1863-04-21, Annie Adams Fields

Dublin Core


1863-04-21, Annie Adams Fields


April 21, [1863], Philadelphia

My dear Annie

I could not send this notice sooner for Carrie has been very ill and I could not write of course—she is better now—able to be up— I do not agree with you about the book. You will see but I expressed my honest opinion—and after all a notice is only to suggest inquiry—so I hope J.T.F. don’t require his critiques to be in accordance with his own judgment. Does he? [1]

Won’t you write soon? – I have been out very little since you were here owing to her illness and so have nothing to tell you— O yes—did I mention before that your friend Mrs Mott[2] had called? Mrs Peterson[3] and I are to drive there on Thursday—then I will know better what I think of her.

Mr. Davis says to tell you that if you were the one who took a sentence out of Paul Blecker alluding to (your demigod) Gen Butler[4]—he thanks you—and applauds it highly. I want to know who did it—Mr Nichols[5] or Mrs Fields? Because—
What abysms of wrath lie in that blank you may imagine—I must top again with this word truly—I ought to be with Carrie now—but I was determined to send this off today— Do write a long good letter—

Yours faithfully


1. As RHD would discover, James T. Fields did want a positive review of Robert Browning’s book, which he had asked RHD to write. Their dispute lasted through several letters until RHD declined to revise the review further and another reviewer published a positive commentary in 1864.

2. Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), a Philadelphia Quaker abolitionist and women’s rights activist.

3. Wife of RHD’s editor Charles J. Peterson of Peterson’s Magazine.

4. Benjamin Butler (1818-1893), Civil War general whom Annie adored and RHD did not.

5. The proofreader at the Atlantic Monthly.


S. M. Harris


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


S. M. Harris, “1863-04-21, Annie Adams Fields,” Rebecca Harding Davis: Complete Works, accessed January 27, 2023, http://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/items/show/187.

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