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

Box 111
Dear Frost:

You will have to excuse the type-writer—it is such a little one—and it is much closer to me than a pen. It spells comfort for me since my illness, and it is the only kind of writing that affords me any pleasure.

I received a letter form Mr. Clinton a few days before yours came, and shortly afterwards a dummy of the book they propose to get out. Honestly, now, do you suppose that I, who know nothing of the technicalities of art, can do justice to the extraordinary way in which you reproduce character in your drawings? It is a great gift, and only one man out of ten thousand has it. If you really think I can do justice to that gift, I shall be glad to undertake the preface for Collier's. You will have to aid me a little with a few points about your personality—though I had rather have Mrs. Frost's views on that matter than yours. If you can imagine eyes sharp enough to see the red meat in an uncut watermelon you will know how a
woman—especially a man's wife—can see and get at the real essence of individuality. Therefore, if you can get Mrs. F. to give an extemporaneous pronouncement on the man Frost, I shall be much obliged to you.

I am sorry to hear that the little lady is not feeling spry enough to travel; and I can sympathize with her thoroughly. I have a constant home-feeling that I can't get over. I have an uneasy feeling even when I get away to some little Georgia town. I know just how a setting hen feels when she is driven away from her nest.

Otherwise it would be the greatest pleasure in the world to accept your kind invitation.

Down here everything is pretty much as you left it, with the exception of some material improvement which doesn't count. Business is knocking all of the romance out of the young men; they cut their hair short, and no longer go about with dreamy eyes. You'll see in the newspapers a good deal about Georgia and the negro—the poor darky never does get a fair deal when politics are hot. But politics never bothers me except in the way of vain regrets that people old enough to know better should make fools of themselves over nothing in particular.

Faithfully yours,
Joel Chandler Harris

Kindest regards to Mrs. Frost and the boys.