Two Partial Transcripts of Letters from Charlotte Cushman to Sidney Lanier, Jan 11 & Feb 6 1876

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Two Partial Transcripts of Letters from Charlotte Cushman to Sidney Lanier, Jan 11 & Feb 6 1876


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Lanier, Sidney, 1842-1881
Booth, Edwin, 1833-1893
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882


Charlotte Cushman writes these letters shortly before she dies. She is very ill and the doctors say that treatment has culminated. Under the impression of constant pain, her lines indicate that she has come to terms with death that is about to arrive.
Lanier asked Cushman to be introduced to Booth.

Transcripts by Jennie Lorenz


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


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


LoC, JLP 1





Letter Item Type Metadata


[page 1]

Dearest friend—

I have been so very ill & suffering—that your request through dear Miss Stebbins—for an introduction to Booth—had passed out of my sad—sore[?] sick mind— until your little note recd this morning I hasten to send it. if you read it before delivery—you may think I say more than it would? modest for you to deliver in person. Therefore if you just clo[illegible, crossed out] close [inserted] the envelope—before putting in anothr [sic] with a line from yourself asking him to allow you to present yourself in honour of my note at any moment most convenient to himself—he will send you a line—perhaps your messenger. I may wait his answer—if you send your note to his residence by 10 1/2 or 11 o'clock in the a.m. I have not the courage or the heart to tell you how I have suffered of late. how I am still daily & hourly sufferig. I have felt many times that what little I can have remaining to me of my life even?/after I am cured—if in Gods wisdom I am to be cured– cannot be worth what I have suffered & gone through in the struggle for it. I love, dearly, my own friends—I am happy when with them I have tasted all the joys and sweets of rewarded toil—can there be anything to me worth all this that I am & have been suffering. This is a purely selfish consideration—but suffering has made me very selfish & I hardly know myself. The Dr. thinks that his treatment has culminated—but I am certain, 'it is not now'. feelings are as sure as science to some minds—& the day of culmination is not to day. But you will let me hear from you—& you will be sure to get a line, if only a line in reply. I am so delighted about the compliment of the Cantata. I had yestrday [sic] mentioned it—as a possible thing to Mr. Perkins—but I don't think it will

[page 2] reach anybody through me?. Dar Dear [inserted] Miss S. is writing to you. God love you & yours. prays 'Every day in the hour' your true & loving friend—


[letter 2] [+++] Parkers, Boston, Mass. 6 'Feby/ 76.

 a day free' from chance of interruption (though I grieve?? to say not free from extra pain though the pain be salutory) have given me the opportunity of studying the cantata—& I am more than delighted—it is infinitely higher & purer finer [inserted] than I thought it at first, I make? to you my warmest congratulations & admirations! I want you to read 'Essays & Studies' by Swinburne—It has not been re-printed but perhaps you may get it at the Institute—It is full of irony & arrogance & contradiction but there are some magnificent things which you—of all men—should read. Let me know if you can get it & also if you cant [sic]) get the 1848th +++ if Littles??? Living Age—with an article from the Contemporary Review[?] by Peter Bayne??, in Whitman & the Bosh & Balderdash of such men as Rosetti & Dowden—who endeavours to first his affectation on a public who are apt to take their word. If you can't get the lattr [sic] I will send it to you. God bless yout—I am I hope progressing! Very slowly but I hope surely—Your faithful—


Addressed: Sidney Lanier Esq. 66. Centre St. Baltimore Md.


Lanier, Sidney, 1842-1881


Boston, MA, US

Geocode (Latitude)


Geocode (Longitude)


Location (Recipient)

66 Centre Street, Baltimore, MD, US

Geocode Recipient (Latitude)


Geocode Recipient (Longitude)



Lorenz frequently annotated her own transcripts

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Two Partial Transcripts of Letters from Charlotte Cushman to Sidney Lanier, Jan 11 & Feb 6 1876,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed July 18, 2024,

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