Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Helen Hunt, [1871-1875]

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Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Helen Hunt, [1871-1875]


Jackson, Helen Hunt
Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Fields, James Thomas, 1817-1881
Gender Norms
Fields, Annie, 1834-1915


Charlotte Cushman addresses Helen Hunt in her quarrel with James Fields. Cushman advises Hunt to transact her own business and confront Fields about some gossip and to "beat him to death with compliments."

Transcripts courtesy of Nancy Knipe, Colorado College.


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876



Letter Item Type Metadata


[no date, no place]
Carina Mia,
I am desolate that I do not see you. I did not dare to come out this morning, not having that kind of boots [last four words underlined], but if I were going to stay here any longer I would buy a pair for except on one or two days in the week it is not possible to get out to walk on any other foundation. By the by in this weather one is inclined to say with D of bury, “The Lord preserve the foundation.” Did you Ever? No, I never’. Tomorrow morning, I may get out in a boat! Dear, the Fields come to me tonight. If I were in your place & he tried to see me, I would see him & talk the matter. I think of your manner, not treating him as you feel [underlined], but looking at him with that half quizzical expression which you very often have, would completely puzzle him into decency. Dear, it is only simple justice to yourself that you should transact your business yourself and not through a third person. You can then force him in conversation to say to you [underlined] what he said to the third person & then you can whip him into line. I really think it is worth the trial. You may do better for your book & your future than you could in any other way. I don’t think you take quite the right view of his spirit about your being a woman or he would not have submitted to your Exactions
You a woman had forced [underlined] him into an awkward place, & like a small man, he wriggled out a little spiteful compliment [underlined] (I call [underlined] it) at your Expense, which if you had transacted your own business he could not have allowed. Dearie, you must not quarrel with the baker where you buy your bread, but beat him to death with compliments. I send you a letter from [Rosser?] which is charming. I have added a few facts from private letters, & I think you must if you will be good enough to stand sponsor for it, ask them to give you a little more for it, unless they will Engage to take two a month! I send it to you so that you may get it off to be in New York on Monday morning. Bless you for a good dear, at allowing yourself to be bothered by me in this way—what shall [underlined] I write for the Botha. I have not an idea “to throw at a dog” or “choker or [claw?] withal” – my friends are gone, my friends they come, long live my friends.
God bless you
Your loving CC.

Portie is charming but I can’t afford the Experiment!


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 2, Ms 0156, Box 1, Folder 17, letters from Charlotte Cushman to HH, 1871-75. Transcribed by Nancy Knipe, 2007, https://libraryweb.coloradocollege.edu/library/specialcollections/Manuscript/HHJ2-1-17.html. Accessed 30 March, 2020.

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Helen Hunt, [1871-1875],” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed July 15, 2024, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/251.

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