In Her Own Right

Letter from Sarah Mapps Douglass to Rebecca White 1860 September 19

Image 19215 lg
Date created 1860-09-19
Creators Douglass, S. M. (Sarah Mapps), 1806-1882
Subjects Douglass, S. M. (Sarah Mapps), 1806-1882 | White, Rebecca, -1906 | Friendship | Poetry | Quaker women | Women teachers | Across Racial Lines
Geographical location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States 39.952584, -75.165222
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Contributing institution Haverford College Library, Quaker & Special Collections
Transcription Phila. 9th mo. 19th. 60. Dear R, Yes, with heart felt [sic] gratitude I accept thy valuable gift. The life of Stephen Grelet [Grellet] must be a treasure to the Christian pilgrim. Thanks to my Heavenly Father’s tender love and sweet remembrance, it came a birthday gift. Today I am fifty four years old! To how little purpose have I lived!! For more than thirty years I have been teaching others, yet how little have I learned myself of the great Teacher of Nazareth. ‘Tis past meridian, my face is towards [p. 2] the setting sun. What have I gathered for life’s evening? What for this world? What for the next? For this life there is (seemingly) nothing but poverty, contempt, trial! For the next I have, O, glorious thought, hope in Christ!! Then oh my soul, “Then trim thy light, And get thy jewels all reset; ‘’Tis past meridian, but still bright And lacks some hours to sunset yet.’ At fifty four, Be strong and true; Scour off thy rust and shine anew. ‘Tis yet high day thy staff resume, And fight fresh battles for the truth; For what is age but youth’s full bloom [p. 3] A riper more transcendent youth! A [underlined] wedge of gold [/underlined] is [underlined] never [/underlined] old; Streams broader grow as downward rolled. Keep thy locks wet with morning dew, And freely let thy graces flow; For life well spent is ever new, And [underlined] years anointed younger grow. [/underlined] So work away; Be young for aye; From sunset breaking into day.” I am much interested in your school and rejoice to hear that it is prospering. I pray that the Divine blessing may rest upon it. I have a large school and many lazy children. I feel so poor and ignorant, so barren and empty, that I tremble when the hour [p. 4] for school arrives. While I was in the country I prayed often “Anoint me anew for the work I humbly believe thou hast given me to do.” I sometimes think this state is in answer to my petition. Dost thou not think it may be? My heart often turns to thee in tender love but I do not write for fear of tasking thee. I have written thy name and mine in the books thou hast so kindly sent, may they be found written in the “Lamb’s book of Life”, Prays fervently, S. M. Douglass.