The Tar Baby and the Tomahawk: Race and Ethnic Images in American Children's Literature, 1880-1939

My Dear Mr. Church:

My relations toward the sketches you are illustrating are those of a compiler merely; consequently I cannot pretend to know what is meant by Miss Meadows. She plays a minor part in the entire series, as you will perceive when the concluding numbers have been sent to you. Why she is there, I cannot say, but your conception will give to the sketches a poetical color (if I may say so) which will add vastly to whatever interest they may have for people of taste. [?] By all means let Miss Meadows figure as Nature in the shape of a beautiful girl in a simple but not unpicturesque costume. As it is your own conception, I know you will treat the young lady tenderly. How abundantly you justify my anxiety to get you to illustrate these queer relics! I feel sure that no one else would have ever dreamed of investing them with poetical interest. I trust you will not change your intention in this respect, but if you do, please let me know; otherwise, I shall allude to the matter in the preface, and give you due credit for the conception.

There are several sketches yet to come, but to save you the trouble of plodding through the MS., I will send the outlines to your address. I appreciate the difficulty of obtaining variety, but nevertheless I trust to your versatility to obtain more than twelve drawings. At the very least I hope you will be able to furnish an initial piece to each sketch. I wish you would get the photograph of Moser's ideal portrait of Uncle Remus, which I have already forwarded to the Appletons, and study the type so as to illustrate the story of the war which is to follow after the sketches in the volume. The story will afford you an opportunity to make at least two effective drawings. Moser's conception of the negro is perfect, whatever technical defects there may be about it. Moser will make two drawings in wash; one a conrnshucking scene and the other a plantation frolic—each illustrating a song. I wish you would see them when they get to New York and tell me what you think of them. If they are not technically up to the mark, I don't want them engraved, but you can take the idea and work it over in your own style, the conception in neither case being original with Moser. Each is a part of my own memory and experience, and each has been drawn under my supervision. [?]Thanking you for your kindness in replying to my letter, I remain

Yours very truly,
J. C. Harris