I will leave here in May. If what I really believe is true, this place will be one that no decent, self-respecting person will even enter, by the first of July. Isn't it pitiful horrible! I love this old place more than any other spot on Earth, and no one can feel as I do, for it has been my home, virtually, for the past ten years. Year after year I have returned to it, year after year I have seen my work improve here, and year after year I have sold my pictures of Van Buren. Is it any wonder, then, that I love the place as no one else can? And can any one else feel the horror as deeply as I, the awful, sickening horror of seeing a beautiful home turned into a sinkhole of iniquity? For such I believe it will become by the end of July. Its end will probably be a grazing ground for cattle and livestock. Better that at once than what threatens, for as a Scotchwoman friend of mine tersely puts it, Beasts, aye, worse than beasts, for the beasts of the field are as God made them, but the mon is as he has made himsel'.
Smith, Anna Clift
Chapter X, "Odds", Van Buren Life
Illustration / Written Document
Smith, Anna Clift, “Summer II,” Anna Clift Smith's Van Buren Life, accessed January 27, 2023, https://annacliftsmith.omeka.net/items/show/15.