Responses to "The Freedman's Case"

[Here, excerpted from Arlin Turner's Mark Twain & George Washington Cable, is a sampling of what Cable wrote to Louise about the reaction his essay had provoked, as it intersected with the "Twins of Genius" tour.]
--from Cincinnati, 4 January 1885
"I have some noble letters from persons who have read my Freedman paper."
--from Louisville, 7 January 1885
"[After visiting the city's high schools, including the 'Colored High School'] at 2 P.M. got back to the hotel with barely time to eat before the hour for receiving a delegation of colored men coming to thank me for my 'Freedman's Case in Equity.'
"They came at 3 -- yellow, black, brown, yellow, brown & black, seven or eight in number. After a grand shake-hands they all sat down & one -- the blackest -- rose & made a formal impromptu address of thanks that made [it] hard for me to hold down my feelings. I replied; there was some conversation & they rose to go. You would not have got off with dry eyes had you been there. One said, 'Good-bye, my hero of heroes.' I thought of the great dead -- Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips & the rest and felt ashamed to let them give such praise to me."
--from Chicago, 17 January 1885
"The matinee, today, was delightful. Among those who came into the retiring room were an old gentleman and lady who introduced themselves as Mr. & Mrs. Hammond. The lady was a sister of Owen Lovejoy, the Alton martyr. The old gentleman began -- 'Mr. Cable I came to thank you for your paper on the Freedman' -- and there choked, burst into tears and could not speak. His wife tried & made the same failure.
"I wish you could see my table -- covered with letters full of tender expressions of gratitude and admiration from white men & black men. That paper is turning out to be the greatest thing I've ever done."
--from Milwaukee, 29 January 1885
"Well, well, what a profound impression my Freedman paper has made. Men come & say 'we are Democrats, but you have told everything so plainly & convincingly that we see the whole thing in a new light.' And they come & continue to come. Two newspapers interviewed me on the subject today."
--from Delaware, 10 February 1885
"I had a good time today. Went to see Gov. Hoadly. He was ever so cordial. We drew up chairs & sat around the fire, he, his sect'y, the Att'y Gen'l (if I understood aright) and I. He is, you know, one of the national leaders of the Democracy; and yet he hastened to say at once that he knew my utterances on the Freedman question & was with me entirely. It was, to me, one of the most comforting & encouraging hours I have spent in many a long day.
"Later, he came to see us, Mark & [me], but mainly, I think, Mark; & we spent another pleasant time. He gave me several points to use against my Bourbon friends down in Louisiana & Georgia."

Homepage MT IN HIS TIMES Bibliography