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Your letter received. I am glad to learn that you are back at your desk,1 for one can confidently expect that under such circumstances something valuable will be added to literature, and to Open Letter Club work. I have noticed the handsome volume in which your "Strange True Stories" have been issued.2
My business has been so absorbing for the last two months that I have n't been able to touch either the story or the artcile[sic] on Southern school matters3 since I saw you; the leading man in the business I devote most of my time to, court reporting, has quit the business, and I have had a large part of his work, which with my own has given me all I have been able to do, even with the assistance of my sister.4 I mention this merely as an excuse for neglecting what I realize is higher work, and work which I would prefer to do. But I hope to get at both very soon, perhaps this week, and try to finish them up. I will make use of the clipping sent me, and return it to you in a few days; many thanks for it.
I see our Southern friends are very much worked up over the fact that you stopped with Mr. Napier at Nashville, and the Memphis Appeal solemnly declares that you are the most thoroughly despised man, among Southern people, in the United States;5 I presume you can stand it if they can. The horrible affair at Barnwell, S. C.,6 almost offsets the refusal of the legislature to repeal the civil rights bill and to pass the law requiring railroads to furnish separate accommodation for colored passengers. It is supposed that the railroad companies worked against the measures proposed by the Governor in his message, and defeated them. It is indeed a hopeful sign that the people of the South are beginning to consider their pockets before their prejudices.
I hope you had a successful tour in the West. Mr. Kennan7 lectures here Thursday night, and I hope to hear him.Very truly yours, Chas. 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.