Dublin Core




[early July, 1864], Point Pleasant, New Jersey

My dear Annie,

I hope you will not write me a letter only ‘in case every thing of interest should occur’ (vide Mrs. Fields’ last note)— I don’t care so very much for news & I do care very much for your letter notes, dropped at all our homes and places—

I am writing with pencil because we have fallen into a corner of the world where ink is not— I suppose because people seem contented to live on from day to day without record of what has past or guess at what is to come.[1] I don’t much wonder—I could fall into such a drifting life very soon down here myself— In truth we have found the very place we had planned and dreamed about—so exactly the place that I fancy it was just spirited for the occasion into being like the Old Most[--] Mr. F. and I found in the old graveyard and will disappear when we leave it. It is a great old fashioned farm-house—a real farm-house with well and barn and long wooden porches—‘splendid for rainy days’ Clarke says and on our side a thick woods; on the other a belt of forest trees separating us from a broad bright blue river—and the sound of the sea constantly moaning— The surf bathing is very fine—almost too heavy— There are one or two families in the house—very nice people I believe—people whom you can avoid if you choose to live alone, which I like. So our days have begun to dream themselves away, as it were, ‘in this bright salt shadowless air—and Baby’s eyes are clearing and [] already and Clarke comes in from ‘crabbing’ or fishing burned red in a way that does me good. We will stay about two months I suppose and then home to Philadelphia to find some bit of a house which we can call ours—that is if all goes as we wish.

Clarke has bidden a long farewell to the office & goes back to his profession on our return. Meanwhile we want some breaths from the outer world especially from you—Do write Annie—a long old time letter—I never received that by the Sanitary fair. [2] For me you must be willing to accept notes before ‘anything of mistrust occurs.’ Already we have almost forgotten where the political meaning stands—and to watch with the intensest eagerness, the opening of a box drifted ashore. For the present I only can send a note—for I have so many to write this morning in order to let people know where we are. We were so long uncertain where we were going that it is only by this mail that they ever will learn our address— Good bye and may God who hath done all things so well keep us in truth and peace until we meet.

Clarke and our boy send their loving greetings to you both—Baby’s name is Harding did I tell you? Write some dear. I’ll put the address on a card as it’s long & so can be earlier kept[.] Yours always—

Could you send us a paper when anything is worth reading—We have but two or three down here.


1. Point Pleasant, New Jersey would be the Davises’ summer vacation spot for many years.

2. The Sanitary Fair or Great Central Fair, a wartime fundraiser for the U.S. Sanitary Commission, was held in Philadelphia in June 1864.


S. M. Harris


Richard Harding Davis Papers, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia


S. M. Harris, “1867-07-early,” Rebecca Harding Davis: Complete Works, accessed December 1, 2022, http://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/items/show/190.

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