[Letter] 1903 December 9 [to] Mrs. Markham

Dublin Core


[Letter] 1903 December 9 [to] Mrs. Markham


Ehrmann, Max, 1872-1945


Debs writes to Mrs. Markham thanking her for clearing up the misunderstanding regarding Markham's unwillingness to write an introduction for Ehrmann.


Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926


Edwin Markham Archive, Horrmann Library




Wagner College, Staten Island, NY


Please contact the Horrmann Library at Wagner College for rights to use this digital image.









Document Item Type Metadata


Dec 9 1903
Mrs. Catherine Markham
West New Brighton N.Y.
Dear Mrs. Markham:
Your valued favor was received during my absence from the city. Each word has been noted with interest and appreciation. I certainly must confess to having misinterpreted the last letter from Mr. Markham, and I fear that my answer has also been misunderstood. I would not have you under the impression for a moment that I would add to the imposition to which I know he must be subjected, and when I wrote on behalf of Mr. Ehrmann it was with no intention of taking Mr. Markham’s time from other literary labors and making no proper return for it. I expected Mr. Markham, to say, simply, “I can’t see my way clear to write the introduction,” or, I can comply with your request and shall have to charge $50.00 (or $100.00 as the case might be) for the time and labor the service will require. In either case, the answer would have been entirely satisfactory and all misunderstanding would have been avoided. I neither expected Mr. Markham to offend his conscience, nor to work without pay. Mr. Ehrmann is quite well able to pay and there would have been no question upon that point. As to whether the charge Mr. Markham would have felt obliged to make would have been out of proportion to the results realized from the service by Mr. Ehrmann would have been an entirely different matter and one for which Mr. Markham could not have been held responsible. In plain words Mr. Markham did not think the poem had sufficient merit as a literary production to justify his sponsorship and in that case no reasonable person would have expected him to hazard his own literary reputation in writing the introduction, and my only regret is that Mr. Markham did not candidly put his objection upon that ground instead of raising the question of inadequate financial compensation which has been so unfortunately misunderstood. However, your own explanation clears the whole matter and I now understand that the momentary evasion was due wholly to Mr. Markham’s solicitude for a young author and his delicacy in avoiding the wounding of his sensibilities. Taking this view of it, Mr. Markham’s position is not only unexceptionable but noble and commendable in the highest degree. Please receive for Mr. Markham and yourself the assurance of my profound esteem
Yours Cordially
Eugene V. Debs
[in margin]
I will explain fully to Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Ehrmann and am sure that all will be well.

Date Digital


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Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926 , “[Letter] 1903 December 9 [to] Mrs. Markham,” Wagner College Digital Collections, accessed December 2, 2021, https://wagnercollections.omeka.net/items/show/5077.