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


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124 West Second Street

Dear Paul

I suppose you are annoyed with me; I cannot help it Paul for you have not been just to me my life in this house is as you know anything but happy and I do not expect to go outside to be made still more unhappy;

Why did you propose to me, it was your duty to me as well as yourself to have thought things well over before you took upon yourself to ask so serious a question you knew your people you knew they would do all

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they could to hinder you from taking such a step

You have not the strenght of mind to fight for your rights, would you have been the only one to suffer, would my people have encouraged me (ha) but I would have held my head as high as any of them and by my life have shown them how much I cared for their opinion if not in one place in another, you have pride, but a misriable pride, you will allow your people who do not care a rap for you spoil your life if they would come forward and help you to get a good

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position there I would say you were doing right,

of course by this I assume you do care for me but not sufficiently to work for me as that would be a disgrace to you in that case we are better apart;

Paul my heart aches for you, you have intellect but not the energy, the determination, to succeed, others have had to fight, but Paul dont be ashamed of any kind of work as long as it will help you to reach what you are seeking

I shall not write again nor try to see you untill I hear something definite from you that I may

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know how we stand towards one another;

I dont wish to add to your burden Paul but I must be released from this suspense.

I am reading a book named The Soul of Lilith by Marie Corelli if you have never read it try to get at the library it is a splendid book

If you answer this let me know if you are on the elevator between six and seven p.m.

With Love Yours etc.



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