Letter from Charlotte Cushman and Emma Stebbins to the Fields family, May 3, 1860

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Letter from Charlotte Cushman and Emma Stebbins to the Fields family, May 3, 1860


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Fields, Annie, 1834-1915
Fields, James Thomas, 1817-1881
Social Events--Travels


Cushman expresses her delight upon receiving a letter from the Fields while they were in Florence. She will leave Rome on May 13th, weather permitting, and plans to arrive in London on May 25th or 26th. She will pick up the Crows in Paris along the way where they will stay in the Colonnade Hotel. She will apprise the Fields of any change in her "movements."
Furthermore, Cushman talks about how she frequently speaks highly of the Fields with Emma and her friends.
Cushman permitted Emma to write a page to the Fields but "like a great cormorant" she has taken up two pages.
Emma writes how dearly she misses the Fields and hopes to see them soon in Paris or London. She is disappointed about her failed photograph of the Lotus Eater and regrets that she will not be able to carry on with Mr. Tennyson's commission. She also writes about the bad weather in Rome.


Huntington Library, James Thomas Fields Papers and Addenda


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882


Huntington, JTFP, Box 12, FI 680





Letter Item Type Metadata


[page 1] How long it seems dear friends since you left us. & how we are wondering where you are & how & where you have been & what you have seen since we received your nice sweet letter from Florence! +++ thought it was so kind & thoughtful of you to write to us from Florence on your arrival. you gave us a real & sincere pleasure to think you cared for us enough to do so. tired as you must have been. How many times since the receipt of that same letter have we determined to write to you. but the uncertainty of one +++ prevented us. Now, however, that we are resolved upon leaving here on the 13". God willing & weather permitting. & on the 16" +++. though we should be detained over the 13". we can fix with some small certainty upon [?] our movements & hasten [?] to apprise you. We have talked of you by ourselves & with our friends. many a time [?] & oft [?]. You have +++ +++ you the most charming of all impressions. I dont [sic] think any body has been here [?] this winter whose success was so complete as yours - or who gave all who +++ within then however such +++ as you did. How glad then we are that you asked +++

[page 2] I gave Emma permission to fill one page. & like a great cormorant she has gone & filled up two. but I forgive her & so will you. for she writes so sweetly. & only leaving me this little scrap of room now. I can only say. That we hope to be in London about the 25" or 26" of May. When shall we find or hear of you at that time. I failed to tell you with what pleasure we received & read Transformations. It was the only copy in Rome for a length of time. & we enjoyed the monopoly very much but were no niggards of our +++. An English gentleman brought a copy. which the Storys & Brownings read before mine arrived. the former was in a beatified state. & has been ever since, at the fine things said of Cleopatra [?]. +++ is in Florence. nigh unto death I fear from all accounts. +++ made a capital bust of him before he went. Hattie Hosmer arrived safely in New York. I hope to hear from her on Monday. the Crows [?] are +++ about Germany. En route to London we hope to pick them up in Paris on one way. We mean to try to +++ at the [inserted] Colonade [sic] Hotel. if we can in London. not knowing what else to do. can you advise anything better - if so send word to +++ & Co. Paris – God bless you. dear souls both & believe me ever affectionately & truly yours. Charlotte Cushman

[page 3] Begin on the next page but one.
Dear Miss Cushman allows me space in her paper to send a few words of greeting to our dear friends, who though absent in the body - have been & are present with us. in all true & pleasant ways. I cannot tell you how often we have regretted that we did not avail ourselves of that kind offer of yours. "by way of +++"- especially when your kind letter came telling us of all the delicious +++ of the way & how much you had enjoyed it. I do not know that I. for one. have profited much by the time thus seemingly gained. I have been hard at work as usual but the result is not very tangible. The photograph of the Lotus Eater. I am sorry to say. has not turned out well - the +++ who was so +++ as to inspire your muse to say
such sweet things about [?] him - looks heavy & clumsy enough to have been an eater of much more substantial food. as it is. I do not wish to show it as a presentment of my statue - and a drawing which has been made of it. & from which I hoped to retrieve the disappointments in the photograph - has not been much more successful. I shall not therefore be able to carry out our private for +++ with regard to Tennyson much to my regret & disappointment— your little sonnet enclosed in a letter to my Mother in America has given the supremest satisfaction - my partial +++ +++ from it - that I am already at the very topmost [?] sound of the

[page 4] ladder of fame! - see what you have it in your power to do. - Since your departing I have made one or two sketches - and am now pour passer le temps - modeling a bust of a bella donna Romana — a woman who is more truly a princess in all outward seeming — than any of the titled sort[?] I have seen — she is only a model. but grand and noble in the highest degree. Miss Cushman has told you of our movements - the moment is imminent now - and the weather continues obstinately - bad - cold, wet windy - just now the Via Gregoriana is running like a river. hail is falling & then disgrowling. - St Peters Church black & huge against heavy masses of lurid clouds — the +++ +++ stand steadfast at +++ - is not this a prospect for people - who are always seasick! - Rome is well nigh empty now - but pleasant notwithstanding - and spite of the bad weather - the country looks lovely. the Campagna is glorious. & such a flush. of roses everywhere. we do not ride much. it is too wet & muddy. But when shall we see you again - that is the question - in Paris or London - or not until we stand on our native heath once more [?] — Miss Cushman says, London. I hope so - it will be a great pleasure there especially to see your friendly faces. & grasp your kindly hands - for John Bull at home is even more antipatica than abroad — until then many greetings - and most [?] affectionate 

[page 4 added vertically] remembrances from yours truly & lovingly Emma Stebbins 


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882


Fields, Annie, 1834-1915
Fields, James Thomas, 1817-1881


Rome, Italy

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Geocode (Longitude)



The annotations list Elizabeth Stuart Stebbins as one of the letters' creators, but the correct name is Emma Stebbins.

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876 and Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882, “Letter from Charlotte Cushman and Emma Stebbins to the Fields family, May 3, 1860,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed June 25, 2024, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/678.

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