New York: February 26, 1937.. 1937.. Good. - A lengthy typed letter filling one side of a sheet of 10-7/8 inch high by 8-3/8 inch wide sheet of New York Herald Tribune letterhead. Signed "Lewis Gannett". There is creasing & chipping to the left edge of the letter. Folded 3 times for mailing with a small area of additional creasing along the vertical fold. Good.
Gannett answers an inquiry from a Mrs. Baker about the theory that the English poet Robert Browning had negro blood in him. He replies by quoting a letter he has received from E. J. Simmons of Harvard, author of "Pushkin". Simmons writes that the one certainty is that Browning's grandmother was a Creole. There are two meanings of Creole, one in New Orleans and a very different one in the West Indies, "and one of them means that such a person has negro blood". Browning's grandmother was born in the West Indies and may or may not have had a strain of negro blood. "On the whole, except by very squeamish southerners, I should say that Browning would definitely not be considered a Negro in any of our Southern states."
Lewis Gannett [1891-1966] was educated at Harvard and was on the editorial staff of the Nation from 1919 to 1929. He wrote a daily book review column which was published in the New York Herald-Tribune and other newspapers from 1928 through 1956.