Witness Letters
WS Thomas



Dearest Old Will-

I am reneging (or are there 2 g's?) on letting Mr. Tryon publish more than just a sketch of H.L. & a possible allusion to the family tradition. Howard & I have been talking it over & he has put it to me in a new light, as he is so often able to do. He says in substance what follows:

1 - If you saw such a claim as that made in a newspaper article should you not say- "Well this is a pretty time of day to be dragging that up & blackening another man's reputation, when the thing has been over for a hundred years! If they haven't got proof positive why don't they let it alone? What do I care, anyhow who wrote the thing. This Night Before Christmas stuff spoils all my interest in the rest of the article." Since Howard spoke of it, that attitude seems to me all too probable. Why shouldn't Mr. Tryon content himself with grandfather's life & barely touch upon the poem & then some time, if he sees fit, contribute the meat of the thing to some regular literary journal, given up to such matters? It seems a fitter place for the discussion, for I do not believe it would be of great interest to the average man. Howard suggests also, that it might be a bit of special courtesy to send word to the Moore family that we felt there was the possibility of a mistake all these years & should like to reopen the discussion. Do you think that is out of the question? And do you mind if I get the feeling of the rest of the family about it?

It was so good to see you & the dear household & I send you all my dear love & beg you to come soon to Cambridge. AMEN (Howard)

There's no excuse, but when I have time, I'll explain why I wasn't there when you came. Love

Helen?? Thanks for everything

SOURCE: New York Historical Society, WS Thomas Papers


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