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Charles W. Chesnutt to George Washington Cable, 1 April 1889

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  Dear Mr. Cable:-

I arrived home safely, in splendid shape after my "vacation".1 I received to-day a printed slip from the North American Review, acknowledging receipt of my article on the Negro Question offered to them for publication.2

Yours very truly, Chas. W. Chesnutt, Room 8, 219 Superior St Cleveland, O.

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]

2. In his May 24, 1889 letter to Cable, Chesnutt writes that "after keeping my essay on the Negro Question an unconscionably long time" the North American Review had rejected it. [back]