Letter from Thomas Willis White to William Scott

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This is a scanned version of the original document in the Abernethy Manuscripts Collection at Middlebury College.

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(Private) Richmond, Jan. 23, '37.

My Dear Friend,

It has been entirely out of my power to answer your kind favor of the 17th 'till to-day.

Betwixt my office and my domicile, my whole time has been consumed — i.e. ever since my return to Richmond. At last, my poor wife seems to be better — and we begin to think we may yet conquer the disease, which is pronounced by the physicians cancer in her womb. She has had already a 5 months siege of it. My hands are once more at work but their "strike" has been a serious drawback as well as a great injury to me in a pecuniary point of view — one that will cost me months of hard labor to recover from.

By tomorrow night's mail I will send you rough sheets of my Jan. No. in which you will find your article on the "Rights of Authors," though not in the part of the Messenger I promised you it should be placed. This was, however, intended I assure you, in no ways as a mark of disrespect. But its getting where it now stands, was unavoidable, in consequence of arrangements which had been previously made by others — as well by the fact of my attention being called from my office when it was made up. This, I hope, will be an ample apology on my part. You will nevertheless find yourself in both good and enlightened company. You came

Last edit 3 months ago by Fudgy
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betwixt Mrs Ellett and Judge Hopkinson, — and I am sure you could not have selected better society any where.

Previous to writing you I had submitted your manuscript to Mr. Poe, who handed it back to me as being suitable for the Messenger. After I had it put in type, I sent a corrected proof of it to him. He returned it, as you will see, making several corrections, — and arranged other things, striking out your first paragraph, or exerdium. He also struck out your two concluding paragraphs — but I thought them worth preserving — and therefore took upon myself the "responsibility" of retaining them. I have no doubt whatever, that Mr. Poe done what he has done for the best. I hope, moreover that you will think so also. Be that as it may, I assure you there was not the slightest intention on my part (nor do I believe there was on that of Mr. Poe's) to mar your production. I hope this rapid explanation will be satisfactory to my friend.

Mr. Poe retired from the editors life of my work on the 3d inst. I am once more at the head of affairs. Nevertheless I have private friends to whom I submit all articles — and I have consented to abide by their judgment.

So soon as I can spare the time, I will write to Mr Wilborn. In the meantime, if you can get me a patron do so and I will send you on the No' 11 & 12 — to make up the set. I have not a copy of No 1 or 2 on hand —

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[postmark] RICHMOND VA JAN 23

Mr. William Scott, Care of Saunders & Otley, New York City.

M-2 207 10

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