Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow Cushman, July 15, 1860

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Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow Cushman, July 15, 1860


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920
Cushman, Edwin "Ned" Charles, 1838-1909
Political Affairs
Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882
Social Events--Travels


Cushman mentions Emma's "deep tender passionate love" for her. Cushman laments that she finds herself "constrained" in her action denied "free frank expression of love" for Emma, "for fear of wounding & hurting others."
She informs Emma about a rough passage on sea. Cushman will refrain from going South to California because of the stories that Emma's father told her.
She is grateful to her "devoted loving friends" among who is Emma Stebbins. Cushman also discusses consulship for Ned and her role in these affairs in which Mr Seward takes a prominent role.


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


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


LoC, CCP 1:172-173





Letter Item Type Metadata


[172] ah my sweet darling how long it seems since I wrote to you. how more long it seems since I saw you & held you to my heart in that short hurried embrace at the +++ Station. how longer still it seems to the time when I shall see you again Have you thought me unkind and unloving that I did not send you a line by the +++ steamer—when Ned wrote to you. He might have told you that I purposed & wished to write that up to the very last moment I thought I should be able to write. but I was prevented, by matters which I could not controul [sic] & now I have received a letter from my sweet constant 'little love' which rebukes me writing in its tenderness & loving trust. for my delay in +++; as I ought to have done. Sweetheart do you not know by your own heart how much I love you. how truly[?] & constantly I think of you I think you +++ I know I never doubt your love for me I only wish I were as sure of heaven as I am of the deep tender passionate love which I know lives in your heart for me I wish I were more worthy of it my darling. more able to show you how I value

[172 reverse] & appreciate it. but that were idle. I can never show you all my heart as I would: I am ever[?] tied down by circumstances. constrained in my action denied my free[?] frank expression of love for you. for fear of wounding & hurting others[?] ah dear one will this ever end. will the time come when I may show all my earnest love for you as it exists & have no restraint upon me alas I fear! I fear! but I will hope & trust & wait for God has been most merciful & kind to me. giving me loving and tender hearts to sustain me helping me with affection in my utmost needs. & giving me all things good & helpful for me I thank him for this & in this has he shown me his love. the strong nescessity [sic] of my life for the earnest love of my kind has been most mercifully met I have never been without tender devoted loving friends to minister to my needs. God keep me from ever wounding the hearts of those who love me. help me to be a comfort & helper to all who lean upon me. save me from the sin of ingratitude to those who so love & +++ & make me worthy of all the good I get!

[173] Darling. our passage was miserably like November cold. tempestuous & full of sickness. These days we were in bed; dreading every movement of the ship which pitched & tossed like a thing possessed. three days more before we could eat or drink any thing three days more for Aunt Emma's suffering from indigestion, which made her wretched to behold, but after my first six days out. I became comparatively well but the passage was miserable & long and uncomfortable. Arrived, we had not been in the house an hour before your good father showed himself to welcome me & ask for letters. but my luggage had not come & I could not get them. Ned sent them however the next day. Your father is looking so well & seems so happy at getting you home again. He has not got to Newport [inserted] Lenox yet. but will do so this week. He went on to Boston to see Hattie about the +++ Statue letter & then to Lenox. where your mother & the children were staying. on Thursday he came to New York again & saw me (he looks very well) I agreed to meet him in Phila yesterday evening. & hither I came to transact some business. met your good father. we have had much talk over my affairs, in which he takes the kindest interest & tomorrow we go on to New York together &

[173 reverse] he is going to Newport on Thursdays meeting your mother[?] at Worcester[?] & taking her on there. He is going to look for some quiet nook where we can repose the bones of Miss Stebbins [sic] sister Mrs Garland Mrs Stebbins Aunt Emma & I. some where about 8 or 9 miles from Newport proper. where they can repose in quiet while[?] Ned & I disport ourselves about visiting my different friends in Newport. & running back to the country place between times. Thus I mean to get to Boston for a[?] bit before you come. so as to be in Newport a little after you get back. At how I long to see you once again. I should[?] not go to California. Your father has painted me such a picture of the miseries as described by +++ I am frightened. If I act it will only be in the North & I may not leave the country until after the 1" of Jany.—Darling I am so glad you enjoyed your last trip & Scotland. by this time you are in Paris or on +++ Swiss tour. Your father says your mother is anxious lest[?] you should not have time to make your ward robes +++ right before leaving Paris. Ah, he is so good so kind &  loves you so dearly! Here is his card just sent up. I have been out to dinner & am home in time to +++ you this. before my appointment with him. Darling +++, so impossible for me to write in New York. +++

[172 written across the page] there I am torn in peices [sic] & have not a moment to call +++ own aunt Emma says for any thing she sees of me she might as well +++ +++ on the other side of the Atlantic my friends are loving but inconsiderate—kiss me very beloved & know how dearly I love you by the thrill[?] such a blissful act would join us. Monday Morning. I am just off to attend some business which will occupy me for the day. I may not be able to write more but if I can I shall Darling your letter to me arrived before your letter to Ned. he was in an agony. so I read him certain portions of yours which I deemed wisest for him to know. he was in great  trouble that you thought his note frigid—but it gave me an excellent opportunity for me to say certain things I wished & I embraced it For instance his asking you to tell him of his faults & then when

[172 reverse, written across the page] you +++ him not let you think you were stronger than he that we should have taken offence[?] & thought you considered yourself superior to him. I do think darling that Mary has done Ned much harm in this respect. She thinks this herself & has always said so to him. ah darling I am so troubled about you & Ned. I do not in my soul think him equal to you in any respect. &  if you were my daughter & should choose so. it would go nigh[?] to make me miserable. However perhaps before anything can come of this circumstances may change the whole face of affairs. Ned is most anxious to get into some business in New York.  & my influence seems likely to accomplish this: while my friends Mr Seward not being in power I cannot well accomplish the consulship. & I know not if it would be just to Ned to tie him

[173 written across the page] down to an office which pays nothing & so killing four years of his life in which he might be learning some business for himself—However we shall see what turns up during the summer—God ever bless you my beloved prays your ever faithful & devoted Ladie.


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920


Continental Hotel, 9th & Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow Cushman, July 15, 1860,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed July 18, 2024, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/531.

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