1862-09-04, James T. Fields

Dublin Core


1862-09-04, James T. Fields


September 4, [1862], Wheeling

Mr. Fields

I am ashamed—but I quite forgot that I had not acknowledged the receipt of the check for Blind Tom.[1] Certainly, call it anything you like. You are immaculate in titles—only keep Mr. George Nichols[2] and his bad spelling out of my fields—

I’m glad you like Tom. I’ll try and get a photograph of him for you—

I think if you are willing, I’ll write only short articles for the Atn[3] in future, and if ever a book ‘grows’ publish it at once— People do not like serial tales. I do hope Mr MacMillan[4] will republish Margret and D. G. [5] in the magazine, too. I have an especial reason for desiring it. In confidence, Annie’s quick eyes could detect a Shylock[6] look growing on my face just now—“Rem facias, si possis recte—si non—”[7] etc etc I don’t understand Latin but I am going to understand that

Shall we ever all go to the sea shore? Indeed yes. Will you come first to my home and see how glad you can make me? That is certain now— Wilse[8] send his regards to both.– Give mine to dear Annie. Don’t let her letter tarry by the way. Did any of your friends suffer in this last butchery?[9] I thought of you all—

Yours in haste,

Can you not tell now of Margret’s probable success? Will a fourth edition be called for? I wish people had liked her better. I am disappointed to be honest. It is six months now. You will write about it, wont you?


1. “Blind Tom,” published November 1862 in the Atlantic Monthly.

2. The Atlantic Monthly’s proofreader.

3. Atlantic Monthly.

4. Alexander MacMillan (1818-1896), Scottish publisher and cofounder of Macmillan Publishing.

5. Margret Howth and “David Gaunt.”

6. Character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

7. Latin: Make money fairly if you can; if not…”; the full saying is “Make money fairly if you can; but if not, make money any way possible.”

8. Her eldest brother, Hugh Wilson Harding.

9. Probably a reference to the Second Battle of Bull Run, August 28-29, 1862, in which Confederate Major General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson overtook the Union supply depot at Manassas, a threat to Union leaders’ communications with Washington, D.C.


S. M. Harris


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



S. M. Harris, “1862-09-04, James T. Fields,” Rebecca Harding Davis: Complete Works, accessed July 22, 2019, http://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/items/show/155.