Letter from Kate Field to Emma Crow, May 20, 1860

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Letter from Kate Field to Emma Crow, May 20, 1860


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex
Actors and Actresses--US American
Gender Norms
Political Affairs
Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920
Blagden, Isabella "Isa", 1816?-1873
Manners / Etiquette


In this witty letter, Field criticizes the Union and advises Emma Crow to not enter the US until the next presidential elections. Field writes in the context of the Italian revolution. (She dreams of "decapitating Francis Joseph"). Reflecting the friendship among the correspents and their mutual awareness of their respective relationships with women, Kate Field evokes gender parody and same-sex marriage, when refers to Charlotte Cushman as "Romeo" and to Isa Blagden as "Hubby." She informs Emma that "Romeo and co." are on their way to Paris, where they would meet with Emma.


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


Field, Kate, 1838-1896


LoC, CCP 11





Letter Item Type Metadata


[3298]Dear know-nothing Emma;
Your politics & I approve of; you have shown yourself a consummate thimblerigger by absconding from the Democratic ranks as the doings of the Charleston convention predict the downfall of this once omnipotent faction. America seems in a fair way being blown up and I beseech you know nothing as you are to at least remain  this side of the waters until the next Presidential election decides the union's fate. Hang the union I say, I am perfectly disgusted with it  Italy is progressing nobly. Garibaldi is setting  +++ on fire and Naples is expected to revolt before long. We are in perfect exstacies and were I a man this letter should be dated from the camp of les chasseurs des Alpes instead of quiet Florence. We are fearful sober now; since Victor Emanuel's departure we have had no excitement but now  the war down South promises a little comfortable agitation. About Nouvelle Carte d'Europe has sent us into fits a capital mapping out and appropriation of other  people's property and the handsome American plays quite an important part. you have read it? Mrs. Browning's poems are  grand for the most part. She has lately sent  a poem on Victor Emanuel to the N.Y.   Independent which is very good. Mr. Trollope's new work "Filippo Strazzi" is full  of valuable information and well worth  your perusal. His brother Antony with Chapman the publisher are expected here  has  for a visit very shortly  since I last wrote you my dear aunt discended upon us: for the space of five days - she came - we saw - she vanished, and I am  left stranded upon despair. What is the  use of affections - they are always getting 

[3298 reverse] people into trouble - down with them.  You are very much mistaken when you  imagine that I have everything to my liking  +++ a wrong idea on your part – to be  sure I am in Italy but that is not  the only desire one is supposed to be  possessed of. If you could only see me  without my boots as +++ says you would  behold what unrequited hopes are.  Romeo and Co. must be now en route for  Paris and there as I understand, you are to meet the party. What a jolly time you will have! Tell Romeo of my aunt's solitary journey to me and that she will find her probably in New York. Mr. Albinold has left for North and sails for America June 18th. He is as fine man.  Mr. Garnes leaves for the same  +++ the middle of June taking with him a  manuscript work on art and many of his pictures. Hubby that is Miss Blagden sometimes talks of going to England but I think she will decide upon Sienna provided the Brownings pass the summer there. Miss Cobbe leaves for England early in June after having  endeavored herself to everyone. One never  would imagine she was a "moral" person  We probably go to +++ for July  and August. The physician has recommended this change and it ought  to be made I suppose. Mother's health is cosè cosè[?] and mine is improving.  Do you know a new and shining light  has risen up in the literary firmament of America? A woman withal  that, is the best of it – a Miss Prescott 

[3299] of Newburyport and a friend of some of my  great friends. She has written Sir Rohan's  Ghost - Amber Lads & c. These I have  not been able to see but a story of hers  in the Altantic Monthly for may called  "circumstances" is very bold, graphic and  intensely original. I recommend it to you.  The author is only twenty-four and is destined, it seems to me, to arrive at great  things. I have written to her with yankee  assurance, in the hope of extorting reply and  finding out what she is made of. They say she is very reserved, good looking and I  should fancy – very good. This last characteristic is decidedly a drawback for  a person accustomed to the laissez-faire life of Florence. Before long, I shall  have become thoroughly unfit for American society.  Miss Riggs the young lady from New York, whom  some report to be worth $ 50000. and   other nothing at all, is said to be engaged  to any Italian officer, poor but of good  family. Miss. Coalley the other rich girl in prospective is engaged positively to George Magnay[?], the jockeylooking man, in the bank of  +++ and Smith here. The young lady  might have done much better in  America - but fools are yet walking  about the earth.  Florence its positively bewitching - the weather  is fine though rather warm and foliage  is revelling in luxury. Yesterday we visited the celebrated gardens of Rencellai, once in possession of  Lorenzo the Magnificent and where Macliavelli and others used to 

[3299 reverse] assembled in a temple +++ for the  purpose, where the discussed Play and philosophy generally [inserted] This lovely garden  and villa is within the walls of  a the city and now owned by  +++ Piombino of Rome  I am still sitting in oil[?] as aunt Corda  when here decided on a profile instead of ful face. The first painting  will be finished and retained by the  artist unless some of my enemies will  have the kindness to buy it. +++ bidder[?] goes to America and I am in hope  he can dispose of it there, that be may[?]  get the money. Aunt Corda takes the profile, a most unsatisfactory species  of likeness I think. Have you been  taken in photograph for me? Those  little cards are very pleasant souvenirs of friends. Send me Mary  also.  Emma Crow, talk of knownothings! why I  more than belong to the  +++ judging from this stupidissimo letter  See what you have brought upon  yourself, by a correspondence with me. But you who are travelling almost  constantly alighting upon novelties  cannot of expect the came brilliance[?]  from a poor, steady, mill horse  who does nothing but- read Italian  newspapers and dream of decapitating Francis Joseph and  +++ no 2 or Bourbone.[?] If you won't  have politics you must have worse.   Mother joins me in love to Mary and  Miss +++ not forgetting yourself 
Ever your political persecutor 
Kate Field 


Field, Kate, 1838-1896


Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920



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Field, Kate, 1838-1896, “Letter from Kate Field to Emma Crow, May 20, 1860,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed July 15, 2024, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/376.

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