James T. Fields
To JAMES T. FIELDS
March 15, 1861, Wheeling
Your kindness touches me. The more because it is so unexpected. I see that the novelty of the scene of the story has made you over-estimate it; – another, most probably, would disappoint you. However, I will try. I have nothing written now. I have been sick since you wrote. If the story is published in an English magazine, will you tell me which one? As to the money, thank you sincerely.
I receive the offer as frankly as you made it, but you must pardon me if I decline it. Money is enough a “needful commodity” with me to make me accept with a complacent smile whatever you think the articles are worth. But if I were writing with a hundred dollar bill before me in order to write in it “I have paid him” I am afraid the article would be broad and deep just $100 – and no more;—dollarish all over. Pardon me. I am grateful all the same. In proof of it, I will ask a favor of you instead of the money.
If any of your exchanges notice the story will you send them to me? That is a trouble, is it not? I would like to see them, partly from selfish motives and partly because it would please my father and mother— I trust to your kindness, to give me the pleasure, provided any one likes the article as you do
Rebecca B. Harding
 A reference to “Life in the Iron-Mills.”