Letter from Anne Brewster to Mary Howell, July 8, 1864

Dublin Core


Letter from Anne Brewster to Mary Howell, July 8, 1864


Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892
Manners / Etiquette
Gender Norms
United States--Washington, DC


Anne Brewster describes the fiancé of her cousin Frank as a "well-posé person" whose manners she feels drawn to. She adds: "Had I been alone with her I should have kissed her [inserted] but I would not take a liberty with her before any one for fear of encouraging others in going too far."
She writes about several encounters and is content that her "Washington correspondence flourishes."


The Library Company of Philadelphia


Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892


ABP 27 10





Letter Item Type Metadata


[page 1] Well my dear

I have seen Frank's fiancée. She came to Bridgeton on the morning of the Fourth —drove over from Cumberland Furnace where she lives—I met her on the grounds—the Grove where the 4" was celebrated—she is not handsome but very elegant and distinguée—slender, good height & perfectly posée—a little too manierée for American tastes, but not too much so for high bred English & French. I liked her it was like enjoying a fine carnier

[page 1, vertical] Mr Dickson Anna La Roche's sent me the new volume of the Mendelssohn so I now have three of them

[page 2] or some nicely executed work of art—You know I have always had a little fancy for that sort of style +++ +++ in her uppish days, my Nan with her Duchess airs and Sophie Buck who breathes the very air as if her beautiful nostrils honored it by receiving its currents —these three women have always given me infinite satisfaction and so I felt while listening to Miss Sharpe and looking at her light well-posé person, her quiet but delicate exquisite toilette and her perfectly self possessed elegant manners Had I been alone with her I should have kissed her [inserted] but I would not take

[page 3] a liberty with her before any one for fear of encouraging others in going too far. She seemed like an exquisite bit of Cellini silver work that free touches might inquire I don't wonder Frank talks so rarely and reverentially of her – No indeed he should not write to any woman not even an artist Dalilah like you he should hold himself apart from all other feminines for such a woman She "reposed" me she was cool and refreshing – I'd like to have her near me when I had a hot feverish headache – her hands, look calm and capable her eyes have soul but no passion in them and her

[page 4] skin looks dewy and pure. Such a contrast as she forms to Frank! It just satisfied me to see them together they make such lovely whole Miss Sheppard's theory of a happy marriage as she tries to instruct us in counterparts about it will be fully carried out in their union She talks very prettily and naturally too about Frank – some compliment was paid to him in our little circle when he arose to speak and she was in a measure appealed to so as to beforced to say something in reply I felt a [inserted] slight tremor but it was useless for she answered without any false shyness and with the quietest calmest

[page 5] sweest smile something that assented to our remark and that of course she thought so but then she added with a little dignity that was very becoming & not at all put on "I cannot expect every one to see him with my eyes" Yes my dear she is just delicious and I can love her just as well as I do dear Frank. You can imagine how glad I am that she is so lovely A whole sheet about this francée But indeed she has been a comfort to me all the week since I saw her for I have been quite ill, fever and headache and lanquor and I have thought of her while tossing on my

[page 5, vertical] +++ +++ is watching a tugging fly fiercely-she is lovely She sends N her love practically & healthily Belle send hers sentimentally

[page 6] bed and wished for her as I wish for cool quiet calm [Nan]. Kennard so you are at last at Newport. I am very glad to feel you are there. How rested you will be – Chester Jones is to be with Mrs White (née Ridgely) in a few weeks – he is to call on you and you must be gracious to him for my sake for I like him. My home is deliciously still—I enjoy my music, books and dogs & space and absolute [inserted] sovereignty – I have just been playing Bach's Gavotte & trying to hear your divine fingers in one of its passages – No I did not see you éloge in the Press. send it to me & I will return it by mail immediately after I read it. I wish very much to see it — so gratify me.

[page 7] My love to Mrs Siers[?]—I am sorry I produce such a Mrs Blimber effect on her. You should be able to correct such a false impression—I am no Yankee school marm "proud of my parting powers" but simply a feminine verb that has done and been and suffered" nearly old enough to be her mother but as full as Mme de Sévigné of tender indulgence and admiring love for such a beautiful imperious young woman as she is If I were as handsome & young as Mrs Siers[?] I am afraid I should go straight to the "+++ bow-wows" Old & ugly as I am I hardly keep out of the broad path especially when nice little widowers & captivating little married men come across my solitary path way—

[page 8] Write to you! To be sure I will. I shall like nothing better—I'll try & give you a paper shot weekly if you choose to ask for it through the mail I've lots of nice things to tell you bookish and otherwise – not to day however for I am far from well my head aches fiercely and my nerves are trembling all over my body We are havings one of our sultry mid-summer heats hanging over us I feel a little like Mariana in the moated grange at "the hour when the thick moted sunbeam lay Athwart the chambers & the day Was sloping toward his western bower" Oh! for your music, or a beautiful cool calm woman's presence & soothing land touch! Charlotte Taylor writes me about

[page 9] Barbara's History. Her friend Miss Philp[?] (that English lady who was in Washington last year Charlotte's Cushman's friend who wished to meet me because C.C. had talked so lovingly of me to her (will your brother heard her sing Whew! what a parenthetis!) knew the writer of "Barbara" a Miss Edwardes and she told Charlotte Taylor so much about the writer that it interested her more in the book "more" Charlotte T. says "Than the took by itself would have done" I must read it however. Mr Smith is to send it me in the next parcel of books also the "Small House af Allington. I am reading +++ Revues outrageous irreligious God forsaken

[page 10] articles in the Revue Germanique full of Renanisms and Humboldtisms & unbelievingisms but equally full of thought & information. And the Revue de Deux Mondes with superb Art Études – I have been enjoying lately some evenings with Sophie Buck's husband he was here three days and gave me two long visits He is very intelligent, cultivated has travelled abroad, is fond of the play lives in New York is stylish, uppish & charming, handsome too of course with superb eyes and talks well— We have taken to each other hugely He will be here again in a fortnight I am happy to say. He is young only 3 or to[?] and 30. but not young in manner Good Bye — my Washington correspondence flourishes and so shall I when I get over this headache—with love your



Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892


Howell, Mary


West Commerce St, Bridgeton, NJ, US

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Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892, “Letter from Anne Brewster to Mary Howell, July 8, 1864,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed July 15, 2024, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/812.

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