A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Ferris GreensletApr. 26, 1924Harvard 

Prefers to call it a preface, not an introduction. Bostonians would feel they didn't need to be introduced to Jewett. Hopes the tone is right. P.S.: Going to Cos Cob for the weekend.  W. S. C.   [Stout #730]


To Marion Canby,  n.d. [c. Aug. 1, 1931?] , from Grand MananBeinecke 

Was disappointed to miss her in New Haven. Seems to have been living on trains, rushing to family crises; never sees anyone. Has built a house here in a quiet place near the sea, and is again feeling happy to wake up in the morning.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1064]


To Mr. SanbornTuesdayUNL-Sullivan 

Missed receiving his letter; was spending the weekend at Cos Cob. Hasn't been to any musical events since returning except for a few by German opera performers. Has finally caught up on correspondence—probably three hundred letters! Hopes they can have dinner or tea. Olive Fremstad is away in Egypt.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1816]


To Roscoe Cather [June 1929] , from a Santa Fe train ; UNL-Roscoe 

Is going East and will be at the Grosvenor Hotel, 35 Fifth Avenue, New York, for ten days. After that, is going to New Haven, Connecticut, the Hotel Taft, to get an honorary doctorate from Yale University on June 19, only the second one given to a female author. Edith Wharton received the first one, and she traveled from Paris to get it. Hopes he can visit their mother this summer. If so, he'd better not bring the family, as any group of people will inspire their mother to use up her energy orchestrating everyone. Left to go north when Will Auld came to visit. It would be better for Roscoe to see mother now, while her mind is sound, than to wait and come to her funeral. She has good days and bad days, but overall has declined; hopes she doesn't have to suffer a long time. Will Auld agreed with that. But for now she remains mother, and the trip wouldn't be too long for him. Would have gone through Rawlins, but already had a round-trip ticket. Mother's sanitarium is quiet and attractive. Though she may last for a time, she's bound to fail in mind and personality. It is a terrible thing to see, but he would not regret a visit. As to herself may never be able to feel gladness about things again, though maybe for youthful people and youthful art. Enjoyed seeing Jim Yeiser and Marguerite in San Francisco.   Willa. 


To Roscoe CatherJune 19, 1939, on letterhead of The Chase Safe Deposit Company, New YorkUNL-Roscoe 

Needs his help. Simply must escape business correspondence—also honorary degrees. Could he write to the six businesses shown below and ask that financial correspondence be sent to: Willa S. Cather, Chase National Bank, Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street, New York, NY, attention Mr. Milne. Wants all business correspondence—except from him—sent to the bank, not to the Park Avenue address. Mr. Milne, an officer in the bank, takes care of her accounts. There are so many different apartments in the Park Avenue building that mail tends to go missing. The porters cannot do everything, and now her secretary is away. Wants to reach a sensible stopping place in the book before she leaves— still not know where she is going. Should she give Crowell power-of-attorney for Nebraska concerns? Will in the fall. Must abandon Nebraska real estate and California oil fields now to concentrate on the work she is suited to. Writing is hard work: the revisions and corrections for the Autograph Edition took ten months! Hard to find time for a new novel. Must be hasty if she is to write to him at all. Wishes people understood! Sorry to complain, but it feels like being pulled under by quicksand. PS: These are the companies: 1) TransAmerican Corporation, 2) Bank of America, 3) Ocean Front Oil Co, 4) McVicar-Rood, Montebello Ltd., 5) Barnsdall Oil Co, and 6) Standard Oil of California.  Willie.