Transcript of Letter from Charlotte Cushman to [Sidney Lanier], Jan 3, 1875

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Transcript of Letter from Charlotte Cushman to [Sidney Lanier], Jan 3, 1875


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Lanier, Sidney, 1842-1881
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882
Intimacy--As topic


Charlotte Cushman is thankful for Lanier's affection. Death is hovering above her. Stebbins is devastated due to Cushman's state of health but Dr. Thornton is increasingly optimistic about Cushman's condition.
Charlotte mentions press reports about Browning and Carlyle.

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] Did any othr [sic] man ever write such a lettr [sic] as that which I recd for you on New Yeas [sic] morning? Did any othr [sic] woman evr [sic] receive such a lettr [sic]? I don't believe it possible, & in saying this—which was my first word, through tears, aftr [sic] reading it, all the faith and & [inserted] belief? of you heart were expressed. I thank you from the depths of that heart for your affection for me—it is as grateful as though I had no one else to love me—& I could no longr [sic] live my life without it.—but you know all this—you know just how I admire your genius, respect your great power, love your nature & also love all that belongs to you. I wish I knew them all, though they nevr [sic] will seem more a part of me than they do now with my only knowing you: but, if through the infinite goodness of God I am made bettr [sic] undr [sic] this good and wise & devoted man Thronton—I will know them at no very distant day, & then, I shall be happier, I cannot begin to tell you how very ill I have been since you saw, or heard from me—Last Tuesday—I thought I was passing away, & you may imagine the state of my dear ones. Dr. Thornton has never lost his courage or his faith for one[?] moment He believes more firmly to day than we did two weeks ago that I am on the highroad to being cured. I have not been able to write and Miss S. hesitated to let you know how ill I was. & he 'calmant' her behaved to me—in a more desperate unworthy way than to any patient the Dr. evr [sic] had and it has taken my stomach utterly—so that I can retain no food. This forced him to modify +++ change his formula. & hince the delay and the suffering But it is the only thing which deadens the pain—& the pain is more than I can hear—so after a fortnight of such struggle—as I cannot describe to you—I have been obliged to go back to my 'calmant' & take the consequences !!! 'Ah! God/ the remedy is worse than the disease—how long I shall be able to hear it, he only knows. Meanwhile I think of you—though I am unable to write—& you will think of me as

[page 2] shut up in measureless discontent—depressed beyond description—as must necessarily be—but with a[?] firm faith—that the Dr. speaks truly all he sees & thinks. Poor man he has such a hard time with me—for I am more depressed than you would believe possible & dear Miss Stebbins is so depressed upon my state of being—that if I am depressed the shades know no gloom equal to hers—write to me as often as you can. tell me what you are doing about Chorley.—I am so glad you have him with you,—about all your dear ones at home—about every one I know or care for in Baltimore. I think Miss Lockes? [Locke?] and hr [sic] mother are back by this—if you are then +++  may report me— I have not been able to read anything—so the second paper or is it the first—on India I have not read—but let me know what you are doing, thinking & feeling! Do you see how the critics (English) are tearing Browning +++ from +++?—Ah what he lost in that 'fairy like creature!—Do you see what a lovely thing they have done by Carlyle—in London? Do you see that the College of Music in New York seems crystallizing? The mans [sic] name is out— Mr. Wood. I hope something may come from it. & I believe I can work something out of it. When will your time be up in Baltimore & you be able to run over on here & see me!

Let me hear & believe we ever faithfully & affectionately

Your true friend C.C.

as lettrs [sic] have to pass through the postman's hands—Miss Stebbins asks me if you will address my letters to Miss Cushman. She is awfully conceited & thinks there is no othr [sic] While[?] of Charlotte Cushman there are a +++! she desires kindest love to you.


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Parker House, Boston, MA, US

Geocode (Latitude)


Geocode (Longitude)



Lorenz frequently annotated her own transcripts to indicate illegible words or unclear transcriptions of words/phrases

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Transcript of Letter from Charlotte Cushman to [Sidney Lanier], Jan 3, 1875,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed June 25, 2024,

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