What do we learn about Mr. William Endicott in Helen Keller's The Story of My Life?

Expert Answers
Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Helen Keller does not say much about Mr. William Endicott in her biography The Story of My Life, but she does explain that he and his daughter were very good friends of hers.

In chapter 9, Helen relays her first trip to Boston in May of 1888 to visit the Perkins Institute for the Blind. While in Boston, she met many friends and visited many sites, including Bunker Hill. Mr. William Endicott and his daughter were two of her many good friends she met while in Boston. Mr. Endicott owned an ocean-side farm near Boston called Beverly Farms; the farm was close enough to the water that the ships sailing from Boston to Europe could be seen passing by, and Mr. Endicott took the time to describe each one to Helen. While on the farm, Helen explored the Endicotts' rose garden, played with their dogs, and fed their horse sugar. Mr. Endicott became such a good friend of hers that she states she "saw him many times" after having first met him that summer.

We learn in letters provided as an addendum that one of the many times she had occasion to see Mr. Endicott was at Christmas time the next year. In a letter Helen addressed to her parents, dated December 24th, 1889, we learn Helen and Miss Sullivan spent Christmas that year at the Perkins Institution. All the other girls had left the institution for the holiday, and Helen and Miss Sullivan were left to the care of Mrs. Sophia C. Hopkins, a matron at the institution and Miss Sullivan's own teacher and dear friend. It is in this letter Helen expresses excitement at having been visited by Mr. and Miss Endicott for the holiday, who took her out for a carriage ride. Helen also writes, "They are going to give me a lovely present, but I cannot guess what it will be."

mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Helen Keller went to Boston, she met many people.  One of these people was Mr. William Endicott.  She became friends with him and with his daughter.  They invited Helen to visit their home outside of Boston.  They lived in an oceanside area north of the city of Boston called Beverly Farms.  They treated Helen a great deal of kindness, which she described as "the seed from which many pleasant memories have since grown."  She enjoyed interacting with their dogs and horse, as well as exploring their property.  They had a rose garden and the beach was close by.  Mr. Endicott described the ships that sailed by Beverly Farms from Boston to Helen.  These ships were on their way east to Europe.

Mr. Endicott remained Helen's friend for years, and she saw him on many occasions.  Helen fondly referred to Boston as ""The City of Kind Hearts" and thought of Mr. Endicott.