Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Helen Hunt, March 29, 1871

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Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Helen Hunt, March 29, 1871


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892
Jackson, Helen Hunt
Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920


Dr. Wright could not help Charlotte Cushman to get better. Cushman is anxious and convinced that she will die in a couple of month, she "will seek every palliative" available. She desperately tries to consult medical advice in different cities.
As indicated in a former letter, Cushman wanted to buy Mrs Cunningham's house for Emma Crow Cushman but the business turns out to be more complicated than expected. Cushman also decisively criticizes Anne Brewster's published letters for their inferior quality.

Transcripts courtesy of Nancy Knipe, Colorado College.


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876





Letter Item Type Metadata


I am so pained[?] to hear that you have been so poorly, but it has been just the weather & just the time of year for you, & such as you, to run the chance of suffering from attack of cold, & I am not amazed to hear that you have been ill, but I am very thankful to hear that you are sufficiently better to contemplate a journey though I will not suffer you to take it on my account. Since I wrote to you dear, I have been going through a period of great anxiety & indecision which has told much upon my flesh & strength. I found that Wright could not help me & that all my friends, from my old Dr. [Gray?] down, were in great trouble that I thought to place myself again under the chances of the knife. But until I became very painfully convinced that there was no real help for me in it, & that at best [underlined], it would only give me a few months Extension of time, with great risk of my life from constitutional tenderness, such as made my first attempt so full of peril from what supervened – I was willing to brave this dreadful treatment. But after much doubt & hesitation I have at length resolved to give it up & trust myself to other chances [underlined] which may turn up. I will seek every palliative I can find, & despise no offer of help which merits my reason, or my hope. I have been in Hartford & in Stamford (once) since I wrote to you last, & have been seeing many people in New York & this has occupied my time very much & prevented my writing. Monday I am going to Phila & thence into New Jersey to see a man who has performed seven curious cures. My address there will be care of Gibson Peacock Esq. 1525 Walnut St. I am not able to work much as they say this has been very bad for me to do, but you shall have a word dear whenever I feel able to write – ah, I have been through a hard road during these last three weeks. Pray God help me to the End! I had taken, as I thought Mrs Cunninghams [sic!] house for my niece, but Mr. Smith steps in with an absolute falsehood [last two words underlined] to endeavour to extort a little more money, but he happened to write the figure [last three words underlined] on a printed list & there is no getting away from that. This assertion of his is only to cover himself from Mrs Cunningham’s refusal to pay him his commission, if he only charged me the sum _I_ say he did & which to her he denies! However, I shall only let Mrs. Cushman pay what Smith first gave me as the price, & if she is to be thrown over, I will go elsewhere if I am alive to go anywhere. Miss Stebbins is with me, we have enjoyed much beauty & calm & quiet here, she is not well, sends kind love to you. I am sincerely & heartily disappointed about the letters. I wish I could find in any newspaper as real honest letters, & written in as good English as these, but Miss Anne Brewster is the kind of food my country people like to eat, so in Gods name let them have it. Better people have, & can again starve, while Mrs. Brewster & such writers flourish like a [?] bay tree.
God bless you, remember me most kindly & sweetly to my good friends in Newport & looking forward to the happiness of seeing you here very [underlined] long. Hold me ever truly your affectionately attached C.C.

Please forward the enclosed for me.


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Jackson, Helen Hunt, 1830-1885


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, March 29, 1871,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed December 5, 2023, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/257.

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