1862-01-09, James T. Fields

Dublin Core


1862-01-09, James T. Fields


January 9, [1862], Wheeling

Mr. Fields

Is it too late to put a sentence onto John Lamar? I will write it on the other side. It is to go where Dorr and Lamar are talking just before the sentence, “The mills of God grind surely Dorr but they grind exceeding slow.”

Another thing–I am a patriotic West Virginian you know and I think an article describing the private history of the struggle in our new state during the past year with especial reference to the question whether she shall be admitted as free or slave would interest your readers, both as a political query and a drama—Don’t you? If you do, I have a friend that I will persuade to write it— the first, and prime agent in our counterrevolution and a man of broader mental power than any in this part of the state.[1] If you agree with me I will speak to him about it–– Will you write, please, if you like the subject such a letter as I can show him. If he will do it—I do not fear you will think I erred on my judgment of his ability, though more a man of “deeds than words.”[2]

It is a hobby of mine—West Virginia, and I want to see her “fitly sung.” Will you write, please, soon, about it?

Yours truly

Thank you for your trouble about the book. I am sure you will do it more than justice. Did you like the motto? Or would you have preferred—“My matter hath no voice to alien ears”— put that in if you like it better, whichever you choose.[3] I don’t care.


1. Probably a reference to editor of the Wheeling Intelligencer, Archibald Campbell (1833-1899), an ardent abolitionist.

2. From Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona.

3. “My matter hath no voice to alien ears” was used as the motto for Margret Howth.


S. M. Harris


Richard Harding Davis Papers, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia


S. M. Harris, “1862-01-09, James T. Fields,” Rebecca Harding Davis: Complete Works, accessed March 31, 2023, http://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/items/show/117.

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