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Charles W. Chesnutt to George Washington Cable, 13 March 1889

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  Form No. 1.


This Company TRANSMITS and DELIVERS messages only on conditions limiting its liability, which have been assented to by the sender of the following message. Errors can be guarded against only by repeating a message back to the sending station for comparison and the company will not hold itself liable for errors or delays in transmission or delivery of Unrepeated Messages, beyond the amount of tolls paid thereon, nor in any case where the claim is not presented in writing within sixty days after spending the message. This is an UNREPEATED MESSAGE, and is delivered by request of the sender, under the conditions named above. THOS. T. ECKERT, General Manager. NORVIN GREEN, President. NUMBER NY1[?] SENT BY Pc REC'D BY Py CHECK 15 Paid
Received at Northampton 236 To G W Cable

Will be there1 by the 16th or sooner and look the ground over

C W Chesnutt.

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.

1. Chesnutt visited George Washington Cable (1844–1925) in Northampton, Massachusetts, for about ten days in the second half of March 1889 and returned before April 1. While there, Chesnutt produced a transcription of a meeting of Cable's City Hall adult Bible Class, which was published as "Blind Bartimeus" in the Northampton Daily Herald for March 18, 1889.[back]