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


[Note: This letter contains insensitive language.]

Full text of letter:

(Page 1)

Washington, D.C.

Feb. 18, 1894

Paul, Ever Dear,

Your letter was received in due course of mail and its early appearance was much appreciated I do assure you.

A source of regret mingled itself with the pleasure afforded by your letter and that was the announcement there is contained relative to the dewy lamentations of Jupiter Pluvius over your Indiana trip.

(Page 2)

I wonder why the rain god grieves so copiously over all your little leaves taking? He must be enamoured of you.

I shall believe after awhile that he is no god at all but a fair young goddess, in masquerade whose heart you have won. Look out my dear Paul, you are in danger of being transplanted to Olympia like Ganymedes! I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip, however, despite Jupiter’s tears.

Your friend,

Charles Mitchell has

(Page 3)

called since I have been ill, but when I see him I shall ask if Mr. Douglass has received your letter.

Until yesterday I had not been out. I went then to see Mr Irving and Miss Terry in “Merchant of Venice.”

It was indeed a histrionic treat of the highest artistic order.

Mr. Irving’s impersonation of the wily Jew was a rare bit of work, while Miss Terry’s Portia was the sprightliest, sweetest, most womanly creation conceivable.

(Page 4)

There has been no such interpretation of Portia before – the creation is perfect. I hope that you may have the opportunity of seeing them!

I shall have to stop writing now Paul for some one has called.

Write to me soon mon ami

Your friend



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