Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow, Dec 24, 1858

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Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow, Dec 24, 1858


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920
Hosmer, Harriet Goodhue, 1830-1908
Social Events--Travels
Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex


Charlotte Cushman tells Emma about her language barriers and ongoing struggles with the house renovations in Via Gregoriana, Rome. Emma Stebbins and Charlotte have still not been able to move. Harriet Hosmer who has helped Cushman out in the past with her knowledge of the Italian language is herself busy setting up her Zenobia statue. Additionally, Hosmer struggles with health issues. The letter is a follow-up on the letter from Nov 26, 1858. Cushman's social responsibilities keep her from writing to Emma and her family more frequently. Charlotte asks Emma to refrain from having "flirtations" with other people.


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


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


LoC, CCP 1: 90-91





Letter Item Type Metadata


[90] If my darling little love could see me for one day. how I am torn to pieces by +++ and troubles of one & every kind. she would forgive me silence & find excuses for me. every morning am out of bed at 7 1/2. & by 9. I am up at the house trying to get things straight. trying to for the work people not[?]. trying to get the furniture in, trying to make them understand what I want. waiting for work people until I am as nearly distracted as a pour human being can be. I cannot write. My family. my friends all complain. but I cannot help it. if they cannot find excuses for me. I must ever suffer all sorts of things at their hands. for I have more than my head can get through with. My difficulty has been much increased by not being able to speak. the language so. I have misunderstood much. & so +++ Hatty all the early part of the time[?] was with me at the house a good deal. but the work progressed So slowly we could do but little good. but within the last two weeks she has been very busy +++ setting up her Zenobia. & has not been able to assist me at all. Thrown upon my own resources the matter has been more difficult. but I am slowly pushing my way through it. only being worried to think & fee that those I love are imagining

[90 reverse] themselves neglected by me. Darling dont doubt +++ my affection. a thousand times a day. if I could only speak my thoughts sufficiently loud to reach to St Louis. you would find proof of my faithful remembrance & affection. but I cannot find the time just now to set them down in letters — forgive me. my pet & believe that I love you all the same & that when the evil days have passed I shall come but all the brighter for this gloom. my patience never was so souly tied. never so nearly exhausted & perhaps if you saw me or were near me now. you would not find me so lovable as when I had fewer cares & anxieties. I am obliged to write whenever and where on I can. sometimes at the studio of Miss Stebbins — sometimes at the Bank. sometimes, but rarely, do l get time to write in my own rooms at the hotel. for I am seldom there. save at night. there is much visiting & giving in visits too now & will be for the next 2 months. before +++. So that we have sometimes three[?] parties in one night. & I do not even get time to return the proper compliments after recovery hospitately [?, sic]. so you may judge of my occupations. which seem to be getting heavier & heavier as time gets on before going into my house Your dear letter enclosing the pretty toilet cushion cover reached me yesterday. just in time to say merry Xmas to me I kissed it my darling

[91] for it had touched your hands & I thought you might have sent me kisses in its folds. Bless you my darling for your pretty thoughts & acts. I love you dearly — just as dearly as you would have me. if you could make a measure of quantity which would suit you. I think of all your loving loving acts & words with the +++ affection & only wish I could thank you more worthily for all you do to show me your love. but I am a beggar even in thanks! I love you. I love you. Your letter has worried me. dear, worried me that you are so surrounded by sickness. worried that your father seems so worn. & most worried that the chances seem getting smaller of you getting away to England this summer. but darling. you must[?] try to come. all you can. I will urge Hattie to write to your father about his coming. but I am very much afraid that he will not let you come at my solicitation. if he did not +++ it sufficiently to bring you on from Newport to bid me good bye after I had come all the way to St Louiesto see you. I dont [sic]think he would +++ my wishes in the matter — but tell me. my darling any thing you will have me do. & I will do it to accomplish such a result. keep yourself +++ for me & mine. dont [sic] have flirtations, which unworthy of a proud spirited woman. dont [sic] run away. dont [sic] fall in love with your neighbours [sic] house or her bursband or her

[91 reverse] +++ or her pretty dresses or any thing else +++ is here. if you do you break commandments +++ is dreadful! about loving you less. if you shou+++ I must not enter upon that subject here for[?] I[?] have not room & I can only send you this one note to day. Love is so eminently subtle. That it[?] is[?] not be contrould [sic]. we may love what we no +++ respect. but the trial is dangerous. when respect +++ gone — we can never answer for the moment +++ love may take wings & once they are lifted. depen+++ upon it. They cannot be +++ in +++ +++  soft+++ & purity. I shall +++ more than I +++ to confess if any thing should happen to +++  you coming to me next year. I shall do all I can[?] to accomplish it. but what can I do? — Hatty is not at all well. She is having any quantity[?] of boils.  which are coming round her throat & neck. & she was confined to the house for a +++ with one. she has not heard of Miss Coolidges [?, sic] death & I am rather afraid to tell her just now she has not time to write to her father. &  to say I dont [sic] think she feels as much inclination[?] to do so as she does to your father & yet you see she does not write even to him. God ever bless you my sweet darling. Love me & ever +++
Kindest love to all your family +++ your faithful


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920


Rome, Italy

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Geocode (Longitude)



Unfortunately, tape was used to stick the letter pages to blank pages in the folder, which impacts readability of the words at the end of lines on some pages.

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow, Dec 24, 1858,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed April 22, 2024, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/390.

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