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


Full text of letter:

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1924 Palmyra FL.

New Orleans, La. July 6. 1895

Dear Mr. Dunbar, -

I suppose you thought I was never going to write you anymore, but if I had written you about this time last week it would have been such an incoherent affair that it was best to wait. You see there were such things as school closing with the final exhibition and other final affairs, simply roaming to the average teacher. Then I just laid me down and rested indefinitely, and today is actually the final day since last Sunday that I have aroused myself sufficiently to think. Just imagine going nine days without thinking! Can you? It was simply delightful, I assure you.

The Promenade Concert came off with great éclat; but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as some smaller affair. It was one of those immense crushes, simply appalling, where every one of any consequence was present and where on account of the crush, it was next to im-

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possible to get to those whom one wanted to get to. But we earned money, hand over feet and as that was the main object, there was nothing to complain of.

No, Miss Uraine (???) Allain (???)comes of an entirely different family than that of the Senators. Miss Uraine is a Creole, one of the good, old, genuine stock, and an awfully sweet girl too, as sweet as her own voice.

How did you celebrate your glorious Fourth?__, taking pity on my forlorn condition gave a dinner for me, followed by a Lake party. It was all most delightful, only I grew sleepy before coming-home time, which was boresome.

I send a little legend enclosed for your paper. I hope you will like it, though it was scribbled off in one of my lazy moods this morning. Also a photograph, but you must return it to me as soon as you have finished with it, for I borrowed it from my mother and she’d take the next train for Indianapolis if you did not send it back. But I’ll send you one for your “truly own” soon.

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Many congratulations upon your birthday, and I hope you’ll spend many, many more happy ones. Did you enjoy your homeward trip? The only thing was, that you did not tell me how many birthdays there had been before this one; and that you know is the thing to tell, at least down here. My own birthday comes around on the 19 th of this month. Sunday after next, when I will have just scored – years.

A very good friend of mine came in a few days minutes ago; it is insufferably warm here now, and more so at this hour, 2:30. The friend brought a bag of ice cream around to help keep me cool, but alas ! delivered the bag to me with a thump on the back of the neck which has set my head throbbing like a machine. Then, perhaps, the exertion of thinking has something to do with it. Guess I’ll stop.

Don’t forget to return the picture. And write me soon.

Yours sincerely,

Alice Ruth Moore

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Oh, I nearly forget about all these questions you ask. Yes, I recite, but not often; I dance, I won’t vouch for the divine part of it, but I’ve done so much that I am finding it rather a bore now-a-days. I don’t draw, but a little, I don’t paint; I only sing in choruses and in the school room with my children; I play the mandolin, I am studying the violincello. Now, if there are any more quotations you want to ask, chip right in, and I’ll answer every one, honor bright. That’s the only way to get acquainted.

ARM [Initials]


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