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Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 28 Sep 2023 11:17:32 -0700
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Just some thoughts regarding Sam and GW Cable, I had not spent much time 
examining Cable’s writings, or his life in general, only being amused by 
Sam’s increasing animosity towards Cable as their lecture tour 
continued. I had assumed, because of the material he read from on the 
tour, that Cable was attracted to the Creole culture. Such was not the 
case. I suspect that Sam was most impressed by Cable’s early writings, 
without paying much attention to Cable’s biases. Elmo Howell writes: 
“Even those who do not share his views acknowledge the charm of his 
sketches of Creole manners, which he, Anglo-Saxon. and Presbyterian, 
could not approve. Born of a New England mother and brought up in a 
strict Puritan household, he never became a part of the excitement of 
the French Quarter, about which he knew so much and where he liked to 
stroll with his guests from out of town, like any other tourist. He kept 
aloof, and so his pages are lacking in that generous sentiment which 
comes from the author’s identification with his subject. His approach is 
cerebral, his effect almost wholly visual.”

I became aware of Cable’s bias only after coming across David Fears’ Day 
By Day entries regarding Grace King’s visits with the Clemens family. I 
found Elmo Howell’s article, “George Washington Cable’s Creoles: Art and 
Reform in ‘The Grandissimes’”, The Mississippi Quarterly, Winter of 
1972-73., in JSTOR

I knew that Cable had become unpopular in the South and had thought this 
was because he advocated for civil rights for Negroes. This was possibly 
part of the reason but more importantly Creoles found Cable’s work to be 
insulting. Cable was “Anglo-Saxon and Presbyterian”, Creoles are for the 
most part Catholic. Cable could not approve of this culture. More than 
just the Creole culture, as Sam and Grace shared common ground in 
Mississippi River cultural backgrounds, she remained a close family 
friend for many years. Cable was adverse to Mississippi River culture, 
preferring a New England environment. and I suspect this may be why, 
more than his irritating habits on the Twain-Cable Tour, their 
association remained distant.

/Unaffiliated Geographer and Twain aficionado/