Skip to main content

Charles W. Chesnutt to George Washington Cable, 1 August 1890

Textual Feature Appearance
alterations to base text (additions or deletions) added or deleted text
passage deleted with a strikethrough mark deleted passage
passage deleted by overwritten added text Deleted text Added text
position of added text (if not added inline) [right margin] text added in right margin; [above line] text added above the line
page number, repeated letterhead, etc. page number or repeated letterhead
supplied text [supplied text]
archivist note archivist note
  30 Blackstone Bld'g. Cleveland, O. My dear Mr. Cable:-

I have just learned from the newspapers of the affliction which has fallen upon your household in the loss of Mrs. Cable.1 Permit me to add my word of sympathy to those which have come from your numerous friends. I did not have the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Cable when I was at Northampton, but from those who knew her better I formed the idea that she was something more than what the world usually knows or expects in a wife,—more the ideal companion that one would wish for his friend or for himself. My wife joins me in hoping that you may find comfort where we turn instinctively to seek it in a great bereavement.

Sincerely yours, Chas. W. Chesnutt. G. W. Cable, Esq., Northampton, Mass.

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. Rebecca Boardman Cable, George Washington Cable's mother, died on July 31, 1890, at age seventy-six.[back]