Back to Library

Richard B. Sewall’s Emily Dickinson


1861

January?
Second (?) Master letter: “If you saw a bullet hit a Bird . . .”

May 4, 11
Springfield Republican prints ED’s poem beginning “I taste a liquor never brewed,” under the title “The May-Wine”

June 6
Eliza Coleman and J. L. Dudley married in Monson

June 19
Austin and Susan’s first child, Edward (Ned) Dickinson, born

June 29
Elizabeth Barrett Browning dies (ED to Bowles in Europe: “. . . if you touch her Grave, put one hand on the Head, for me — her unmentioned Mourner -")

December?
Exchange with Susan on the poem “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers” (NOTE: See Martha Nell Smith's website)


1862

early 1862
Third (?) Master letter: “Oh, did I offend it - "

March 1
Republican prints “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers”

March 14
Frazar Stearns killed in action

April
Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s “Letter to a Young Contributor” appears in Atlantic Monthly

[April 14
Presentation of a cannon to Amherst College in honor of Frazar Stearns]*Our addition based on information discovered in researching the Civil War period in Amherst.

April 15
First letter (and three poems) to Higginson: “Are you too deeply occupied to say if my Verse is alive?”

April 25
Second letter (and three poems) to Higginson: “Thank you for the surgery - "

May 1
Charles Wadsworth and family sail for San Francisco

May 6
Death of Thoreau

June 7
Third letter to Higginson: “. . . will you be my Preceptor . . .”

July 9
Judge Lord delivers Amherst Commencement address

mid-July
Fourth letter (and four poems) to Higginson: “My Business is Circumference”

late July?
To Hollands: “My business is to love”

August
Fifth letter (and two poems) to Higginson: “All men say ‘What’ to me . . .”

November 16
Bowles returns from Europe

December 4
Higginson made colonel of Negro regiment

1863

January 17
Loring Norcross, uncle, dies; ED to the cousins: “Let Emily sing for you . . .”

March?
Bowles to Austin: “. . . to the queen Recluse my especial sympathy -"

July 9
Father awarded LL.D. at Amherst Commencement

October 1
Major E. B. Hunt killed in Brooklyn

1864

February 27
Professor Edward Hitchcock dies

March 12
In New York, Round Table prints ED’s poem “Some keep the Sabbath going to church”

March 30
Republican prints ED’s poem “Blazing in gold, and quenching in purple”

late April
Emily to Boston for eye treatment (seven months); stays with Norcrosses in Cambridgeport (“Loo and Fanny take sweet care of me . . .”)

May 13
Austin drafted, pays $500 for substitute

May 19
Death of Hawthorne

November 28
Emily returns from Cambridgeport

1865

April 1?
Emily again to Boston for eye treatment

October 17
Emerson lectures in Amherst on “Social Aims”