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


Full text of letter:

Alice Ruth Moore to PLD, April 28, 1896

(Page 1)

#1924 Palmyra St.

New Orleans, Apl. 28. 1896.

Dear Mr. Dunbar, –

Your pleasure is very good and I am quite pleased with you for sending it along, though you did have to be quarreled at to get it.

What am I writing now? An occasional article for the Age, an occasional sketch for myself, some very vile French translation, and letters, that’s all. I know I am wasting time, opportunity, everything else. It makes me weep sometimes to see how hopelessly, helplessly lazy I am, but try as I can, and the lethargy refuses to leave my bones. I’ll commit suicide for very despair some of these days if I don’t find myself improving in the manner of work. It’s not mental stagnation with me, it’s simple physical disability to sit long enough at my desk to write anything more lengthy than a letter.

(Page 2)

I am shocked at you permitting yourself to be played with in such an awfully trivial manner. Had I been the Dismal Old Maid, I would have handed you a tract and lectured you on the sins and follies of youth. She lost a great opportunity there for converting a frivolous mortal.

Have been all tangled up in politics, conventions ___ (???), and came out at the large extension of the cornucopia right along. I send you a W.A.C. delegate badge as a souvenir of our convention.

I am sleepy now. Allah be with you.

Yours very amiably stupid,

Alice Ruth


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