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Paul Laurence Dunbar, primary sources, Black history, Black poets, prominent Ohioans


Full text of letter:

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Excuse pencil because ink is out

Springfield O. Feb 16 ‘94

Dearest Paul : -

I dreamed a dream last night & it worried me so that, after neglecting to write I could not put it off any longer. I will give you a description of my dream O! it was horrid. I thought that you were married. O, I hope it is not true & never be true. It would break my heart. O, Paul do not let it be true. I would die of a broken heart. I dreamed

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that you were married, but you were displeased with the marriage. You came to me & fell on your knees and said {“I shall never forget the tone of that pitiful voice, e’en though it was a dream.”}

“Cad, all is over between us now. O, my darling.” Paul don’t think me “soft & sickening” but I could not help writing this. Paul, you do not know how I miss those delightful times we had together while I was in Dayton. Gussie & I went to church the other evening and while she was talking to Mr. Walter C——. Mr. Will R—— walked up and whispered to

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me and said; “Miss Bayless you look as Sweet as a Peach. I thought to myself If you were only Paul now, I would like that. Being as it was I did not like it quite so well. I considered it flattery. We are just having a jolly time. We have 40 converts. I am not numbered among the fortunate ones yet though. For I have not come to Christ yet. Mr. Edgar P. — a young convert is coming to take me to church to-night. The other evening, Mr. Dickson’s buggy got broken & of course he had to have something to collect

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in. So, he got an old open toped rattle trap and came home to supper in it.

Miss Ottie Reynolds took supper with us. After supper we were determined to ride to church & Mr Dickson told us we would have to ride in the rattle-trap. Well Gussie, Ottie & I got in & mind it was only large enough for one. Ottie sat between us & Gussie held an umbrella over us. The wind just blew in our faces horribly. We went down Main St & everybody was

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hallooing; “Hello give me a ride.“ The horse was hitched up wrong & he held his head to one side & the buggy just went rat-tle-de-trap rat-tle-de-trap. We were so ashamed we did not know what to do. But fortunately we keep the horse at the livery stable, so we were much glad to take the horse into the stable & proceed on our way to church. I shall not write any more just now for I have already written enough to make up for

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two weeks. Then I do not want this letter to at all worry you for its length. Jessie Paige left for here for your city last evening.

Please send me Lu Hunter’s & Sister Holme’s address. Mr Dickson said if you & your Mother would come to Spgfd. he would give you a reception. Won’t you come Paul. Do for “Cad’s” sake. Closing, hoping to hear from you soon. I remain your only Love.


N.B. give my love to your Mother. Do you still go to see Mrs. Grace Epps.


Primary Item Type

Personal Correspondence


This item is part of the Paul Laurence Dunbar House collection at Ohio History Connection, Columbus, Ohio. The collection contains items from 219 N. Summit St., Dayton, Ohio (later 219 N. Paul Laurence Dunbar St.), the home Dunbar purchased for his mother, Matilda J. Dunbar, in 1904. Paul Laurence Dunbar lived there until his death in 1906; Matilda lived there until her death in 1934. It is now the Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site, part of the National Park Service.


Paul Laurence Dunbar, primary sources, Black history, Black poets, prominent Ohioans