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

My Dear Mr. Frost:

I really hope I didn't make an unfavorable impression on you by reason of any lack of conversational tact, and my usual awkward lack of fluency. I have no social accomplishments whatever, and avoid society in all its shapes and forms as the world shuns the plague. The knowledge of this deficiency—or, rather, of these deficiencies embarrasses me to an extent beyond description. —But for the fact that my house is disarranged by a lot of paper‐hangers, I should have offered Mrs. Frost and yourself the hospitalities of my home, such as they are.

I had intended to drive you about over the city yesterday afternoon, and still hope to have that pleasure—and the pleasure of your company in various other ways: for I feel sure, after what I have written that you will not misunderstand what may have seemed want of consideration—if I may attempt an awkward description of a keen appreciation
of my own shortcomings. I write these fairly because I don't want you to misunderstand my awkwardness nor mistake it for coolness or carelessness: and I can write it so much better than I could explain it orally.

I have a hundred things I want to talk to you about—Among others the illustration of a little volume of "Plantation Songs and Ballads," which Ticknor has been advertising as in press. I want, also, as you know, to make three or four trips with you to the mountains‐especially on the Marietta & North Ga Road. I think you would enjoy it, and you could make others enjoy it, particularly if you would allow me to write a running account—half‐humorous and half‐descriptive—of the trips as a sort of string {poor string!} on which to hang your sketches.

If you will give me a day's notice, I will be ready for the mountain trips at any time that may suit your convenience. Meanwhile, come down and talk to me. I don't want to miss the opportunity of seeing as much of you as possible.

Faithfully yours:
Joel Chandler Harris.