letters from dickinson to austin dickinson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Letter 17

MANUSCRIPT: AC. Ink. Dated: Tuesday noon. Addressed on the fold: Austin Dickinson, Esq./Amherst./Mass. Postmark illegible. ED transcribed the "Bill of Fare" onto a separate sheet.

PUBLICATION: L (1894) 68-69, in part; L (1931) 65-67, in part; Home 71-73, entire.

Austin was now a sophomore at Amherst College. Jacob Holt was an Amherst boy who had attended the Academy with both ED and Abiah Root five years before. She pasted into the back of her Bible a poem by Dr. Holt, clipped from the Hampshire and Franklin Express of 6 June 1848, together with the obituary notice from a Boston paper. His demise was therefore one which she wished to recall, though it never had the import clearly evident after the death of Benjamin Newton (see the note to letter. no 153). She solicitously mentions Holt twice again in letters to Austin (nos. 19 and 22), but when she wrote Abiah Root a few days after Holt's death on 12 May 1848 (letter no. 23), she was not moved enough to record the fact, even though she was in Amherst during the weeks of his final illness. The scripture quotation is a reference to 1 Kings 12.11: ". . . my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." (See also letter no. 57.)

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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