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I return herewith Mr. Metcalf's letter. I appreciate his words of commendation, and am sorry he could not accept the article.1 I shall read Prof. Scarborough's article2 with interest, and revise my MSS. in view of it. I was thinking that the title of my article, "The Negro's Answer &c", might sound rather large in view of the fact that Scarborough is, I presume, speaking in the same character: but I can tell better when I have read his paper. If you succeed with the Century, I shall regard it as a very good change from the Forum—I presume the Century is read by ten people to the Forum's one.
The "Symposium"3 in this week's
Independent4 is a revelation to me, and confirms me in a theory I have had for some time, i.e., that just about the time that the Negro got ready to assert himself and demand his rights, he would find nothing to do—the white people would have done it all. The most encouraging thing about it all is that these men are the teachers of the white youth of the South. The influence of one Haygood5, or Baskervill6, extending over a long period of time and acting upon receptive and plastic minds, will more than offset the fervid rhetoric of a score of Gradys7 and Eustises8 and Morgans9 —, and I more than suspect that
it is your example and your influence have done more than any other one thing to stimulate the growth of the school of thought represented by the Independent's Symposium.
I am glad that you asked Scarborough to write. I think there is a good deal of latent talent, literary and otherwise, among the colored people of this country, which needs only a decent degree of encouragement and recognition to stimulate it to activity.Yours &c C.W.C
Correspondent: George Washington Cable (1844–1925) was a reporter, novelist, and critic. He began his career at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, writing nearly one hundred columns in two years. After working on a collection of journalistic essays based mostly on historical accounts, Cable turned to writing short stories, novellas, and novels, typically set in New Orleans. In the 1880s, Cable began lecturing, writing essays, and forming organizations focused on social reform, specifically in the areas of Black rights and prison conditions, and in 1885 he moved to Northampton, MA. Cable and Chesnutt met for the first time in Cleveland, on December 21, 1888, at the Congregational Club's Forefather's Day celebration, where Cable was the principal speaker. They began corresponding immediately, and in mid-1889 Cable offered to employ Chesnutt as his secretary in Northampton, MA; Chesnutt declined. Cable visited the Chesnutt home in the fall of 1889, and for two years, their correspondence was frequent, typically about Cable's political efforts on race issues, Chesnutt's writings, or recent publications. After 1891, they corresponded only occasionally.