June 11, 1877

Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, deaf and ten years younger than her groom, married Alexander Graham Bell in 1877. But things got off to a rocky start. In the summer of 1875, the pair had a falling out in Cambridge, MA and Mabel left for ‘Sconset before they reconciled. Distraught, Bell followed her to Nantucket and sent a letter from the Ocean House Hotel (now Jared Coffin House). In it he said,

“Believe me I have not come to Nantucket to wound and pain you. I respect and honour you too much for that.

I have come to show my confidence and my trust in you. Whatever those about you may do -I do not fear that you will ridicule the honest love I have for you -nor treat me lightly because I have offended you.

I await your answer as to whether you will see me or not. Do not do so if you are afraid of me. There is only one question that I wish to ask you and that is that you will tell me frankly all that there is in me that you dislike, and that I can alter.

Perhaps it is too much to ask of you -so you need not do so unless you care to do it.

I would take it as a kindness if some good friend would do it for if you are afraid to speak.

I wish to amend my life for you. Whatever may be the result of this visit – Believe me both now and ever

Yours affectionately,
A. Graham Bell”

Excerpted from On This Day In Nantucket History
By Amy Jenness
The History Press
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The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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