Both on the stationery of the Lend a Hand Society (Rev. Edward E. Hale, President) of Boston. One is four pages (two leaves), dated July 9, 1907, with Boston lined out and replaced by "Matunuck, R. Island". The other is two pages (one leaf), dated July 2, 1908, also with "Matunuck" written in.
These letters are from Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), the author, historian and Unitarian minister best known today for his THE MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY. The recipient was Elizabeth Dodge (1884-1976 -- later Elizabeth Dodge Huntington Clarke), daughter of Cleveland Dodge and granddaughter of William E. Dodge Jr. -- who in turn was the son of the 1833 co-founder of the Phelps Dodge Mining Company. The family philanthropy apparently included Hale's Lend a Hand Society; they also created a three-generation collection of autograph letters, from which these came.
The text of the first letter reads:
"She gives twice who gives quickly --" as I dare say your excellent Father has taught you. Your cheque comes most acceptably.
You will read in the Papers that the Hague Conference is a stupid failure -- and the editors will say that they always knew it would be. This is "pretty Famy's [?] way" with Editors -- or with the young men whom Partner liked to call the "Fifteen dollar a week men" who... between 2 and 3 oclock every night have to give you and me an opinion for the day... For me I believe that the Conference will mark a great Eve in the History of the World.
I cannot suppose that you remark as I do -- an evening visit I made at your home one Saturday evening... -- it must have been in 1899 -- and my talk with your Father then. He told me of the United States of Malacca and the unit of Sir Andrew Clark there. And I remark how much pleasure it gave me to talk with him in church when I had been preaching of the "Song of the Angels."... I hope you are away from [?] where the sky and sea and land are as charming as they are here in July and August. [signed] Edward E Hale.
And the second letter, almost exactly a year later, reads:
Your letter with its generous enclosure has found me here, on the very Southern Shore of Rhode Island. Are you Yankee enough to have heard of Point Judith? Judith Hull, daughter of The Mint Master Hull [of the 1600s Massachusetts Bay Colony], of whom Hawthorne tells a story was God-mother to Point Judith and... a little beloved her Light House. I hope you are as pleasantly housed for the Summer. I am trying some agricultural experiments, -- and for the good of my Country am raising Bamboos! Greatly obliged [signed] Edward E Hale.
The letters are in fine condition. Item #14493