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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Helen Hunt Jackson

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To the last her letters to her friends were full of cheer. "You must not think because I speak of not getting well that I am sad over it," she wrote. "On the contrary, I am more and more relieved in my mind, as it seems to grow more and more sure that I shall die. You see that I am growing old" (she was but fifty-four), "and I do believe that my work is done. You have never realized how, for the past five years, my whole soul has been centered on the Indian question. Ramona was the outcome of those five years. The Indian cause is on its feet now; powerful friends are at work."

To another she wrote, "I am heartily, honestly, and cheerfully ready to go. In fact, I am glad to go. My Century of Dishonor and Ramona are the only things I have done of which I am glad now. The rest is of no moment. They will live, and they will bear fruit. They already have. The change in public feeling on the Indian question in the last three years is marvellous; an Indian Rights Association in every large city in the land."

She had no fear of death. She said, "It is only just passing from one country to another.... My only regret is that I have not accomplished more work; especially that it was so late in the day when I began to work in real earnest. But I do not doubt we shall keep on working.... There isn't so much difference, I fancy, between this life and the next as we think, nor so much barrier.... I shall look in upon you in the new rooms some day; but you will not see me. Good-bye. Yours affectionately forever, H.H." Four days before her death she wrote to President Cleveland:--

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    "From my death-bed I send you a message of heart-felt
    thanks for what you have already done for the Indians.
    I ask you to read my Century of Dishonor. I am
    dying happier for the belief I have that it is your hand
    that is destined to strike the first steady blow toward
    lifting this burden of infamy from our country, and
    righting the wrongs of the Indian race.

"With respect and gratitude,


That same day she wrote her last touching poem:--

    "Father, I scarcely dare to pray,
    So clear I see, now it is done,
    That I have wasted half my day,
    And left my work but just begun;

    "So clear I see that things I thought
    Were right or harmless were a sin;
    So clear I see that I have sought,
    Unconscious, selfish aim to win

    "So clear I see that I have hurt
    The souls I might hare helped to save,
    That I have slothful been, inert,
    Deaf to the calls Thy leaders gave.

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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