Letter from Ned Cushman to Susan Muspratt, Oct 27, 1853

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Letter from Ned Cushman to Susan Muspratt, Oct 27, 1853




The letter sums up Ned's experience of the beginning at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He writes that he wanted to quit, he reports health problems and exam results. He also briefly alludes to Cushman's relationship with Hays. The letter suggests that Cushman's family is not particularly fond of Hays. Cushman's sister Susan, for example, laments not having more time with Charlotte because of Hays.


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


Cushman, Edwin "Ned" Charles, 1838-1909


LoC, CCP, 10:3147-3148





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[3147] My Dear Mother I received your letter dated September 26th a short time since, and have been waiting to see if an answer would come to my letter which was written as soon as I arrived in the United States. I am sorry that I did not write to you before going to sea, and I hope that you will accept an excuse. which though something is not enough to answer for so great neglect of duty as not writing to you before going on a cruise in the +++ My excuse is this, that the excitement of the examination together with the prospect of going to sea, diverted my mind in a great measure from my  duty, while at the same time +++ expected surely to come to England. I promise you that no such neglect shall occur again. The money which you reprove me for sending for I will endeavor to repay at some future time. Your opinion of my wishing to leave the navy grieves me, I assure you that it was not anything in regard to my examination which induced me to say it, but at the time I did not feel well and was discouraged. Would you not rather have me pass five or six in the +++ I am now in, or pass thirty or forty in the class nex in advance. and besides shall be reinstated in my +++ class if I graduate which I intend to if studying can make me do it. I can by applying get a leave of three months next summer, but I should not be able to go home for I shall only have about eighty

[reverse] or ninety dollars due me, and it would take at least four hundred. I could not go in a sailing vessel for it would take so long that I should have only three or four weeks to stay at home or perhaps not that much, and in a steamer it would take a hundred dollars to get a good fit out of clothes and a good uniform, & I shall give up the idea and go out in the practice ship. I had hoped that aunty and Miss Hays had parted, for grandmothers sake and for all at home, for I know that you would like to have aunty with you more, but there is no use talking. We have now been studying at the Academy for a month, and at the end of each month there is a regular standing made out according to our averages. We are marked for what we recite and at the end of each week the mean is taken, and at the end of each month they take the averages for each week and the one who gets the highest average stands no 1, and so on down to the last. The marks vary from zero to four, a zero is given for a very bad recitation, a one for a bad recitation, a two for an indifferent recitation, a three for a good recitation and a four for a very good recitation. The professors can give (if a recitation is deserving of more than a whole number) a three and one tenth, or a three and two tenths and so on. My average for the las four weeks are 3.1, 3.1, 3., 3.5 in Mathematics. 3., 3., 3.2, 3., in Grammar, 3., 3., 2.7, 3.3, in Geography I stand No 6 in Mathematics, No 8 in Grammar, and No 15 in Geography out of a take of forty one. I will let you know where I stand at the end of next month, I hope much higher. I do not understand your meaning about aunty giving Rose a ball, is she not too young for such a

[3148] thing. I am glad to hear +++ is doing so well. When we arrived at Old Point Comfort in Virginia, the officers of the fort at that place gave us a ball, many of the midshipmen lost their hearts and myself among the +++, I have done nothing ever since but dream of a young lady. I managed to get hold of a daguerreotype which I intend to keep, Wont you think I am well set to work. I have got a nice carpet down in my room, I am going to have those pictures framed. I room with a young fellow named Killey, he has been in England. I received your daguerreotype before I went to sea, and wrote a receipt for it. I was not regularly sea sick while I was out. I had only a slight headache, which passed of in about an hour, I should like very much to see you, but there are four long years to pass before I can come home. I wish I had a daguerreotype +++ Rose, and Grandmother I can remember so well the day when I started from +++ +++ +++, and how Rose clapped her little hands to bid me good bye. You do not know how bad it makes me feel when I think of the nice home I had to go to when I came from school. I am in good health now I am very happy to say, and trust that you use all the same. When Aunty was in America I had some teeth filled in Albany, they were not well filled, and about two three weeks after starting in the practice ship. The filling came out of two teeth. It left the nerve exposed, and I have had to wait so long that I doubt whether they will not have to be pulled out I will not let any Annapolis butcher fix them any hour. Give my love to Grandmother, the Doctor, Rose and Ida, and believe me your ever affectionate son
C.E. Cusman ["3148-a" added]


Cushman, Edwin "Ned" Charles, 1838-1909


Muspratt, Susan Cushman, 1822-1859


United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland

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Cushman, Edwin "Ned" Charles, 1838-1909, “Letter from Ned Cushman to Susan Muspratt, Oct 27, 1853,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed August 17, 2022, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/76.

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