James T. Fields

Dublin Core


James T. Fields


April 14?, [1862], Wheeling 

Mr Fields 

I am at home again and hope to get letters safely once more. I received the newspaper criticism and am more grateful than I can tell you for the clipping and marking and trimming you spent on them. I know you have precious little time to spare and value it accordingly.  

I will finish David Gaunt as soon as I can work myself out of this lazy fit. I believe I have had to sleep in months like the bears.

You have not spoiled the story by asking me to re-write it. I felt that you were right or I shouldn’t have yielded so easily ‘Why cannot I come to Boston this spring?’ Because, like that dear ‘lady in the corner’ I am sewing and gardening and ‘up to the eyes’ in a dozen businesses more important (with deference to the Atlantic) than story writing or having a good time seeing you all, that I so much wish to see. But in the fall, I mean to go east. I will!! if I [ride?] over impossibilities so expect a very determined looking female–like Sally Brass, you know, with a green [ ] turban and ruler in hand.[1]

I am afraid you sent only the sugary notices. When you write, please tell me how ‘Margret’ is making her way in the world.[2] Some paper said it was in the third edition. Is that true? Please remember me most warmly to Mrs. Fields.

Yours sincerely,

You may expect a very abolitionist story in David Gaunt. How can I help it? Here [ ] Gen. Fremont[3] has confiscated one of my friend’s houses for headquarters just across the street and Zagonyi[4] is charging continually past the windows on the [ ] boys in the [ ].  My secession proclivities (if I had any) are oozing out at my ribbons, like Bob Acres’[5] courage


[1] A character in Charles Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop (1841).

[2]Margret Howth.

[3] Charles C. Frémont (1813-1890), an ardent abolitionist and commander of the Mountain Department of the Union Army in Wheeling.

[4] Charles Zagonyi (1826-?), a Hungarian officer who served as an aide to General Frémont.

[5] A character in The Rivals (1775), a comedy by  Richard Sheridan (1751-1816).


S. M. Harris


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


S. M. Harris, “1862-04-14
James T. Fields,” Rebecca Harding Davis: Complete Works, accessed November 27, 2022, https://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/items/show/17.

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