[Boston?]: . Manuscript. 6.25" x 8" Near Fine. Single sheet folded twice. Lacks original envelope, if any. Excellent condition overall.
This is an endearing letter from the aged social activist, suffragist, and poet just days before her 89th birthday. Julia Ward Howe is perhaps best known as the writer of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," but was also a prominent abolitionist and women's rights advocate. The letter is addressed "Dear Martha, and in it Mrs. Howe expresses her anxiety about upcoming speaking engagements. She notes her fatigue, her concerns about transportation to the events, and, poignantly, that "I feel very helpless--can't live up to my reputation. Fear that I was never measured for it, and that that is why it does not fit." One of the meetings she mentions is that of the "State Fed.", which was the Massachusetts State Federation of Women's Clubs. Mrs. Howe did indeed address the meeting on May 28th, 1908, saying that such clubs had greatly broadened women's views on important questions of the day. The letter is signed and dated thus: "Julia Ward Howe / Thursday, May 21st / Own room." There is a postscript in which Mrs. Howe asks the recipient for the return of a borrowed copy of her "Christian Register which I lent you some weeks since."