Letter from Rosalie Sully to Charlotte Cushman, May 11, 1845

Dublin Core


Letter from Rosalie Sully to Charlotte Cushman, May 11, 1845


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex
Sully, Rosalie, 1818-1847


Rosalie Sully writes to Charlotte Cushman. Rosalie is heart-broken since the two had to go separate ways. To show her love, she is still wearing a ring and bracelet that Cushman gave her last summer. Rosalie is referring to a pledge on July 6, 1844, for which she was given that ring. Rosalie remembers their "hours of sweet companionship" and details how different the same rooms feel to her now that Charlotte is not here anymore.
At the beginning of the letter, Rosalie informs Charlotte about "cruel reports" that are circulated with regard to Cushman.


Library of Congress, Charlotte Cushman Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.


Sully, Rosalie, 1818-1847


LoC, CCP 14:3970





Letter Item Type Metadata


[page 1] My own Dear Charlotte. I fear now that in the letter I sent you by the Western[?] you will find much to pain you, but I do entreat your forgiveness – I am almost frantic with grief and in writing to you have been too heedless of your feelings Oh: forgive me [inserted] dear Charlotte and believe me when I tell you again and again that my love for you remains firm and unshaken spite of all the cruel reports that are circulated against you – Fate has done her worst for us (if not for ever [sic]) we are parted for long years – and must drag along a wretched existence till time shall prove to the cold unfeeling world your innocence but do not despond Dearest for with a clear conscience and a faithful and loving friend surely you may hope for bright days again – "It is always the darkest hour before day"
On Thursday last – Mr Healy dined with us – he was then on his way to Baltimore – he brought me the roll[?] from you and after having read the

[page 2] letter it enclosed I with all eagerness hunted through and through all the litographs for your face and can hardly tell you of my disappointment in neither finding that or the 2nd part of your letter which you referred me to – in the afternoon your Mother brought me a letter which explained all and now let me thank you for the pictures which are beautiful and which will give me much pleasure to copy – Father has given me a nice portfolio to hold them – Mr H talked much in your praise at the dinner table which was music to my ears –
The parlours and sitting room have just been papered and painted, look nice and clean - the +++ and summer covers in the parlour do so forcibly bring to mind the many happy hours we two have passed there together and the melancholy change that a twelve month has made in my life – our sofa occupies the same place opposite the back-room door as it did last summer but now instead of passing there hours of sweet companionships with you I often throw myself upon it alone and heart broken – praying fervently for death to end my misery and yet there is not a being in the world that has the least idea of what I feel, for outwardly I am the same as ever, save that

[page 3] I am even more quiet.
Alfred paid us a visit this spring and invited Blanch and myself to spend the summer with him at Saekets[?] both Father and Mother are anxious we should do so but I have openly expressed my dislike to quitting home and am trying to persuade Mother to go in my place I hope they will not urge me further for I feel like anything in the world but going among strangers when I shall be forced to talk and laugh
Your Mother came with Mrs Bulkery[?] last Thursday to see me and read a part of your letter (to her) to me - my Mother came into to see her before she left me and then in speaking of sending down your picture to me (as you had desired your M.) my M thinking it was to be sent here merely for safe keeping said "Oh yes Miss C send it down to the gallery it will be perfectly safe there" and I like a fool had not courage enough to say no no I want it in my room but perhaps it is as well for I should miss it sadly when the [inserted] time came for it to be sent to you – the next steamer will surely bring me my pictures – please let me know in your next letter how your picture must be directed – you want to know how we dress now – in the street in deep moruning but in the house black and white calico wrappers – mine is a black with a white stripe

[page 4] one inch apart with a plain inside spencer and collar sometimes jetstuds or my pearl ones – hair fixed exactly in the same manner as it has been for the last year – I am [both words inserted] thinner than when you left me and have been suffering much from weakness in the left side which has prevented me from taking any sort of exercise without much pain but now I seldom feel it unless I must fátigue myself I only pray to Heaven your health may become as robust as mine
In my last letter Dearest Charlotte I promised to write by the steamer of the 10th but I must confess to you it is with some difficulty I have been able to keep my word and I dare not now promise again to write though Heaven truly knows it will not be through any fault of mine if you do not hear from me for I am as fondly yours as I was the 6th of July last – That pledge I still wear – were my feelings towards you the least changed I should remove it from off my finger for I never deceive either in word or in action – since your absence the bracelet has never been unclasped – If I am not permitted to write my own Charlotte you will be able to discover what my feelings towards you are by ascertaining if I still wear that ring –
"Death shuns the wretch who fain the blow would meet
And I must even survive this last adieu
And bear with life, to love and pray for you"
Dear Dear Charlotte my grief is too deep for expression – no matter what people may say to you of me never never question my love for you I am unalienably yours for ever

[page 1, at the bottom of the page, upside down] I have been obliged to write this to day so as to put it into Mrs Bulkely's hands to morrow [sic!] in church – as she sends her letters to Mr. +++man Monday morning

[page 1, left margin, written diagonally] your birds are very well I cherish and love them for your sake - Father has had made for me a bracket outside the north window for the Cardinal's care

[page 1, at the top of the page, upside down ] I have some books and music of your's in my possession which I think of sending to your Mother – Shall I? Tell me what to do with them


Sully, Rosalie, 1818-1847


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876

Social Bookmarking



Sully, Rosalie, 1818-1847, “Letter from Rosalie Sully to Charlotte Cushman, May 11, 1845,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed June 15, 2024, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/247.

Output Formats