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


Full text of letter on letterhead of the Southwestern Christian Advocate:

Mr. Paul Laurence Dunbar
Washington, D.C.

My dear Sir:

You will forgive this intrusion and allow me to relate an incident which thrilled my own heart, in which vou were the principle (sic) character.

A few days ago I was attending the Lexington Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church which met in Paris, Kentucky, Bishop J.H. _incent, D.D., LL.D. presiding. The Bishop did himself and us the honor to read each morning immediately after devotion, three or four of your poems. Bishop incent, who is a leader of the great Chautauqua movement and one of the most scholarly men of the day, said on introducing your poems that they were among the best, and that your dialects equaled those of any man of any age.

Strong resolutions were adopted by the conference expressing their high appreciation of your works, urging every member to purchase them, and raving the blessing of God upon you.

On the second day, a Southern white woman who had heard your poems read the first day, was about to leave when the Bishop announced that he would read a few selections from Dunbar. The good lady stopped and said, “I must hear them for they are fine.” True merit conquers prejudice. Long live poet Dunbar!

Could you at sometime favor your admirers of this city with an engagement, reading from your own writings? If so, say on what terms you would come.

Yours very truly,

(signature) Rob’t E” Jones

(Card attached)

R.E. Jones
Assistant Manager
Southwestern Christian Advocate
429 Carondelet Street
New Orleans, La.


Primary Item Type

Business 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