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Jewett family papers

MS014 (RS139)


The Jewett family papers (MS014) reflect the personal, social, and professional life and work of noted author, (Theodora) Sarah Orne Jewett, and the Jewett family of South Berwick, Maine. Included in the papers are biographical and genealogical material; clippings; correspondence (includes letters, postcards, telegrams, and invitations) and related envelopes with cancelled postage stamps; dried leaves; financial statements; framed and unframed photographs; printed material; and a tintype photograph album. The Houghton Library at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also acquired a portion of the correspondence belonging to the Jewett family of South Berwick, Maine.

The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence, which includes letters to and from noted author, (Theodora) Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909); a substantial collection of letters belonging to her elder sister Mary Rice Jewett (1847-1930); letters to Annie (Adams) Fields (1834-1915), the author's companion and friend; and letters to and from other members of the Jewett family of South Berwick, Maine, and their friends. There are also five boxes containing a collection of discarded envelopes with cancelled stamps; presumably, the envelopes belong to the correspondence within the collection and were separated out during the original processing of the collection in 1982.


In 1931, Historic New England acquired the Sarah Orne Jewett House in South Berwick, Maine, through the bequest of Theodore Jewett Eastman. The papers contained within the house at the time of purchase formed the bases of the collection: Jewett family papers (now MS014). In 1982, Nancy Rooza, an intern and semester exchange student in the American and New England Studies Program, Department of American Studies, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, processed the collection (consisting only of correspondence) and created the original finding aid. She divided the correspondence by personal name of the recipients, resulting in ten subdivisions (i.e., Annie Fields, Caroline Perry Jewett, Mary Rice Jewett, Sarah Orne Jewett, etc.). The subdivisions were then arranged by quantity of material, (i.e., subdivision with the largest quantity of items, Papers of Mary Rice Jewett, was first; followed by the subdivision with the second largest quantity of items, Papers of Sarah Orne Jewett, was second; the subdivision with the smallest quantity of items, Papers of Annie Fields, was last). Within the subdivisions, folders were arranged according to the correspondent (author) of the letters, and again were arranged by largest quantity of items followed by smallest quantity of items.

Original Subdivisions:

1. Papers of Mary Rice Jewett (1847-1930)

2. Papers of Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)

3. Papers of Mary Rice Jewett (1847-1930) and Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)

4. Papers of Mary Rice Jewett (1847-1930) and Caroline Augusta (Jewett) Eastman (1855-1897)

5. Papers of Mary Rice Jewett (1847-1930) and Theodore Jewett Eastman (1879-1931)

6. Papers of Mary Rice Jewett (1847-1930), Caroline Augusta (Jewett) Eastman (1855-1897), and

Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)

7. Papers of Caroline (Perry) Jewett (1820-1891)

8. Papers of Caroline Augusta (Jewett) Eastman (1855-1897)

9. Papers of Theodore Herman Jewett (1815-1878)

10. Papers of Annie Fields (1834-1913)

When fully processed, the collection comprised twelve file boxes (approx. 5 linear ft.). One continuous numbering system was applied to all of the folders, which started with Box 1 and continued through Box 12 (i.e., #1-325); numbers 313-325, were inadvertently duplicated in Box 11 and Box 12. As of April 1982, the collection consisted of approximately 2,406 items; 1,137 of those items were letters written by (Theodora) Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) to other family members from 1878 through 1907. Since 1982, additional material was added to the collection.

Update: 2013-2014

In 2013-2014, through a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13: "Family Manuscript Collections: Expanding Online Access to New England Heritage Project"), twenty-six Historic New England manuscript collections of family papers were re-evaluated and processed/reprocessed to meet current archival standards and "best practices;" corresponding finding aids were created/updated to be DACS-compliant and converted into electronic Microsoft Word document form; and the finding aids were made accessible/searchable online through the use of the Minisis M2A archival database of the Minisis Collections Management System. The Jewett family papers (MS014) were part of the grant project.

Since1982, following the initial processing of the original twelve boxes containing the correspondence and creation of the original finding aid, subsequent acquisitions/accessions had been added to the collection bringing the total number of boxes to sixteen (approx. 6.67 linear ft.). Unprocessed material housed in Boxes 13 through 16 included biographical and genealogical material; additional oversize correspondence; photographic material (cabinet portraits and framed photographs); a tintype album; printed material; and a collection of discarded envelopes with cancelled postage stamps (which may have belonged to the initial correspondence processed in 1982). Prior to the 2013-2014 NHPRC grant project (#RH-50051), additional material consisting of advertising materials, chromolithograph trade cards, holiday greeting cards, and oversize prints, had been separated from the collection and placed into other Historic New England collections.

During the 2013-2014 collection reprocessing/updating, the 1982 arrangement scheme was updated; most of the original subdivision headings and folder titles were maintained (folder titles were added, as applicable); discrepancies between actual folder titles and the original 1982 finding aid were corrected; folders were rearranged, as applicable; the accumulated unprocessed material was incorporated into the collection; scope and content notes were updated to reflect the changes; and additional research was added to the biographical/historical sketch and genealogy. Preservation issues were identified and basic preservation methods were applied, as applicable. Papers throughout the collection were removed from envelopes (if applicable), unfolded, flattened, and related pages were noted with corresponding information in brackets ([x-1/3], [x-2/3], [x-3/3] and the unprocessed, discarded envelopes with cancelled postage stamps were sorted and reincorporated into the collection. The collection was rehoused (in acid-free folders and boxes), numbered, labeled, barcoded, and stored accordingly; subsequent accessions were tracked and noted with their corresponding items; missing items were noted; and related collections held by Historic New England and other repositories were researched and noted. The original 1982 paper document finding aid was updated to be DACS-compliant, as applicable; converted into an electronic 2010-2013 Microsoft Word document finding aid (with corresponding paper finding aid); and entered into the collection record in the Minisis M2A online database.

2013 extent of collection (prior to updating):

·14 file boxes (legal-size)= 5.84 linear feet

·1 half file box (legal-size)= 0.21 linear feet

·1 multi-purpose box

NOTE: Processing/updating the collection and making the finding aid accessible online were made possible through grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13), the Bedford Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.


Collection Name
Jewett family papers
Collection Code
1811-2001, undated, predominant 1832-1915
Biographical and genealogical material; clippings; correspondence and related envelopes; financial statements; photographic material; dried leaves; printed material; and a tintype photograph album; reflecting the personal, social, and professional life and work of noted author (Theodora) Sarah Orne Jewett and the Jewett family of South Berwick, Maine.
Acquisition Type
Date of Acquisition
Physical Description
Family papers: 7.51 linear ft. (18 file boxes)
Finding Aid Info
An electric finding aid is available through Historic new England's Collections Access Portal. A paper finding aid is available in the Library and Archives.

Collection Type
Description Level
Custodial History
·1931 - Acquisition of the Sarah Orne Jewett House, South Berwick, Maine, and all its contents, bequest of Theodore Jewett Eastman
·1982-1983 - Subsequent material added from Sarah Orne Jewett House, South Berwick, Maine [framed photographs] (#11.25-11.28)
·1982-1983 - Subsequent material added from Sarah Orne Jewett House, South Berwick, Maine [photograph album: Lord family] (#12.5)
·1982-1983 - Subsequent material added from Sarah Orne Jewett House, South Berwick, Maine [cabinet photographs] (#12.7)
·1982-1983 - Subsequent material added from Sarah Orne Jewett House, South Berwick, Maine [framed photograph] (#14.1)
·2001 (May 16) - Gift of Henry B. Shepard, Jr. [printed material: Red Riding Hood, 1863] (#12.3)
·2003 (October 2) - Gift of Julia B. Shepard [printed material: Gold Dust, ca.1880] (#12.4)
·2003 (October 2) - Gift of Julia B. Shepard [printed material: Book of Common Prayer & Hymnal set, ca.1868-1877] (#12.6)
·Undated - Purchased from unidentified source [biographical sketches: Jewett family] (#12.1)
·Undated - Purchased from unidentified source [biographical material and summons: Theodore Herman Jewett (1815-1878)] (#13.61)
·Undated - Purchased from unidentified source [letters: Mary (Rice) Jewett (1786-1854)] (#14.9-14.10)
·Undated - Purchased from unidentified source [letters: Sarah (Orne) Jewett (ca.1791-1819)] (#14.11-14.12)

Credit Line
Bequest of Theodore Jewett Eastman, 1931
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

Captain Theodore Furber Jewett (1787-1860), grandfather of Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), was a prosperous sea captain, merchant, and ship builder who traded in the West Indies. In the 1820s, Captain Jewett moved his family from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to South Berwick, Maine. He rented the John Haggens House, a Georgian-style dwelling, on Portland Street and purchased it in 1939. Dr. Theodore Herman Jewett (1815-1878), son of Theodore Furber Jewett and Sarah (Orne) Jewett (ca.1791-1819), moved his wife, Caroline Frances (Perry) Jewett (1820-1891), and infant daughter, Mary Rice Jewett (1847-1930), into the house with Captain Jewett in 1848. On September 3, 1849, Sarah Orne Jewett (named Theodora Sarah Orne Jewett) was born. In 1854, Dr. Jewett's family moved into a new Greek Revival-style house next door, where Sarah's younger sister, Caroline Augusta (Jewett) Eastman (1855-1897), was born. Sarah, her older sister Mary, and their widowed mother, lived in the Greek Revival home until 1887, when they moved back into Captain Jewett's house; youngest sister, Caroline, and her husband, Edwin Calvin Eastman (1849-1892), became owners of the Greek Revival house next door. In 1897, Caroline suffered a heart attack and died; Sarah's sister Mary became guardian of Caroline's son, Theodore Jewett Eastman (1879-1931). Mary and Sarah lived in their grandfather's house until the end of their lives.

As a child, Sarah attended a private school run by Miss Olive Raynes in South Berwick, Maine. In 1865, she graduated from the South Berwick college preparatory school, Berwick Academy. Following graduation, Jewett spent time travelling. Her travels took her to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago, South Carolina, and Florida, but she was always drawn back to South Berwick. During her childhood in South Berwick, she often accompanied her father on his medical rounds and observed the people and her surroundings. Jewett suffered early on from rheumatoid arthritis; as therapeutic treatment, she went for walks through the Maine countryside and developed a love of nature. Owing to her travels and her childhood memories, Jewett began her writing career. In 1868, under the pseudonym of Alice C. Eliot, Jewett published her first story, "Jenny Garrow's Lovers," which was followed in 1869 by, "Mr. Bruce." Following the popularity of "Mr. Bruce," which was published in the Atlantic Monthly, the Independent, Our Young Folks, and the Riverside, Jewett began writing under her own name. Continuing to focus on New England and its people, her first book, Deephaven, was published by James R. Osgood and Company in 1877; Country of the Pointed Firs, was published in 1896. During her lifetime, Jewett published twenty books, which included short story collections and compilations of serialized work in novel form. In 1901, she published her last novel, the Tory Lover, and became the first woman to receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Jewett's travels in Boston acquainted her with many of the leading literary figures of the day. She became associated with James Thomas Fields (1817-1881), publisher of the Atlantic Monthly, who helped launch her career. Jewett also befriended his wife, Annie (Adams) Fields (1834-1915). The pair traveled together to Europe for the first time in 1882, a year after the death of James Fields. They made three additional European tours in 1892, 1898, and 1900; hosted intellectual and literary greats; attended social events; and cultivated a lasting friendship. Until Jewett's death in 1909, Jewett and Annie Fields spent their winters at the Fields residence, located at 148 Charles Street, in Boston, Massachusetts, and their summers in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts; Jewett continued to spend her springs and autumns at the Jewett homestead in South Berwick, Maine. On September 3, 1902, Jewett fell from a carriage and suffered a spinal injury; she remained bedridden until 1908. Jewett died on June 24, 1909, following a cerebral hemorrhage.

Material within MS014 "Sarah Orne Jewett House History," accessed December 6, 2013, Heller, Terry. (Revised January 2013). Sarah Orne Jewett Text Project, Coe College. Retrieved from Library of Congress. Library of Congress Authorities. Retrieved from

Material in other collections

Related material is held by the History and Genealogy Unit Special Genealogical File, Collections/ Archives, Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut.

Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, 1877-1903 (M238). George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine.

Related material is held by the John Marshall and Alida Carroll Brown Research Library, Maine Historical Society, Portland, Maine.

Sarah Orne Jewett Collection, 1801-1997. Maine Women Writers Collection. Abplanalp Library, University of New England, Portland, Maine.

Collection of Sarah Orne Jewett Materials (JEWE.1). Special Collections, Colby College Libraries, Colby College, Waterville, Maine.

Theodore Herman Jewett papers, 1839-1878. Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Annie Fields Papers, 1847-1912 (Ms. N-1221). Massachusetts Historical Society Library, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

Related material is held by the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department and Research Library, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

Related material is held by the Baker Library/ Bloomberg Center, Harvard College Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Related material is held by the Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Related material is held by the Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

Sarah Orne Jewett Papers, 1849-1909 (MC128). Douglas and Helena Milne Special Collections & Archives Department, Dimond Library, University of New Hampshire Library, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire.

Related material is held by the Local History and Genealogy Department, Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, Rochester, New York.


The collection is arranged in three series: I. Correspondence: individual recipients. II. Correspondence: group recipients. III. Genealogical, photographic, printed material, and related.

*Collection housing/storage code: #x.x=file box (i.e., #1.2= file box 1, folder 2); C=carton; FB=folio box; FF=fragile files; MB=multi-purpose box; OB=oversize box/folder; OV=oversize volume; VF=vertical files/flat files

Record details

Jewett family
Other People
Appleton, William Sumner, 1874-1947
Bell, Mary Eliza (Woodruff), 1838-1911
Bursley, Margaret Deering Gilman
Cogswell, Edward E.
Collyer, Robert, 1823-1912
Eastman, Caroline Augusta (Jewett), 1855-1897
Eastman, Edwin Calvin, 1849-1892
Eastman, Theodore Jewett, 1879-1931
Fields, Annie, 1834-1915
Fields, James Thomas, 1817-1881
Gardner, Isabella Stewart, 1840-1924
Gilman, Daniel Coit, 1831-1908
Gilman, Helen Augusta Williams, 1817-
Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909
Haven, George Wallis, 1808-1895
Jewett, Caroline Frances (Perry), 1820-1891
Jewett, Henry Moore, 1817-1842
Jewett, Mary (Rice), 1786-1854
Jewett, Mary Rice, 1847-1930
Jewett, Sarah (Orne), ca. 1791-1819
Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909
Jewett, Theodore Furber, 1787-1860
Jewett, Theodore H. (Theodore Herman), 1815-1878
Longfellow, Alice M. (Alice Mary), 1850-1928
Norton, Sara, 1864-
Perry, William G., 1787-1887
Raynes, Olive, 1833-1923
Very, Lydia L. A. (Lydia Louisa Anna), 1823-1901
Ward, Susan Hayes, 1838-1924
Other Organizations
Berwick Academy (South Berwick, Me.)
Blodgett, Merrit and Company
Bowdoin College
Brinkehoff Faris and Savings Company
Charles E. Lauriat Co.
Citizens National Bank
Duluth Loan Deposit and Trust
Duluth Securities Company
Episcopal Church
Harvard College (1780- )
Houghton, Mifflin and Company
James R. Osgood and Company
Minnesota Loan and Trust Company
New-Hampshire Savings Bank in Concord
Descriptive Terms
Georgian Revival
Greek Revival
Second International Congress on the institution of feminism
cabinet photographs
family papers
financial statements
football (sports)
genealogy (discipline)
letters (correspondence)
personal correspondence
photograph albums
prayer books
social functions
tintypes (prints)
Material Type
family papers
American literature--Women authors--19th century
Biographical sources
Children's books
Croton oil
Finance, Personal
Rheumatoid arthritis
South Berwick (York county, Maine)
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Norfolk (Norfolk Indep. City, Virginia)
Portsmouth (Portsmouth Indep. City, Virginia)
New Orleans (Orleans parish, Louisiana)
Philadelphia (Philadelphia county, Pennsylvania)
Alexandria (Alexandria Indep. City, Virginia)
Charleston (Charleston county, South Carolina)
Saint Louis (St. Louis Indep. City, Missouri)
Cambridge (Middlesex county, Massachusetts)
Concord (Merrimack county, New Hampshire)
Brunswick (Cumberland county, Maine)
Minneapolis (Hennepin county, Minnesota)
Des Moines (Polk county, Iowa)
Duluth (Saint Louis county, Minnesota)
Portland (Cumberland county, Maine)
Places (Buildings)
Hamilton House (South Berwick, Me.)
John Haggens House (South Berwick, Me.)
Red Rock House (Lynn, Mass.)
Sarah Orne Jewett House (South Berwick, Me.)
·This collection is available for research.
·Unrestricted except for #14.4, which requires handling with care; #4.4, 5.25, 5.26, 9.8, and 12.2, which contain fragile material and require handling by Library and Archives staff only.
·Allergy note: #13.64 contains dried leaves.
·Jewett family correspondence has been microfilmed and is stored with the Historic New England, Library and Archives fiche files.

Location Note
HGO-02-105-A-E-201; HGO-02-105-A-E-202; HGO-02-105-A-E-203
Related Items
Martha Usher Osgood papers — The Martha Usher Osgood papers (MS030) include letters to Martha Osgood from Sarah Orne Jewett and from Mary Rice Jewett.
Greeting cards: Jewett House, Ephemera collection — 5 folders.
Oversized photographs: Maine: Jewett House, General photographic collection
Advertisements, billheads, and trade cards: Jewett House, Ephemera collection
Accruals Note
Accruals are not expected.
Conservation Note
See Scope and Content note.
Language Note
Materials in English.
Preferred Citation
[Item identification.] Jewett family papers (MS014). Historic New England, Library and Archives.

Processing Information
·1982 April: Originally processed by Nancy Rooza, intern

.2013 November: updated by Bridgette A. Woodall, project archivist; with assistance from Rebecca M. Fullerton, volunteer; and Jennifer Pustz, museum historian
Rules and Conventions
Finding aid is DACS-compliant.

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