Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow, Mar 31, 1858

Dublin Core


Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow, Mar 31, 1858


Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex
Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920
Social Events--Travels
Hosmer, Harriet Goodhue, 1830-1908
Crow, Wayman, 1808-1885


In this letter, Charlotte reassures Emma of her love. She promises to visit Emma soon. Charlotte mentions Harriet Hosmer who is trying to find a winter residence in Rome for Cushman. At the end of the year, Charlotte would eventually move to Via Gregoriana, Rome. Repeatedly, Charlotte mentions Emma's father Wayman Crow in her letters to Emma as she does not want to offend and snub him.
Cushman also mentions a Nashville paper report that she does not approve of and only sends this piece of information with annotations to Emma.


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


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


LoC, CCP 1:60-61





Letter Item Type Metadata


[60] My dear little lovers letter, long letter, sent to Mobile reached me at Memphis on the 26th. & her sweet little note of the 22d [sic!] came to my hands on the evening of the 28h [sic!]. For both of which. Thanks. They would have been answered before, but that I have been very very busy. & had a long and very +++ journey on Saturday. (29 km). which made Monday a lost day – yesterday I was very poorly. & could not write. Last night at the +++ +++ & your +++ letter of the 25th. Bless you my child for all your love for me. which you express so naively. yet frankly. I know you love me dearly & love is very very precious in this world. You say in your note of the 22d[sic!]. "Do you then really love me? How funny [underlined twice]!" Is it funny. dear. or only strange. or does your "funny" mean "strange". you dear little patron. +++ monkey? Explain your meaning. "funny" to me. implies something ludicrous! & that is an element I dont like in love! - How should I have been startled to see you in Memphis. & how delighted I should have been. Sorry for the cause - but so glad of the fact. No dear it was not "my worry" not to tell Papa why you did +++[crossed out] to come! It would have perhaps wounded him & so you did right to spare him - & I do not think we can help our feelings or impulses - so you were not wrong for wishing to come to see me. I should have kept you until I come to St Louis - which is now put off again. I do not say. I am not coming! no, dear; I could not go. & be quite happy. without seeing you again. & I cannot bear to come & stay such a little while. as I

[reverse] am able to afford myself. but necessity[?] knows no law. & I cannot leave here until the night of Wednesday. 7th. I shall try very hard to get the Wednesdays steamer. to wait until after the play. & talk me on to the +thland [?] - when I must chance a steamer for Cairo. so as to get in St Louis by Saturday morning at the latest. so you shall come down to the Planters House at 10. & find me & you shall keep me with you. from that time all the time if you will. I come to St Louis solely to see you [underlined]. so you must not be put away. & even though I am talking to Papa or sister. you can remain near me - can you not? For coming to the Hotel to sleep with me. darling. I think if I were your Papa or Mama. I should be sorry to refuse you – but I should be sorry to have you do such a thing. I need not assure you of the true pleasure it would be to me. your own heart which tells you that you are dear to me. will speak for me. if you doubt that I want you and if I were on a visit to your house [inserted] I would open my arms gladly to such a visitee. & you should talk to me & keep me awake all nights if you would. but I dont like my "pretty white bird" coming to the Hotel to sleep. from such a pretty chamber as she would have. Sweet, I am not going to act in St Louis. I shall be compelled to leave again on Monday morning. & shall send one from Cairo. all my luggage to Cincinnati. where I have to go after Chicago. & St Louis. so that I come with only one box – to see you. I will see you. all that

[61] I can. but I do not like to ask for you to come to sleep with me at the Hotel. does my "little love" +++ understand my feeling – and does she +++ me +++ it for all I feel with regard to her. I hope she does! - I will not have you +++ to what I love. you abuse yourself & your hair all of which is dear to me. and  +++ ask me to forgive & excuse you. You may abuse me if you like. but what would you say if I abused myself. as you do yourself! I send you a slip from a Nashville paper. see what it says. dont show it darling. I dont like such things. & only send it to you for the lines which I have underscored! & which makes my objection to your censure of yourself applicable you have is what pleases me. & therefore I have a right to ask for it - & when I come. if I do sleep with you. I will cut off one of your curls as you lay sleeping by my side. I will kiss you further pretty thought of getting me a little picture of you. it was very very kind and nice. you darling! I am more disappointed than I should like to confess at your not getting to Rome this winter. next winter you must not talk so much about it - & then perhaps you will be gratified. ah. I should like very much to show you all the beautiful things there. However, when you do [underlined] come you will find Hattie nicely situated. for we are really going to have a home together. & she is now as busy as a bee [underlined] arranging about the purchase of an apartment for me. for it will be my winter home for many years. - How sad for you my "bird" [underlined]/ how naughty of you to call yourself a goose [underlined] I will punish

[reverse] you for all these things when I see you./ to +++ had this loss +++ your family- & the poor  +++ ones +++ must have made your heart acting I am glad any letter came at the right time & for your pleasure. This is what I would +++ do. and now. sweet, you ask me to write +++ on the 3d[sic!]. as it is your birth day [sic!]. but I have thought it might be better for me to write to +++ & then perhaps you may get it on your birthday which would be unexpectedly, would it not. +++ +++ You +++ you should get a note from me that natal day! God bless it & you, my child. I make you as happy as you are good +++ may every suspicion of cloud be trusted away from +++ +++. & may you be as joyful- as I wish you +++ I enclose your truly kisses here! take them quietly or they are so volatile they will escape +++ & your birth day [sic!] will be cheated [?] of me of its first [?] nights [?]. I will think of you, my pet very tenderly +++ day. I am glad you are going to have all the pretty olive & gold books. ah. our [?] should be very thankful for the poets who speak so much for +++ Do you not like +++ some poem called "+++ +++" and do you know Lowells poem upon the same subject.-. +++ dear. I do like the Princess very much [both words underlined]. & especially the 344 page. to which you drew [?] my attention. I would look over it with you when you [?] come. how. I must have you if I would have this note go to day. or it will be late for the +++ I doubt +++ +++ until the 7th_. remember so I may hear from you again here.  Goodbye my darling little love.- & believe me ever & ever
Your loving mistress


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920


Nashville, TN

Geocode (Latitude)


Geocode (Longitude)


Location (Recipient)

St. Louis, MO

Secondary Texts: Comments

Dudden (1994) wrongly identified this letter as being directed to Stebbins (218).

Social Bookmarking




Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow, Mar 31, 1858,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed April 22, 2024, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/81.

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