1864-02-17, Annie Adams Fields

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1864-02-17, Annie Adams Fields


[February 17, 1864], Philadelphia

Well, dear Annie, to continue from yesterday—we have been talking over those short sketches we spoke of a good deal since you left[1] & I think I would rather finish at least three of them before sending them in—so as to be sure of the general title—and not hurry with them. The more I think of them the more I thoroughly like the plan & see half-open doors— But time, you see. So meanwhile I send the story already finished. It is shorter than the others—and it may remind you of one or two happy days we all spent together, I proposed to call it The Wife’s Story[2]—or Mrs. Manning’s Story, but Clarke looks disapproval— With the story unread, too for he has an odd dislike to reading anything I write until it is in print.

I will tell you, Annie that if Mr. Fields likes the story, I hope he wont leave it very long unpublished, for several reasons. I am so much in the humor of these short sketches I do hope to please my public with them. For after all, the great public means to me just some five or six faces— Not one more, I’m afraid. It is so bitterly cold today I’m glad you did not see Philadelphia when her breath was like the Ice Witch’s as now. I sit cozily by the dull stove & think of the great talking fires at home & the fire we shall have. Never mind—all good things lie in the future— I’m so sure of that these days— God is keeping them for us, like a mother holding back the baby’s toys till he is old enough to use them.

Good-bye, dear

I meant to write to Mr. Fields but began dear Annie unconsciously—proving how all one it is— Best love from us to you then always,

Yours, R


1. During the Fieldses’ visit, RHD and James had discussed her publishing a series of short sketches in the Atlantic Monthly.

2. “The Wife’s Story” would appear in the July 1864 issue of the Atlantic Monthly.


S. M. Harris


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



S. M. Harris, “1864-02-17, Annie Adams Fields,” Rebecca Harding Davis: Complete Works, accessed August 4, 2020, http://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/items/show/183.

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