Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow Cushman, Dec 18, 1862

Dublin Core


Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow Cushman, Dec 18, 1862


Intimacy--With Readers/Addressees
Intimacy--With Subjects
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882
Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920
Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex


Charlotte Cushman laments that she is living to far away from her "darling" Emma Crow Cushman. She mentions stock speculation business, financial concerns, social gatherings, memories of Emma Crow and her, and an accident of "woolly headed" Emma Stebbins.

Parts of letter illegible due to tape, see blog entry.


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


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


LoC CCP 2:504-506





Letter Item Type Metadata


[504] Rome. Dec" 18th 1862
How strange it seems for the post to come in & bring every body letters from America — but me! I know that the distance & uncertainties of postal communi-cation are great between St Louis & the East. but still make what allowances I will. I cannot bear to have the post come in without a letter from my darling! I dont [sic] imagine that you have neglected to take the letter to the post yourself. & yet you may have given it to Ned & it has been neglected by him, until too late to catch the steamer I dont [sic] imagine that you have not sent me my weekly handful & heartful of comfort. for you know how anxiously it is looked for. I never attribute my disappointment to you. you darling. for I judge of [sic] you by myself. Your last letter complained of not having +++ but two little notes from me since you return to America I explained how it was possible one of my letters had been detained in New York. for it was written in Paris. Was enclosed in a most particular letter of business. which ought to have left Liverpool by the 18" of Oc! but which — (if I can believe Col Stebbins) had not reached his hand until the 11" of Nov — which accounted for my sales of Erie. not been at the highest rates. & my exchange in remitting proceeds — being at the highest! My luck! and yet my letter was written & posted in Paris on the 15" of Oct. I cannot understand it. But this was the reason of your not having read my letter of that date — at your last writing. The next day commenced my [travels] &  of course you made allowances for that & did not expect letters. By this time (or rather. by then weeks ago). you began to get your letter from me more regularly I hope. I am a little more anxious about you. than you and to be about me The circumstances about you. make me naturally more anxious. all things make me anxious. especially about you & Ned. I know all that he is — better than you think & all that I gather from yours [sic] & your fathers [sic] letters. disquiets me

[504 reverse] then too. your health is a source of anxiety to me. what would become of me. if any thing should happen to you & I so far away from you. I should go wild! but I will not know more touble than I can carry. I love you too much my precious. to have you living so far away. Ma Pazienza! On Monday I had a letter from Mr Macalister telling me that my case would come up this month Dec" — when we should see what course Miss Roberts will take in the Harlan matter I confess to a feeling of despondency in the matter which I have not had before. I dont [sic] believe — in my present state of feeling — though I have before been sanguine of some [result] through Mr Macalisters [sic] letters from time to time. That I shall get much out of the estate! We shall see! Perhaps I am not in a hopeful or sanguine state of mind. He tells me that he has had a conference with the Boston creditor of the Spencer House. Cincinnati. (conjoint creditor with me on the Stelson property) — & they concluded to get possession of the property if possible. Thinking it [inserted] for one mu -tual interest! — so we go! I dont believe I shall get much out of that. but if Mr Macalister thinks it worth while to go on. I have nothing to say! — on Monday too I had a letter from Grandmother. written at West Derby: where she was to remain up to Xmas Eve & then return to London to Charles. She had taken cold. Early in Nov. in packing her box to go to [Flint] for a visit & was kept back 10 days. Then she went to [Flint.] & there. in changing her bed room. on the occasion of a grand soiree they gave in honour of the Prince's birthday. She took another cold. & was confined to her bed with rheumatism & +++. & she says nothing in the world could exceed the kindness & attention of Ian[?] & Richard to her. They were like children! Then she remained a fortnight & there went to visit Mr [Huntley][?]. one of the partners living a little distance (who was away on the continent when we were [illegible, crossed out] at [Flint]) — when she stayed a week. & then to the Hollies. She says Mabel had had a dreadful cold & cough — which latter clings to her & has a hollow sound which worries yr grandmother very much. Rosalie was to come home for the holidays on the 17th De." [Post] dear I hope she will enjoy them — but it is generally a hard time for her! — Mabel is

[505] to go to school in March. to Rainhill to these need[?].— From your uncle Charles I read a little note giving me general information he says in closing his letter on the 9" Dec" a letter has just come for mother directed by Ned." I am so glad if he has [written] to her, he ought to pay her some little attention. she has watched [tendered] him enough in times gone by. to make him a little thoughtful for her. — Now I must leave you. it is just 12 o'clock. & I have ordered my horse for a gallop in the [Baghese][?] grounds. Oh the weather is so cold. so biting cold but clear & bright. Xmas comes with a severe hard [inserted] but smiling face. I have a cold or cough on me. which prevents my riding later in the day. & yet I must have the exercise. or get ill. God bless you my darling — more by & by! Friday morning again at my devotions. though later than I like to be! but just now I have many occupations. I think I told you. that our parson Dr Butler. had read us an account of the early days of peril to Washington. Well. he is very poor. & it struck me that we might make up a little Christmas purse for him. by getting him to deliver it more publicly. for money. So I set about it. & I assure you it has taken a geat deal of time & attention. and asking - among people whom I dont [sic] know which has been a little of a bore[?] to me. However. it dont [sic] come but once in a way. & it will be of great good to him. I think we shall get together 80 dollars. I say in though +++ to say I have not had much help. This has occupied me & kept me "on the go" — so that I have not got to my letter earlier. Then — too I shall have to give myself a little to hunting up presents for the children. for Emma & myself for Christmas. this is always the most perplexing time +++ in the world to know what to get. ah, I wish I had my children here to get Xmas offerings for. Aunt Emma is, as usual, so given up body & soul to her work that she cannot  get cut, until late in the afternoon. to hunt for anything & then it is too late — & oh. my darling it is so cold I am just finishing & I am getting so old & my blood so thin & I am so nervous. that I dont [sic] know what to do I perish at the slightest cold. The weather is bright. but oh so cold. That I can only think "cold. cold. cold" The farmers promised us a long & a cold winter. & Co. it is here! —

[505 reverse] Last night. I went to take a cup of tea —  with an old English lady here. two or three doors up the street. & after, at 10 o'clock we went down to Casa Dies. third piano. to a party at mrs   Fury's. The 3d piano. dont [sic] nescessarily [sic] mean the apartment my [illegible, crossed out] darling [inserted] had when she was here. & where I had some happy hours with her & (do you remember the candy +++ & what fun we had. & do you remember the very grand dinner you gave us. & what fun we had. & do you remember your being ill & my coming to sit with you. which by the by I had very hard work to do!!) — By the way. & to post paren -thesis inside parenthesis. I saw yours & Miss Whites [sic] name on the chapel book as subscribers — the other day it seemed so strange to see it. & think of all that has passed since then. & that now my darling belongs [to] me as much as she does to anybody else. & that I have much right over her as any body has! Ah I wish she was with me. surely my deservings can not be much. or I should have that happiness. perhaps they will be more. at some future time! —) Mrs [Terrys] — is the other half of the [apartment] & there was a great gathering of Americans. Mrs & Miss   & son. Mrs Russell & daughter. Mrs Perkins Mrs & Miss +++ Mr & Mrs [Blatchford]. Mr Stettman & Miss Foley. Mr & [Miss] King Mrs & Miss Ward. Mrs & Miss Lock. Mr & Mrs Freeman. There [Then?] or for English people & German. we had some delicious music by a young Italian pianist Sgambati. much conversation rapid & unsatisfactory as such conversations are. a +++ not room. spiced wine — sandwiches & cake. photographs & bad pictures by Terry. & home at 11 1/2. could not go to [sleep] had had mixed tea I am afraid at Mrs Clarkes [sic]. & we +++ this morning with such [inserted] a singing in my head. That i[f every] body had it. the +++ managers would lose all the occupation. for I have chord-discord. piano & forte &   +++ chorus. soprana. contratto tenor baritone. & dont +++ double double basso profundo. all growling together [in?] my head! I suppose I must have taken cold for I +++ a mighty rushing sound in my ears. a yawning chill +++  a headache. & a sense of entire good for nothing more is not usual with me. I think I shall have to put on  my bonnet & go down into the Babuino to hunt up a lot whom I want to cage for tickets to Dr Butlers [sic] reading — perhaps when I come back I may feel better.  Emma had a bad fall yesterday! Did you ever hear of

[506] any body who ever had so many trembling accidents. She is such a dreamer. That she dont [sic] see where she is going. she had gone into her studio from the house to put up her things & cover up her lovely little figure of "Joseph"— she had the great big cover in her hands. & was stepping up to put it over, where she missed her footing. put her foot between two slats. away went the cover all across the room breaking as it went. down went she all in a heap almost breaking her foot. & then, she says she [sat] for about 10 minutes (during which I & the carriage were waiting for her) wondering how she came there. what had happened where (besides in her sprained foot) her pain was. how she should ever put together things again. & whether her little clay figure was not entirely spoiled. such a hard knock it had received from the cover in passing. However. only an arm & draping had been injured. & she gradually recovered her senses. & came into the house as pale as a sheet & exclaming "oh. dearie. I have had such a disgrazia!" I declare she is the most woolly headed thing. for so sweet & clever. & talented & dear a woman. I ever saw in my life. Here I stopped. for I had become unbearable to myself. went into the studio. & began to take some measurement for aunt Emma. Then came my coachman for orders. Mr Wood to beg me to assist him with a loan of money. for which & about which he talked as Ned knows he can & does talk. Then came lunch — then came little Paul who has got to be an interesting child. He is very fond of me ever since we travelled together. He has a great passion for diving & associates me in his little mind with horses, carriages, apples sugars & good things generally. Little Giovanni too is very sweet & loves me & hugs me very much. [He has been getting through there ]+++ teeth this last fortnight which has made him very sick & ailing generally. Mrs Tilton is as [ya! ya!'] as ever. & Tilton as captious & queer. — Tell Ned on Christmas night we are going to take tea with Mrs Eckley & daughter — the [mother] & sister of his friend of last summer! at this season there are lots of parties & giving parties. Tonight a grand smash at Mr. Parish's — tomorrow a tea fight at Tiltons. Sunday a

[506 reverse] musical party at [Lehmanns]. Tuesday Dr Butlers [sic] lecture Wednesday a Xmas [...] at the German club. & after that nothing is known at present! I suppose it will be +++ turn next. but I have not much heart for it. I am [feeling] a little anxious about my Philadelphia matters. If they turn out at all well I shall take heart & pluck up a spirit. as I am I feel good for nothing. I wonder what my sweet heart is doing. just at this time! Is she +++

[turn sheet, end of letter?]  20" God bless my darlings & give them a happy Xmas. Aunt Em Sallie send you best wishes of the season: I kiss you both and up in my heart. & am ever your fondly loving Auntie. on to your Father Mother Mary [Corney][?] & all all all —

[at the bottom after address] fixed & settled in her house. is she comfortable & happy shall I get two[?] letters from her on Monday instead of one I hope so! The letter to your grandmother of which uncle Charles speaks. must have been sent in the week following my [last] from you which was dated Nov 10-13" – how is it I got none by the same steamer? Pray God in his infinite mercy to +++ ill. all suffering & sickness from my darling. & keep her well & strong & happy & good & patient. all here send you the dearest love & wishes of the season. Every +++ to all your +++

Mrs Cushman Crow M +++ & Co. St Louis Missouri


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Cushman, Emma Crow, 1839-1920


Rome, Italy

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Geocode (Longitude)


Location (Recipient)

St. Louis, MO, US

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Emma Crow Cushman, Dec 18, 1862,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed February 21, 2024, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/941.

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