letters from dickinson to abiah root

Thomas Johnson's Note on Letter 12

MANUSCRIPT: missing. See note 3 in "Notes on the Present Text." All of the letter above the signature, and the first two paragraphs below it, have been published; the rest is unpublished.

PUBLICATION: L (1894) 18-20; LL 119-120; L (1931) 15-16, dated (presumably by ED): Friday Eve, 1846.

Matthew Berk, the "converted Jew," lectured at Amherst on June 18, 21, and 22. The poem "Are we almost there" had appeared in newspapers as early as 1833. Written by Florence Vane, it was published as a song by Oliver Ditson in 1845, with music by the author. On the sheet, the story of its origin is told thus: "A young lady had visited the South for her health, but finding she hourly grew worse, her friends hurried her home. On the journey she was very much exhausted and continually inquired 'Are we almost there?' A friend, who accompanied her, wrote the song after her death."

Deacon David Mack, as his third wife, married Harriet Parsons Washburn in 1844. She was the widow of the Reverend Royal W. Washburn, pastor of the First Church until his death in 1833.

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lvetter@uncc.edu>
Last updated on February 25, 2008