1862-07-12, James T. Fields
To JAMES T. FIELDS
July 12, , Baltimore
My dear Mr Fields
Could you send me your key to Charles Auchester for myself & a friend who is reading it today? I am glad by the way we are to hear more of Miss Sheppard in the Atlantic, as Annie tells me—
I was so vexed this morning— I left the commission with a friend to send a ‘nice’ harp to Annie, when I left New York—and only heard from her to-day that she could only find a very indifferent one. I was really provoked.
I am quite interested in the ‘Tom’ question the more I hear of him. This morning I secured a present of a large full length likeness of him from a musician here. If I cannot find a chart of his ‘bumps’ I will have Fowler see the photograph & see what he thinks.
Don’t forget to tell me who writes the August Atlantic—
Best love to Annie
1. Charles Auchester: A Memorial (1853), a romance published under the British author Elizabeth Sara Sheppard’s (1830-1862) penname “E. Berger.”
2. RHD is writing the essay “Blind Tom” for the Atlantic about Thomas Wiggins (1849-1908), an African American autistic savant whose musical performances, induced by his master, awed international audiences.
3. A reference to phrenologically reading an individual’s character through the bumps on their heads. Lorenzo Niles Fowler (1811-1896) was famous for his “head readings.”