Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow Cushman, Sep 17, 1865

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Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow Cushman, Sep 17, 1865


Cushman, Edwin "Ned" Charles, 1838-1909
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882
Travel Reports
Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920
Mercer, Sallie
Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex


Cushman thanks Emma for her thoughtful letters and states that the world would be "very bare & bitter" without her. She asks Emma to be patient with her as she is still struggling with her health, but she assures her that she "shall come out all right."
Cushman is not surprised that Ned is troubling Emma but assures her that he loves her dearly. Cushman is thankful to Emma for taking on the responsibility of taking care of Ned yet is sorrowful for having been selfish by burdening her.
Cushman is excited that Emma's son has requested a photo of her and looks forward to spending more time with him.
Miss Lloyd has visited Cushman on Friday and convinced her to spend a week in Wales with her, resulting in a belated arrival in London. She has accepted Miss Lloyd's advice on how to send Ned and Emma Stebbins' horses to Italy and provides Emma with instructions for Ned on how he is to handle the transportation once he receives the horses in France.


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


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


LoC, CCP 3: 826-829





Letter Item Type Metadata


[826] I have recd your two dear letters of the 12" & 14 inst my darling treasure daughter. & bless you from my heart for all the love & care & thoughtfulness they bring me. what should I do for faith in the world but for you! find comfort in the thought that but for your love & your devotion. The world would be a very bare & bitter one just now. Be patient with me dear darling. if I seem to fail you for the moment. I am steering a bark [?] through [illegible, crossed out] troubled water but shall come out all right. bringing with me what I have so dearly +++ for eight & a half year [sic]. That I cannot give it up without struggle & consequent suffering. If I did not feel that had been greatly myself to blame in letting it go. drifting about. To be picked up by any one who chose. I might suffer less. but enough of this subject. which only you know of, [illegible, crossed out] except [inserted] of ourselves & those most nearly interested. it will all come right in time. But you know that your auntie is an adhesive nature. That what she once loves she never wholly gives up. Even though separated by distance time & feeling. There could not come a revolution in her small world. so near the heart. & not being with it convulsion of suffering.

[826 reverse] but dont [sic] worry about it. I am sorry I am was so rash as to say anything about my having wished you to remain in America this summer. All is for the best. to those who strive to do right. whether it seems all wrong or not. Sorrows are of her blessing in disguise. & I believe this trouble which I have known. will prove of good to me in the end. I have during the last year. narrowed much my business relations. & now I shall begin to narrow more my social ones. & it will be better for all. in the future — about my movements darling. I must write you & have the +++ of more matters of feeling until we [?] can stand face to face. & with my head upon your shoulder. you can keep me to greater calm & peace.— What you tell me of your trouble with N. before he left you. troubles. but does not amaze me. I know he loves you beyond all & every thing in the world. You have the only influence on him. in the world. you were generous enough & loved me enough to take this upon yourself for me. & only God knows how thankful I am to you for it. I oftentimes bow my head in sorrow that I ever suffered any one. especially you whom I love so dearly & tenderly. to take any of the +++ upon which the almighty had given me to have. but I was selfish in this. I wanted you to belong to me. & I weak enough to give you this miserable responsibility

[827] I pray you & God to forgive me. Dont [sic] be disheartened for yourself or our baby boy. you & I. when we are once together quietly will be strong enough for him & we will pray together to be good & true & fit for the charge which has been given to us. Though I seem to be much too much preoccupied just now with my own cares. I am not at all unmindful of my obligations & my duties & my joys. which wait me in the future. to compensate me for all I have suffered [inserted] & do suffer. I found such a thick [?] of pleasure at my heart. as I read your account of darling baby wanting my photo. every morning. & then at his soup feeding me & kissing me alternately. as this is a sweet way of making him learn to love me & he will when I come to be with him quietly every day, to be with me after his breakfast, & in my drives [?]. my daily companion. I am not going to do so much visiting this winter. I am not strong enough for it. I feel much out of health. so weak & good for nothing. and this. in a Roman climate which is so weakening in itself. would be bad serious if I did not map [?] myself. Thus. as the winter you were in Rome & when my poor sisters [sic] death kept me from visiting. I shall stop at home & take care of baby. while you do the visiting & giving in visits. & you & I both. will give up in a large measure our correspondence. it is the moth [?] of life. & if we write a dozen letters to a friend & do not write the 13". we shall be as hard thought of as if he had not written at all. & I begin to

[827 reverse] believe that if we value ourselves more. one friend will the more value us. & if we spare ourselves they will have to spare us. Nobody asks a selfish person to do anything. hence the selfish one spared. & done for! let us be selfish but just to our God first. to ourselves next. & after to a friend!— ah if I could only live as good a life, as I could preach!— no my sweet one. you cannot write too much about one baby boy. tell me all [about?] him. I am distressed [?] at what you say in your note of the 14'. about him. of course he is not going to get through his teething without some peril himself. & great anxiety to you & to me. You must not think Frank knows little about children but they dont [sic] think so much about them as the suffering [last two words inserted] of grown people. because baby life & pains are so miniature, that they dont [sic] give a physician such anxiety. There are natural sufferings & the remedies he gives you will help him. besides you have +++ +++ little book. Then again a physician. +++ Franco. is apt to think that he aggravates the anxieties of the parent. by making too much importance of the ailment of the child. so you can trust him dear. very well for your own sake & for mine. This heat of Paris must be very +++ for you & for dear baby. I shall be glad to have you finished your shopping for your mother & yourself. & get a little lounging [?] rest against +++ come. Oh how Ned must have suffered with his eye. poor fellow. but he should always sit back to +++

[828] I am sure his right eye is better. both mother & I noticed it particularly! so pray have him go on & Even [?] have a battery if the Doctor can trust you to apply it for him! and now to tell [?] you of my purposed movement on Friday on Friday [sic]. my good friend Miss Lloyd came down to pass a few days here. to see Mr Gaunts [sic, ?] place & go with me. if we would go. to Bolton Abbey. en route to Liverpool. She has found me so weak & poorly that she has over persuaded me to go over into Wales with her for a week. & I believe it will do me good. I dont [sic] want to come to you looking so good for nothing as I am now I shall continue to be until the end of the week. so I have arranged matters in the following way — & as I intended to leave London on the first of Oct. to you. you. I shall now put it off until the 4". I shall make you wait three days longer for me. but I cut four days out of my London stay. & then out of my Paris stay. so that you wont [sic] be kept much longer there than you would have done originally. for I have found such difficulty & enormous expense attending the idea of sending Neds [sic] & Aunt Em's horses by steamer. from Liverpool or London. That I am forced — & strengthened in my opinion by Miss Lloyd's advice who knows all the difficulties attending the sending of horses. & all their needs & requirements much better even than I do. to come to the conclusion to adopt the following plan. I find that to send a horse from London by the Italian Steamers takes 14 days Sea passage

[828 reverse] to +++. Then transshipment. to another steamer or else to Land. & a railway journey & sixty miles of land travel between +++ & +++ which is terrible for a horse. so that even though there should be seven days of quarantine. it wont [sic] hurt the horses. they will be safe from tossing about on the sea at mercy of winds & waves & by putting on board the messagarie [?] steamer at Marseilles. which leaves on Monday. Evening. I think [last two words inserted] for +++ & after a few hours delay proceeds to Civita Vecchia where it arrives Wednesday morning. sufficient +++ (hay. or what they call condensed groom) enough for the time. Even though the groom should be sick in quarantine — the horses would get enough to keep them from suffering — & that this is quite the best thing to do — for me to have them sent to London. On a Monday. start for Boulogne on a Tuesday. on Wednesday they will go to Paris. wh I shall send to L. Merlen [?]. expediture des chevaux au Bologne. +++ for forwarding to Paris & letting Ned have a letter to tell him at what hour they will arrive & where they are to be stalled. so that he can look them up. There they will stop one day to rest. & then Ned must make his arrangements for leaving with them & the man for Marseilles. when he must see them on board the steamer for Civita Vecchia. +++ to Mr Massanich acting Consul of the U S. a [?] — & then he himself must leave for Ned by rail & take diligence to Genoa [sic] & Speggia [sic]. There take rail for +++ & through by rail to +++ & +++

[829] to Civita Vecchia. there he will see +++ & learn what can be done about getting them out of quarantine. when they can be got out. if he has not been able to get them out before Ned arrives. If he can get them out. Ned must write & [last two words inserted] tell him to oblige him by paying duties etc & [last four words inserted] writing to +++ +++ & Co to inform Miss Cushmans [sic] +++ when the horses will arrive in Rome that he may be on the lookout for them – This will get over the difficulty of Neds [sic] getting to Rome. & then you & baby & nurse can go along with Aunt Em. & Sallie & me +++ Mont Curis. & Florence & we shall not be so dreadfully hurried. & can take our time. & then. if we are too long. after Ned has shown himself. assumed his office. & put things straight he can amuse himself. by going around among the artists & making himself [?] popular against [sic] we come. hurrying up household matters at 38 [via Gregoriana]. getting the boxes of things which I have sent out +++. & disposed off as I shall write to him after. Then you will be abled to stop a little quietly for me in Paris. & we will take matters as my health will let you. Dont you think this will be best. write & let me know. but after thinking the matter over & over again this is the conclusion I arrive at — I must now close. God ever bless you my darling. write to me to the Nook up to Thursday

[829 reverse] Miss Roberts Tyn-y- [illegible, crossed out] Coed [line inserted] & after. to [illegible, crossed out] Tyn-y-coed [illegible, crossed out] Dolgelly N. Wall when I shall remain until Saty the 30". & then to your grandmothers [sic]. If Ned is willing to adopt my plan. he must go to the +++ & learn what days the steamers go to Civita Vecchia
on there must be some arrangement with the French Gov. on account of the French occupation of Rome. about quarantine. & write me word — so that I may make my calculations — order horses forwarded &c &c &c &c Kiss me my darling daughter
kiss my darling baby for me. Tell him his big mama [illegible, crossed out] adores him. dear love to Ned. He will be glad to hear — that Miss Lloyd +++
he has got an Enormous bargain in his making but says she is too good to be knocked about & I ought to keep it for myself. for anything good enough for a man to side over the +++ stagionata in Rome – she knows more on horses than any man I ever saw. She is coming to Rome this winter & he must pick up any quantity of information from her about them & hunting generally — God be with you my darling children prays ever your devoted Auntie
Ladie —


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920


Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow Cushman, Sep 17, 1865,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed February 21, 2024, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/890.

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