Letters (1887–1901)

  LETTERS (1887-1901)

  Miss Sullivan began to teach Helen Keller on March 3rd, 1887.
  Three months and a half after the first word was spelled into her
  hand, she wrote in pencil this letter

  [Tuscumbia, Alabama, June 17, 1887.]

  helen write anna george will give helen apple simpson will shoot
  bird jack will give helen stick of candy doctor will give mildred
  medicine mother will make mildred new dress
  [No signature]
  Twenty-five days later, while she was on a short visit away from
  home, she wrote to her mother. Two words are almost illegible,
  and the angular print slants in every direction.

  [Huntsville, Alabama, July 12, 1887.]

  Helen will write mother letter papa did give helen medicine
  mildred will sit in swing mildred did kiss helen teacher did give
  helen peach george is sick in bed george arm is hurt anna did
  give helen lemonade dog did stand up.

  conductor did punch ticket papa did give helen drink of water in

  carlotta did give helen flowers anna will buy helen pretty new
  hat helen will hug and kiss mother helen will come home
  grandmother does love helen

  [No signature.]
  By the following September Helen shows improvement in fulness of
  construction and more extended relations of thought.

  [Tuscumbia, September, 1887.]

  Helen will write little blind girls a letter Helen and teacher
  will come to see little blind girls Helen and teacher will go in
  steam car to boston Helen and blind girls will have fun blind
  girls can talk on fingers Helen will see Mr anagnos Mr anagnos
  will love and kiss Helen Helen will go to school with blind girls
  Helen can read and count and spell and write like blind girls
  mildred will not go to boston Mildred does cry prince and jumbo
  will go to boston papa does shoot ducks with gun and ducks do
  fall in water and jumbo and mamie do swim in water and bring
  ducks out in mouth to papa Helen does play with dogs Helen does
  ride on horseback with teacher Helen does give handee grass in
  hand teacher does whip handee to go fast Helen is blind Helen
  will put letter in envelope for blind girls     good-by
  A few weeks later her style is more nearly correct and freer in
  movement. She improves in idiom, although she still omits
  articles and uses the "did" construction for the simple past.
  This is an idiom common among children.

  [Tuscumbia, October 24, 1887.]

  dear little blind girls

  I will write you a letter I thank you for pretty desk I did write
  to mother in memphis on it mother and mildred came home wednesday
  mother brought me a pretty new dress and hat papa did go to
  huntsville he brought me apples and candy I and teacher will come
  to boston and see you nancy is my doll she does cry I do rock
  nancy to sleep mildred is sick doctor will give her medicine to
  make her well. I and teacher did go to church sunday mr. lane did
  read in book and talk Lady did play organ. I did give man money
  in basket. I will be good girl and teacher will curl my hair
  lovely. I will hug and kiss little blind girls mr. anagnos will
  come to see me.

  [Tuscumbia, November, 1887.]

  dear mr. anagnos I will write you a letter. I and teacher did
  have pictures. teacher will send it to you. photographer does
  make pictures. carpenter does build new houses. gardener does dig
  and hoe ground and plant vegetables. my doll nancy is sleeping.
  she is sick. mildred is well uncle frank has gone hunting deer.
  we will have venison for breakfast when he comes home. I did ride
  in wheel barrow and teacher did push it. simpson did give me
  popcorn and walnuts. cousin rosa has gone to see her mother.
  people do go to church sunday. I did read in my book about fox
  and box. fox can sit in the box. I do like to read in my book.
  you do love me. I do love you.

  [Tuscumbia, November, 1887.]

  Dear Mr. Bell.
  I am glad to write you a letter, Father will send you picture. I
  and Father and aunt did go to see you in Washington. I did play
  with your watch. I do love you. I saw doctor in Washington. He
  looked at my eyes. I can read stories in my book. I can write and
  spell and count. good girl. My sister can walk and run. We do
  have fun with Jumbo. Prince is not good dog. He can not get
  birds. Rat did kill baby pigeons. I am sorry. Rat does not know
  wrong. I and mother and teacher will go to Boston in June. I will
  see little blind girls. Nancy will go with me. She is a good
  doll. Father will buy me lovely new watch. Cousin Anna gave me a
  pretty doll. Her name is Allie.

  By the beginning of the next year her idioms are firmer. More
  adjectives appear, including adjectives of colour. Although she
  can have no sensuous knowledge of colour, she can use the words,
  as we use most of our vocabulary, intellectually, with truth, not
  to impression, but to fact. This letter is to a school-mate at
  the Perkins Institution.

  Tuscumbia, Ala. Jan. 2nd 1888.

  Dear Sarah
  I am happy to write to you this morning. I hope Mr. Anagnos is
  coming to see me soon. I will go to Boston in June and I will buy
  father gloves, and James nice collar, and Simpson cuffs. I saw
  Miss Betty and her scholars. They had a pretty Christmas-tree,
  and there were many pretty presents on it for little children. I
  had a mug, and little bird and candy. I had many lovely things
  for Christmas. Aunt gave me a trunk for Nancy and clothes. I went
  to party with teacher and mother. We did dance and play and eat
  nuts and candy and cakes and oranges and I did have fun with
  little boys and girls. Mrs. Hopkins did send me lovely ring, I do
  love her and little blind girls.

  Men and boys do make carpets in mills. Wool grows on sheep. Men
  do cut sheep's wool off with large shears, and send it to the
  mill. Men and women do make wool cloth in mills.

  Cotton grows on large stalks in fields. Men and boys and girls
  and women do pick cotton. We do make thread and cotton dresses of
  cotton. Cotton has pretty white and red flowers on it. Teacher
  did tear her dress. Mildred does cry. I will nurse Nancy. Mother
  will buy me lovely new aprons and dress to take to Boston. I went
  to Knoxville with father and aunt. Bessie is weak and little.
  Mrs. Thompson's chickens killed Leila's chickens. Eva does sleep
  in my bed. I do love good girls.

  The next two letters mention her visit in January to her
  relatives in Memphis, Tennessee. She was taken to the cotton
  exchange. When she felt the maps and blackboards she asked, "Do
  men go to school?" She wrote on the blackboard the names of all
  the gentlemen present. While at Memphis she went over one of the
  large Mississippi steamers.
  Tuscumbia, Alabama, February 15th 1888.

  Dear Mr. Hale,
  I am happy to write you a letter this morning. Teacher told me
  about kind gentleman I shall be glad to read pretty story I do
  read stories in my book about tigers and lions and sheep.

  I am coming to Boston in June to see little blind girls and I
  will come to see you. I went to Memphis to see grandmother and
  Aunt Nannie. Teacher bought me lovely new dress and cap and
  aprons. Little Natalie is a very weak and small baby. Father took
  us to see steamboat. It was on a large river. Boat is like house.
  Mildred is a good baby. I do love to play with little sister.
  Nancy was not a good child when I went to Memphis. She did cry
  loud. I will not write more to-day. I am tired.

  Tuscumbia, Ala., Feb. 24th, 1888.

  My dear Mr. Anagnos,—I am glad to write you a letter in Braille.
  This morning Lucien Thompson sent me a beautiful bouquet of
  violets and crocuses and jonquils. Sunday Adeline Moses brought
  me a lovely doll. It came from New York. Her name is Adeline
  Keller. She can shut her eyes and bend her arms and sit down and
  stand up straight. She has on a pretty red dress. She is Nancy's
  sister and I am their mother. Allie is their cousin. Nancy was a
  bad child when I went to Memphis she cried loud, I whipped her
  with a stick.

  Mildred does feed little chickens with crumbs. I love to play
  with little sister.

  Teacher and I went to Memphis to see aunt Nannie and grandmother.
  Louise is aunt Nannie's child. Teacher bought me a lovely new
  dress and gloves and stockings and collars and grandmother made
  me warm flannels, and aunt Nannie made me aprons. Lady made me a
  pretty cap. I went to see Robert and Mr. Graves and Mrs. Graves
  and little Natalie, and Mr. Farris and Mr. Mayo and Mary and
  everyone. I do love Robert and teacher. She does not want me to
  write more today. I feel tired.

  I found box of candy in Mr. Grave's pocket. Father took us to see
  steam boat it is like house. Boat was on very large river. Yates
  plowed yard today to plant grass. Mule pulled plow. Mother will
  make garden of vegetables. Father will plant melons and peas and

  Cousin Bell will come to see us Saturday. Mother will make
  ice-cream for dinner, we will have ice-cream and cake for dinner.
  Lucien Thompson is sick. I am sorry for him.

  Teacher and I went to walk in the yard, and I learned about how
  flowers and trees grow. Sun rises in the east and sets in the
  west. Sheffield is north and Tuscumbia is south. We will go to
  Boston in June. I will have fun with little blind girls.

  Good bye
  "Uncle Morrie" of the next letter is Mr. Morrison Heady, of
  Normandy, Kentucky, who lost his sight and hearing when he was a
  boy. He is the author of some commendable verses.

  Tuscumbia, Ala., March 1st 1888.

  My dear uncle Morrie,—I am happy to write you a letter, I do
  love you, and I will hug and kiss you when I see you.

  Mr. Anagnos is coming to see me Monday. I do love to run and hop
  and skip with Robert in bright warm sun. I do know little girl in
  Lexington Ky. her name is Katherine Hobson.

  I am going to Boston in June with mother and teacher, I will have
  fun with little blind girls, and Mr. Hale will send me pretty
  story. I do read stories in my book about lions and tigers and

  Mildred will not go to Boston, she does cry. I love to play with
  little sister, she is weak and small baby. Eva is better.

  Yates killed ants, ants stung Yates. Yates is digging in garden.
  Mr. Anagnos did see oranges, they look like golden apples.

  Robert will come to see me Sunday when sun shines and I will have
  fun with him. My cousin Frank lives in Louisville. I will come to
  Memphis again to see Mr. Farris and Mrs. Graves and Mr. Mayo and
  Mr. Graves. Natalie is a good girl and does not cry, and she will
  be big and Mrs. Graves is making short dresses for her. Natalie
  has a little carriage. Mr. Mayo has been to Duck Hill and he
  brought sweet flowers home.

  With much love and a kiss
  In this account of the picnic we get an illuminating glimpse of
  Miss Sullivan's skill in teaching her pupil during play hours.
  This was a day when the child's vocabulary grew.

  Tuscumbia, Ala., May 3rd 1888.

  Dear Mr. Anagnos.—I am glad to write to you this morning,
  because I love you very much. I was very happy to receive pretty
  book and nice candy and two letters from you. I will come to see
  you soon and will ask you many questions about countries and you
  will love good child.

  Mother is making me pretty new dresses to wear in Boston and I
  will look lovely to see little girls and boys and you. Friday
  teacher and I went to a picnic with little children. We played
  games and ate dinner under the trees, and we found ferns and wild
  flowers. I walked in the woods and learned names of many trees.
  There are poplar and cedar and pine and oak and ash and hickory
  and maple trees. They make a pleasant shade and the little birds
  love to swing to and fro and sing sweetly up in the trees.
  Rabbits hop and squirrels run and ugly snakes do crawl in the
  woods. Geraniums and roses jasamines and japonicas are cultivated
  flowers. I help mother and teacher water them every night before

  Cousin Arthur made me a swing in the ash tree. Aunt Ev. has gone
  to Memphis. Uncle Frank is here. He is picking strawberries for
  dinner. Nancy is sick again, new teeth do make her ill. Adeline
  is well and she can go to Cincinnati Monday with me. Aunt Ev.
  will send me a boy doll, Harry will be Nancy's and Adeline's
  brother. Wee sister is a good girl. I am tired now and I do want
  to go down stairs. I send many kisses and hugs with letter.

  Your darling child
  Toward the end of May Mrs. Keller, Helen, and Miss Sullivan
  started for Boston. On the way they spent a few days in
  Washington, where they saw Dr. Alexander Graham Bell and called
  on President Cleveland. On May 26th they arrived in Boston and
  went to the Perkins Institution; here Helen met the little blind
  girls with whom she had corresponded the year before.

  Early in July she went to Brewster, Massachusetts, and spent the
  rest of the summer. Here occurred her first encounter with the
  sea, of which she has since written.

  So. Boston, Mass. Sept. 1888

  My dear Miss Moore
  Are you very glad to receive a nice letter from your darling
  little friend? I love you very dearly because you are my friend.
  My precious little sister is quite well now. She likes to sit in
  my little rocking-chair and put her kitty to sleep. Would you
  like to see darling little Mildred? She is a very pretty baby.
  Her eyes are very big and blue, and her cheeks are soft and round
  and rosy and her hair is very bright and golden. She is very good
  and sweet when she does not cry loud. Next summer Mildred will go
  out in the garden with me and pick the big sweet strawberries and
  then she will be very happy. I hope she will not eat too many of
  the delicious fruit for they will make her very ill.

  Sometime will you please come to Alabama and visit me? My uncle
  James is going to buy me a very gentle pony and a pretty cart and
  I shall be very happy to take you and Harry to ride. I hope Harry
  will not be afraid of my pony. I think my father will buy me a
  beautiful little brother some day. I shall be very gentle and
  patient to my new little brother. When I visit many strange
  countries my brother and Mildred will stay with grandmother
  because they will be too small to see a great many people and I
  think they would cry loud on the great rough ocean.

  When Capt. Baker gets well he will take me in his big ship to
  Africa. Then I shall see lions and tigers and monkeys. I will get
  a baby lion and a white monkey and a mild bear to bring home. I
  had a very pleasant time at Brewster. I went in bathing almost
  every day and Carrie and Frank and little Helen and I had fun. We
  splashed and jumped and waded in the deep water. I am not afraid
  to float now. Can Harry float and swim? We came to Boston last
  Thursday, and Mr. Anagnos was delighted to see me, and he hugged
  and kissed me. The little girls are coming back to school next

  Will you please tell Harry to write me a very long letter soon?
  When you come to Tuscumbia to see me I hope my father will have
  many sweet apples and juicy peaches and fine pears and delicious
  grapes and large water melons.

  I hope you think about me and love me because I am a good little

  With much love and two kisses
  From your little friend
  In this account of a visit to some friends, Helen's thought is
  much what one would expect from an ordinary child of eight,
  except perhaps her naive satisfaction in the boldness of the
  young gentlemen.

  So. Boston, Mass, Sept. 24th 1888.

  My dear Mother,
  I think you will be very glad to know all about my visit to West
  Newton. Teacher and I had a lovely time with many kind friends.
  West Newton is not far from Boston and we went there in the steam
  cars very quickly.

  Mrs. Freeman and Carrie and Ethel and Frank and Helen came to
  station to meet us in a huge carriage. I was delighted to see my
  dear little friends and I hugged and kissed them. Then we rode
  for a long time to see all the beautiful things in West Newton.
  Many very handsome houses and large soft green lawns around them
  and trees and bright flowers and fountains. The horse's name was
  Prince and he was gentle and liked to trot very fast. When we
  went home we saw eight rabbits and two fat puppies, and a nice
  little white pony, and two wee kittens and a pretty curly dog
  named Don. Pony's name was Mollie and I had a nice ride on her
  back; I was not afraid, I hope my uncle will get me a dear little
  pony and a little cart very soon.

  Clifton did not kiss me because he does not like to kiss little
  girls. He is shy. I am very glad that Frank and Clarence and
  Robbie and Eddie and Charles and George were not very shy. I
  played with many little girls and we had fun. I rode on Carrie's
  tricicle and picked flowers and ate fruit and hopped and skipped
  and danced and went to ride. Many ladies and gentlemen came to
  see us. Lucy and Dora and Charles were born in China. I was born
  in America, and Mr. Anagnos was born in Greece. Mr. Drew says
  little girls in China cannot talk on their fingers but I think
  when I go to China I will teach them. Chinese nurse came to see
  me, her name was Asu. She showed me a tiny atze that very rich
  ladies in China wear because their feet never grow large. Amah
  means a nurse. We came home in horse cars because it was Sunday
  and steam cars do not go often on Sunday. Conductors and
  engineers do get very tired and go home to rest. I saw little
  Willie Swan in the car and he gave me a juicy pear. He was six
  years old. What did I do when I was six years old? Will you
  please ask my father to come to train to meet teacher and me? I
  am very sorry that Eva and Bessie are sick. I hope I can have a
  nice party my birthday, and I do want Carrie and Ethel and Frank
  and Helen to come to Alabama to visit me. Will Mildred sleep with
  me when I come home.

  With much love and thousand kisses.
  From your dear little daughter.
  Her visit to Plymouth was in July. This letter, written three
  months later, shows how well she remembered her first lesson in

  South Boston, Mass. October 1st, 1888.

  My dear uncle Morrie,—I think you will be very glad to receive a
  letter from your dear little friend Helen. I am very happy to
  write to you because I think of you and love you. I read pretty
  stories in the book you sent me, about Charles and his boat, and
  Arthur and his dream, and Rosa and the sheep.

  I have been in a large boat. It was like a ship. Mother and
  teacher and Mrs. Hopkins and Mr. Anagnos and Mr. Rodocanachi and
  many other friends went to Plymouth to see many old things. I
  will tell you a little story about Plymouth.

  Many years ago there lived in England many good people, but the
  king and his friends were not kind and gentle and patient with
  good people, because the king did not like to have the people
  disobey him. People did not like to go to church with the king;
  but they did like to build very nice little churches for

  The king was very angry with the people and they were sorry and
  they said, we will go away to a strange country to live and leave
  very dear home and friends and naughty king. So, they put all
  their things into big boxes, and said, Good-bye. I am sorry for
  them because they cried much. When they went to Holland they did
  not know anyone; and they could not know what the people were
  talking about because they did not know Dutch. But soon they
  learned some Dutch words; but they loved their own language and
  they did not want little boys and girls to forget it and learn to
  talk funny Dutch. So they said, We must go to a new country far
  away and build schools and houses and churches and make new
  cities. So they put all their things in boxes and said, Good-bye
  to their new friends and sailed away in a large boat to find a
  new country. Poor people were not happy for their hearts were
  full of sad thoughts because they did not know much about
  America. I think little children must have been afraid of a great
  ocean for it is very strong and it makes a large boat rock and
  then the little children would fall down and hurt their heads.
  After they had been many weeks on the deep ocean where they could
  not see trees or flowers or grass, but just water and the
  beautiful sky, for ships could not sail quickly then because men
  did not know about engines and steam. One day a dear little
  baby-boy was born. His name was Peregrine White. I am very sorry
  that poor little Peregrine is dead now. Every day the people went
  upon deck to look out for land. One day there was a great shout
  on the ship for the people saw the land and they were full of joy
  because they had reached a new country safely. Little girls and
  boys jumped and clapped their hands. They were all glad when they
  stepped upon a huge rock. I did see the rock in Plymouth and a
  little ship like the Mayflower and the cradle that dear little
  Peregrine slept in and many old things that came in the
  Mayflower. Would you like to visit Plymouth some time and see
  many old things.

  Now I am very tired and I will rest.

  With much love and many kisses, from your little friend.
  The foreign words in these two letters, the first of which was
  written during a visit to the kindergarten for the blind, she had
  been told months before, and had stowed them away in her memory.
  She assimilated words and practised with them, sometimes using
  them intelligently, sometimes repeating them in a parrot-like
  fashion. Even when she did not fully understand words or ideas,
  she liked to set them down as though she did. It was in this way
  that she learned to use correctly words of sound and vision which
  express ideas outside of her experience. "Edith" is Edith Thomas.
  Roxbury, Mass. Oct. 17th, 1888.

  Mon cher Monsieur Anagnos,

  I am sitting by the window and the beautiful sun is shining on me
  Teacher and I came to the kindergarten yesterday. There are
  twenty seven little children here and they are all blind. I am
  sorry because they cannot see much. Sometime will they have very
  well eyes? Poor Edith is blind and deaf and dumb. Are you very
  sad for Edith and me? Soon I shall go home to see my mother and
  my father and my dear good and sweet little sister. I hope you
  will come to Alabama to visit me and I will take you to ride in
  my little cart and I think you will like to see me on my dear
  little pony's back. I shall wear my lovely cap and my new riding
  dress. If the sun shines brightly I will take you to see Leila
  and Eva and Bessie. When I am thirteen years old I am going to
  travel in many strange and beautiful countries. I shall climb
  very high mountains in Norway and see much ice and snow. I hope I
  will not fall and hurt my head I shall visit little Lord
  Fauntleroy in England and he will be glad to show me his grand
  and very ancient castle. And we will run with the deer and feed
  the rabbits and catch the squirrels. I shall not be afraid of
  Fauntleroy's great dog Dougal. I hope Fauntleroy take me to see a
  very kind queen. When I go to France I will take French. A little
  French boy will say, Parlez-vous Francais? and I will say, Oui,
  Monsieur, vous avez un joli chapeau. Donnez moi un baiser. I hope
  you will go with me to Athens to see the maid of Athens. She was
  very lovely lady and I will talk Greek to her. I will say, se
  agapo and, pos echete and I think she will say, kalos, and then I
  will say chaere. Will you please come to see me soon and take me
  to the theater? When you come I will say, Kale emera, and when
  you go home I will say, Kale nykta. Now I am too tired to write
  more. Je vous aime. Au revoir

  From your darling little friend
  [So. Boston, Mass. October 29, 1888.]

  My dearest Aunt,—I am coming home very soon and I think you and
  every one will be very glad to see my teacher and me. I am very
  happy because I have learned much about many things. I am
  studying French and German and Latin and Greek. Se agapo is
  Greek, and it means I love thee. J'ai une bonne petite soeur is
  French, and it means I have a good little sister. Nous avons un
  bon pere et une bonne mere means, we have a good father and a
  good mother. Puer is boy in Latin, and Mutter is mother in
  German. I will teach Mildred many languages when I come home.
  Tuscumbia, Ala. Dec. 11th, 1888.

  My dear Mrs. Hopkins:—
  I have just fed my dear little pigeon. My brother Simpson gave it
  to me last Sunday. I named it Annie, for my teacher. My puppy has
  had his supper and gone to bed. My rabbits are sleeping, too; and
  very soon I shall go to bed. Teacher is writing letters to her
  friends. Mother and father and their friends have gone to see a
  huge furnace. The furnace is to make iron. The iron ore is found
  in the ground; but it cannot be used until it has been brought to
  the furnace and melted, and all the dirt taken out, and just the
  pure iron left. Then it is all ready to be manufactured into
  engines, stoves, kettles and many other things.

  Coal is found in the ground, too. Many years ago, before people
  came to live on the earth, great trees and tall grasses and huge
  ferns and all the beautiful flowers cover the earth. When the
  leaves and the trees fell, the water and the soil covered them;
  and then more trees grew and fell also, and were buried under
  water and soil. After they had all been pressed together for many
  thousands of years, the wood grew very hard, like rock, and then
  it was all ready for people to burn. Can you see leaves and ferns
  and bark on the coal? Men go down into the ground and dig out the
  coal, and steam-cars take it to the large cities, and sell it to
  people to burn, to make them warm and happy when it is cold out
  of doors.

  Are you very lonely and sad now? I hope you will come to see me
  soon, and stay a long time.

  With much love from your little friend
  Tuscumbia, Ala., Jan. 29, 1889.

  My dear Miss Bennett:—I am delighted to write to you this
  morning. We have just eaten our breakfast. Mildred is running
  about downstairs. I have been reading in my book about
  astronomers. Astronomer comes from the Latin word astra, which
  means stars; and astronomers are men who study the stars, and
  tell us about them. When we are sleeping quietly in our beds,
  they are watching the beautiful sky through the telescope. A
  telescope is like a very strong eye. The stars are so far away
  that people cannot tell much about them, without very excellent
  instruments. Do you like to look out of your window, and see
  little stars? Teacher says she can see Venus from our window, and
  it is a large and beautiful star. The stars are called the
  earth's brothers and sisters.

  There are a great many instruments besides those which the
  astronomers use. A knife is an instrument to cut with. I think
  the bell is an instrument, too. I will tell you what I know about

  Some bells are musical and others are unmusical. Some are very
  tiny and some are very large. I saw a very large bell at
  Wellesley. It came from Japan. Bells are used for many purposes.
  They tell us when breakfast is ready, when to go to school, when
  it is time for church, and when there is a fire. They tell people
  when to go to work, and when to go home and rest. The engine-bell
  tells the passengers that they are coming to a station, and it
  tells the people to keep out of the way. Sometimes very terrible
  accidents happen, and many people are burned and drowned and
  injured. The other day I broke my doll's head off; but that was
  not a dreadful accident, because dolls do not live and feel, like
  people. My little pigeons are well, and so is my little bird. I
  would like to have some clay. Teacher says it is time for me to
  study now. Good-bye.
  With much love, and many kisses,
  Tuscumbia, Alabama, February 21st, 1889.

  My dear Mr. Hale,
  I am very much afraid that you are thinking in your mind that
  little Helen has forgotten all about you and her dear cousins.
  But I think you will be delighted to receive this letter because
  then you will know that I of[ten] think about you and I love you
  dearly for you are my dear cousin. I have been at home a great
  many weeks now. It made me feel very sad to leave Boston and I
  missed all of my friends greatly, but of course I was glad to get
  back to my lovely home once more. My darling little sister is
  growing very fast. Sometimes she tries to spell very short words
  on her small [fingers] but she is too young to remember hard
  words. When she is older I will teach her many things if she is
  patient and obedient. My teacher says, if children learn to be
  patient and gentle while they are little, that when they grow to
  be young ladies and gentlemen they will not forget to be kind and
  loving and brave. I hope I shall be courageous always. A little
  girl in a story was not courageous. She thought she saw little
  elves with tall pointed [hats] peeping from between the bushes
  and dancing down the long alleys, and the poor little girl was
  terrified. Did you have a pleasant Christmas? I had many lovely
  presents given to me. The other day I had a fine party. All of my
  dear little friends came to see me. We played games, and ate
  ice-cream and cake and fruit. Then we had great fun. The sun is
  shining brightly to-day and I hope we shall go to ride if the
  roads are dry. In a few days the beautiful spring will be here. I
  am very glad because I love the warm sunshine and the fragrant
  flowers. I think Flowers grow to make people happy and good. I
  have four dolls now. Cedric is my little boy, he is named for
  Lord Fauntleroy. He has big brown eyes and long golden hair and
  pretty round cheeks. Ida is my baby. A lady brought her to me
  from Paris. She can drink milk like a real baby. Lucy is a fine
  young lady. She has on a dainty lace dress and satin slippers.
  Poor old Nancy is growing old and very feeble. She is almost an
  invalid. I have two tame pigeons and a tiny canary bird. Jumbo is
  very strong and faithful. He will not let anything harm us at
  night. I go to school every day I am studying reading, writing,
  arithmetic, geography and language. My Mother and teacher send
  you and Mrs. Hale their kind greetings and Mildred sends you a
  With much love and kisses, from your
  Affectionate cousin
  During the winter Miss Sullivan and her pupil were working at
  Helen's home in Tuscumbia, and to good purpose, for by spring
  Helen had learned to write idiomatic English. After May, 1889, I
  find almost no inaccuracies, except some evident slips of the
  pencil. She uses words precisely and makes easy, fluent

  Tuscumbia, Ala., May 18, 1889.

  My Dear Mr. Anagnos:—You cannot imagine how delighted I was to
  receive a letter from you last evening. I am very sorry that you
  are going so far away. We shall miss you very, very much. I would
  love to visit many beautiful cities with you. When I was in
  Huntsville I saw Dr. Bryson, and he told me that he had been to
  Rome and Athens and Paris and London. He had climbed the high
  mountains in Switzerland and visited beautiful churches in Italy
  and France, and he saw a great many ancient castles. I hope you
  will please write to me from all the cities you visit. When you
  go to Holland please give my love to the lovely princess
  Wilhelmina. She is a dear little girl, and when she is old enough
  she will be the queen of Holland. If you go to Roumania please
  ask the good queen Elizabeth about her little invalid brother,
  and tell her that I am very sorry that her darling little girl
  died. I should like to send a kiss to Vittorio, the little prince
  of Naples, but teacher says she is afraid you will not remember
  so many messages. When I am thirteen years old I shall visit them
  all myself.

  I thank you very much for the beautiful story about Lord
  Fauntleroy, and so does teacher.

  I am so glad that Eva is coming to stay with me this summer. We
  will have fine times together. Give Howard my love, and tell him
  to answer my letter. Thursday we had a picnic. It was very
  pleasant out in the shady woods, and we all enjoyed the picnic
  very much.

  Mildred is out in the yard playing, and mother is picking the
  delicious strawberries. Father and Uncle Frank are down town.
  Simpson is coming home soon. Mildred and I had our pictures taken
  while we were in Huntsville. I will send you one.

  The roses have been beautiful. Mother has a great many fine
  roses. The La France and the Lamarque are the most fragrant; but
  the Marechal Neil, Solfaterre, Jacqueminot, Nipheots, Etoile de
  Lyon, Papa Gontier, Gabrielle Drevet and the Perle des Jardines
  are all lovely roses.

  Please give the little boys and girls my love. I think of them
  every day and I love them dearly in my heart. When you come home
  from Europe I hope you will be all well and very happy to get
  home again. Do not forget to give my love to Miss Calliope
  Kehayia and Mr. Francis Demetrios Kalopothakes.
  Lovingly, your little friend,
  Like a good many of Helen Keller's early letters, this to her
  French teacher is her re-phrasing of a story. It shows how much
  the gift of writing is, in the early stages of its development,
  the gift of mimicry.

  Tuscumbia, Ala., May 17, 1889.

  My Dear Miss Marrett—I am thinking about a dear little girl, who
  wept very hard. She wept because her brother teased her very
  much. I will tell you what he did, and I think you will feel very
  sorry for the little child. She had a most beautiful doll given
  her. Oh, it was a lovely and delicate doll! but the little girl's
  brother, a tall lad, had taken the doll, and set it up in a high
  tree in the garden, and had run away. The little girl could not
  reach the doll, and could not help it down, and therefore she
  cried. The doll cried, too, and stretched out its arms from among
  the green branches, and looked distressed. Soon the dismal night
  would come—and was the doll to sit up in the tree all night, and
  by herself? The little girl could not endure that thought. "I
  will stay with you," said she to the doll, although she was not
  at all courageous. Already she began to see quite plainly the
  little elves in their tall pointed hats, dancing down the dusky
  alleys, and peeping from between the bushes, and they seemed to
  come nearer and nearer; and she stretched her hands up towards
  the tree in which the doll sat and they laughed, and pointed
  their fingers at her. How terrified was the little girl; but if
  one has not done anything wrong, these strange little elves
  cannot harm one. "Have I done anything wrong? Ah, yes!" said the
  little girl. "I have laughed at the poor duck, with the red rag
  tied round its leg. It hobbled, and that made me laugh; but it is
  wrong to laugh at the poor animals!"

  Is it not a pitiful story? I hope the father punished the naughty
  little boy. Shall you be very glad to see my teacher next
  Thursday? She is going home to rest, but she will come back to me
  next autumn.
  Lovingly, your little friend,
  Tuscumbia, Ala., May 27, 1889.

  My Dear Miss Riley:—I wish you were here in the warm, sunny
  south today. Little sister and I would take you out into the
  garden, and pick the delicious raspberries and a few strawberries
  for you. How would you like that? The strawberries are nearly all
  gone. In the evening, when it is cool and pleasant, we would walk
  in the yard, and catch the grasshoppers and butterflies. We would
  talk about the birds and flowers and grass and Jumbo and Pearl.
  If you liked, we would run and jump and hop and dance, and be
  very happy. I think you would enjoy hearing the mocking-birds
  sing. One sits on the twig of a tree, just beneath our window,
  and he fills the air with his glad songs. But I am afraid you
  cannot come to Tuscumbia; so I will write to you, and send you a
  sweet kiss and my love. How is Dick? Daisy is happy, but she
  would be happy ever if she had a little mate. My little children
  are all well except Nancy, and she is quite feeble. My
  grandmother and aunt Corinne are here. Grandmother is going to
  make me two new dresses. Give my love to all the little girls,
  and tell them that Helen loves them very, very much. Eva sends
  love to all.

  With much love and many kisses, from your affectionate little
  During the summer Miss Sullivan was away from Helen for three
  months and a half, the first separation of teacher and pupil.
  Only once afterward in fifteen years was their constant
  companionship broken for more than a few days at a time.

  Tuscumbia, Ala., August 7, 1889.

  Dearest Teacher—I am very glad to write to you this evening, for
  I have been thinking much about you all day. I am sitting on the
  piazza, and my little white pigeon is perched on the back of my
  chair, watching me write. Her little brown mate has flown away
  with the other birds; but Annie is not sad, for she likes to stay
  with me. Fauntleroy is asleep upstairs, and Nancy is putting Lucy
  to bed. Perhaps the mocking bird is singing them to sleep. All
  the beautiful flowers are in bloom now. The air is sweet with the
  perfume of jasmines, heliotropes and roses. It is getting warm
  here now, so father is going to take us to the Quarry on the 20th
  of August. I think we shall have a beautiful time out in the
  cool, pleasant woods. I will write and tell you all the pleasant
  things we do. I am so glad that Lester and Henry are good little
  infants. Give them many sweet kisses for me.

  What was the name of the little boy who fell in love with the
  beautiful star? Eva has been telling me a story about a lovely
  little girl named Heidi. Will you please send it to me? I shall
  be delighted to have a typewriter.

  Little Arthur is growing very fast. He has on short dresses now.
  Cousin Leila thinks he will walk in a little while. Then I will
  take his soft chubby hand in mine, and go out in the bright
  sunshine with him. He will pull the largest roses, and chase the
  gayest butterflies. I will take very good care of him, and not
  let him fall and hurt himself. Father and some other gentlemen
  went hunting yesterday. Father killed thirty-eight birds. We had
  some of them for supper, and they were very nice. Last Monday
  Simpson shot a pretty crane. The crane is a large and strong
  bird. His wings are as long as my arm, and his bill is as long as
  my foot. He eats little fishes, and other small animals. Father
  says he can fly nearly all day without stopping.

  Mildred is the dearest and sweetest little maiden in the world.
  She is very roguish, too. Sometimes, when mother does not know
  it, she goes out into the vineyard, and gets her apron full of
  delicious grapes. I think she would like to put her two soft arms
  around your neck and hug you.

  Sunday I went to church. I love to go to church, because I like
  to see my friends.

  A gentleman gave me a beautiful card. It was a picture of a mill,
  near a beautiful brook. There was a boat floating on the water,
  and the fragrant lilies were growing all around the boat. Not far
  from the mill there was an old house, with many trees growing
  close to it. There were eight pigeons on the roof of the house,
  and a great dog on the step. Pearl is a very proud mother-dog
  now. She has eight puppies, and she thinks there never were such
  fine puppies as hers.

  I read in my books every day. I love them very, very, very much.
  I do want you to come back to me soon. I miss you so very, very
  much. I cannot know about many things, when my dear teacher is
  not here. I send you five thousand kisses, and more love than I
  can tell. I send Mrs. H. much love and a kiss.
  From your affectionate little pupil,
  In the fall Helen and Miss Sullivan returned to Perkins
  Institution at South Boston.

  South Boston, Oct. 24, 1889.

  My Precious Little Sister:—Good morning. I am going to send you
  a birthday gift with this letter. I hope it will please you very
  much, because it makes me happy to send it. The dress is blue
  like your eyes, and candy is sweet just like your dear little
  self. I think mother will be glad to make the dress for you, and
  when you wear it you will look as pretty as a rose. The
  picture-book will tell you all about many strange and wild
  animals. You must not be afraid of them. They cannot come out of
  the picture to harm you.

  I go to school every day, and I learn many new things. At eight I
  study arithmetic. I like that. At nine I go to the gymnasium with
  the little girls and we have great fun. I wish you could be here
  to play three little squirrels, and two gentle doves, and to make
  a pretty nest for a dear little robin. The mocking bird does not
  live in the cold north. At ten I study about the earth on which
  we all live. At eleven I talk with teacher and at twelve I study
  zoology. I do not know what I shall do in the afternoon yet.

  Now, my darling little Mildred, good bye. Give father and mother
  a great deal of love and many hugs and kisses for me. Teacher
  sends her love too.
  From your loving sister,
  South Boston, Mass., Nov. 20, 1889.

  My Dear Mr. Wade:—I have just received a letter from my mother,
  telling me that the beautiful mastiff puppy you sent me had
  arrived in Tuscumbia safely. Thank you very much for the nice
  gift. I am very sorry that I was not at home to welcome her; but
  my mother and my baby sister will be very kind to her while her
  mistress is away. I hope she is not lonely and unhappy. I think
  puppies can feel very home-sick, as well as little girls. I
  should like to call her Lioness, for your dog. May I? I hope she
  will be very faithful,—and brave, too.

  I am studying in Boston, with my dear teacher. I learn a great
  many new and wonderful things. I study about the earth, and the
  animals, and I like arithmetic exceedingly. I learn many new
  words, too. EXCEEDINGLY is one that I learned yesterday. When I
  see Lioness I will tell her many things which will surprise her
  greatly. I think she will laugh when I tell her she is a
  vertebrate, a mammal, a quadruped; and I shall be very sorry to
  tell her that she belongs to the order Carnivora. I study French,
  too. When I talk French to Lioness I will call her mon beau
  chien. Please tell Lion that I will take good care of Lioness. I
  shall be happy to have a letter from you when you like to write
  to me.

  From your loving little friend,

  P.S. I am studying at the Institution for the Blind.

  H. A. K.
  This letter is indorsed in Whittier's hand, "Helen A.
  Keller—deaf dumb and blind—aged nine years." "Browns" is a
  lapse of the pencil for "brown eyes."

  Inst. for the Blind, So. Boston, Mass.,
  Nov. 27, 1889.

  Dear Poet,
  I think you will be surprised to receive a letter from a little
  girl whom you do not know, but I thought you would be glad to
  hear that your beautiful poems make me very happy. Yesterday I
  read "In School Days" and "My Playmate," and I enjoyed them
  greatly. I was very sorry that the poor little girl with the
  browns and the "tangled golden curls" died. It is very pleasant
  to live here in our beautiful world. I cannot see the lovely
  things with my eyes, but my mind can see them all, and so I am
  joyful all the day long.

  When I walk out in my garden I cannot see the beautiful flowers
  but I know that they are all around me; for is not the air sweet
  with their fragrance? I know too that the tiny lily-bells are
  whispering pretty secrets to their companions else they would not
  look so happy. I love you very dearly, because you have taught me
  so many lovely things about flowers, and birds, and people. Now I
  must say, good-bye. I hope [you] will enjoy the Thanksgiving very

  From your loving little friend,
  To Mr. John Greenleaf Whittier.
  Whittier's reply, to which there is a reference in the following
  letter, has been lost.

  South Boston, Mass., Dec. 3, 1889.

  My Dear Mother:—Your little daughter is very happy to write to
  you this beautiful morning. It is cold and rainy here to-day.
  Yesterday the Countess of Meath came again to see me. She gave me
  a beautiful bunch of violets. Her little girls are named Violet
  and May. The Earl said he should be delighted to visit Tuscumbia
  the next time he comes to America. Lady Meath said she would like
  to see your flowers, and hear the mocking-birds sing. When I
  visit England they want me to come to see them, and stay a few
  weeks. They will take me to see the Queen.

  I had a lovely letter from the poet Whittier. He loves me. Mr.
  Wade wants teacher and me to come and see him next spring. May we
  go? He said you must feed Lioness from your hand, because she
  will be more gentle if she does not eat with other dogs.

  Mr. Wilson came to call on us one Thursday. I was delighted to
  receive the flowers from home. They came while we were eating
  breakfast, and my friends enjoyed them with me. We had a very
  nice dinner on Thanksgiving day,—turkey and plum-pudding. Last
  week I visited a beautiful art store. I saw a great many statues,
  and the gentleman gave me an angel.

  Sunday I went to church on board a great warship. After the
  services were over the soldier-sailors showed us around. There
  were four hundred and sixty sailors. They were very kind to me.
  One carried me in his arms so that my feet would not touch the
  water. They wore blue uniforms and queer little caps. There was a
  terrible fire Thursday. Many stores were burned, and four men
  were killed. I am very sorry for them. Tell father, please, to
  write to me. How is dear little sister? Give her many kisses for
  me. Now I must close. With much love, from your darling child,
  So. Boston, Mass., Dec. 24, 1889

  My dear Mother,
  Yesterday I sent you a little Christmas box. I am very sorry that
  I could not send it before so that you would receive it tomorrow,
  but I could not finish the watch-case any sooner. I made all of
  the gifts myself, excepting father's handkerchief. I wish I could
  have made father a gift too, but I did not have sufficient time.
  I hope you will like your watch-case, for it made me very happy
  to make it for you. You must keep your lovely new montre in it.
  If it is too warm in Tuscumbia for little sister to wear her
  pretty mittens, she can keep them because her sister made them
  for her. I imagine she will have fun with the little toy man.
  Tell her to shake him, and then he will blow his trumpet. I thank
  my dear kind father for sending me some money, to buy gifts for
  my friends. I love to make everybody happy. I should like to be
  at home on Christmas day. We would be very happy together. I
  think of my beautiful home every day. Please do not forget to
  send me some pretty presents to hang on my tree. I am going to
  have a Christmas tree, in the parlor and teacher will hang all of
  my gifts upon it. It will be a funny tree. All of the girls have
  gone home to spend Christmas. Teacher and I are the only babies
  left for Mrs. Hopkins to care for. Teacher has been sick in bed
  for many days. Her throat was very sore and the doctor thought
  she would have to go away to the hospital, but she is better now.
  I have not been sick at all. The little girls are well too.
  Friday I am going to spend the day with my little friends Carrie,
  Ethel, Frank and Helen Freeman. We will have great fun I am sure.

  Mr. and Miss Endicott came to see me, and I went to ride in the
  carriage. They are going to give me a lovely present, but I
  cannot guess what it will be. Sammy has a dear new brother. He is
  very soft and delicate yet. Mr. Anagnos is in Athens now. He is
  delighted because I am here. Now I must say, good-bye. I hope I
  have written my letter nicely, but it is very difficult to write
  on this paper and teacher is not here to give me better. Give
  many kisses to little sister and much love to all. Lovingly
  South Boston, Jan. 8, 1890.

  My dear Mr. Hale:
  The beautiful shells came last night. I thank you very much for
  them. I shall always keep them, and it will make me very happy to
  think that you found them, on that far away island, from which
  Columbus sailed to discover our dear country. When I am eleven
  years old it will be four hundred years since he started with the
  three small ships to cross the great strange ocean. He was very
  brave. The little girls were delighted to see the lovely shells.
  I told them all I knew about them. Are you very glad that you
  could make so many happy? I am. I should be very happy to come
  and teach you the Braille sometime, if you have time to learn,
  but I am afraid you are too busy. A few days ago I received a
  little box of English violets from Lady Meath. The flowers were
  wilted, but the kind thought which came with them was as sweet
  and as fresh as newly pulled violets.

  With loving greeting to the little cousins, and Mrs. Hale and a
  sweet kiss for yourself,
  From your little friend,
  This, the first of Helen's letters to Dr. Holmes, written soon
  after a visit to him, he published in "Over the Teacups."
  [Atlantic Monthly, May, 1890]

  South Boston, Mass., March 1, 1890.

  Dear, Kind Poet:—I have thought of you many times since that
  bright Sunday when I bade you good-bye; and I am going to write
  you a letter, because I love you. I am sorry that you have no
  little children to play with you sometimes; but I think you are
  very happy with your books, and your many, many friends. On
  Washington's birthday a great many people came here to see the
  blind children; and I read for them from your poems, and showed
  them some beautiful shells, which came from a little island near

  I am reading a very sad story, called "Little Jakey." Jakey was
  the sweetest little fellow you can imagine, but he was poor and
  blind. I used to think—when I was small, and before I could
  read—that everybody was always happy, and at first it made me
  very sad to know about pain and great sorrow; but now I know that
  we could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only
  joy in the world.

  I am studying about insects in zoology, and I have learned many
  things about butterflies. They do not make honey for us, like the
  bees, but many of them are as beautiful as the flowers they light
  upon, and they always delight the hearts of little children. They
  live a gay life, flitting from flower to flower, sipping the
  drops of honeydew, without a thought for the morrow. They are
  just like little boys and girls when they forget books and
  studies, and run away to the woods and the fields, to gather wild
  flowers, or wade in the ponds for fragrant lilies, happy in the
  bright sunshine.

  If my little sister comes to Boston next June, will you let me
  bring her to see you? She is a lovely baby, and I am sure you
  will love her.

  Now I must tell my gentle poet good-bye, for I have a letter to
  write home before I go to bed.
  From your loving little friend,
  TO MISS SARAH FULLER [Miss Fuller gave Helen Keller her first
  lesson in articulation. See Chapter IV, Speech.]
  South Boston, Mass., April 3, 1890.

  My dear Miss Fuller,
  My heart is full of joy this beautiful morning, because I have
  learned to speak many new words, and I can make a few sentences.
  Last evening I went out in the yard and spoke to the moon. I
  said, "O! moon come to me!" Do you think the lovely moon was glad
  that I could speak to her? How glad my mother will be. I can
  hardly wait for June to come I am so eager to speak to her and to
  my precious little sister. Mildred could not understand me when I
  spelled with my fingers, but now she will sit in my lap and I
  will tell her many things to please her, and we shall be so happy
  together. Are you very, very happy because you can make so many
  people happy? I think you are very kind and patient, and I love
  you very dearly. My teacher told me Tuesday that you wanted to
  know how I came to wish to talk with my mouth. I will tell you
  all about it, for I remember my thoughts perfectly. When I was a
  very little child I used to sit in my mother's lap all the time,
  because I was very timid, and did not like to be left by myself.
  And I would keep my little hand on her face all the while,
  because it amused me to feel her face and lips move when she
  talked with people. I did not know then what she was doing, for I
  was quite ignorant of all things. Then when I was older I learned
  to play with my nurse and the little negro children and I noticed
  that they kept moving their lips just like my mother, so I moved
  mine too, but sometimes it made me angry and I would hold my
  playmates' mouths very hard. I did not know then that it was very
  naughty to do so. After a long time my dear teacher came to me,
  and taught me to communicate with my fingers and I was satisfied
  and happy. But when I came to school in Boston I met some deaf
  people who talked with their mouths like all other people, and
  one day a lady who had been to Norway came to see me, and told me
  of a blind and deaf girl [Ragnhild Kaata] she had seen in that
  far away land who had been taught to speak and understand others
  when they spoke to her. This good and happy news delighted me
  exceedingly, for then I was sure that I should learn also. I
  tried to make sounds like my little playmates, but teacher told
  me that the voice was very delicate and sensitive and that it
  would injure it to make incorrect sounds, and promised to take me
  to see a kind and wise lady who would teach me rightly. That lady
  was yourself. Now I am as happy as the little birds, because I
  can speak and perhaps I shall sing too. All of my friends will be
  so surprised and glad.
  Your loving little pupil,
  When the Perkins Institution closed for the summer, Helen and
  Miss Sullivan went to Tuscumbia. This was the first home-going
  after she had learned to "talk with her mouth."

  Tuscumbia, Alabama, July 14, 1890.

  My dear Mr. Brooks, I am very glad to write to you this beautiful
  day because you are my kind friend and I love you, and because I
  wish to know many things.   I have been at home three weeks, and
  Oh, how happy I have been with dear mother and father and
  precious little sister. I was very, very sad to part with all of
  my friends in Boston, but I was so eager to see my baby sister I
  could hardly wait for the train to take me home. But I tried very
  hard to be patient for teacher's sake. Mildred has grown much
  taller and stronger than she was when I went to Boston, and she
  is the sweetest and dearest little child in the world. My parents
  were delighted to hear me speak, and I was overjoyed to give them
  such a happy surprise. I think it is so pleasant to make
  everybody happy. Why does the dear Father in heaven think it best
  for us to have very great sorrow sometimes? I am always happy and
  so was Little Lord Fauntleroy, but dear Little Jakey's life was
  full of sadness. God did not put the light in Jakey's eyes and he
  was blind, and his father was not gentle and loving. Do you think
  poor Jakey loved his Father in heaven more because his other
  father was unkind to him? How did God tell people that his home
  was in heaven? When people do very wrong and hurt animals and
  treat children unkindly God is grieved, but what will he do to
  them to teach them to be pitiful and loving? I think he will tell
  them how dearly He loves them and that He wants them to be good
  and happy, and they will not wish to grieve their father who
  loves them so much, and they will want to please him in
  everything they do, so they will love each other and do good to
  everyone, and be kind to animals.

  Please tell me something that you know about God. It makes me
  happy to know much about my loving Father, who is good and wise.
  I hope you will write to your little friend when you have time. I
  should like very much to see you to-day Is the sun very hot in
  Boston now? this afternoon if it is cool enough I shall take
  Mildred for a ride on my donkey. Mr. Wade sent Neddy to me, and
  he is the prettiest donkey you can imagine. My great dog Lioness
  goes with us when we ride to protect us. Simpson, that is my
  brother, brought me some beautiful pond lilies yesterday—he is a
  very brother to me.

  Teacher sends you her kind remembrances, and father and mother
  also send their regards.
  From your loving little friend,
  London, August 3, 1890.

  My Dear Helen—I was very glad indeed to get your letter. It has
  followed me across the ocean and found me in this magnificent
  great city which I should like to tell you all about if I could
  take time for it and make my letter long enough. Some time when
  you come and see me in my study in Boston I shall be glad to talk
  to you about it all if you care to hear.

  But now I want to tell you how glad I am that you are so happy
  and enjoying your home so very much. I can almost think I see you
  with your father and mother and little sister, with all the
  brightness of the beautiful country about you, and it makes me
  very glad to know how glad you are.

  I am glad also to know, from the questions which you ask me, what
  you are thinking about. I do not see how we can help thinking
  about God when He is so good to us all the time. Let me tell you
  how it seems to me that we come to know about our heavenly
  Father. It is from the power of love which is in our own hearts.
  Love is at the soul of everything. Whatever has not the power of
  loving must have a very dreary life indeed. We like to think that
  the sunshine and the winds and the trees are able to love in some
  way of their own, for it would make us know that they were happy
  if we knew that they could love. And so God who is the greatest
  and happiest of all beings is the most loving too. All the love
  that is in our hearts comes from him, as all the light which is
  in the flowers comes from the sun. And the more we love the more
  near we are to God and His Love.

  I told you that I was very happy because of your happiness.
  Indeed I am. So are your Father and your Mother and your Teacher
  and all your friends. But do you not think that God is happy too
  because you are happy? I am sure He is. And He is happier than
  any of us because He is greater than any of us, and also because
  He not merely SEES your happiness as we do, but He also MADE it.
  He gives it to you as the sun gives light and color to the rose.
  And we are always most glad of what we not merely see our friends
  enjoy, but of what we give them to enjoy. Are we not?

  But God does not only want us to be HAPPY; He wants us to be
  good. He wants that most of all. He knows that we can be really
  happy only when we are good. A great deal of the trouble that is
  in the world is medicine which is very bad to take, but which it
  is good to take because it makes us better. We see how good
  people may be in great trouble when we think of Jesus who was the
  greatest sufferer that ever lived and yet was the best Being and
  so, I am sure, the happiest Being that the world has ever seen.

  I love to tell you about God. But He will tell you Himself by the
  love which He will put into your heart if you ask Him. And Jesus,
  who is His Son, but is nearer to Him than all of us His other
  Children, came into the world on purpose to tell us all about our
  Father's Love. If you read His words, you will see how full His
  heart is of the love of God. "We KNOW that He loves us," He says.
  And so He loved men Himself and though they were very cruel to
  Him and at last killed Him, He was willing to die for them
  because He loved them so. And, Helen, He loves men still, and He
  loves us, and He tells us that we may love Him.

  And so love is everything. And if anybody asks you, or if you ask
  yourself what God is, answer, "God is Love." That is the
  beautiful answer which the Bible gives.

  All this is what you are to think of and to understand more and
  more as you grow older. Think of it now, and let it make every
  blessing brighter because your dear Father sends it to you.

  You will come back to Boston I hope soon after I do. I shall be
  there by the middle of September. I shall want you to tell me all
  about everything, and not forget the Donkey.

  I send my kind remembrance to your father and mother, and to your
  teacher. I wish I could see your little sister.

  Good Bye, dear Helen. Do write to me soon again, directing your
  letter to Boston.
  Your affectionate friend
  To a letter which has been lost.

  Beverly Farms, Mass., August 1, 1890.
  My Dear Little Friend Helen:

  I received your welcome letter several days ago, but I have so
  much writing to do that I am apt to make my letters wait a good
  while before they get answered.

  It gratifies me very much to find that you remember me so kindly.
  Your letter is charming, and I am greatly pleased with it. I
  rejoice to know that you are well and happy. I am very much
  delighted to hear of your new acquisition—that you "talk with
  your mouth" as well as with your fingers. What a curious thing
  SPEECH is! The tongue is so serviceable a member (taking all
  sorts of shapes, just as is wanted),—the teeth, the lips, the
  roof of the mouth, all ready to help, and so heap up the sound of
  the voice into the solid bits which we call consonants, and make
  room for the curiously shaped breathings which we call vowels!
  You have studied all this, I don't doubt, since you have
  practised vocal speaking.

  I am surprised at the mastery of language which your letter
  shows. It almost makes me think the world would get along as well
  without seeing and hearing as with them. Perhaps people would be
  better in a great many ways, for they could not fight as they do
  now. Just think of an army of blind people, with guns and cannon!
  Think of the poor drummers! Of what use would they and their
  drumsticks be? You are spared the pain of many sights and sounds,
  which you are only too happy in escaping. Then think how much
  kindness you are sure of as long as you live. Everybody will feel
  an interest in dear little Helen; everybody will want to do
  something for her; and, if she becomes an ancient, gray-haired
  woman, she is still sure of being thoughtfully cared for.

  Your parents and friends must take great satisfaction in your
  progress. It does great credit, not only to you, but to your
  instructors, who have so broken down the walls that seemed to
  shut you in that now your outlook seems more bright and cheerful
  than that of many seeing and hearing children.

  Good-bye, dear little Helen! With every kind wish from your
  This letter was written to some gentlemen in Gardiner, Maine, who
  named a lumber vessel after her.

  Tuscumbia, Ala., July 14, 1890.

  My Dear, Kind Friends:—I thank you very, very much for naming
  your beautiful new ship for me. It makes me very happy to know
  that I have kind and loving friends in the far-away State of
  Maine. I did not imagine, when I studied about the forests of
  Maine, that a strong and beautiful ship would go sailing all over
  the world, carrying wood from those rich forests, to build
  pleasant homes and schools and churches in distant countries. I
  hope the great ocean will love the new Helen, and let her sail
  over its blue waves peacefully. Please tell the brave sailors,
  who have charge of the HELEN KELLER, that little Helen who stays
  at home will often think of them with loving thoughts. I hope I
  shall see you and my beautiful namesake some time.

  With much love, from your little friend,
  To the Messrs. Bradstreet.
  Helen and Miss Sullivan returned to the Perkins Institution early
  in November.

  South Boston, Nov. 10, 1890.

  My Dearest Mother:—My heart has been full of thoughts of you and
  my beautiful home ever since we parted so sadly on Wednesday
  night. How I wish I could see you this lovely morning, and tell
  you all that has happened since I left home! And my darling
  little sister, how I wish I could give her a hundred kisses! And
  my dear father, how he would like to hear about our journey! But
  I cannot see you and talk to you, so I will write and tell you
  all that I can think of.

  We did not reach Boston until Saturday morning. I am sorry to say
  that our train was delayed in several places, which made us late
  in reaching New York. When we got to Jersey City at six o'clock
  Friday evening we were obliged to cross the Harlem River in a
  ferry-boat. We found the boat and the transfer carriage with much
  less difficulty than teacher expected. When we arrived at the
  station they told us that the train did not leave for Boston
  until eleven o'clock, but that we could take the sleeper at nine,
  which we did. We went to bed and slept until morning. When we
  awoke we were in Boston. I was delighted to get there, though I
  was much disappointed because we did not arrive on Mr. Anagnos'
  birthday. We surprised our dear friends, however, for they did
  not expect us Saturday; but when the bell rung Miss Marrett
  guessed who was at the door, and Mrs. Hopkins jumped up from the
  breakfast table and ran to the door to meet us; she was indeed
  much astonished to see us. After we had had some breakfast we
  went up to see Mr. Anagnos. I was overjoyed to see my dearest and
  kindest friend once more. He gave me a beautiful watch. I have it
  pinned to my dress. I tell everybody the time when they ask me. I
  have only seen Mr. Anagnos twice. I have many questions to ask
  him about the countries he has been travelling in. But I suppose
  he is very busy now.

  The hills in Virginia were very lovely. Jack Frost had dressed
  them in gold and crimson. The view was most charmingly
  picturesque. Pennsylvania is a very beautiful State. The grass
  was as green as though it was springtime, and the golden ears of
  corn gathered together in heaps in the great fields looked very
  pretty. In Harrisburg we saw a donkey like Neddy. How I wish I
  could see my own donkey and my dear Lioness! Do they miss their
  mistress very much? Tell Mildred she must be kind to them for my

  Our room is pleasant and comfortable.

  My typewriter was much injured coming. The case was broken and
  the keys are nearly all out. Teacher is going to see if it can be

  There are many new books in the library. What a nice time I shall
  have reading them! I have already read Sara Crewe. It is a very
  pretty story, and I will tell it to you some time. Now, sweet
  mother, your little girl must say good-bye.

  With much love to father, Mildred, you and all the dear friends,
  lovingly your little daughter,
  South Boston, Dec. 17, 1890.

  Dear Kind Poet,
  This is your birthday; that was the first thought which came into
  my mind when I awoke this morning; and it made me glad to think I
  could write you a letter and tell you how much your little
  friends love their sweet poet and his birthday. This evening they
  are going to entertain their friends with readings from your
  poems and music. I hope the swift winged messengers of love will
  be here to carry some of the sweet melody to you, in your little
  study by the Merrimac. At first I was very sorry when I found
  that the sun had hidden his shining face behind dull clouds, but
  afterwards I thought why he did it, and then I was happy. The sun
  knows that you like to see the world covered with beautiful white
  snow and so he kept back all his brightness, and let the little
  crystals form in the sky. When they are ready, they will softly
  fall and tenderly cover every object. Then the sun will appear in
  all his radiance and fill the world with light. If I were with
  you to-day I would give you eighty-three kisses, one for each
  year you have lived. Eighty-three years seems very long to me.
  Does it seem long to you? I wonder how many years there will be
  in eternity. I am afraid I cannot think about so much time. I
  received the letter which you wrote to me last summer, and I
  thank you for it. I am staying in Boston now at the Institution
  for the Blind, but I have not commenced my studies yet, because
  my dearest friend, Mr. Anagnos wants me to rest and play a great

  Teacher is well and sends her kind remembrance to you. The happy
  Christmas time is almost here! I can hardly wait for the fun to
  begin! I hope your Christmas Day will be a very happy one and
  that the New Year will be full of brightness and joy for you and
  every one.
  From your little friend

  My Dear Young Friend—I was very glad to have such a pleasant
  letter on my birthday. I had two or three hundred others and
  thine was one of the most welcome of all. I must tell thee about
  how the day passed at Oak Knoll. Of course the sun did not shine,
  but we had great open wood fires in the rooms, which were all
  very sweet with roses and other flowers, which were sent to me
  from distant friends; and fruits of all kinds from California and
  other places. Some relatives and dear old friends were with me
  through the day. I do not wonder thee thinks eighty three years a
  long time, but to me it seems but a very little while since I was
  a boy no older than thee, playing on the old farm at Haverhill. I
  thank thee for all thy good wishes, and wish thee as many. I am
  glad thee is at the Institution; it is an excellent place. Give
  my best regards to Miss Sullivan, and with a great deal of love I
  Thy old friend,
  Tommy Stringer, who appears in several of the following letters,
  became blind and deaf when he was four years old. His mother was
  dead and his father was too poor to take care of him. For a while
  he was kept in the general hospital at Allegheny. From here he
  was to be sent to an almshouse, for at that time there was no
  other place for him in Pennsylvania. Helen heard of him through
  Mr. J. G. Brown of Pittsburgh, who wrote her that he had failed
  to secure a tutor for Tommy. She wanted him brought to Boston,
  and when she was told that money would be needed to get him a
  teacher, she answered, "We will raise it." She began to solicit
  contributions from her friends, and saved her pennies.

  Dr. Alexander Graham Bell advised Tommy's friends to send him to
  Boston, and the trustees of the Perkins Institution agreed to
  admit him to the kindergarten for the blind.

  Meanwhile opportunity came to Helen to make a considerable
  contribution to Tommy's education. The winter before, her dog
  Lioness had been killed, and friends set to work to raise money
  to buy Helen another dog. Helen asked that the contributions,
  which people were sending from all over America and England, be
  devoted to Tommy's education. Turned to this new use, the fund
  grew fast, and Tommy was provided for. He was admitted to the
  kindergarten on the sixth of April.

  Miss Keller wrote lately, "I shall never forget the pennies sent
  by many a poor child who could ill spare them, 'for little
  Tommy,' or the swift sympathy with which people from far and
  near, whom I had never seen, responded to the dumb cry of a
  little captive soul for aid."
  Institution for the Blind,
  South Boston, Mass., March 20, 1891.

  My Dear Friend, Mr. Krehl:—I have just heard, through Mr. Wade,
  of your kind offer to buy me a gentle dog, and I want to thank
  you for the kind thought. It makes me very happy indeed to know
  that I have such dear friends in other lands. It makes me think
  that all people are good and loving. I have read that the English
  and Americans are cousins; but I am sure it would be much truer
  to say that we are brothers and sisters. My friends have told me
  about your great and magnificent city, and I have read a great
  deal that wise Englishmen have written. I have begun to read
  "Enoch Arden," and I know several of the great poet's poems by
  heart. I am eager to cross the ocean, for I want to see my
  English friends and their good and wise queen. Once the Earl of
  Meath came to see me, and he told me that the queen was much
  beloved by her people, because of her gentleness and wisdom. Some
  day you will be surprised to see a little strange girl coming
  into your office; but when you know it is the little girl who
  loves dogs and all other animals, you will laugh, and I hope you
  will give her a kiss, just as Mr. Wade does. He has another dog
  for me, and he thinks she will be as brave and faithful as my
  beautiful Lioness. And now I want to tell you what the dog lovers
  in America are going to do. They are going to send me some money
  for a poor little deaf and dumb and blind child. His name is
  Tommy, and he is five years old. His parents are too poor to pay
  to have the little fellow sent to school; so, instead of giving
  me a dog, the gentlemen are going to help make Tommy's life as
  bright and joyous as mine. Is it not a beautiful plan? Education
  will bring light and music into Tommy's soul, and then he cannot
  help being happy.
  From your loving little friend,
  [South Boston, Mass., April, 1891.]

  Dear Dr. Holmes:—Your beautiful words about spring have been
  making music in my heart, these bright April days. I love every
  word of "Spring" and "Spring Has Come." I think you will be glad
  to hear that these poems have taught me to enjoy and love the
  beautiful springtime, even though I cannot see the fair, frail
  blossoms which proclaim its approach, or hear the joyous warbling
  of the home-coming birds. But when I read "Spring Has Come," lo!
  I am not blind any longer, for I see with your eyes and hear with
  your ears. Sweet Mother Nature can have no secrets from me when
  my poet is near. I have chosen this paper because I want the
  spray of violets in the corner to tell you of my grateful love. I
  want you to see baby Tom, the little blind and deaf and dumb
  child who has just come to our pretty garden. He is poor and
  helpless and lonely now, but before another April education will
  have brought light and gladness into Tommy's life. If you do
  come, you will want to ask the kind people of Boston to help
  brighten Tommy's whole life. Your loving friend,
  Perkins Institution for the Blind,
  South Boston, Mass., April 30, 1891.

  My Dear Mr. Millais:—Your little American sister is going to
  write you a letter, because she wants you to know how pleased she
  was to hear you were interested in our poor little Tommy, and had
  sent some money to help educate him. It is very beautiful to
  think that people far away in England feel sorry for a little
  helpless child in America. I used to think, when I read in my
  books about your great city, that when I visited it the people
  would be strangers to me, but now I feel differently. It seems to
  me that all people who have loving, pitying hearts, are not
  strangers to each other. I can hardly wait patiently for the time
  to come when I shall see my dear English friends, and their
  beautiful island home. My favourite poet has written some lines
  about England which I love very much. I think you will like them
  too, so I will try to write them for you.

  "Hugged in the clinging billow's clasp,
  From seaweed fringe to mountain heather,
  The British oak with rooted grasp
  Her slender handful holds together,
  With cliffs of white and bowers of green,
  And ocean narrowing to caress her,
  And hills and threaded streams between,
  Our little mother isle, God bless her!"

  You will be glad to hear that Tommy has a kind lady to teach him,
  and that he is a pretty, active little fellow. He loves to climb
  much better than to spell, but that is because he does not know
  yet what a wonderful thing language is. He cannot imagine how
  very, very happy he will be when he can tell us his thoughts, and
  we can tell him how we have loved him so long.

  Tomorrow April will hide her tears and blushes beneath the
  flowers of lovely May. I wonder if the May-days in England are as
  beautiful as they are here.

  Now I must say good-bye. Please think of me always as your loving
  little sister,
  So. Boston, May 1, 1891.

  My Dear Mr. Brooks:
  Helen sends you a loving greeting this bright May-day. My teacher
  has just told me that you have been made a bishop, and that your
  friends everywhere are rejoicing because one whom they love has
  been greatly honored. I do not understand very well what a
  bishop's work is, but I am sure it must be good and helpful, and
  I am glad that my dear friend is brave, and wise, and loving
  enough to do it. It is very beautiful to think that you can tell
  so many people of the heavenly Father's tender love for all His
  children even when they are not gentle and noble as He wishes
  them to be. I hope the glad news which you will tell them will
  make their hearts beat fast with joy and love. I hope too, that
  Bishop Brooks' whole life will be as rich in happiness as the
  month of May is full of blossoms and singing birds.
  From your loving little friend,
  Before a teacher was found for Tommy and while he was still in
  the care of Helen and Miss Sullivan, a reception was held for him
  at the kindergarten. At Helen's request Bishop Brooks made an
  address. Helen wrote letters to the newspapers which brought many
  generous replies. All of these she answered herself, and she made
  public acknowledgment in letters to the newspapers. This letter
  is to the editor of the Boston Herald, enclosing a complete list
  of the subscribers. The contributions amounted to more than
  sixteen hundred dollars.

  South Boston, May 13, 1891.
  Editor of the Boston Herald:
  My Dear Mr. Holmes:—Will you kindly print in the Herald, the
  enclosed list? I think the readers of your paper will be glad to
  know that so much has been done for dear little Tommy, and that
  they will all wish to share in the pleasure of helping him. He is
  very happy indeed at the kindergarten, and is learning something
  every day. He has found out that doors have locks, and that
  little sticks and bits of paper can be got into the key-hole
  quite easily; but he does not seem very eager to get them out
  after they are in. He loves to climb the bed-posts and unscrew
  the steam valves much better than to spell, but that is because
  he does not understand that words would help him to make new and
  interesting discoveries. I hope that good people will continue to
  work for Tommy until his fund is completed, and education has
  brought light and music into his little life.
  From your little friend,
  South Boston, May 27, 1891.
  Dear, Gentle Poet:—I fear that you will think Helen a very
  troublesome little girl if she writes to you too often; but how
  is she to help sending you loving and grateful messages, when you
  do so much to make her glad? I cannot begin to tell you how
  delighted I was when Mr. Anagnos told me that you had sent him
  some money to help educate "Baby Tom." Then I knew that you had
  not forgotten the dear little child, for the gift brought with it
  the thought of tender sympathy. I am very sorry to say that Tommy
  has not learned any words yet. He is the same restless little
  creature he was when you saw him. But it is pleasant to think
  that he is happy and playful in his bright new home, and by and
  by that strange, wonderful thing teacher calls MIND, will begin
  to spread its beautiful wings and fly away in search of
  knowledge-land. Words are the mind's wings, are they not?

  I have been to Andover since I saw you, and I was greatly
  interested in all that my friends told me about Phillips Academy,
  because I knew you had been there, and I felt it was a place dear
  to you. I tried to imagine my gentle poet when he was a
  school-boy, and I wondered if it was in Andover he learned the
  songs of the birds and the secrets of the shy little woodland
  children. I am sure his heart was always full of music, and in
  God's beautiful world he must have heard love's sweet replying.
  When I came home teacher read to me "The School-boy," for it is
  not in our print.

  Did you know that the blind children are going to have their
  commencement exercises in Tremont Temple, next Tuesday afternoon?
  I enclose a ticket, hoping that you will come. We shall all be
  proud and happy to welcome our poet friend. I shall recite about
  the beautiful cities of sunny Italy. I hope our kind friend Dr.
  Ellis will come too, and take Tom in his arms.

  With much love and a kiss, from your little friend,
  South Boston, June 8, 1891.
  My dear Mr. Brooks,
  I send you my picture as I promised, and I hope when you look at
  it this summer your thoughts will fly southward to your happy
  little friend. I used to wish that I could see pictures with my
  hands as I do statues, but now I do not often think about it
  because my dear Father has filled my mind with beautiful
  pictures, even of things I cannot see. If the light were not in
  your eyes, dear Mr. Brooks, you would understand better how happy
  your little Helen was when her teacher explained to her that the
  best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor
  even touched, but just felt in the heart. Every day I find out
  something which makes me glad. Yesterday I thought for the first
  time what a beautiful thing motion was, and it seemed to me that
  everything was trying to get near to God, does it seem that way
  to you? It is Sunday morning, and while I sit here in the library
  writing this letter you are teaching hundreds of people some of
  the grand and beautiful things about their heavenly Father. Are
  you not very, very happy? and when you are a Bishop you will
  preach to more people and more and more will be made glad.
  Teacher sends her kind remembrances, and I send you with my
  picture my dear love.
  From your little friend
  When the Perkins Institution closed in June, Helen and her
  teacher went south to Tuscumbia, where they remained until
  December. There is a hiatus of several months in the letters,
  caused by the depressing effect on Helen and Miss Sullivan of the
  "Frost King" episode. At the time this trouble seemed very grave
  and brought them much unhappiness. An analysis of the case has
  been made elsewhere, and Miss Keller has written her account of
  Brewster, Mar. 10, 1892.
  My dear Mr. Munsell,
  Surely I need not tell you that your letter was very welcome. I
  enjoyed every word of it and wished that it was longer. I laughed
  when you spoke of old Neptune's wild moods. He has, in truth,
  behaved very strangely ever since we came to Brewster. It is
  evident that something has displeased his Majesty but I cannot
  imagine what it can be. His expression has been so turbulent that
  I have feared to give him your kind message. Who knows! Perhaps
  the Old Sea God as he lay asleep upon the shore, heard the soft
  music of growing things—the stir of life in the earth's bosom,
  and his stormy heart was angry, because he knew that his and
  Winter's reign was almost at an end. So together the unhappy
  monarch[s] fought most despairingly, thinking that gentle Spring
  would turn and fly at the very sight of the havoc caused by their
  forces. But lo! the lovely maiden only smiles more sweetly, and
  breathes upon the icy battlements of her enemies, and in a moment
  they vanish, and the glad Earth gives her a royal welcome. But I
  must put away these idle fancies until we meet again. Please give
  your dear mother my love. Teacher wishes me to say that she liked
  the photograph very much and she will see about having some when
  we return. Now, dear friend, Please accept these few words
  because of the love that is linked with them.
  Lovingly yours
  This letter was reproduced in facsimile in St. Nicholas, June,
  1892. It is undated, but must have been written two or three
  months before it was published.

  To St. Nicholas
  Dear St. Nicholas:

  It gives me very great pleasure to send you my autograph because
  I want the boys and girls who read St. Nicholas to know how blind
  children write. I suppose some of them wonder how we keep the
  lines so straight so I will try to tell them how it is done. We
  have a grooved board which we put between the pages when we wish
  to write. The parallel grooves correspond to lines and when we
  have pressed the paper into them by means of the blunt end of the
  pencil it is very easy to keep the words even. The small letters
  are all made in the grooves, while the long ones extend above and
  below them. We guide the pencil with the right hand, and feel
  carefully with the forefinger of the left hand to see that we
  shape and space the letters correctly. It is very difficult at
  first to form them plainly, but if we keep on trying it gradually
  becomes easier, and after a great deal of practice we can write
  legible letters to our friends. Then we are very, very happy.
  Sometime they may visit a school for the blind. If they do, I am
  sure they will wish to see the pupils write.
  Very sincerely your little friend
  In May, 1892, Helen gave a tea in aid of the kindergarten for the
  blind. It was quite her own idea, and was given in the house of
  Mrs. Mahlon D. Spaulding, sister of Mr. John P. Spaulding, one of
  Helen's kindest and most liberal friends. The tea brought more
  than two thousand dollars for the blind children.

  South Boston, May 9, 1892.
  My dear Miss Carrie:—I was much pleased to receive your kind
  letter. Need I tell you that I was more than delighted to hear
  that you are really interested in the "tea"? Of course we must
  not give it up. Very soon I am going far away, to my own dear
  home, in the sunny south, and it would always make me happy to
  think that the last thing which my dear friends in Boston did for
  my pleasure was to help make the lives of many little sightless
  children good and happy. I know that kind people cannot help
  feeling a tender sympathy for the little ones, who cannot see the
  beautiful light, or any of the wonderful things which give them
  pleasure; and it seems to me that all loving sympathy must
  express itself in acts of kindness; and when the friends of
  little helpless blind children understand that we are working for
  their happiness, they will come and make our "tea" a success, and
  I am sure I shall be the happiest little girl in all the world.
  Please let Bishop Brooks know our plans, so that he may arrange
  to be with us. I am glad Miss Eleanor is interested. Please give
  her my love. I will see you to-morrow and then we can make the
  rest of our plans. Please give your dear aunt teacher's and my
  love and tell her that we enjoyed our little visit very much
  Lovingly yours,
  South Boston, May 11th, 1892.
  My dear Mr. Spaulding:—I am afraid you will think your little
  friend, Helen, very troublesome when you read this letter; but I
  am sure you will not blame me when I tell you that I am very
  anxious about something. You remember teacher and I told you
  Sunday that I wanted to have a little tea in aid of the
  kindergarten. We thought everything was arranged: but we found
  Monday that Mrs. Elliott would not be willing to let us invite
  more than fifty people, because Mrs. Howe's house is quite small.
  I am sure that a great many people would like to come to the tea,
  and help me do something to brighten the lives of little blind
  children; but some of my friends say that I shall have to give up
  the idea of having a tea unless we can find another house.
  Teacher said yesterday, that perhaps Mrs. Spaulding would be
  willing to let us have her beautiful house, and [I] thought I
  would ask you about it. Do you think Mrs. Spaulding would help
  me, if I wrote to her? I shall be so disappointed if my little
  plans fail, because I have wanted for a long time to do something
  for the poor little ones who are waiting to enter the
  kindergarten. Please let me know what you think about the house,
  and try to forgive me for troubling you so much.
  Lovingly your little friend,
  South Boston, May 18th, 1892.
  My dear Mr. Clement:—I am going to write to you this beautiful
  morning because my heart is brimful of happiness and I want you
  and all my dear friends in the Transcript office to rejoice with
  me. The preparations for my tea are nearly completed, and I am
  looking forward joyfully to the event. I know I shall not fail.
  Kind people will not disappoint me, when they know that I plead
  for helpless little children who live in darkness and ignorance.
  They will come to my tea and buy light,—the beautiful light of
  knowledge and love for many little ones who are blind and
  friendless. I remember perfectly when my dear teacher came to me.
  Then I was like the little blind children who are waiting to
  enter the kindergarten. There was no light in my soul. This
  wonderful world with all its sunlight and beauty was hidden from
  me, and I had never dreamed of its loveliness. But teacher came
  to me and taught my little fingers to use the beautiful key that
  has unlocked the door of my dark prison and set my spirit free.

  It is my earnest wish to share my happiness with others, and I
  ask the kind people of Boston to help me make the lives of little
  blind children brighter and happier.
  Lovingly your little friend,
  At the end of June Miss Sullivan and Helen went home to

  Tuscumbia, Alabama, July 9th 1892.

  My dear Carrie—You are to look upon it as a most positive proof
  of my love that I write to you to-day. For a whole week it has
  been "cold and dark and dreary" in Tuscumbia, and I must confess
  the continuous rain and dismalness of the weather fills me with
  gloomy thoughts and makes the writing of letters, or any pleasant
  employment, seem quite impossible. Nevertheless, I must tell you
  that we are alive,—that we reached home safely, and that we
  speak of you daily, and enjoy your interesting letters very much.
  I had a beautiful visit at Hulton. Everything was fresh and
  spring-like, and we stayed out of doors all day. We even ate our
  breakfast out on the piazza. Sometimes we sat in the hammock, and
  teacher read to me. I rode horseback nearly every evening and
  once I rode five miles at a fast gallop. O, it was great fun! Do
  you like to ride? I have a very pretty little cart now, and if it
  ever stops raining teacher and I are going to drive every
  evening. And I have another beautiful Mastiff—the largest one I
  ever saw—and he will go along to protect us. His name is Eumer.
  A queer name, is it not? I think it is Saxon. We expect to go to
  the mountains next week. My little brother, Phillips, is not
  well, and we think the clear mountain air will benefit him.
  Mildred is a sweet little sister and I am sure you would love
  her. I thank you very much for your photograph. I like to have my
  friends' pictures even though I cannot see them. I was greatly
  amused at the idea of your writing the square hand. I do not
  write on a Braille tablet, as you suppose, but on a grooved board
  like the piece which I enclose. You could not read Braille; for
  it is written in dots, not at all like ordinary letters. Please
  give my love to Miss Derby and tell her that I hope she gave my
  sweetest love to Baby Ruth. What was the book you sent me for my
  birthday? I received several, and I do not know which was from
  you. I had one gift which especially pleased me. It was a lovely
  cape crocheted, for me, by an old gentleman, seventy-five years
  of age. And every stitch, he writes, represents a kind wish for
  my health and happiness. Tell your little cousins I think they
  had better get upon the fence with me until after the election;
  for there are so many parties and candidates that I doubt if such
  youthful politicians would make a wise selection. Please give my
  love to Rosy when you write, and believe me,
  Your loving friend
  P.S. How do you like this type-written letter?
  H. K.
  My dear Mrs. Cleveland,
  I am going to write you a little letter this beautiful morning
  because I love you and dear little Ruth very much indeed, and
  also because I wish to thank you for the loving message which you
  sent me through Miss Derby. I am glad, very glad that such a
  kind, beautiful lady loves me. I have loved you for a long time,
  but I did not think you had ever heard of me until your sweet
  message came. Please kiss your dear little baby for me, and tell
  her I have a little brother nearly sixteen months old. His name
  is Phillips Brooks. I named him myself after my dear friend
  Phillips Brooks. I send you with this letter a pretty book which
  my teacher thinks will interest you, and my picture. Please
  accept them with the love and good wishes of your friend,
  Tuscumbia, Alabama.
  November fourth. [1892.]
  Hitherto the letters have been given in full; from this point on
  passages are omitted and the omissions are indicated.

  Tuscumbia, Alabama, Dec. 19, 1892.

  My Dear Mr. Hitz,
  I hardly know how to begin a letter to you, it has been such a
  long time since your kind letter reached me, and there is so much
  that I would like to write if I could. You must have wondered why
  your letter has not had an answer, and perhaps you have thought
  Teacher and me very naughty indeed. If so, you will be very sorry
  when I tell you something. Teacher's eyes have been hurting her
  so that she could not write to any one, and I have been trying to
  fulfil a promise which I made last summer. Before I left Boston,
  I was asked to write a sketch of my life for the Youth's
  Companion. I had intended to write the sketch during my vacation:
  but I was not well, and I did not feel able to write even to my
  friends. But when the bright, pleasant autumn days came, and I
  felt strong again I began to think about the sketch. It was some
  time before I could plan it to suit me. You see, it is not very
  pleasant to write all about one's self. At last, however, I got
  something bit by bit that Teacher thought would do, and I set
  about putting the scraps together, which was not an easy task:
  for, although I worked some on it every day, I did not finish it
  until a week ago Saturday. I sent the sketch to the Companion as
  soon as it was finished; but I do not know that they will accept
  it. Since then, I have not been well, and I have been obliged to
  keep very quiet, and rest; but to-day I am better, and to-morrow
  I shall be well again, I hope.

  The reports which you have read in the paper about me are not
  true at all. We received the Silent Worker which you sent, and I
  wrote right away to the editor to tell him that it was a mistake.
  Sometimes I am not well; but I am not a "wreck," and there is
  nothing "distressing" about my condition.

  I enjoyed your dear letter so much! I am always delighted when
  anyone writes me a beautiful thought which I can treasure in my
  memory forever. It is because my books are full of the riches of
  which Mr. Ruskin speaks that I love them so dearly. I did not
  realize until I began to write the sketch for the Companion, what
  precious companions books have been to me, and how blessed even
  my life has been: and now I am happier than ever because I do
  realize the happiness that has come to me. I hope you will write
  to me as often as you can. Teacher and I are always delighted to
  hear from you. I want to write to Mr. Bell and send him my
  picture. I suppose he has been too busy to write to his little
  friend. I often think of the pleasant time we had all together in
  Boston last spring.

  Now I am going to tell you a secret. I think we, Teacher, and my
  father and little sister, and myself, will visit Washington next
  March!!! Then I shall see you, and dear Mr. Bell, and Elsie and
  Daisy again! Would not it be lovely if Mrs. Pratt could meet us
  there? I think I will write to her and tell her the secret
  Lovingly your little friend,

  P.S. Teacher says you want to know what kind of a pet I would
  like to have. I love all living things,—I suppose everyone does;
  but of course I cannot have a menagerie. I have a beautiful pony,
  and a large dog. And I would like a little dog to hold in my lap,
  or a big pussy (there are no fine cats in Tuscumbia) or a parrot.
  I would like to feel a parrot talk, it would be so much fun! but
  I would be pleased with, and love any little creature you send
  H. K.
  Tuscumbia, Alabama, February 18, 1893.
  ...You have often been in my thoughts during these sad days,
  while my heart has been grieving over the loss of my beloved
  friend [Phillips Brooks died January 23, 1893], and I have wished
  many times that I was in Boston with those who knew and loved him
  as I did... he was so much of a friend to me! so tender and
  loving always! I do try not to mourn his death too sadly. I do
  try to think that he is still near, very near; but sometimes the
  thought that he is not here, that I shall not see him when I go
  to Boston,—that he is gone,—rushes over my soul like a great
  wave of sorrow. But at other times, when I am happier, I do feel
  his beautiful presence, and his loving hand leading me in
  pleasant ways. Do you remember the happy hour we spent with him
  last June when he held my hand, as he always did, and talked to
  us about his friend Tennyson, and our own dear poet Dr. Holmes,
  and I tried to teach him the manual alphabet, and he laughed so
  gaily over his mistakes, and afterward I told him about my tea,
  and he promised to come? I can hear him now, saying in his
  cheerful, decided way, in reply to my wish that my tea might be a
  success, "Of course it will, Helen. Put your whole heart in the
  good work, my child, and it cannot fail." I am glad the people
  are going to raise a monument to his memory....
  In March Helen and Miss Sullivan went North, and spent the next
  few months traveling and visiting friends.

  In reading this letter about Niagara one should remember that
  Miss Keller knows distance and shape, and that the size of
  Niagara is within her experience after she has explored it,
  crossed the bridge and gone down in the elevator. Especially
  important are such details as her feeling the rush of the water
  by putting her hand on the window. Dr. Bell gave her a down
  pillow, which she held against her to increase the vibrations.

  South Boston, April 13, 1893.
  ...Teacher, Mrs. Pratt and I very unexpectedly decided to take a
  journey with dear Dr. Bell     Mr. Westervelt, a gentleman whom
  father met in Washington, has a school for the deaf in Rochester.
  We went there first....

  Mr. Westervelt gave us a reception one afternoon. A great many
  people came. Some of them asked odd questions. A lady seemed
  surprised that I loved flowers when I could not see their
  beautiful colors, and when I assured her I did love them, she
  said, "no doubt you feel the colors with your fingers." But of
  course, it is not alone for their bright colors that we love the
  flowers.... A gentleman asked me what BEAUTY meant to my mind. I
  must confess I was puzzled at first. But after a minute I
  answered that beauty was a form of goodness—and he went away.

  When the reception was over we went back to the hotel and teacher
  slept quite unconscious of the surprise which was in store for
  her. Mr. Bell and I planned it together, and Mr. Bell made all
  the arrangements before we told teacher anything about it. This
  was the surprise—I was to have the pleasure of taking my dear
  teacher to see Niagara Falls!...

  The hotel was so near the river that I could feel it rushing past
  by putting my hand on the window. The next morning the sun rose
  bright and warm, and we got up quickly for our hearts were full
  of pleasant expectation.... You can never imagine how I felt when
  I stood in the presence of Niagara until you have the same
  mysterious sensations yourself. I could hardly realize that it
  was water that I felt rushing and plunging with impetuous fury at
  my feet. It seemed as if it were some living thing rushing on to
  some terrible fate. I wish I could describe the cataract as it
  is, its beauty and awful grandeur, and the fearful and
  irresistible plunge of its waters over the brow of the precipice.
  One feels helpless and overwhelmed in the presence of such a vast
  force. I had the same feeling once before when I first stood by
  the great ocean and felt its waves beating against the shore. I
  suppose you feel so, too, when you gaze up to the stars in the
  stillness of the night, do you not?... We went down a hundred and
  twenty feet in an elevator that we might see the violent eddies
  and whirlpools in the deep gorge below the Falls. Within two
  miles of the Falls is a wonderful suspension bridge. It is thrown
  across the gorge at a height of two hundred and fifty-eight feet
  above the water and is supported on each bank by towers of solid
  rock, which are eight hundred feet apart. When we crossed over to
  the Canadian side, I cried, "God save the Queen!" Teacher said I
  was a little traitor. But I do not think so. I was only doing as
  the Canadians do, while I was in their country, and besides I
  honor England's good queen.

  You will be pleased, dear Mother, to hear that a kind lady whose
  name is Miss Hooker is endeavoring to improve my speech. Oh, I do
  so hope and pray that I shall speak well some day!...

  Mr. Munsell spent last Sunday evening with us. How you would have
  enjoyed hearing him tell about Venice! His beautiful
  word-pictures made us feel as if we were sitting in the shadow of
  San Marco, dreaming, or sailing upon the moonlit canal.... I hope
  when I visit Venice, as I surely shall some day, that Mr. Munsell
  will go with me. That is my castle in the air. You see, none of
  my friends describe things to me so vividly and so beautifully as
  he does....
  Her visit to the World's Fair she described in a letter to Mr.
  John P. Spaulding, which was published in St. Nicholas, and is
  much like the following letter. In a prefatory note which Miss
  Sullivan wrote for St. Nicholas, she says that people frequently
  said to her, "Helen sees more with her fingers than we do with
  our eyes." The President of the Exposition gave her this letter:


  GENTLEMEN—The bearer, Miss Helen Keller, accompanied by Miss
  Sullivan, is desirous of making a complete inspection of the
  Exposition in all Departments. She is blind and deaf, but is able
  to converse, and is introduced to me as one having a wonderful
  ability to understand the objects she visits, and as being
  possessed of a high order of intelligence and of culture beyond
  her years. Please favour her with every facility to examine the
  exhibits in the several Departments, and extend to her such other
  courtesies as may be possible.

  Thanking you in advance for the same, I am, with respect,
  Very truly yours,
  (signed) H. N. HIGINBOTHAM,
  Hulton, Penn., August 17, 1893.

  ...Every one at the Fair was very kind to me... Nearly all of the
  exhibitors seemed perfectly willing to let me touch the most
  delicate things, and they were very nice about explaining
  everything to me. A French gentleman, whose name I cannot
  remember, showed me the great French bronzes. I believe they gave
  me more pleasure than anything else at the Fair: they were so
  lifelike and wonderful to my touch. Dr. Bell went with us himself
  to the electrical building, and showed us some of the historical
  telephones. I saw the one through which Emperor Dom Pedro
  listened to the words, "To be, or not to be," at the Centennial.
  Dr. Gillett of Illinois took us to the Liberal Arts and Woman's
  buildings. In the former I visited Tiffany's exhibit, and held
  the beautiful Tiffany diamond, which is valued at one hundred
  thousand dollars, and touched many other rare and costly things.
  I sat in King Ludwig's armchair and felt like a queen when Dr.
  Gillett remarked that I had many loyal subjects. At the Woman's
  building we met the Princess Maria Schaovskoy of Russia, and a
  beautiful Syrian lady. I liked them both very much. I went to the
  Japanese department with Prof. Morse who is a well-known
  lecturer. I never realized what a wonderful people the Japanese
  are until I saw their most interesting exhibit. Japan must indeed
  be a paradise for children to judge from the great number of
  playthings which are manufactured there. The queer-looking
  Japanese musical instruments, and their beautiful works of art
  were interesting. The Japanese books are very odd. There are
  forty-seven letters in their alphabets. Prof. Morse knows a great
  deal about Japan, and is very kind and wise. He invited me to
  visit his museum in Salem the next time I go to Boston. But I
  think I enjoyed the sails on the tranquil lagoon, and the lovely
  scenes, as my friends described them to me, more than anything
  else at the Fair. Once, while we were out on the water, the sun
  went down over the rim of the earth, and threw a soft, rosy light
  over the White City, making it look more than ever like

  Of course, we visited the Midway Plaisance. It was a bewildering
  and fascinating place. I went into the streets of Cairo, and rode
  on the camel. That was fine fun. We also rode in the Ferris
  wheel, and on the ice-railway, and had a sail in the
  In the spring of 1893 a club was started in Tuscumbia, of which
  Mrs. Keller was president, to establish a public library. Miss
  Keller says:

  "I wrote to my friends about the work and enlisted their
  sympathy. Several hundred books, including many fine ones, were
  sent to me in a short time, as well as money and encouragement.
  This generous assistance encouraged the ladies, and they have
  gone on collecting and buying books ever since, until now they
  have a very respectable public library in the town."
  Hulton, Penn., Oct. 21, 1893.
  ...We spent September at home in Tuscumbia... and were all very
  happy together.... Our quiet mountain home was especially
  attractive and restful after the excitement and fatigue of our
  visit to the World's Fair. We enjoyed the beauty and solitude of
  the hills more than ever.

  And now we are in Hulton, Penn. again where I am going to study
  this winter with a tutor assisted by my dear teacher. I study
  Arithmetic, Latin and literature. I enjoy my lessons very much.
  It is so pleasant to learn about new things. Every day I find how
  little I know, but I do not feel discouraged since God has given
  me an eternity in which to learn more. In literature I am
  studying Longfellow's poetry. I know a great deal of it by heart,
  for I loved it long before I knew a metaphor from a synecdoche. I
  used to say I did not like arithmetic very well, but now I have
  changed my mind. I see what a good and useful study it is, though
  I must confess my mind wanders from it sometimes! for, nice and
  useful as arithmetic is, it is not as interesting as a beautiful
  poem or a lovely story. But bless me, how time does fly. I have
  only a few moments left in which to answer your questions about
  the "Helen Keller" Public Library.

  1. I think there are about 3,000 people in Tuscumbia, Ala., and
  perhaps half of them are colored people. 2. At present there is
  no library of any sort in the town. That is why I thought about
  starting one. My mother and several of my lady friends said they
  would help me, and they formed a club, the object of which is to
  work for the establishment of a free public library in Tuscumbia.
  They have now about 100 books and about $55 in money, and a kind
  gentleman has given us land on which to erect a library building.
  But in the meantime the club has rented a little room in a
  central part of the town, and the books which we already have are
  free to all. 3. Only a few of my kind friends in Boston know
  anything about the library. I did not like to trouble them while
  I was trying to get money for poor little Tommy, for of course it
  was more important that he should be educated than that my people
  should have books to read. 4. I do not know what books we have,
  but I think it is a miscellaneous (I think that is the word)

  P.S. My teacher thinks it would be more businesslike to say that
  a list of the contributors toward the building fund will be kept
  and published in my father's paper, the "North Alabamian."
  H. K.
  Hulton, Penn., December 28, 1893.
  ...Please thank dear Miss Derby for me for the pretty shield
  which she sent me. It is a very interesting souvenir of Columbus,
  and of the Fair White City; but I cannot imagine what discoveries
  I have made,—I mean new discoveries. We are all discoverers in
  one sense, being born quite ignorant of all things; but I hardly
  think that is what she meant. Tell her she must explain why I am
  a discoverer....
  Hulton, Pennsylvania, January 14, 1894

  My dear Cousin: I had thought to write to you long before this in
  answer to your kind letter which I was so glad to receive, and to
  thank you for the beautiful little book which you sent me; but I
  have been very busy since the beginning of the New Year. The
  publication of my little story in the Youth's Companion has
  brought me a large number of letters,—last week I received
  sixty-one!—and besides replying to some of these letters, I have
  many lessons to learn, among them Arithmetic and Latin; and, you
  know, Caesar is Caesar still, imperious and tyrannical, and if a
  little girl would understand so great a man, and the wars and
  conquests of which he tells in his beautiful Latin language, she
  must study much and think much, and study and thought require

  I shall prize the little book always, not only for its own value;
  but because of its associations with you. It is a delight to
  think of you as the giver of one of your books into which, I am
  sure, you have wrought your own thoughts and feelings, and I
  thank you very much for remembering me in such a very beautiful
  In February Helen and Miss Sullivan returned to Tuscumbia. They
  spent the rest of the spring reading and studying. In the summer
  they attended the meeting at Chautauqua of the American
  Association for the Promotion of the Teaching of Speech to the
  Deaf, where Miss Sullivan read a paper on Helen Keller's

  In the fall Helen and Miss Sullivan entered the Wright-Humason
  School in New York, which makes a special of lip-reading and
  voice-culture. The "singing lessons" were to strengthen her
  voice. She had taken a few piano lessons at the Perkins
  Institution. The experiment was interesting, but of course came
  to little.

  The Wright-Humason School.
  42 West 76th St.
  New York. Oct. 23, 1894.
  ...The school is very pleasant, and bless you! it is quite
  fashionable.... I study Arithmetic, English Literature and United
  States History as I did last winter. I also keep a diary. I enjoy
  my singing lessons with Dr. Humason more than I can say. I expect
  to take piano lessons sometime....

  Last Saturday our kind teachers planned a delightful trip to
  Bedloe's Island to see Bartholdi's great statue of Liberty
  enlightening the world.... The ancient cannon, which look
  seaward, wear a very menacing expression; but I doubt if there is
  any unkindness in their rusty old hearts.

  Liberty is a gigantic figure of a woman in Greek draperies,
  holding in her right hand a torch.... A spiral stairway leads
  from the base of this pedestal to the torch. We climbed up to the
  head which will hold forty persons, and viewed the scene on which
  Liberty gazes day and night, and O, how wonderful it was! We did
  not wonder that the great French artist thought the place worthy
  to be the home of his grand ideal. The glorious bay lay calm and
  beautiful in the October sunshine, and the ships came and went
  like idle dreams; those seaward going slowly disappeared like
  clouds that change from gold to gray; those homeward coming sped
  more quickly like birds that seek their mother's nest....
  The Wright-Humason School.
  New York, March 15, 1895.
  ...I think I have improved a little in lip-reading, though I
  still find it very difficult to read rapid speech; but I am sure
  I shall succeed some day if I only persevere. Dr. Humason is
  still trying to improve my speech. Oh, Carrie, how I should like
  to speak like other people! I should be willing to work night and
  day if it could only be accomplished. Think what a joy it would
  be to all of my friends to hear me speak naturally!! I wonder why
  it is so difficult and perplexing for a deaf child to learn to
  speak when it is so easy for other people; but I am sure I shall
  speak perfectly some time if I am only patient....

  Although I have been so busy, I have found time to read a good
  deal.... I have lately read "Wilhelm Tell" by Schiller, and "The
  Lost Vestal."... Now I am reading "Nathan the Wise" by Lessing
  and "King Arthur" by Miss Mulock.

  ...You know our kind teachers take us to see everything which
  they think will interest us, and we learn a great deal in that
  delightful way. On George Washington's birthday we all went to
  the Dog Show, and although there was a great crowd in the Madison
  Square Garden, and despite the bewilderment caused by the variety
  of sounds made by the dog-orchestra, which was very confusing to
  those who could hear them, we enjoyed the afternoon very much.
  Among the dogs which received the most attention were the
  bulldogs. They permitted themselves startling liberties when any
  one caressed them, crowding themselves almost into one's arms and
  helping themselves without ceremony to kisses, apparently
  unconscious of the impropriety of their conduct. Dear me, what
  unbeautiful little beasts they are! But they are so good natured
  and friendly, one cannot help liking them.

  Dr. Humason, Teacher, and I left the others at the Dog Show and
  went to a reception given by the "Metropolitan Club."... It is
  sometimes called the "Millionaires' Club." The building is
  magnificent, being built of white marble; the rooms are large and
  splendidly furnished; but I must confess, so much splendor is
  rather oppressive to me; and I didn't envy the millionaires in
  the least all the happiness their gorgeous surroundings are
  supposed to bring them....
  New York, March 31, 1895.
  ...Teacher and I spent the afternoon at Mr. Hutton's, and had a
  most delightful time!... We met Mr. Clemens and Mr. Howells
  there! I had known about them for a long time; but I had never
  thought that I should see them, and talk to them; and I can
  scarcely realize now that this great pleasure has been mine! But,
  much as I wonder that I, only a little girl of fourteen, should
  come in contact with so many distinguished people, I do realize
  that I am a very happy child, and very grateful for the many
  beautiful privileges I have enjoyed. The two distinguished
  authors were very gentle and kind, and I could not tell which of
  them I loved best. Mr. Clemens told us many entertaining stories,
  and made us laugh till we cried. I only wish you could have seen
  and heard him! He told us that he would go to Europe in a few
  days to bring his wife and his daughter, Jeanne, back to America,
  because Jeanne, who is studying in Paris, has learned so much in
  three years and a half that if he did not bring her home, she
  would soon know more than he did. I think Mark Twain is a very
  appropriate nom de plume for Mr. Clemens because it has a funny
  and quaint sound, and goes well with his amusing writings, and
  its nautical significance suggests the deep and beautiful things
  that he has written. I think he is very handsome indeed....
  Teacher said she thought he looked something like Paradeuski. (If
  that is the way to spell the name.) Mr. Howells told me a little
  about Venice, which is one of his favorite cities, and spoke very
  tenderly of his dear little girl, Winnifred, who is now with God.
  He has another daughter, named Mildred, who knows Carrie. I might
  have seen Mrs. Wiggin, the sweet author of "Birds' Christmas
  Carol," but she had a dangerous cough and could not come. I was
  much disappointed not to see her, but I hope I shall have that
  pleasure some other time. Mr. Hutton gave me a lovely little
  glass, shaped like a thistle, which belonged to his dear mother,
  as a souvenir of my delightful visit. We also met Mr. Rogers...
  who kindly left his carriage to bring us home.
  When the Wright-Humason School closed for the summer, Miss
  Sullivan and Helen went South.

  Tuscumbia, Alabama, July 29, 1895.
  ...I am spending my vacation very quietly and pleasantly at my
  beautiful, sunny home, with my loving parents, my darling little
  sister and my small brother, Phillips   My precious teacher is
  with me too, and so of course I am happy I read a little, walk a
  little, write a little and play with the children a great deal,
  and the days slip by delightfully!...

  My friends are so pleased with the improvement which I made in
  speech and lip-reading last year, that it has been decided best
  for me to continue my studies in New York another year I am
  delighted at the prospect, of spending another year in your great
  city I used to think that I should never feel "at home" in New
  York, but since I have made the acquaintance of so many people,
  and can look back to such a bright and successful winter there, I
  find myself looking forward to next year, and anticipating still
  brighter and better times in the Metropolis

  Please give my kindest love to Mr Hutton, and Mrs Riggs and Mr
  Warner too, although I have never had the pleasure of knowing him
  personally As I listen Venicewards, I hear Mr Hutton's pen
  dancing over the pages of his new book It is a pleasant sound
  because it is full of promise How much I shall enjoy reading it!

  Please pardon me, my dear Mrs Hutton, for sending you a
  typewritten letter across the ocean  I have tried several times
  to write with a pencil on my little writing machine since I came
  home; but I have found it very difficult to do so on account of
  the heat  The moisture of my hand soils and blurs the paper so
  dreadfully, that I am compelled to use my typewriter altogether
  And it is not my "Remington" either, but a naughty little thing
  that gets out of order on the slightest provocation, and cannot
  be induced to make a period...
  New York, October 16, 1895.
  Here we are once more in the great metropolis! We left Hulton
  Friday night and arrived here Saturday morning. Our friends were
  greatly surprised to see us, as they had not expected us before
  the last of this month. I rested Saturday afternoon, for I was
  very tired, and Sunday I visited with my schoolmates, and now
  that I feel quite rested, I am going to write to you; for I know
  you will want to hear that we reached New York safely. We had to
  change cars at Philadelphia; but we did not mind it much. After
  we had had our breakfast, Teacher asked one of the train-men in
  the station if the New York train was made up. He said no, it
  would not be called for about fifteen minutes; so we sat down to
  wait; but in a moment the man came back and asked Teacher if we
  would like to go to the train at once. She said we would, and he
  took us way out on the track and put us on board our train. Thus
  we avoided the rush and had a nice quiet visit before the train
  started. Was that not very kind? So it always is. Some one is
  ever ready to scatter little acts of kindness along our pathway,
  making it smooth and pleasant...

  We had a quiet but very pleasant time in Hulton. Mr. Wade is just
  as dear and good as ever! He has lately had several books printed
  in England for me, "Old Mortality," "The Castle of Otranto" and
  "King of No-land."...
  New York, December 29, 1895.
  ...Teacher and I have been very gay of late. We have seen our
  kind friends, Mrs. Dodge, Mr. and Mrs. Hutton, Mrs. Riggs and her
  husband, and met many distinguished people, among whom were Miss
  Ellen Terry, Sir Henry Irving and Mr. Stockton! Weren't we very
  fortunate? Miss Terry was lovely. She kissed Teacher and said, "I
  do not know whether I am glad to see you or not; for I feel so
  ashamed of myself when I think of how much you have done for the
  little girl." We also met Mr. and Mrs. Terry, Miss Terry's
  brother and his wife. I thought her beauty angellic, and oh, what
  a clear, beautiful voice she had! We saw Miss Terry again with
  Sir Henry in "King Charles the First," a week ago last Friday,
  and after the play they kindly let me feel of them and get an
  idea of how they looked. How noble and kingly the King was,
  especially in his misfortunes! And how pretty and faithful the
  poor Queen was! The play seemed so real, we almost forgot where
  we were, and believed we were watching the genuine scenes as they
  were acted so long ago. The last act affected us most deeply, and
  we all wept, wondering how the executioner could have the heart
  to tear the King from his loving wife's arms.

  I have just finished reading "Ivanhoe." It was very exciting; but
  I must say I did not enjoy it very much. Sweet Rebecca, with her
  strong, brave spirit, and her pure, generous nature, was the only
  character which thoroughly won my admiration. Now I am reading
  "Stories from Scottish History," and they are very thrilling and
  The next two letters were written just after the death of Mr.
  John P. Spaulding.

  New York, February 4, 1896.
  What can I say which will make you understand how much Teacher
  and I appreciate your thoughtful kindness in sending us those
  little souvenirs of the dear room where we first met the best and
  kindest of friends? Indeed, you can never know all the comfort
  you have given us. We have put the dear picture on the
  mantel-piece in our room where we can see it every day, and I
  often go and touch it, and somehow I cannot help feeling that our
  beloved friend is very near to me.... It was very hard to take up
  our school work again, as if nothing had happened; but I am sure
  it is well that we have duties which must be done, and which take
  our minds away for a time at least from our sorrow....
  New York, March 2nd, 1896.
  ...We miss dear King John sadly. It was so hard to lose him, he
  was the best and kindest of friends, and I do not know what we
  shall do without him....

  We went to a poultry-show... and the man there kindly permitted
  us to feel of the birds. They were so tame, they stood perfectly
  still when I handled them. I saw great big turkeys, geese,
  guineas, ducks and many others.

  Almost two weeks ago we called at Mr. Hutton's and had a
  delightful time. We always do! We met Mr. Warner, the writer, Mr.
  Mabie, the editor of the Outlook and other pleasant people. I am
  sure you would like to know Mr. and Mrs. Hutton, they are so kind
  and interesting. I can never tell you how much pleasure they have
  given us.

  Mr. Warner and Mr. Burroughs, the great lover of nature, came to
  see us a few days after, and we had a delightful talk with them.
  They were both very, very dear! Mr. Burroughs told me about his
  home near the Hudson, and what a happy place it must be! I hope
  we shall visit it some day. Teacher has read me his lively
  stories about his boyhood, and I enjoyed them greatly. Have you
  read the beautiful poem, "Waiting"? I know it, and it makes me
  feel so happy, it has such sweet thoughts. Mr. Warner showed me a
  scarf-pin with a beetle on it which was made in Egypt fifteen
  hundred years before Christ, and told me that the beetle meant
  immortality to the Egyptians because it wrapped itself up and
  went to sleep and came out again in a new form, thus renewing
  New York, April 25, 1896.
  ...My studies are the same as they were when I saw you, except
  that I have taken up French with a French teacher who comes three
  times a week. I read her lips almost exclusively, (she does not
  know the manual alphabet) and we get on quite well. I have read
  "Le Medecin Malgre Lui," a very good French comedy by Moliere,
  with pleasure; and they say I speak French pretty well now, and
  German also. Anyway, French and German people understand what I
  am trying to say, and that is very encouraging. In voice-training
  I have still the same old difficulties to contend against; and
  the fulfilment of my wish to speak well seems O, so far away!
  Sometimes I feel sure that I catch a faint glimpse of the goal I
  am striving for, but in another minute a bend in the road hides
  it from my view, and I am again left wandering in the dark! But I
  try hard not to be discouraged. Surely we shall all find at last
  the ideals we are seeking....
  Brewster, Mass. July 15, 1896.
  ...As to the book, I am sure I shall enjoy it very much when I am
  admitted, by the magic of Teacher's dear fingers, into the
  companionship of the two sisters who went to the Immortal

  As I sit by the window writing to you, it is so lovely to have
  the soft, cool breezes fan my cheek and to feel that the hard
  work of last year is over! Teacher seems to feel benefitted by
  the change too; for she is already beginning to look like her
  dear old self. We only need you, dear Mr. Hitz, to complete our
  happiness. Teacher and Mrs. Hopkins both say you must come as
  soon as you can! We will try to make you comfortable.

  Teacher and I spent nine days at Philadelphia. Have you ever been
  at Dr. Crouter's Institution? Mr. Howes has probably given you a
  full account of our doings. We were busy all the time; we
  attended the meetings and talked with hundreds of people, among
  whom were dear Dr. Bell, Mr. Banerji of Calcutta, Monsieur Magnat
  of Paris with whom I conversed in French exclusively, and many
  other distinguished persons. We had looked forward to seeing you
  there, and so we were greatly disappointed that you did not come.
  We think of you so, so often! and our hearts go out to you in
  tenderest sympathy; and you know better than this poor letter can
  tell you how happy we always are to have you with us! I made a
  "speech" on July eighth, telling the members of the Association
  what an unspeakable blessing speech has been to me, and urging
  them to give every little deaf child an opportunity to learn to
  speak. Every one said I spoke very well and intelligibly. After
  my little "speech," we attended a reception at which over six
  hundred people were present. I must confess I do not like such
  large receptions; the people crowd so, and we have to do so much
  talking; and yet it is at receptions like the one in Philadelphia
  that we often meet friends whom we learn to love afterwards. We
  left the city last Thursday night, and arrived in Brewster Friday
  afternoon. We missed the Cape Cod train Friday morning, and so we
  came down to Provincetown in the steamer Longfellow. I am glad we
  did so; for it was lovely and cool on the water, and Boston
  Harbor is always interesting.

  We spent about three weeks in Boston, after leaving New York, and
  I need not tell you we had a most delightful time. We visited our
  good friends, Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlin, at Wrentham, out in the
  country, where they have a lovely home. Their house stands near a
  charming lake where we went boating and canoeing, which was great
  fun. We also went in bathing several times. Mr. and Mrs.
  Chamberlin celebrated the 17th of June by giving a picnic to
  their literary friends. There were about forty persons present,
  all of whom were writers and publishers. Our friend, Mr. Alden,
  the editor of Harper's was there, and of course we enjoyed his
  society very much....
  Brewster, Mass., September 3, 1896.
  ...I have been meaning to write to you all summer; there were
  many things I wanted to tell you, and I thought perhaps you would
  like to hear about our vacation by the seaside, and our plans for
  next year; but the happy, idle days slipped away so quickly, and
  there were so many pleasant things to do every moment, that I
  never found time to clothe my thought in words, and send them to
  you. I wonder what becomes of lost opportunities. Perhaps our
  guardian angel gathers them up as we drop them, and will give
  them back to us in the beautiful sometime when we have grown
  wiser, and learned how to use them rightly. But, however this may
  be, I cannot now write the letter which has lain in my thought
  for you so long. My heart is too full of sadness to dwell upon
  the happiness the summer has brought me. My father is dead. He
  died last Saturday at my home in Tuscumbia, and I was not there.
  My own dear loving father! Oh, dear friend, how shall I ever bear
  On the first of October Miss Keller entered the Cambridge School
  for Young Ladies, of which Mr. Arthur Gilman is Principal. The
  "examinations" mentioned in this letter were merely tests given
  in the school, but as they were old Harvard papers, it is evident
  that in some subjects Miss Keller was already fairly well
  prepared for Radcliffe.

  37 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, Mass.
  October 8, 1896.
  ...I got up early this morning, so that I could write you a few
  lines. I know you want to hear how I like my school. I do wish
  you could come and see for yourself what a beautiful school it
  is! There are about a hundred girls, and they are all so bright
  and happy; it is a joy to be with them.

  You will be glad to hear that I passed my examinations
  successfully. I have been examined in English, German, French,
  and Greek and Roman history. They were the entrance examinations
  for Harvard College; so I feel pleased to think I could pass
  them. This year is going to be a very busy one for Teacher and
  myself. I am studying Arithmetic, English Literature, English
  History, German, Latin, and advanced geography; there is a great
  deal of preparatory reading required, and, as few of the books
  are in raised print, poor Teacher has to spell them all out to
  me; and that means hard work.

  You must tell Mr. Howells when you see him, that we are living in
  his house....
  37 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, Mass.,
  December 2, 1896.
  ...It takes me a long time to prepare my lessons, because I have
  to have every word of them spelled out in my hand. Not one of the
  textbooks which I am obliged to use is in raised print; so of
  course my work is harder than it would be if I could read my
  lessons over by myself. But it is harder for Teacher than it is
  for me because the strain on her poor eyes is so great, and I
  cannot help worrying about them. Sometimes it really seems as if
  the task which we have set ourselves were more than we can
  accomplish; but at other times I enjoy my work more than I can

  It is such a delight to be with the other girls, and do
  everything that they do. I study Latin, German, Arithmetic and
  English History, all of which I enjoy except Arithmetic. I am
  afraid I have not a mathematical mind; for my figures always
  manage to get into the wrong places!...
  Cambridge, Mass., May 3, 1897.
  ...You know I am trying very hard to get through with the reading
  for the examinations in June, and this, in addition to my regular
  schoolwork keeps me awfully busy. But Johnson, and "The Plague"
  and everything else must wait a few minutes this afternoon, while
  I say, thank you, my dear Mrs. Hutton....

  ...What a splendid time we had at the "Players' Club." I always
  thought clubs were dull, smoky places, where men talked politics,
  and told endless stories, all about themselves and their
  wonderful exploits: but now I see, I must have been quite
  Wrentham, Mass. July 9, 1897.
  ...Teacher and I are going to spend the summer at Wrentham, Mass.
  with our friends, the Chamberlins. I think you remember Mr.
  Chamberlin, the "Listener" in the Boston Transcript. They are
  dear, kind people....

  But I know you want to hear about my examinations. I know that
  you will be glad to hear that I passed all of them successfully.
  The subjects I offered were elementary and advanced German,
  French, Latin, English, and Greek and Roman History. It seems
  almost too good to be true, does it not? All the time I was
  preparing for the great ordeal, I could not suppress an inward
  fear and trembling lest I should fail, and now it is an
  unspeakable relief to know that I have passed the examinations
  with credit. But what I consider my crown of success is the
  happiness and pleasure that my victory has brought dear Teacher.
  Indeed, I feel that the success is hers more than mine; for she
  is my constant inspiration....
  At the end of September Miss Sullivan and Miss Keller returned to
  the Cambridge School, where they remained until early in
  December. Then the interference of Mr. Gilman resulted in Mrs.
  Keller's withdrawing Miss Helen and her sister, Miss Mildred,
  from the school. Miss Sullivan and her pupil went to Wrentham,
  where they worked under Mr. Merton S. Keith, an enthusiastic and
  skilful teacher.

  Wrentham, February 20, 1898.
  ...I resumed my studies soon after your departure, and in a very
  little while we were working as merrily as if the dreadful
  experience of a month ago had been but a dream. I cannot tell you
  how much I enjoy the country. It is so fresh, and peaceful and
  free! I do think I could work all day long without feeling tired
  if they would let me. There are so many pleasant things to
  do—not always very easy things,—much of my work in Algebra and
  Geometry is hard: but I love it all, especially Greek. Just
  think, I shall soon finish my grammar! Then comes the "Iliad."
  What an inexpressible joy it will be to read about Achilles, and
  Ulysses, and Andromache and Athene, and the rest of my old
  friends in their own glorious language! I think Greek is the
  loveliest language that I know anything about. If it is true that
  the violin is the most perfect of musical instruments, then Greek
  is the violin of human thought.

  We have had some splendid toboganning this month. Every morning,
  before lesson-time, we all go out to the steep hill on the
  northern shore of the lake near the house, and coast for an hour
  or so. Some one balances the toboggan on the very crest of the
  hill, while we get on, and when we are ready, off we dash down
  the side of the hill in a headlong rush, and, leaping a
  projection, plunge into a snow-drift and go swimming far across
  the pond at a tremendous rate!...
  [Wrentham] April 12, 1898.
  ...I am glad Mr. Keith is so well pleased with my progress. It is
  true that Algebra and Geometry are growing easier all the time,
  especially algebra; and I have just received books in raised
  print which will greatly facilitate my work....

  I find I get on faster, and do better work with Mr. Keith than I
  did in the classes at the Cambridge School, and I think it was
  well that I gave up that kind of work. At any rate, I have not
  been idle since I left school; I have accomplished more, and been
  happier than I could have been there....
  [Wrentham] May 29, 1898.
  ...My work goes on bravely. Each day is filled to the brim with
  hard study; for I am anxious to accomplish as much as possible
  before I put away my books for the summer vacation. You will be
  pleased to hear that I did three problems in Geometry yesterday
  without assistance. Mr. Keith and Teacher were quite enthusiastic
  over the achievement, and I must confess, I felt somewhat elated
  myself. Now I feel as if I should succeed in doing something in
  mathematics, although I cannot see why it is so very important to
  know that the lines drawn from the extremities of the base of an
  isosceles triangle to the middle points of the opposite sides are
  equal! The knowledge doesn't make life any sweeter or happier,
  does it? On the other hand, when we learn a new word, it is the
  key to untold treasures....
  Wrentham, Mass., June 7, 1898.
  I am afraid you will conclude that I am not very anxious for a
  tandem after all, since I have let nearly a week pass without
  answering your letter in regard to the kind of wheel I should
  like. But really, I have been so constantly occupied with my
  studies since we returned from New York, that I have not had time
  even to think of the fun it would be to have a bicycle! You see,
  I am anxious to accomplish as much as possible before the long
  summer vacation begins. I am glad, though, that it is nearly time
  to put away my books; for the sunshine and flowers, and the
  lovely lake in front of our house are doing their best to tempt
  me away from my Greek and Mathematics, especially from the
  latter! I am sure the daisies and buttercups have as little use
  for the science of Geometry as I, in spite of the fact that they
  so beautifully illustrate its principles.

  But bless me, I mustn't forget the tandem! The truth is, I know
  very little about bicycles. I have only ridden a "sociable,"
  which is very different from the ordinary tandem. The "sociable"
  is safer, perhaps, than the tandem; but it is very heavy and
  awkward, and has a way of taking up the greater part of the road.
  Besides, I have been told that "sociables" cost more than other
  kinds of bicycles. My teacher and other friends think I could
  ride a Columbia tandem in the country with perfect safety. They
  also think your suggestion about a fixed handlebar a good one. I
  ride with a divided skirt, and so does my teacher; but it would
  be easier for her to mount a man's wheel than for me; so, if it
  could be arranged to have the ladies' seat behind, I think it
  would be better....
  Wrentham, September 11, 1898.
  ...I am out of doors all the time, rowing, swimming, riding and
  doing a multitude of other pleasant things. This morning I rode
  over twelve miles on my tandem! I rode on a rough road, and fell
  off three or four times, and am now awfully lame! But the weather
  and the scenery were so beautiful, and it was such fun to go
  scooting over the smoother part of the road, I didn't mind the
  mishaps in the least.

  I have really learned to swim and dive—after a fashion! I can
  swim a little under water, and do almost anything I like, without
  fear of getting drowned! Isn't that fine? It is almost no effort
  for me to row around the lake, no matter how heavy the load may
  be. So you can well imagine how strong and brown I am....
  12 Newbury Street, Boston,
  October 23, 1898.
  This is the first opportunity I have had to write to you since we
  came here last Monday. We have been in such a whirl ever since we
  decided to come to Boston; it seemed as if we should never get
  settled. Poor Teacher has had her hands full, attending to
  movers, and express-men, and all sorts of people. I wish it were
  not such a bother to move, especially as we have to do it so

  ...Mr. Keith comes here at half past three every day except
  Saturday. He says he prefers to come here for the present. I am
  reading the "Iliad," and the "Aeneid" and Cicero, besides doing a
  lot in Geometry and Algebra. The "Iliad" is beautiful with all
  the truth, and grace and simplicity of a wonderfully childlike
  people while the "Aeneid" is more stately and reserved. It is
  like a beautiful maiden, who always lived in a palace, surrounded
  by a magnificent court; while the "Iliad" is like a splendid
  youth, who has had the earth for his playground.

  The weather has been awfully dismal all the week; but to-day is
  beautiful, and our room floor is flooded with sunlight. By and by
  we shall take a little walk in the Public Gardens. I wish the
  Wrentham woods were round the corner! But alas! they are not, and
  I shall have to content myself with a stroll in the Gardens.
  Somehow, after the great fields and pastures and lofty
  pine-groves of the country, they seem shut-in and conventional.
  Even the trees seem citified and self-conscious. Indeed, I doubt
  if they are on speaking terms with their country cousins! Do you
  know, I cannot help feeling sorry for these trees with all their
  fashionable airs? They are like the people whom they see every
  day, who prefer the crowded, noisy city to the quiet and freedom
  of the country. They do not even suspect how circumscribed their
  lives are. They look down pityingly on the country-folk, who have
  never had an opportunity "to see the great world." Oh my! if they
  only realized their limitations, they would flee for their lives
  to the woods and fields. But what nonsense is this! You will
  think I'm pining away for my beloved Wrentham, which is true in
  one sense and not in another. I do miss Red Farm and the dear
  ones there dreadfully; but I am not unhappy. I have Teacher and
  my books, and I have the certainty that something sweet and good
  will come to me in this great city, where human beings struggle
  so bravely all their lives to wring happiness from cruel
  circumstances. Anyway, I am glad to have my share in life,
  whether it be bright or sad....
  Boston, December 6th, 1898.
  My teacher and I had a good laugh over the girls' frolic. How
  funny they must have looked in their "rough-rider" costumes,
  mounted upon their fiery steeds! "Slim" would describe them, if
  they were anything like the saw-horses I have seen. What jolly
  times they must have at—! I cannot help wishing sometimes that
  I could have some of the fun that other girls have. How quickly I
  should lock up all these mighty warriors, and hoary sages, and
  impossible heroes, who are now almost my only companions; and
  dance and sing and frolic like other girls! But I must not waste
  my time wishing idle wishes; and after all my ancient friends are
  very wise and interesting, and I usually enjoy their society very
  much indeed. It is only once in a great while that I feel
  discontented, and allow myself to wish for things I cannot hope
  for in this life. But, as you know, my heart is usually brimful
  of happiness. The thought that my dear Heavenly Father is always
  near, giving me abundantly of all those things, which truly
  enrich life and make it sweet and beautiful, makes every
  deprivation seem of little moment compared with the countless
  blessings I enjoy.
  12 Newbury Street, Boston,
  December 19th, 1898.
  ...I realize now what a selfish, greedy girl I was to ask that my
  cup of happiness should be filled to overflowing, without
  stopping to think how many other people's cups were quite empty.
  I feel heartily ashamed of my thoughtlessness. One of the
  childish illusions, which it has been hardest for me to get rid
  of, is that we have only to make our wishes known in order to
  have them granted. But I am slowly learning that there is not
  happiness enough in the world for everyone to have all that he
  wants; and it grieves me to think that I should have forgotten,
  even for a moment, that I already have more than my share, and
  that like poor little Oliver Twist I should have asked for
  12 Newberry Street, Boston.
  December 22, 1898

  ...I suppose Mr. Keith writes you the work-a-day news. If so, you
  know that I have finished all the geometry, and nearly all the
  Algebra required for the Harvard examinations, and after
  Christmas I shall begin a very careful review of both subjects.
  You will be glad to hear that I enjoy Mathematics now. Why, I can
  do long, complicated quadratic equations in my head quite easily,
  and it is great fun! I think Mr. Keith is a wonderful teacher,
  and I feel very grateful to him for having made me see the beauty
  of Mathematics. Next to my own dear teacher, he has done more
  than any one else to enrich and broaden my mind.
  12 Newbury Street, Boston,
  January 17, 1899.
  ...Have you seen Kipling's "Dreaming True," or "Kitchener's
  School?" It is a very strong poem and set me dreaming too. Of
  course you have read about the "Gordon Memorial College," which
  the English people are to erect at Khartoum. While I was thinking
  over the blessings that would come to the people of Egypt through
  this college, and eventually to England herself, there came into
  my heart the strong desire that my own dear country should in a
  similar way convert the terrible loss of her brave sons on the
  "Maine" into a like blessing to the people of Cuba. Would a
  college at Havana not be the noblest and most enduring monument
  that could be raised to the brave men of the "Maine," as well as
  a source of infinite good to all concerned? Imagine entering the
  Havana harbor, and having the pier, where the "Maine" was
  anchored on that dreadful night, when she was so mysteriously
  destroyed, pointed out to you, and being told that the great,
  beautiful building overlooking the spot was the "Maine Memorial
  College," erected by the American people, and having for its
  object the education both of Cubans and Spaniards! What a
  glorious triumph such a monument would be of the best and highest
  instincts of a Christian nation! In it there would be no
  suggestion of hatred or revenge, nor a trace of the old-time
  belief that might makes right. On the other hand, it would be a
  pledge to the world that we intend to stand by our declaration of
  war, and give Cuba to the Cubans, as soon as we have fitted them
  to assume the duties and responsibilities of a self-governing
  12 Newbury Street, Boston,
  February 3, 1899.
  ...I had an exceedingly interesting experience last Monday. A
  kind friend took me over in the morning to the Boston Art Museum.
  She had previously obtained permission from General Loring, Supt.
  of the Museum, for me to touch the statues, especially those
  which represented my old friends in the "Iliad" and "Aeneid." Was
  that not lovely? While I was there, General Loring himself came
  in, and showed me some of the most beautiful statues, among which
  were the Venus of Medici, the Minerva of the Parthenon, Diana, in
  her hunting costume, with her hand on the quiver and a doe by her
  side, and the unfortunate Laocoon and his two little sons,
  struggling in the fearful coils of two huge serpents, and
  stretching their arms to the skies with heart-rending cries. I
  also saw Apollo Belvidere. He had just slain the Python and was
  standing by a great pillar of rock, extending his graceful hand
  in triumph over the terrible snake. Oh, he was simply beautiful!
  Venus entranced me. She looked as if she had just risen from the
  foam of the sea, and her loveliness was like a strain of heavenly
  music. I also saw poor Niobe with her youngest child clinging
  close to her while she implored the cruel goddess not to kill her
  last darling. I almost cried, it was all so real and tragic.
  General Loring kindly showed me a copy of one of the wonderful
  bronze doors of the Baptistry of Florence, and I felt of the
  graceful pillars, resting on the backs of fierce lions. So you
  see, I had a foretaste of the pleasure which I hope some day to
  have of visiting Florence. My friend said, she would sometime
  show me the copies of the marbles brought away by Lord Elgin from
  the Parthenon. But somehow, I should prefer to see the originals
  in the place where Genius meant them to remain, not only as a
  hymn of praise to the gods, but also as a monument of the glory
  of Greece. It really seems wrong to snatch such sacred things
  away from the sanctuary of the Past where they belong....
  Boston, February 19th, 1899.
  Why, bless you, I thought I wrote to you the day after the
  "Eclogues" arrived, and told you how glad I was to have them!
  Perhaps you never got that letter. At any rate, I thank you, dear
  friend, for taking such a world of trouble for me. You will be
  glad to hear that the books from England are coming now. I
  already have the seventh and eighth books of the "Aeneid" and one
  book of the "Iliad," all of which is most fortunate, as I have
  come almost to the end of my embossed text-books.

  It gives me great pleasure to hear how much is being done for the
  deaf-blind. The more I learn of them, the more kindness I find.
  Why, only a little while ago people thought it quite impossible
  to teach the deaf-blind anything; but no sooner was it proved
  possible than hundreds of kind, sympathetic hearts were fired
  with the desire to help them, and now we see how many of those
  poor, unfortunate persons are being taught to see the beauty and
  reality of life. Love always finds its way to an imprisoned soul,
  and leads it out into the world of freedom and intelligence!

  As to the two-handed alphabet, I think it is much easier for
  those who have sight than the manual alphabet; for most of the
  letters look like the large capitals in books; but I think when
  it comes to teaching a deaf-blind person to spell, the manual
  alphabet is much more convenient, and less conspicuous....
  12 Newbury Street, Boston,
  March 5, 1899.
  ...I am now sure that I shall be ready for my examinations in
  June. There is but one cloud in my sky at present; but that is
  one which casts a dark shadow over my life, and makes me very
  anxious at times. My teacher's eyes are no better: indeed, I
  think they grow more troublesome, though she is very brave and
  patient, and will not give up. But it is most distressing to me
  to feel that she is sacrificing her sight for me. I feel as if I
  ought to give up the idea of going to college altogether: for not
  all the knowledge in the world could make me happy, if obtained
  at such a cost. I do wish, Mrs. Hutton, you would try to persuade
  Teacher to take a rest, and have her eyes treated. She will not
  listen to me.

  I have just had some pictures taken, and if they are good, I
  would like to send one to Mr. Rogers, if you think he would like
  to have it. I would like so much to show him in some way how
  deeply I appreciate all that he is doing for me, and I cannot
  think of anything better to do.

  Every one here is talking about the Sargent pictures. It is a
  wonderful exhibition of portraits, they say. How I wish I had
  eyes to see them! How I should delight in their beauty and color!
  However, I am glad that I am not debarred from all pleasure in
  the pictures. I have at least the satisfaction of seeing them
  through the eyes of my friends, which is a real pleasure. I am so
  thankful that I can rejoice in the beauties, which my friends
  gather and put into my hands!

  We are all so glad and thankful that Mr. Kipling did not die! I
  have his "Jungle-Book" in raised print, and what a splendid,
  refreshing book it is! I cannot help feeling as if I knew its
  gifted author. What a real, manly, lovable nature his must be!...
  12 Newbury Street, Boston,
  May 8, 1899.
  ...Each day brings me all that I can possibly accomplish, and
  each night brings me rest, and the sweet thought that I am a
  little nearer to my goal than ever before. My Greek progresses
  finely. I have finished the ninth book of the "Iliad" and am just
  beginning the "Odyssey." I am also reading the "Aeneid" and the
  "Eclogues." Some of my friends tell me that I am very foolish to
  give so much time to Greek and Latin; but I am sure they would
  not think so, if they realized what a wonderful world of
  experience and thought Homer and Virgil have opened up to me. I
  think I shall enjoy the "Odyssey" most of all. The "Iliad" tells
  of almost nothing but war, and one sometimes wearies of the clash
  of spears and the din of battle; but the "Odyssey" tells of
  nobler courage—the courage of a soul sore tried, but steadfast
  to the end. I often wonder, as I read these splendid poems why,
  at the same time that Homer's songs of war fired the Greeks with
  valor, his songs of manly virtue did not have a stronger
  influence upon the spiritual life of the people. Perhaps the
  reason is, that thoughts truly great are like seeds cast into the
  human mind, and either lie there unnoticed, or are tossed about
  and played with, like toys, until, grown wise through suffering
  and experience, a race discovers and cultivates them. Then the
  world has advanced one step in its heavenward march.

  I am working very hard just now. I intend to take my examinations
  in June, and there is a great deal to be done, before I shall
  feel ready to meet the ordeal....

  You will be glad to hear that my mother, and little sister and
  brother are coming north to spend this summer with me. We shall
  all live together in a small cottage on one of the lakes at
  Wrentham, while my dear teacher takes a much needed rest. She has
  not had a vacation for twelve years, think of it, and all that
  time she has been the sunshine of my life. Now her eyes are
  troubling her a great deal, and we all think she ought to be
  relieved, for a while, of every care and responsibility. But we
  shall not be quite separated; we shall see each other every day,
  I hope. And, when July comes, you can think of me as rowing my
  dear ones around the lovely lake in the little boat you gave me,
  the happiest girl in the world!...
  [Boston] May 28th 1899.

  ...We have had a hard day. Mr. Keith was here for three hours
  this afternoon, pouring a torrent of Latin and Greek into my poor
  bewildered brain. I really believe he knows more Latin and Greek
  Grammar than Cicero or Homer ever dreamed of! Cicero is splendid,
  but his orations are very difficult to translate. I feel ashamed
  sometimes, when I make that eloquent man say what sounds absurd
  or insipid; but how is a school-girl to interpret such genius?
  Why, I should have to be a Cicero to talk like a Cicero!...
  Linnie Haguewood is a deaf-blind girl, one of the many whom Mr.
  William Wade has helped. She is being educated by Miss Dora
  Donald who, at the beginning of her work with her pupil, was
  supplied by Mr. Hitz, Superintendent of the Volta Bureau, with
  copies of all documents relating to Miss Sullivan's work with
  Miss Keller.
  Wrentham, Mass., June 5, 1899.
  ...Linnie Haguewood's letter, which you sent me some weeks ago,
  interested me very much. It seemed to show spontaneity and great
  sweetness of character. I was a good deal amused by what she said
  about history. I am sorry she does not enjoy it; but I too feel
  sometimes how dark, and mysterious and even fearful the history
  of old peoples, old religions and old forms of government really

  Well, I must confess, I do not like the sign-language, and I do
  not think it would be of much use to the deaf-blind. I find it
  very difficult to follow the rapid motions made by the
  deaf-mutes, and besides, signs seem a great hindrance to them in
  acquiring the power of using language easily and freely. Why, I
  find it hard to understand them sometimes when they spell on
  their fingers. On the whole, if they cannot be taught
  articulation, the manual alphabet seems the best and most
  convenient means of communication. At any rate, I am sure the
  deaf-blind cannot learn to use signs with any degree of facility.

  The other day, I met a deaf Norwegian gentleman, who knows
  Ragnhild Kaata and her teacher very well, and we had a very
  interesting conversation about her. He said she was very
  industrious and happy. She spins, and does a great deal of fancy
  work, and reads, and leads a pleasant, useful life. Just think,
  she cannot use the manual alphabet! She reads the lips well, and
  if she cannot understand a phrase, her friends write it in her
  hand, and in this way she converses with strangers. I cannot make
  out anything written in my hand, so you see, Ragnhild has got
  ahead of me in some things. I do hope I shall see her sometime...
  Wrentham, July 29, 1899.
  ...I passed in all the subjects I offered, and with credit in
  advanced Latin.... But I must confess, I had a hard time on the
  second day of my examinations. They would not allow Teacher to
  read any of the papers to me; so the papers were copied for me in
  braille. This arrangement worked very well in the languages, but
  not nearly so well in the Mathematics. Consequently, I did not do
  so well as I should have done, if Teacher had been allowed to
  read the Algebra and Geometry to me. But you must not think I
  blame any one. Of course they did not realize how difficult and
  perplexing they were making the examinations for me. How could
  they—they can see and hear, and I suppose they could not
  understand matters from my point of view....

  Thus far my summer has been sweeter than anything I can remember.
  My mother, and sister and little brother have been here five
  weeks, and our happiness knows no bounds. Not only do we enjoy
  being together; but we also find our little home most delightful.
  I do wish you could see the view of the beautiful lake from our
  piazza, the islands looking like little emerald peaks in the
  golden sunlight, and the canoes flitting here and there, like
  autumn leaves in the gentle breeze, and breathe in the peculiarly
  delicious fragrance of the woods, which comes like a murmur from
  an unknown clime. I cannot help wondering if it is the same
  fragrance that greeted the Norsemen long ago, when, according to
  tradition, they visited our shores—an odorous echo of many
  centuries of silent growth and decay in flower and tree....
  Wrentham, October 20, 1899.
  ...I suppose it is time for me to tell you something about our
  plans for the winter. You know it has long been my ambition to go
  to Radcliffe, and receive a degree, as many other girls have
  done; but Dean Irwin of Radcliffe, has persuaded me to take a
  special course for the present. She said I had already shown the
  world that I could do the college work, by passing all my
  examinations successfully, in spite of many obstacles. She showed
  me how very foolish it would be for me to pursue a four years'
  course of study at Radcliffe, simply to be like other girls, when
  I might better be cultivating whatever ability I had for writing.
  She said she did not consider a degree of any real value, but
  thought it was much more desirable to do something original than
  to waste one's energies only for a degree. Her arguments seemed
  so wise and practical, that I could not but yield. I found it
  hard, very hard, to give up the idea of going to college; it had
  been in my mind ever since I was a little girl; but there is no
  use doing a foolish thing, because one has wanted to do it a long
  time, is there?

  But, while we were discussing plans for the winter, a suggestion
  which Dr. Hale had made long ago flashed across Teacher's
  mind—that I might take courses somewhat like those offered at
  Radcliffe, under the instruction of the professors in these
  courses. Miss Irwin seemed to have no objection to this proposal,
  and kindly offered to see the professors and find out if they
  would give me lessons. If they will be so good as to teach me and
  if we have money enough to do as we have planned, my studies this
  year will be English, English Literature of the Elizabethan
  period, Latin and German....
  138 Brattle St., Cambridge,
  Nov. 11, 1899.
  ...As to the braille question, I cannot tell how deeply it
  distresses me to hear that my statement with regard to the
  examinations has been doubted. Ignorance seems to be at the
  bottom of all these contradictions. Why, you yourself seem to
  think that I taught you American braille, when you do not know a
  single letter in the system! I could not help laughing when you
  said you had been writing to me in American braille—and there
  you were writing your letter in English braille!

  The facts about the braille examinations are as follows:

  How I passed my Entrance Examinations for Radcliffe College.

  On the 29th and 30th of June, 1899, I took my examinations for
  Radcliffe College. The first day I had elementary Greek and
  advanced Latin, and the second day Geometry, Algebra and advanced

  The college authorities would not permit Miss Sullivan to read
  the examination papers to me; so Mr. Eugene C. Vining, one of the
  instructors at the Perkins Institution for the Blind, was
  employed to copy the papers for me in braille. Mr. Vining was a
  perfect stranger to me, and could not communicate with me except
  by writing in braille. The Proctor also was a stranger, and did
  not attempt to communicate with me in any way; and, as they were
  both unfamiliar with my speech, they could not readily understand
  what I said to them.

  However, the braille worked well enough in the languages; but
  when it came to Geometry and Algebra, it was different. I was
  sorely perplexed, and felt quite discouraged, and wasted much
  precious time, especially in Algebra. It is true that I am
  perfectly familiar with all literary braille—English, American,
  and New York Point; but the method of writing the various signs
  used in Geometry and Algebra in the three systems is very
  different, and two days before the examinations I knew only the
  English method. I had used it all through my school work, and
  never any other system.

  In Geometry, my chief difficulty was, that I had always been
  accustomed to reading the propositions in Line Print, or having
  them spelled into my hand; and somehow, although the propositions
  were right before me, yet the braille confused me, and I could
  not fix in my mind clearly what I was reading. But, when I took
  up Algebra, I had a harder time still—I was terribly handicapped
  by my imperfect knowledge of the notation. The signs, which I had
  learned the day before, and which I thought I knew perfectly,
  confused me. Consequently my work was painfully slow, and I was
  obliged to read the examples over and over before I could form a
  clear idea what I was required to do. Indeed, I am not sure now
  that I read all the signs correctly, especially as I was much
  distressed, and found it very hard to keep my wits about me....

  Now there is one more fact, which I wish to state very plainly,
  in regard to what Mr. Gilman wrote to you. I never received any
  direct instruction in the Gilman School. Miss Sullivan always sat
  beside me, and told me what the teachers said. I did teach Miss
  Hall, my teacher in Physics, how to write the American braille,
  but she never gave me any instruction by means of it, unless a
  few problems written for practice, which made me waste much
  precious time deciphering them, can be called instruction. Dear
  Frau Grote learned the manual alphabet, and used to teach me
  herself; but this was in private lessons, which were paid for by
  my friends. In the German class Miss Sullivan interpreted to me
  as well as she could what the teacher said.

  Perhaps, if you would send a copy of this to the head of the
  Cambridge School, it might enlighten his mind on a few subjects,
  on which he seems to be in total darkness just now....
  138 Brattle Street, Cambridge,
  November 26, 1899.
  ...At last we are settled for the winter, and our work is going
  smoothly. Mr. Keith comes every afternoon at four o'clock, and
  gives me a "friendly lift" over the rough stretches of road, over
  which every student must go. I am studying English history,
  English literature, French and Latin, and by and by I shall take
  up German and English composition—let us groan! You know, I
  detest grammar as much as you do; but I suppose I must go through
  it if I am to write, just as we had to get ducked in the lake
  hundreds of times before we could swim! In French Teacher is
  reading "Columba" to me. It is a delightful novel, full of
  piquant expressions and thrilling adventures, (don't dare to
  blame me for using big words, since you do the same!) and, if you
  ever read it, I think you will enjoy it immensely. You are
  studying English history, aren't you. O but it's exceedingly
  interesting! I'm making quite a thorough study of the Elizabethan
  period—of the Reformation, and the Acts of Supremacy and
  Conformity, and the maritime discoveries, and all the big things,
  which the "deuce" seems to have invented to plague innocent
  youngsters like yourself!...

  Now we have a swell winter outfit—coats, hats, gowns, flannels
  and all. We've just had four lovely dresses made by a French
  dressmaker. I have two, of which one has a black silk skirt, with
  a black lace net over it, and a waist of white poplin, with
  turquoise velvet and chiffon, and cream lace over a satin yoke.
  The other is woollen, and of a very pretty green. The waist is
  trimmed with pink and green brocaded velvet, and white lace, I
  think, and has double reefers on the front, tucked and trimmed
  with velvet, and also a row of tiny white buttons. Teacher too
  has a silk dress. The skirt is black, while the waist is mostly
  yellow, trimmed with delicate lavender chiffon, and black velvet
  bows and lace. Her other dress is purple, trimmed with purple
  velvet, and the waist has a collar of cream lace. So you may
  imagine that we look quite like peacocks, only we've no

  A week ago yesterday there was [a] great football game between
  Harvard and Yale, and there was tremendous excitement here. We
  could hear the yells of the boys and the cheers of the lookers-on
  as plainly in our room as if we had been on the field. Colonel
  Roosevelt was there, on Harvard's side; but bless you, he wore a
  white sweater, and no crimson that we know of! There were about
  twenty-five thousand people at the game, and, when we went out,
  the noise was so terrific, we nearly jumped out of our skins,
  thinking it was the din of war, and not of a football game that
  we heard. But, in spite of all their wild efforts, neither side
  was scored, and we all laughed and said, "Oh, well now the pot
  can't call the kettle black!"...
  559 Madison Avenue, New York,
  January 2, 1900.
  ...We have been here a week now, and are going to stay with Miss
  Rhoades until Saturday. We are enjoying every moment of our
  visit, every one is so good to us. We have seen many of our old
  friends, and made some new ones. We dined with the Rogers last
  Friday, and oh, they were so kind to us! The thought of their
  gentle courtesy and genuine kindness brings a warm glow of joy
  and gratitude to my heart. I have seen Dr. Greer too. He has such
  a kind heart! I love him more than ever. We went to St.
  Bartholomew's Sunday, and I have not felt so much at home in a
  church since dear Bishop Brooks died. Dr. Greer read so slowly,
  that my teacher could tell me every word. His people must have
  wondered at his unusual deliberation. After the service he asked
  Mr. Warren, the organist to play for me. I stood in the middle of
  the church, where the vibrations from the great organ were
  strongest, and I felt the mighty waves of sound beat against me,
  as the great billows beat against a little ship at sea.
  138 Brattle Street, Cambridge,
  Feb. 3, 1900.
  ...My studies are more interesting than ever. In Latin, I am
  reading Horace's odes. Although I find them difficult to
  translate, yet I think they are the loveliest pieces of Latin
  poetry I have read or shall ever read. In French we have finished
  "Colomba," and I am reading "Horace" by Corneille and La
  Fontaine's fables, both of which are in braille. I have not gone
  far in either; but I know I shall enjoy the fables, they are so
  delightfully written, and give such good lessons in a simple and
  yet attractive way. I do not think I have told you that my dear
  teacher is reading "The Faery Queen" to me. I am afraid I find
  fault with the poem as much as I enjoy it. I do not care much for
  the allegories, indeed I often find them tiresome, and I cannot
  help thinking that Spenser's world of knights, paynims, fairies,
  dragons and all sorts of strange creatures is a somewhat
  grotesque and amusing world; but the poem itself is lovely and as
  musical as a running brook.

  I am now the proud owner of about fifteen new books, which we
  ordered from Louisville. Among them are "Henry Esmond," "Bacon's
  Essays" and extracts from "English Literature." Perhaps next week
  I shall have some more books, "The Tempest," "A Midsummer Night's
  Dream" and possibly some selections from Green's history of
  England. Am I not very fortunate?

  I am afraid this letter savors too much of books—but really they
  make up my whole life these days, and I scarcely see or hear of
  anything else! I do believe I sleep on books every night! You
  know a student's life is of necessity somewhat circumscribed and
  narrow and crowds out almost everything that is not in books....
  138 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Mass.,
  May 5, 1900.
  Dear Sir:
  As an aid to me in determining my plans for study the coming
  year, I apply to you for information as to the possibility of my
  taking the regular courses in Radcliffe College.

  Since receiving my certificate of admission to Radcliffe last
  July, I have been studying with a private tutor, Horace,
  Aeschylus, French, German, Rhetoric, English History, English
  Literature and Criticism, and English composition.

  In college I should wish to continue most, if not all of these
  subjects. The conditions under which I work require the presence
  of Miss Sullivan, who has been my teacher and companion for
  thirteen years, as an interpreter of oral speech and as a reader
  of examination papers. In college she, or possibly in some
  subjects some one else, would of necessity be with me in the
  lecture-room and at recitations. I should do all my written work
  on a typewriter, and if a Professor could not understand my
  speech, I could write out my answers to his questions and hand
  them to him after the recitation.

  Is it possible for the College to accommodate itself to these
  unprecedented conditions, so as to enable me to pursue my studies
  at Radcliffe? I realize that the obstacles in the way of my
  receiving a college education are very great—to others they may
  seem insurmountable; but, dear Sir, a true soldier does not
  acknowledge defeat before the battle.
  38 Brattle Street, Cambridge,
  June 9, 1900.
  ...I have not yet heard from the Academic Board in reply to my
  letter; but I sincerely hope they will answer favorably. My
  friends think it very strange that they should hesitate so long,
  especially when I have not asked them to simplify my work in the
  least, but only to modify it so as to meet the existing
  circumstances. Cornell has offered to make arrangements suited to
  the conditions under which I work, if I should decide to go to
  that college, and the University of Chicago has made a similar
  offer, but I am afraid if I went to any other college, it would
  be thought that I did not pass my examinations for Radcliffe
  In the fall Miss Keller entered Radcliffe College.
  14 Coolidge Ave., Cambridge,
  Nov. 26, 1900.
  ...—has already communicated with you in regard to her and my
  plan of establishing an institution for deaf and blind children.
  At first I was most enthusiastic in its support, and I never
  dreamed that any grave objections could be raised except indeed
  by those who are hostile to Teacher, but now, after thinking most
  SERIOUSLY and consulting my friends, I have decided that—'s
  plan is by no means feasible. In my eagerness to make it possible
  for deaf and blind children to have the same advantages that I
  have had, I quite forgot that there might be many obstacles in
  the way of my accomplishing anything like what—proposed.

  My friends thought we might have one or two pupils in our own
  home, thereby securing to me the advantage of being helpful to
  others without any of the disadvantages of a large school. They
  were very kind; but I could not help feeling that they spoke more
  from a business than a humanitarian point of view. I am sure they
  did not quite understand how passionately I desire that all who
  are afflicted like myself shall receive their rightful
  inheritance of thought, knowledge and love. Still I could not
  shut my eyes to the force and weight of their arguments, and I
  saw plainly that I must abandon—'s scheme as impracticable.
  They also said that I ought to appoint an advisory committee to
  control my affairs while I am at Radcliffe. I considered this
  suggestion carefully, then I told Mr. Rhoades that I should be
  proud and glad to have wise friends to whom I could always turn
  for advice in all important matters. For this committee I chose
  six, my mother, Teacher, because she is like a mother to me, Mrs.
  Hutton, Mr. Rhoades, Dr. Greer and Mr. Rogers, because it is they
  who have supported me all these years and made it possible for me
  to enter college. Mrs. Hutton had already written to mother,
  asking her to telegraph if she was willing for me to have other
  advisers besides herself and Teacher. This morning we received
  word that mother had given her consent to this arrangement. Now
  it remains for me to write to Dr. Greer and Mr. Rogers....

  We had a long talk with Dr. Bell. Finally he proposed a plan
  which delighted us all beyond words. He said that it was a
  gigantic blunder to attempt to found a school for deaf and blind
  children, because then they would lose the most precious
  opportunities of entering into the fuller, richer, freer life of
  seeing and hearing children. I had had misgivings on this point;
  but I could not see how we were to help it. However Mr. Bell
  suggested that—and all her friends who are interested in her
  scheme should organize an association for the promotion of the
  education of the deaf and blind, Teacher and myself being
  included of course. Under his plan they were to appoint Teacher
  to train others to instruct deaf and blind children in their own
  homes, just as she had taught me. Funds were to be raised for the
  teachers' lodgings and also for their salaries. At the same time
  Dr. Bell added that I could rest content and fight my way through
  Radcliffe in competition with seeing and hearing girls, while the
  great desire of my heart was being fulfilled. We clapped our
  hands and shouted;—went away beaming with pleasure, and
  Teacher and I felt more light of heart than we had for sometime.
  Of course we can do nothing just now; but the painful anxiety
  about my college work and the future welfare of the deaf and
  blind has been lifted from our minds. Do tell me what you think
  about Dr. Bell's suggestion. It seems most practical and wise to
  me; but I must know all that there is to be known about it before
  I speak or act in the matter....
  Cambridge, December 9, 1900.
  Do you think me a villain and—I can't think of a word bad enough
  to express your opinion of me, unless indeed horse-thief will
  answer the purpose. Tell me truly, do you think me as bad as
  that? I hope not; for I have thought many letters to you which
  never got on paper, and I am delighted to get your good letter,
  yes, I really was, and I intended to answer it immediately, but
  the days slip by unnoticed when one is busy, and I have been VERY
  busy this fall. You must believe that. Radcliffe girls are always
  up to their ears in work. If you doubt it, you'd better come and
  see for yourself.

  Yes, I am taking the regular college course for a degree. When I
  am a B.A., I suppose you will not dare call me a villain! I am
  studying English—Sophomore English, if you please, (though I
  can't see that it is different from just plain English) German,
  French and History. I'm enjoying my work even more than I
  expected to, which is another way of saying that I'm glad I came.
  It is hard, very hard at times; but it hasn't swamped me yet. No,
  I am not studying Mathematics, or Greek or Latin either. The
  courses at Radcliffe are elective, only certain courses in
  English are prescribed. I passed off my English and advanced
  French before I entered college, and I choose the courses I like
  best. I don't however intend to give up Latin and Greek entirely.
  Perhaps I shall take up these studies later; but I've said
  goodbye to Mathematics forever, and I assure you, I was delighted
  to see the last of those horrid goblins! I hope to obtain my
  degree in four years; but I'm not very particular about that.
  There's no great hurry, and I want to get as much as possible out
  of my studies. Many of my friends would be well pleased if I
  would take two or even one course a year, but I rather object to
  spending the rest of my life in college....
  14 Coolidge Avenue, Cambridge,
  December 9, 1900.
  ...Since you are so much interested in the deaf and blind, I will
  begin by telling you of several cases I have come across lately.
  Last October I heard of an unusually bright little girl in Texas.
  Her name is Ruby Rice, and she is thirteen years old, I think.
  She has never been taught; but they say she can sew and likes to
  help others in this sort of work. Her sense of smell is
  wonderful. Why, when she enters a store, she will go straight to
  the showcases, and she can also distinguish her own things. Her
  parents are very anxious indeed to find a teacher for her. They
  have also written to Mr. Hitz about her.

  I also know a child at the Institution for the Deaf in
  Mississippi. Her name is Maud Scott, and she is six years old.
  Miss Watkins, the lady who has charge of her wrote me a most
  interesting letter. She said that Maud was born deaf and lost her
  sight when she was only three months old, and that when she went
  to the Institution a few weeks ago, she was quite helpless. She
  could not even walk and had very little use of her hands. When
  they tried to teach her to string beads, her little hands fell to
  her side. Evidently her sense of touch has not been developed,
  and as yet she can walk only when she holds some one's hand; but
  she seems to be an exceedingly bright child. Miss Watkins adds
  that she is very pretty. I have written to her that when Maud
  learns to read, I shall have many stories to send her. The dear,
  sweet little girl, it makes my heart ache to think how utterly
  she is cut off from all that is good and desirable in life. But
  Miss Watkins seems to be just the kind of teacher she needs.

  I was in New York not long ago and I saw Miss Rhoades, who told
  me that she had seen Katie McGirr. She said the poor young girl
  talked and acted exactly like a little child. Katie played with
  Miss Rhoades's rings and took them away, saying with a merry
  laugh, "You shall not have them again!" She could only understand
  Miss Rhoades when she talked about the simplest things. The
  latter wished to send her some books; but she could not find
  anything simple enough for her! She said Katie was very sweet
  indeed, but sadly in need of proper instruction. I was much
  surprised to hear all this; for I judged from your letters that
  Katie was a very precocious girl....

  A few days ago I met Tommy Stringer in the railroad station at
  Wrentham. He is a great, strong boy now, and he will soon need a
  man to take care of him; he is really too big for a lady to
  manage. He goes to the public school, I hear, and his progress is
  astonishing, they say; but it doesn't show as yet in his
  conversation, which is limited to "Yes" and "No."...
  December 20, 1900.
  My dear Mr. Copeland;
  I venture to write to you because I am afraid that if I do not
  explain why I have stopped writing themes, you will think I have
  become discouraged, or perhaps that to escape criticism I have
  beat a cowardly retreat from your class. Please do not think
  either of these very unpleasant thoughts. I am not discouraged,
  nor am I afraid. I am confident that I could go on writing themes
  like those I have written, and I suppose I should get through the
  course with fairly good marks; but this sort of literary
  patch-work has lost all interest for me. I have never been
  satisfied with my work; but I never knew what my difficulty was
  until you pointed it out to me. When I came to your class last
  October, I was trying with all my might to be like everybody
  else, to forget as entirely as possible my limitations and
  peculiar environment. Now, however, I see the folly of attempting
  to hitch one's wagon to a star with harness that does not belong
  to it.

  I have always accepted other peoples experiences and observations
  as a matter of course. It never occurred to me that it might be
  worth while to make my own observations and describe the
  experiences peculiarly my own. Henceforth I am resolved to be
  myself, to live my own life and write my own thoughts when I have
  any. When I have written something that seems to be fresh and
  spontaneous and worthy of your criticisms, I will bring it to
  you, if I may, and if you think it good, I shall be happy; but if
  your verdict is unfavorable, I shall try again and yet again
  until I have succeeded in pleasing you...
  14 Coolidge Avenue, Cambridge,
  December 27, 1900.
  ...So you read about our class luncheon in the papers? How in the
  world do the papers find out everything, I wonder. I am sure no
  reporter was present. I had a splendid time; the toasts and
  speeches were great fun. I only spoke a few words, as I did not
  know I was expected to speak until a few minutes before I was
  called upon. I think I wrote you that I had been elected
  Vice-President of the Freshman Class of Radcliffe.

  Did I tell you in my last letter that I had a new dress, a real
  party dress with low neck and short sleeves and quite a train? It
  is pale blue, trimmed with chiffon of the same color. I have worn
  it only once, but then I felt that Solomon in all his glory was
  not to be compared with me! Anyway, he certainly never had a
  dress like mine!...

  A gentleman in Philadelphia has just written to my teacher about
  a deaf and blind child in Paris, whose parents are Poles. The
  mother is a physician and a brilliant woman, he says. This little
  boy could speak two or three languages before he lost his hearing
  through sickness, and he is now only about five years old. Poor
  little fellow, I wish I could do something for him; but he is so
  young, my teacher thinks it would be too bad to separate him from
  his mother. I have had a letter from Mrs. Thaw with regard to the
  possibility of doing something for these children. Dr. Bell
  thinks the present census will show that there are more than a
  thousand in the United States alone [The number of deaf-blind
  young enough to be benefited by education is not so large as
  this; but the education of this class of defectives has been
  neglected.]; and Mrs. Thaw thinks if all my friends were to unite
  their efforts, "it would be an easy matter to establish at the
  beginning of this new century a new line upon which mercy might
  travel," and the rescue of these unfortunate children could be
  Cambridge, February 2, 1901.
  ...By the way, have you any specimens of English braille
  especially printed for those who have lost their sight late in
  life or have fingers hardened by long toil, so that their touch
  is less sensitive than that of other blind people? I read an
  account of such a system in one of my English magazines, and I am
  anxious to know more about it. If it is as efficient as they say,
  I see no reason why English braille should not be adopted by the
  blind of all countries. Why, it is the print that can be most
  readily adapted to many different languages. Even Greek can be
  embossed in it, as you know. Then, too, it will be rendered still
  more efficient by the "interpointing system," which will save an
  immense amount of space and paper. There is nothing more absurd,
  I think, than to have five or six different prints for the
  This letter was written in response to a tentative offer from the
  editor of The Great Round World to have the magazine published in
  raised type for the blind, if enough were willing to subscribe.
  It is evident that the blind should have a good magazine, not a
  special magazine for the blind, but one of our best monthlies,
  printed in embossed letters. The blind alone could not support
  it, but it would not take very much money to make up the
  additional expense.
  Cambridge, Feb. 16, 1901.
  The Great Round World,
  New York City.
  Gentlemen: I have only to-day found time to reply to your
  interesting letter. A little bird had already sung the good news
  in my ear; but it was doubly pleasant to have it straight from

  It would be splendid to have The Great Round World printed in
  "language that can be felt." I doubt if any one who enjoys the
  wondrous privilege of seeing can have any conception of the boon
  such a publication as you contemplate would be to the sightless.
  To be able to read for one's self what is being willed, thought
  and done in the world—the world in whose joys and sorrows,
  failures and successes one feels the keenest interest—that would
  indeed be a happiness too deep for words. I trust that the effort
  of The Great Round World to bring light to those who sit in
  darkness will receive the encouragement and support it so richly

  I doubt, however, if the number of subscribers to an embossed
  edition of The Great Round World would ever be large; for I am
  told that the blind as a class are poor. But why should not the
  friends of the blind assist The Great Round World, if necessary?
  Surely there are hearts and hands ever ready to make it possible
  for generous intentions to be wrought into noble deeds.

  Wishing you godspeed in an undertaking that is very dear to my
  heart, I am, etc.
  Cambridge, Sept. 25, 1901.
  ...We remained in Halifax until about the middle of August....
  Day after day the Harbor, the warships, and the park kept us busy
  thinking and feeling and enjoying.... When the Indiana visited
  Halifax, we were invited to go on board, and she sent her own
  launch for us. I touched the immense cannon, read with my fingers
  several of the names of the Spanish ships that were captured at
  Santiago, and felt the places where she had been pierced with
  shells. The Indiana was the largest and finest ship in the
  Harbor, and we felt very proud of her.

  After we left Halifax, we visited Dr. Bell at Cape Breton. He has
  a charming, romantic house on a mountain called Beinn Bhreagh,
  which overlooks the Bras d'Or Lake....

  Dr. Bell told me many interesting things about his work. He had
  just constructed a boat that could be propelled by a kite with
  the wind in its favor, and one day he tried experiments to see if
  he could steer the kite against the wind. I was there and really
  helped him fly the kites. On one of them I noticed that the
  strings were of wire, and having had some experience in bead
  work, I said I thought they would break. Dr. Bell said "No!" with
  great confidence, and the kite was sent up. It began to pull and
  tug, and lo, the wires broke, and off went the great red dragon,
  and poor Dr. Bell stood looking forlornly after it. After that he
  asked me if the strings were all right and changed them at once
  when I answered in the negative. Altogether we had great fun....
  TO DR. EDWARD EVERETT HALE [Read by Dr. Hale at the celebration
  of the centenary of Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, at Tremont Temple,
  Boston, Nov. 11, 1901.]
  Cambridge, Nov. 10, 1901.
  My teacher and I expect to be present at the meeting tomorrow in
  commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of Dr. Howe's
  birth; but I very much doubt if we shall have an opportunity to
  speak with you; so I am writing now to tell you how delighted I
  am that you are to speak at the meeting, because I feel that you,
  better than any one I know will express the heartfelt gratitude
  of those who owe their education, their opportunities, their
  happiness to him who opened the eyes of the blind and gave the
  dumb lip language.

  Sitting here in my study, surrounded by my books, enjoying the
  sweet and intimate companionship of the great and the wise, I am
  trying to realize what my life might have been, if Dr. Howe had
  failed in the great task God gave him to perform. If he had not
  taken upon himself the responsibility of Laura Bridgman's
  education and led her out of the pit of Acheron back to her human
  inheritance, should I be a sophomore at Radcliffe College
  to-day—who can say? But it is idle to speculate about what might
  have been in connection with Dr. Howe's great achievement.

  I think only those who have escaped that death-in-life existence,
  from which Laura Bridgman was rescued, can realize how isolated,
  how shrouded in darkness, how cramped by its own impotence is a
  soul without thought or faith or hope. Words are powerless to
  describe the desolation of that prison-house, or the joy of the
  soul that is delivered out of its captivity. When we compare the
  needs and helplessness of the blind before Dr. Howe began his
  work, with their present usefulness and independence, we realize
  that great things have been done in our midst. What if physical
  conditions have built up high walls about us? Thanks to our
  friend and helper, our world lies upward; the length and breadth
  and sweep of the heavens are ours!

  It is pleasant to think that Dr. Howe's noble deeds will receive
  their due tribute of affection and gratitude, in the city, which
  was the scene of his great labors and splendid victories for

  With kind greetings, in which my teacher joins me, I am
  Affectionately your friend,
  Cambridge, Mass., November 25, 1901.
  My Dear Senator Hoar:—
  I am glad you liked my letter about Dr. Howe. It was written out
  of my heart, and perhaps that is why it met a sympathetic
  response in other hearts. I will ask Dr. Hale to lend me the
  letter, so that I can make a copy of it for you.

  You see, I use a typewriter—it is my right hand man, so to
  speak. Without it I do not see how I could go to college. I write
  all my themes and examinations on it, even Greek. Indeed, it has
  only one drawback, and that probably is regarded as an advantage
  by the professors; it is that one's mistakes may be detected at a
  glance; for there is no chance to hide them in illegible writing.

  I know you will be amused when I tell you that I am deeply
  interested in politics. I like to have the papers read to me, and
  I try to understand the great questions of the day; but I am
  afraid my knowledge is very unstable; for I change my opinions
  with every new book I read. I used to think that when I studied
  Civil Government and Economics, all my difficulties and
  perplexities would blossom into beautiful certainties; but alas,
  I find that there are more tares than wheat in these fertile
  fields of knowledge....