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#0551: Willa Cather to Mrs. Babcock, [1921]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Mrs. Babcock1;

I am so glad I am to have you for a comrade-at-arms! I cannot write you a message to be read at the Federation meeting just now, because I have had to spend several days in bed, and that has put me behind with the world. I 'ma sure, moreover, that you will know how to present the matter to your audience better than I would. I feel grateful to you for taking it up.

Please, in your appeal, attack the curious social prejudice that has sprung up against the cottonwood3. Because it grows so easily, because it grew here in the old, rough times, the cottonwood has become deéclasseé; people think it is old-fashioned and ‘common’. Can’t they feel that the true beauty of a great landscape myst come from its natural riches, from what grows freely and vigorously in its soil- - - not from some exotic toy-trees4 in a garden? In a great flat country like this the one tree that grows to the size of a forest tree is doubly precious.

Try your club people out on the subject, and if you think there is any real feeling in them, any sentiment about the native timber that makes their summers and autumns so lovely, I will be gald to write something on it for your next federation meeting.

I was so sorry not to see you the other night, but I was quite down and out.

Faithfully yours Willa Cather