Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Helen Hunt, Jan 6, 1874

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Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Helen Hunt, Jan 6, 1874


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Jackson, Helen Hunt


Charlotte Cushman discusses friendship and Helen Hunt's pen name Saxe Holm about which Cushman will stay quiet. The letter may be the response to item 213. Cushman also touches upon people who gossip/spread rumors. Eventually, she informs Hunt that she will read to the public in New York, Baltimore, and other cities.

Transcripts courtesy of Nancy Knipe, Colorado College.


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876





Letter Item Type Metadata


Your note of the 14th Dec” from Colorado Springs was forwarded & at last reached me, for I have been wandering much & in devious ways, so that it is a marvel that my letters ever reach me. My journeyings & workings & being laid up by sickness have been so incessant since the third week in August, that I have not had time to write anything but business letters, & my other things have been much neglected to my detriment. So you must forgive my tardiness – never attribute my silence to neglect or want of consideration, or want of affectionate interest in you. I may not think you always right, but I do not love you [all?] alone less well than at the first. I think that when there is one absorbing interest to one of two friends upon which they think dramatically opposite, each fear to approach too near but the subject should arise which must hurt both, so friends sometimes grow apart, but friendship not necessarily lessened between them thereby[?]. However dear I write very +++ & unfashionably to one so informed & facile as you have become, so will say no more but this—have patience with my shortcomings in the way of writing. When rec’d you letter in July, it pained & disturbed me very much! I thought your feeling made you Exaggerate the matter & so should have written, but I had family of 22 at the time & for a fortnight after its receipt & all the rest of the summer 19 in family, at last even I own I was driven away up to the Catskills, where at Lenox I recuperated so that I could accept Engagements for the winter which I have been striving to keep ending in Phila last Sat 27’, but a tremendous matinee, at which there were 3000 people—afternoon & then for three days was in bed utterly incapable of moving from [fever?] & weakness. New Years day I came here & am slowly recuperating. During all the time such a bulk of correspondence has accumulated that I am frightened but the homesick one must be looked after first! I thought over your letter long, & at last I acted upon it, as you wished to do, saw the land lady & told her I thought it was my duty for her sake for me taking the interest in her, to [ask?] her to pause, reflect & consult her physician before she took a person so affected into her family!!!!! She cried, thanked me, but as I afterwards heard took the family into her house, and one day when I rec’d a serious message from the lady saying she wished me to come & see how beautifully & comfortably she was situated (Mrs. Bruley[?] brought me the message) I was fearful that the little landlady had not been true to her promise to me. However I did not go, for I do not care for either of the family, & I did my duty as I thought by you in striving to help carry out your work & wish! Mia, fraginiga[?] amica mia, La Signora e pui forte che lei”. Your description of your place of sojourn is lovely – what beautiful things you will write from there & then the little book will be made which will charm as all your other books do & have done. By the bye talking of books, you charge [me?] dear on my allegiance as to Saxe Holm, & I have been true & silent. But on the 1st of December, while I was in Buffalo, I saw in a paper of that city, a notice of said volume of stories, in plain print attributed to you, saying it was the nom de plume which had been assumed by H.H. whose poems had so enchanted everybody! Now, my dear, what do you say to that? I hear very often these stories spoken of as being by H.H. You cannot keep such things in this land of pure respect, when people mind their own affairs, & more put their noses into their neighbors dish. I don’t see dear, even after reading Esther Wynn, why you should say you would write no more if it was ever known. By only one person will any thing be suspected, & for her you do not care, I think you were [impudent?] – may I say foolish – to so advertize matters to those who know anything or have any suspicions, but you chose to do it, you are no child to act from impulse, & you have doubtless calculated the consequences, so, being defiant once why not go on, you need write no more just such, but you do not need to write to [ninety five??]! See how I write to you, but you have virtually drawn it upon yourself. I am here until the 15 of Jany when I go to Boston for three readings 17, 21, 24 Jany. 29’, 31’ & 2’ 4’ of Feby. I read in New York, 6’ in Baltimore, week of the 9’ Feby Richmond, then back to Phila, but always send to care of J& J Stuart & Co, 33. Nassau St. New York & it will be forwarded. I hope you will continue to improve in health, go to my dear old Dr. Lippi in Philadelphia & get eating cured smoke from a common clay pipe, bruised cubebs & cure your throat yourself.
God Bless you, a thousand thanks for your two long volumes. You are a very [clever?] dear, & I am ever affectionately your C.C.


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Jackson, Helen Hunt, 1830-1885


Villa Garland Hyde Park
Dutchess County, NY, US

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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, Jan 6, 1874,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed July 15, 2024, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/266.

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