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

My Dear Frost:

I wrote you more than a week ago. Maybe the letter has come to hand by this time. It was written with pen and ink, too. In this case, you'll have to seize bad pen and pale ink.

I said in that letter that if you knew how you had placed me under obligations to you by consenting to illuminate and interpret my stuff, you would feel as guilty as if you had committed an act of undeserving charity. I also said in that letter that I had delayed in answering your [?]letter [?]
make arrangements to accept your kind invitation. But I went on to say—the political hurlyburly will prevent that just now. Some of the people here will have to attend the Chicago convention, and then matters will be so hot that I doubt if I shall be able to take a vacation except for two or three days at a time. yet there is nothing I would like better than to spend a couple of weeks in your cool, quiet place. Think of having Jack Frost in the house during the summer months. I know you are proud of those blessed boys. I've been there myself; in fact I'm there now. My oldest is 18 in a few days, which puts me up in the [?]
times. I'm having a type-written copy of the stuff made, and I'll send it to you presently by registered package. As I said in my other letter, I want you to illustrate it just to suit yourself. Be as comic as you please, or otherwise. Just give the matter your seal and stamp without any suggestion from me. My big youngsters and I nearly had a fit over your cow and painter in the last Scribner. Your "instantaneous" sketch of the cow chewing her cud created the biggest and most unpremeditated [?] howl we have had in our family circle in a long time. The truth is, I enjoy everything. [?]
or whether you are portraying genuine American character The Appletons fairly shoved Kemble on me in "On the Plantation." I had sold the book to them outright, and I couldn't reasonably insist on my own views. For a man who has no conception whatever of human nature, Kemble does very well. But he's too doggone flip to suit me. Yet if I hadn't seen your "Game of Poker" in Free Joe, and your pictures in Colonel Johnston's [?] stories, I would never have known what American character is pictorially. There will be other matter to follow [?] [?]type-written copy—some negro character sketches which will give you a chance (I think) to get in a [?] number of striking sketches.


May the Lord be good to you! Give my regards to Mrs. Frost and to those precious boys. If you haven't got "On the Plantation," I'll send you a copy.

Yours faithfully:
Joel Chandler Harris