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"Robert H. HIRST" <[log in to unmask]>
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Sun, 28 Mar 2021 07:48:20 -0700
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from SLC to Josephine and Karl the Gerhardts, 1 and 3 May 1883, UCCL 02380.
Charles E. Porter was the black painter the Clemenses were supporting in

mr. porter has written to ask me to get some orders for him, as his money
is nearly spent and he wants to remain some time longer in paris. this
places me in a bothersome position; because, a long time ago, josephine
intimated in one of her letters that porter had gone to the dogs or was on
his way there. she gave no details, brought forward no facts. i meant to
write her, then and there, and say that whenever one a flask of dynamite
under a person’s character, he should always go into the details of the
matter, and state exactly why he felt justified in doing that thing. i hav[e
]n’t answered porter; cannot answer him until i learn from you how he
stands. tell me all you have heard against him, keep back nothing whatever.
also tell me what part of the evidence rests upon trustworthy authority,
and what part of it doubtful. i want to know everything about him, good and
bad; for if he is worthy of help i want to turn out and see what can be
done for him; and if he is not, i want to at least act with caution. at the
same time i must remember, and you must also remember, that on every sin
which a colored man commits, the just white man must make a considerable
discount, because of the colored man’s antecedents. the heirs of slavery
cannot with any sort of justice, be required to be as clear and straight
and upright as the heirs of ancient freedom. and besides, whenever a
colored man commits an unright action, upon his ̭heaḓ is the guilt of only
about one tenth of it, and upon your heads and mine and the rest of the
white race lie fairly and justly the other nine tenths of the guilt. so,
when you have told me all there is to tell about porter, i shall doubtless
judge his case charitably enough.