Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow, June 30, [1858]

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Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow, June 30, [1858]


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920
Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex
Actors and Actresses--US American
Crow, Wayman, 1808-1885
Social Events--Travels
Intimacy--As topic


Cushman regrets that Crow could not be with her, due to Crow's father not allowing her to come with to New York. She was disappointed to only see Crow's mother instead of her. Crow's parents had decided that Cushman was too occupied for their daughter to visit. Cushman told Crow's father that her mother and sister were there and could have taken care of Crow. He concedes that he would have reconsidered had he known of these different circumstances. Cushman encourages Crow to stand up for herself better and to "find a purpose."


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


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


LoC, CCP 1:68-70





Letter Item Type Metadata


My sweet one. I felt so sure of seeing you here that I hardly realized my parting with you at Pittsfield[?]. and even though I recd a letter from your father saying he could not bring you to New York I had such faith in your power of persuasion & your fathers [sic] love of indulging you. that when a knock came at my door on Tuesday morning at 7 o'clock. I called to my maid to open the door for Miss Crow! It was my mother just returned from Magaia[?]! At 9 I recd Miss Minsters[?] card. My heart sank tho[?] faith runs deep for I felt if you had come I should have had you in my arms before any card could have been sent. I was just heart sick. & was able to tell Miss Minster[?] then - & your father

[68 reverse] when I saw him at dinner That I could not have had so large a disappointment in America! & I am sure he saw that I spoke from my heart for he regretted that he had not brought you. It appears, my sweet darling, that the matter was debated between your Mother & Father — the former deciding that Miss Cushman would be engaged from 10 to 2 at rehearsal & from 7 to 11 at the Theatre in the evening - Thus Emma would be a great deal by herself in a great hotel which was not desirable. But answered I, "Emma knew that my mother & sister were here, who would have taken good care of her." "I did not know that," replied the good father[,"] or she should have come!["] So darling if you had asked a reason for this decision, you would most likely have been able to get away to your loving

[69] friend, who bitterly regrets missing you! Had I not have believed I should have seen you here, I would not have acted on Monday & Tuesday of next week & so would have come to you. I love you my own darling — dearly fondly truly & ever shall do so. You shall come to me at some time — if my will can accomplish. I will forget any thing. Every thing you wish forgotten. I will do any thing everything you wish for I do love you very earnestly & sincerely perhaps too much. You shall keep the +++ +++ & no one shall know it. No you did not talk mindfully[?] to me but like a darling as you are write to me all, every thing you will & your letter shall be destroyed as soon as I have mastered the contents. but it will be of good to you to have a loving heart to confide which you can [last three words inserted] all your feelings. your desires, your

[69 verso] wishes your hopes, your dreams. Write to me freely, without fear. My letters are quite safe from observation & you may make all your confessions frankly to me. Therefore write to me as much as often as you will. Ah your love falls on grateful[?] ground & shall bring fresh fruit. My darling! I should make you more sad, if I were to tell you of my disappointment - Therefore I will only say I am deeply grieved[?] & there the matter must rest, we cannot help ourselves. I talked to your father much of you & told him he did not realize the strength of your character or feeling He met that by saying he did not find you persistent or as giving yourself a purpose in life. I asked what purpose oh, she might purpose to improve herself by reading steadily - or teaching her little brother - not that I ask this - but I

[70] should be glad to see the purpose, and a steady perseverance in carrying it out. However - I did not purpose writing this to you & I must wait to do so more clearly only my darling must try to make a purpose for herself & this may perhaps bring her more surely to me, next year! At all events which you are in this country. I am not quite whole any where else, & if the mountain will not come to Mahomet - Mahomet will go to the mountain! I leave you now for I must go out & write amid the distraction inevitable upon my situation with my own & my mothers [sic!] & sisters [sic!] visitors - but my heart & thoughts are with you my sweet darling & I would that my poor body could bear them company. I will write one sighed word of good bye. before I sail. +++ how hard

[70 reverse] it is not to have said it upon your lips you would have heard fom me before this dear one - but I thought I must send to some particular address in Newport & know not what? Your letter did not reach me until this morning (Wednesday), so post to me early in the day, write to me write to me - every day while I can hear from you & after I am gone write a little every day. & so [inserted] learn[?] to condense your thought. God ever bless you my own dear "little love" & believe me ever in all fondness & devotion
your faithful Ladie love


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow, June 30, [1858],” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed December 6, 2023, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/372.

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