Letter from Charlotte Cushman to [Emma Crow], July 26, 1861

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Letter from Charlotte Cushman to [Emma Crow], July 26, 1861


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920
Social Events--Travels
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882
Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex
Artists--Sculptors--US American
Intimacy--As topic
Cushman, Edwin "Ned" Charles, 1838-1909
Hosmer, Harriet Goodhue, 1830-1908


Charlotte Cushman tells Emma how much she loves her and hopes that she is happy with her "choice." Charlotte forgot some papers in Emma's desk which the latter sent to Charlotte on the ship. Cushman admits that she is still not used to her new lifestyle without work. Emma Stebbins is with Charlotte who emphasizes her love for Stebbins: "Is it true dear. That you dislike aunt Emma. surely she has never given you offence. or behaved otherwise than kindly to you. I should be sorry if I thought I had brought as a visitor to your house any one you objected to or disliked. I love her very very much."
Stebbins will get two orders for statues also due to Charlotte's interference. Cushman conducted negotiations at sea with a potential client and used this opportunity to support Stebbins's work. Emma Crow is not supposed to tell Mary, her sister, who is apparently very close to Harriet Hosmer, in order to avoid "jealousies" between the sculptors.


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


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


LoC, CCP 1: 295-298





Letter Item Type Metadata


[295] As we +++ +++ town my own darling I learn that if I post a letter here on board it will be left at +++ & taken up by the return steamer which will leave Liverpool before we can arrive there & get time to write. and though my heard aches with dizziness[?] I must send you this one word of loving thought to tell you of my voyage. & of my thoughts of & for & with you. you dear thing. Do I not love you? oh. more than words can tell — more than you would be willing to believe & if you could know all that you are to me — how fondly & happily my thoughts rest upon you, & on my boy. whose happiness you also make. you would be content. I am happy when I can talk of you to any ony. & happy when I think of you so comfortably nested in a home of me

[295 reverse] making for you. surrounded as fitty & well as I was able to surround you & so that to make you contented. are you contented darling. contented with your choice. contented with your auntie & in loving care for you? I hope you are. — I was so thankful to receive the paper which I had left behind me. & which I very much wonder you should not have seen in your desk before I could have missed them. If you could have kown my trouble at missing them having so short a time in New York to attend to my business there — & then my despair when I found they were not in the white envelope which came by Mrs. Freeman. you would have +++ me. I rushed up to the +++ house as the manst[?] Telegraph & +++ & forgot to give my own address Col Stebbins 46 Exchange place. Thus you sent the

[296] parcel to the Everett[?] House. no one there To receive it. they sent the man to No 2 +++ 16" St.  no one there for Sallie had gone on board ship early in the morning the man knew not where to take it. & just as the ship was sailing, a man rushed on board & gave it into my hand for a  dollar! judge of my +++. & declare to you. I believe I should have been ill if had come across the Atlantic without them. so important were they to my interests there. I was enabled to give them into the hands of Col Stebbins. which was a great comfort to me. Thank you dear for getting them to me our voyage the first some days was more lovely then words can +++ +++ as possible & get with sufficient roll[?] to make me always fearful to attempt writing a reading. I have only read two articles. in the

[296 reverse] July no of the Atlantic. I have +++ an unnatural life for me, of doing absolutely nothing. but uptaking[?] +++ it has been a life of unrest. Sea +++ is fearful to me. & I often wonder wether much of my suffering does come from an +++ rebellion this frightful inertia which a voyage compels me to. The dread of sickness pursues me like an incubus — from which I do not seem to escape. Escape however I may & do. now during +++ vogage. There has been no reasonable as excuse for sickness until the night the 24" when it came +++ to blow +++ from the N. E. & ever since we have been pitching about terribly. — but I have precautions resested it. & escaped yet the head has been almost +++ than the sickness. Aunt Em too has escaped. save half an hour of sick+++

[297] yesterday morning. Grandmother & Miss Freeman have suffered a good deal in the last 24 hours. but I have not been sick at all. The passage has been +++ +++. as for as passengers are concerned. Two old maids from New York. Miss Gilstons[?] have taken a far +++ on your auntie Mrs Sherman too has been on board & has been kind. Everybody has been good & kind to your auntie. Aunt Em — has got order for a full +++ statue to Commodore Perry. for the N.Y. Central Park but of this you must say nothing yet. there has been a gentleman on board too one of the commissioners of the Central Park. who is going to +++ & put through the fountain. which you may remember the sketched for it. so if she gets these two orders she will have enough to do for nearly five years. wont [sic] this be grand. Dont [sic] say any thing about it for it only makes unnescessary [sic] jealousies. Dont [sic] tell Mary  for I dont [sic] want Hattie to know it!

[297 reverse] and now about your dearself
How are you my darling. (I pray God you are better & stronger. & that you will be very careful of your dear self for my sake. Remember how +++ & important a part you are of my life & its happiness now & be careful. Any thing which makes you sad makes me unhappy & so try & get well. Theres [sic] a darling! I hope as Mary was with you in Boston. you did not hurry to get away to Lenox so soon. I only was in a hurry for I thought it would +++ to distract your thoughts from me. I hope Mary liked your house & all its appointments. & that you are happy in having her with you & she in being with you. but she will never be contented to live at home any more I am afraid for if I having had a task of home life with my darling want more. how much more so must it be with Mary — I am so anxious to hear from you again & know all

[298] you are doing & thinking & feeling. write me a journal darling wont [sic] a little bit every day, & thus I shall know all about you. which will be very pleasant for me all I ask of you to prove your love for me is to get strong & well. or I shall be miserab-ble. Aunt Emma & Grandma send best love to you. Is it true dear. That you dislike aunt Emma. surely she has never given you offence. or behaved otherwise than kindly to you. I should be sorry if I thought I had brought as a visitor to your house any one you objected to or disliked. I love her very very much. she is the finest nature I have even been thrown in contact with — the very trust — +++ of human beings. & I want you both to love her. Kiss Ned a hundred times for me. My next 2 letters will be to him.
Ever & Ever & Ever hold me
your own devotedly loving


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920


at Sea on her way to Liverpool


Unfortunately, tape was used to stick the letter pages to blank pages in the folder, which impacts readability of the words at the end of lines on some pages.

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Letter from Charlotte Cushman to [Emma Crow], July 26, 1861,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed May 19, 2024, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/358.

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