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


Full text of letter:

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Farmland Lnd

August 20, 1895

Dear Mr. Dunbar;

You have no idea how busy I have been since your welcome letter was received. I have been studying, attending Teachers’ Institute, and I have also taken my examination. Together with my study and worry over the examination I am not feeling quite as well as when I last wrote. We are examined in nine studies in one day, and our examination was the hardest I ever saw, and I am not so sure that I passed. I hope so

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however. The weather has been, and, is now very warm; we need rain so badly. I am adapting myself to the country since there is no prospect of my being able to go to the city this year. I am glad for the contented mind that I have. I can adapt myself to either country or city; I think it is one of the blessings which God has bestowed upon me. What a very beautiful place Lake Side must [be], and you certainly must have had a grand time beholding nature’s handiwork. I can not imagine that you are sincere when you say that you think that it was a misfortune that you were even born, why you of all persons should even think that is a mystery to me; you know

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you told me that when you visited me. Had I your gift I should not complain once. You, who, in a very short time, will have the world at your very feet should you not murmur. Now, I often wonder why I was put into this world; I have no gift wherever only that of “teaching the young ideas how to shoot,” yet I try to be content with my lot.

I thank you for your kind sympathy for my having been ill so often we have affiliations sent upon us, for what reasons, I do not know; also thank you for wishing that I were at Lake Side. I too think it might prove beneficial.

I hear our friend Mr. Freeman has been and is now quite ill of nervous prostration. Have you seen your friend and

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brother, Mr. Burns, this summer? I so often think of him and also of your great love and friendship for each other and then admire it. It is so similar to that of Ednah’s and my friendship for each other but your and Mr. Burn’s friendship is of longer standing than ours. My mother is at Wilberforce visiting her mother. I am very sorry that you did not get to meet my sister, I think that you would have liked her quite well. Please overlook grammatical errors, my head is soaring, has been since my examinations. I am glad you saw Miss Ora, I suppose all that feeling was again aroused for her.

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With kind regards for you, I am as ever your Friend, and Sister

M. F. Weaver

N.B. I think that you will yet let me be your sister.


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