So Each Day Begin Again: 1886–1887
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137 r Although she is not entirely well, Genie returns to teaching school in May 1886. In the spring of 1887, Lulu, who has been a tardy and apologetic correspondent , writes for the first time in almost a year. She acknowledges her error and Genie’s right to not write first, but she feels it is not “as it ought to be between friends.” She had intended to use funds invested four years earlier to give Genie a vacation in Washington; she had wanted to “act the fairy Godmother” but the investment failed. She writes of the serious illness of her boarder, James Monroe Trotter (1842–1892), the recorder of deeds. There is no evidence that Genie responded to this letter and there are no more letters for the next three years. During this time Louisa and Harriet manage the household of journalist Charles Nordhoff (1830–1901) until 1889, when they visit Edenton, North Carolina. Harriet, by now, is showing signs of senility.1 [From Louisa.] Washington Jan. 11, 1886 My dear Genie, Have I not been long thanking you for the lovely calendar. Of course, dear—I take it that you sent it—though no line came from you to tell me so. Thanks childie with kisses. But, ought you to have sent; you who have so many expenses to meet? Did you have a pleasant time on the holidays? I passed them quietly with mother. Willie went home to spend the time with his boys. I was hoping he would see you, but he said he was so busy negotiating for coal, each day part of going until his time was up. Did you get a little basket of jellies from me for Christmas? I sent you a New Year’s card misdirected so you may not have So Each Day Begin Again 1886–1887 138 So Each Day Begin Again: 1886–1887 received it. Cannot tell just the number now. I thinked I reversed your number 6162. You see how stupid I am. I am afraid you are having fearfully cold weather, it is very cold here and has been for three days. There is quite a deep snow on the ground. Oh! Genie, how the poor suffer at such a time as this. I feel to say so often—may God and good people help them. I hope you are not trying to teach. Since you are better—Save yourself this Winter and by the Spring, you will be far better prepared for work. Do you have much time to read? I must look up something for you. Other peoples thoughts will direct you from thoughts of yourself. I wish, dearie, that God’s best blessing may rest upon you in this His New Year. “Do not look at life’s long sorrow; See how small each moment’s pain; God will help thee for to-morrow, So each day begins again. Every hour that flits so slowly; Has its task to do or bear; Luminous the crown and holy, When each gem is set with care.”2 And now, good night. Sleep well and, if possible, dream of me sometimes. Always lovingly thine Lulu r [From Annie Purvis. Postmarked “Phila. Apr. 6, 1886”; addressed to “1662 Ferry Road, Camden, N.J.” Written along the side at the top of the letter “Have you heard from Lottie? I haven’t—Corrinne has her other child with her I heard.”] Sunday afternoon April 4, 1886 My dear Eugenia, I was just selfish enough to wish you had staid over the night with me, for I was one rather forlorn Annie Purvis Friday night—and felt how much good So Each Day Begin Again: 1886–1887 139 your presence would have done me—I was indeed sorry to have missed you, and sorry too I was to hear how your eyes have been troubling you. Martha thought you were looking better—but I know how much better you often look than you feel—and that is just my condition just now—I have just looked in the glass to see if my face doesn’t look haggard but I find it rather round. All night and day I have had pain in my stomache. I was in Bed all day yesterday and slight diarrhea symtoms—and I must tell you how I think I was affected. You know I have been going to learn the Flower work in the mornings—I noticed every day I would feel sick...


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Subject Headings

  • Jacobs, Louisa Matilda, 1833-1917 -- Correspondence.
  • Purvis, Annie (Harriet Ann), 1848-1917 -- Correspondence.
  • Webb, Eugenie, 1856-1919 -- Correspondence.
  • African American women -- Correspondence.
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