Letter from Manning Leonard to Emma Stebbins, Nov 29, 1876

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Letter from Manning Leonard to Emma Stebbins, Nov 29, 1876


Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882
Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Howitt, Mary, 1799-1888
Intimacy--As Source


Stebbins' illness prevents her from writing the memoir about her "dear friend." Apparently, she asked Leonard to help her collect more information about Cushman's life. Manning suspects that Stebbins has Cushman's papers which "will fill many gaps." Leonard started investigations into the Babbit family history, which prompted some questions.


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


Leonard, Manning


LoC, CCP 12: 3521-3522





Letter Item Type Metadata


[3521] Dear Madam,

Your letter of 19th inst. was duly recd and I have since been trying to fulfil my promise. I am sorry to learn that your health has been, and still is, as poor. I hope the improvement will be followed by such restoration as will enable you to complete, before very long, your plan in regard to the memory of your dear friend. I knew from many years experience, what it is to be an invalid." I have tried in the acompaning sheet to get in train some links that might be helpful to you to trace antecedents, progenitors and incidents, that have had to do, in forming the wonderful life and character of Charlotte Saunders Cushman. From what you have written and said to me, I presume you have her papers, memo—&c. that will fill many gaps.

[3521 reverse] The friends and acquaintance, here of the Babbit family, always stated that the husband of Mary Eliza was a foreigner, an Englishman and I was surprised when the newspapers stated that he was connected directly with the Plymouth families, but the work of Hon. +++. +++. Cushman explains it. The link however looks feeble. Perhaps you may know more of it than the look gives. It does not give the date of Elkanah 276[?], marriage with Mary Lothrop or even state that they were married, or what became of them. The son must have known. When I first heard of the article of Mary Howitt's and what it was, I thought it mostly romance, but later knowledge has led me to think differently of it. The wife of Dr. Thos Babbit—Mary Jackson Babson of Gloucester was daughter of Rebecca Sanders (born Mar. 16 1747) sister of Hon. Thos Sanders; so his 12 children including Charlotte S. and Mary (S.) Babbit were her cousins. I think probable that you have the article—Knew Mary Howitt and how it came to be written &c.  The marriage of Erasmus Babbit Jr. and Mary S. is not recorded either in Sturbridge or Gloucester nor

[3522] was "Intention" filed, as was required then, so it is probable they went over the line into Conn. as +++ common, to avoid the publicity of "publishment", in Mass. I have neither this date nor the births of their children, nor the deaths of Winthrop or Augustus or of the mother. The Haward College records state that she "was born about 1770, and died in Sturbridge in 1816 aged 46", which must be incorrect. I presume you may have all of these authentic dates also know more of Charlotte Saunders than I have written. I do not know when or where she died. I have known many persons; many dead, but some still living that were acquainted with the Babbit families—quite a number school-mates of Mary Eliza, and I might write pages of their recollections repeated to me at different times but I weary you by their recital, and will say that if you think of anything that would aid you in your work at any time, that I can do, please call me. It seems to me that from all I have ever learned that the personal appearance, and all prominent characterestics of Charlotte Saunders

[3522 reverse] Cushman were transmitted through her maternal ancestry. as you propose to mature your work slowly, you will have time to think over all the evidences, and as your facilities are so ample, when it is done, it will be correctly and well done.

Very truly and sincerely Yours,

Manning Leonard.


Leonard, Manning


Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882


Southbridge, MA, Worcester County, United States of America

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Leonard, Manning, “Letter from Manning Leonard to Emma Stebbins, Nov 29, 1876,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed April 22, 2024, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/539.

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