Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Helen Hunt Jackson, Dec 6, 1869

Dublin Core

Title

Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Helen Hunt Jackson, Dec 6, 1869

Subject

Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920
Jackson, Helen Hunt
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882
Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex
Italy--Rome
Illness
Gossip--Private
Frustration
Intimacy--As topic

Description

At this state, Charlotte Cushman is "a poor shaky old 'queen'" who contemplates going back to the US.
She comments on her relationship with Emma Stebbins and reveals a breach of trust with, presumably, Emma Crow Cushman:
"You are wrong dear in you [sic] term 'wife Emma' - 'friend Emma' is the more correct state of things, thanks to the gentlemanly little person of whom we have spoken & therefore as you will see, when you know all, I am not even the leastest[?] bit unjust or unkind. The largest sorrow & mortification my life I owe to that young person, who, invited to stay in my house in Rome, then abused my trust & repaid my hospitality: for three years I would not see her, but during my illness I made up my mind to put all animosities behind me, & offered to see her again, but for this: I do not love her. I am not ashamed, you see, to show you the weak side of my character."


Transcripts courtesy of Nancy Knipe, Colorado College.

Creator

Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876

Source

Date

1869-12-06

Type

Reference

Letter Item Type Metadata

Text

Darling,
with a Sirocco blowing I am so confused in my head that I have no right to attempt a note to you, but Miss Stebbins has offered to enclose anything for me to you through Miss Rodick & I gladly embrace the opportunity, as I cannot embrace you - to acknowledge receipt of your dear and welcome letter of the 1st which came to me yesterday morning & gave me a most [graphic?] account of your beings & and doings. I sympathise with you dear in your Rose douche &c at 40, & lower, but I think it is better than Sirocco, which draws all your nerves into so many strings, upon which any tune can be played & which you have no power to control. Yesterday afternoon I began to have a very confused & wretched feeling in my head, & was thinking of the possibility of the African winds being felt here." I was greatly troubled to find myself weak, to hear, this morning as I waked from my third doze of the night, for I had had no sleep, I heard my maid say "sirocco", & then the mystery was explained. If I am to suffer on going back to Rome every time the sirocco blows, what is to become of me? You will have to wait & take me back to America, for by that time, you will be "a paint refreshed" with your water treatment, will be able to take care of me, a poor shaky old "queen"!

I am so glad you do not find America so imminent, as it seemed to you when we two sat face to face. I do not think you ought to go, & from what I gathered from you, and Miss Cumming, I should not think she ought to come. But you must pardon my impertinence in speaking of your other duties as though I knew any thing about them. You must do what you must do-is it not so? And I will pray for you, God speed, whatever you may do!

You are wrong dear in you [sic] term "wife Emma" - "friend Emma" is the more correct state of things, thanks to the gentlemanly little person of whom we have spoken & therefore as you will see, when you know all, I am not even the leastest [?] bit unjust or unkind. The largest sorrow & mortification my life I owe to that young person, who, invited to stay in my house in Rome, then abused my trust & repaid my hospitality: for three years I would not see her, but during my illness I made up my mind to put all animosities behind me, & offered to see her again, but for this: I do not love her. I am not ashamed, you see, to show you the weak side of my character. I know all her good qualities & do not deny them, but I have felt what you must feel, before you can judge whether I am the leastest bit naughty! I do kiss you, dear, & hold you to my heart in loving trust. Never fear to tell me what you think of me! For I love you very much, & find in you comfort! I am not well dear, but better I hope & believe. I expect to be in Rome the 14th-write to me often, as often as you can without crowding your day, & taking too much out of you.

Oh, my dear what [clever?] writing in the Chicago letter in the Tribune. I don't wonder you admire her. Your ever loving
C.C.

From

Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876

To

Jackson, Helen Hunt, 1830-1885

Location

Nice, France

Geocode (Latitude)

43.7009358

Geocode (Longitude)

7.2683912

Social Bookmarking

Geolocation

Collection

Citation

Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Helen Hunt Jackson, Dec 6, 1869,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed July 19, 2024, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/438.

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