembrance of Mr O'Conor. His stepson died lately in Rome; he telegraphed to Mr & Mrs Livingston the young man's uncle and aunt to apply to me for counsel and help. Mr O'Conor and I have had little intercourse with each other for years When ever we have met it has been as friends and this remembrance by him [both words inserted] of me in his trouble has I have said above touched me deeply His teleglam brought the Livingstons and me together and Mrs Livingston and I +++ that we were +++ of a third remove

[page 2] Her grandmother was a Harris[?] and a cousin of my mother and Uncle Hampton's. Mrs Livingston is a plain simple kind unaffected woman.

  1. May. /78. Saturday

The Editor or Proprietor of the Evening Telegraph offers me $800 gold [inserted] a year to write for him and I have accepted it on condition of having the month of August a holiday and of drawing my quarterly drafts in Rome. So I am waiting for his reply. He ought to pay me a $1000 a year and Brother who a very keen to have me break with the Bulletin because he is at outs with it ought to have made the Editor pay me more Brother is the one who has let The Ev: Tel: man know I am open to an offer of higher pay Than the Bulletin [Philadelphia Evening Bulletin] pays me

[page 3] The Bulletin gives me $520 [inserted] gold a year—a very small sum for my labour. If I make this arrangement with the Telegraph I shall keep the Boston engagement and write for the N.Y. World once in two weeks durings the winter season. That will give me give me about $1200 gold a year which added to my own $1000 a year will give an income of $2200 gold nearly $2500 paper in Rome I wish to write some Magazine articles and get into Blackwood—come out in Blackwood first—"We will see what we will see" as mother used to see. Courage little woman! If you are 60. nearly, you may yet do some thing worth naming before you go to the great beyond! something that will give you status hereafter:

[page 4] There is nothing that surpasses the force of slow resolute working:—a constant devotion to one end;—an +++ mental attention to one purpose  then this work of mine makes me so happy—I count up the little pennies I make; and enjoy the little luxuries I can allow myself and take such delicious enjoyment in it all. Then my work is so pleasant. I am infinitely contented when I am preparing a letter which needs study. I hunt up historical facts and memories and sting them on to little glitterings cords and weave them into a web with the greatest enjoyment It is so well to be neither poor nor rich. Rich people are not happy. There are the Polks for example. Pleasant things

[page 5] come so easily to them that they lose the power of tatsing the sweetness Then their fine wealth releases their will and thus breaks the spring which keeps down that mental weakness caprice. They are so accustomed to do what they wish without restraint that they imagine themselves thenk unlike the rest of mankind. Even Antoinette's fine high nature could hardly bear its position—She would have become as weakened as her mother and sister if she had not held her social ideals so high. She was always measuring herself with sovreigns [sic] and thus was kest in bounds. But sometimes her wit ran riot and caprice and arrogance led her a fine dance. Her better nature however set her right in the end

[page 6] But Mrs P. and the younger daughter are made intolerable by wealth.

14' June /78

The Telegraph proprietor has sent me through Brother my paper of conditions signed—so I begin the 1' of July. Tomorrow I write my last letter to the Bulletin—and next Tuesday I write my last letter for the season to the N.Y. World. There I must prepare for my summmer's journey I leave Rome the 10. of July if possible the 6 July. I am very much run down and would go to morrow if my work was done—my letters I mean. I wish to write two letters from Rome to the Telegraph in July one to mail en route and also my letter for Boston.

[page 7] Genevieve left me a fortnight ago for Florence She is studying hard at Italian there. The weather is very oppressive. I walk and drive on the +++ from 7 to 9 in the morning but I am not in good working order—I cannot eat nor sleep well—If we could have rain I'd feel better My mind is very easy about my work now—a regular salary and regular work is a comfort. It is much better rec: or drawing $200 gold every quarter than $120. Then my month's holyday [sic] in August is such a delight Yes I feel very comfortable. But I never will have any one to live with me again like Genevieve. Dear good sweet girl. She did disturb me terribly; rasped and fretted me She is not old enough to know

[page 8] how to adapt herself to a hard working studious woman's ways She has infinite tact and is  most charming—but she disturbed my work—It sounds selfish to say this and would if work was not a necessity with me. I miss the darling dreadfully but when I miss her I comfort myself by thinking or rather remembering that I am not so weary and behind hand over my work a man can retire to his library and be alone but a woman is different. She cannot deny herself to family members especially when alone as l am If Mrs Read comes she will not be troublesome as she is older +++ [inserted] gives me less responsability or none indeed and be independent of me—Boston!

[page 9] Annecy. Haute Savoir. France 20. July. /78. Saturday

I left Rome the 8 July. two weeks on Monday and have come to this place where I think of staying until October. Miss Hammersley recommended the place. I am with a Mlle Favre. I have a nice room tolerably good fare great quiet and rest and every facility for study plenty of books and when I wish the society of a few intelligent persons. The air is not quite invigorating enough—or at least I don't feel very well. To be sure I have not rested yet. Soon after I arrived I went off to Geneva with Miss Hammersley for a breakfast to at Mys:[?] Mermillods[?] This gave me a two [inserted] long diligence +++ 

[page 10] of five or six hours each; in the very hot sun and dust and two drives/one going & one returning from His Grand+++ Villa) an hour and a half long also in the sun and dust. then we walked a good deal in Geneva. Miss H. left this morning. and I am now alone. I mean to rest first and see if I cannot get myself in order. If I find I cannot pick up I'll go some where else. But I trust I can stay here as I have in this place so many advantages. Before leaving Rome I wrote a short sketch of Miss Cushman and sent it to Mr Blackwood. He accepted it and what is better it is to be the Aug: No: of the Edinburgh. +++  wrote me a very kind note about it also.

[page 11] Tuesday. 30. July /78 Still no news from  Elmer. It makes me very wretched I am so very anxious about him. My letter no 5 is off for the Phila: Teleglaph and now I must prepare the Boston letter. I have not the heart to do any thing. This after noon I feel unusually nervous and cannot work. What miserable creatures we are—a trifle makes me happy—a shadow is enough to upset my peace of mind. I am too impressionable. Thank heaven I have only myself to make mis -erable by my forebodings. It is the uncertainty, the unusual silence of Mr Elmer that terrifies me. The last letter which was a kind one came the 18. of last December. And here I am at the 30. of July: nearly eight months! There must be some sad reason

[page 12] Wednesday July 31 /78

Mr Blackwood sent me to day £7 ($35) for my little sketch of Miss Cushman also a very pleasant and long letter; at the close of his letter he asks me to write and tell him how I like my companions in the old +++ which is a pretty way of asking me to keep up one pleasant correspondence. No letter yet from Mr Elmer—I had a wretched night—couldn't sleep and got up late wth head ache worked patiently all the +++ on the preparation for my Boston letter with a very aching head—After dinner I went on the Lake and made the tour in the steam boat. It blew like fury and it was a disagreeable journey but

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Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892, “Anne Brewster about Blackwood and Gender Differences, Diary Entry Excerpts (1878),” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed July 15, 2024,

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