Petersham, September 6, 1880.
I have been to Jefferson N. H. to see Mrs. Hemenway. I am to write two more lectures on American History for which Mrs. Hemenway gives me $12OO. I found Dr. Eliot, President of Washington University at St. Louis, his wife and wife's sister Mrs. Erastus Brooks, and Mrs. Robert Apthorp of Boston, all staying at Jefferson. Had a delightful talk with Dr. Eliot.
It's mighty jolly here, everything is so harmonious. We have a fine piano and a young lady who is able and willing to play by the hour, Schubert, Bach, Beethoven, almost anything I ask for, which it couldn't be better. Horses are good and cheap and we drive often. Yesterday I took a barouche full of our friends over to Phillipston Pond. The whole Hopkinson—Watson gang met us there. Beautiful sunny day with strong blow of wind and strange cloud effects on the hills. In the evening we had woodfire and fairy tales by the undersigned which Miss Jessup especially enjoyed. Miss Catherine Ireland is here and charmed with Petersham.
James Brooks has bought another lovely strip of woods on the Barre road with a ravishing stream. Your horses seem to be thriving and doing very nicely here in James's barn. I spent Sunday afternoon in the hayloft reading "David Copperfield" instead of going to drive.
Today being the sixteenth anniversary of our wedding day we had a picnic at Tom Howe's farm. Abby, our six children, the Willsons, Morgan Brooks, Arthur Hildreth, wife and baby, and Tom and Lizzie Howe. We built a fire and the boys roasted corn and broiled slices of pork on the end of a stick; and we had baked beans, salad and coffee: and there was sort of a wedding cake. We had a bang-up good time and stayed till dark.