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


Full text of letter on Doubleday & McClure Co. letterhead from H.W. Lanier to E.C. Martin, followed by Martin's added note to Paul Laurence Dunbar:

January 13, 1900

My dear Martin:

I hope you have explained to Mr. Dunbar the reasons for our long delay in giving an answer regarding "The Love of Landry." We are not yet really straightened out but I've managed to get the particular matter through at last.

As you know, under ordinary circumstances we could only report that 29,000 words is hardly enough to make a book of. But we are just starting a series of "Short Novels" (very nicely gotten up, bound in cloth, to be sold at socials), for which we anticipate a large sale. The first volume in the series — of course they will all be sold separately — is a story of Anthony Hope. We can't pay more than 10% royalty as we are putting the price way down in order to place a whole lot of the books. Would Mr. Dunbar be willing to let us bring out The Love of Landry in the series with the understand that we shall have the first chance at his next long novel? If so, we will agree to do this and will bring the present book out this spring and see if we can't do something worth while with it.

If you'd prefer, we will write to Mr. Dunbar direct, but I suppose this letter will be all that's necessary.

H.W. Lanier

Martin forwarded this letter to Paul Laurence Dunbar with an additional note:

Dear Mr. Dunbar: Here is Mr. Lanier's answer to me for the Doubleday & McClure Co. regarding your book. I forward it to you at once. You can confer directly with them. But if you don't make a deal with them, I hope you'll give us a chance at the book.

Yours truly,
E.C. Martin


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