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


Rebekah Baldwin reports that she has visited Frederick Douglass, who has learned that the teaching position Dunbar wanted has been filled. She offers the suggestions Douglass put forth.

Full text of letter:

(Page 1)

Washington, D.C.

Sept. 15, 1894

My dear Paul: –

I received your letter yesterday afternoon and in compliance with your request have been to see Mr. Douglass. I have just come from him and he bids me say that there is no certainty

(Page 2)

about you getting a position here. He has spoken with Mr. Bruce about you and that gentleman says he has filled the position. Mr. Douglass adds that if you should decide to come and try what you presence may do that you are to make his house your home and you shall

(Page 3)

be under no expense while here. Mr. Douglass thinks it would be well for you to write to some of the academics and colleges such as Tuskegee, Wilberforce, etc. Perhaps there might be an opening in some of them for you and he would be glad to indorse you. There are a number

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vacancies; but until I received that letter from you, in which you mentioned that Mr. Douglass might get you a position here if he would , it suggested to me the idea of having you apply.

I am so sorry dear paul, but Mr. Douglass bids me tell you not to grow de-

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spondent. Success must come to you.

Our school opens Monday, the 17.” I shall see what is done about the position held by Miss Patterson who is ill. They can not appoint any one permanently in her place as she has not resigned. I will let you know about it. There may be a chance for you after

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all, dear, who knows?

Be of good cheer my friend, and Fortune will yet befriend you.

I think of you always and if I hear of anything likely to benefit you I shall let you know.

I regret I have not the time to answer your letter as it deserves but I know you are anxious to hear from me, I therefore send this

(Page 7)

as it is, blots and all.

Write me soon,

“Your friend always”



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