Newton Centre [Mass.], Jan. 22, 1894. Autograph note signed S. F. Smith, 6.88 x 4.38 inches, 3 pages, approx. 150 words. With original autograph cover addressed to D. Lothrop Co., For Mrs. Lothrop, Purchase St., Boston, Mass., marked “Personal.”. Some mild dust-soiling and wear; in fine condition. Item #19367
The Baptist minister and author best remembered for the hymn “America” (“My country, ‘tis of thee”) here writes a note of cheer late in life in support to his publisher, Harriet Lothrop, who had taken over Lothrop & Co. after her husband’s death in 1892: “I am grieved (we are grieved) to learn that you have met with a calamitous set-back in your business affairs. We would have you know how thoroughly we sympathize with you, and pray for your early and complete extrication out of your troubles. We comprehend that your misfortune is owing to the stress of the times, against which the ablest and the strongest have found it in vain to contend.” With two clippings of book reviews, evidently by Smith himself, laid in at the request of Mrs. Smith. Lothrop lived in Concord (the house in which Hawthorne and the Alcotts had lived) but had their offices in Boston; they evidently weathered the Panic of 1893 and the ensuing depression, with Harriet Lothrop staying at the helm of the publishing house until 1905.