CRANE, Harold Hart (1899-1932). Typed letter signed ('Hart') to [Samuel Loveman] ('Dear Sam'), Mixcoac, [Mexico], 20 April , half page, 4to (filing punches to right margin).
ONE OF THE LAST LETTERS WRITTEN BY HART CRANE. Crane forewarns his correspondent of his departure from Vera Cruz in four days' time, and informs him of the collapse of his financial situation: 'A suit has been brought against the estate which practcially [sic] robs me of my total inheritance, at least all income is cut off indefinitely. I naturally can't remain longer here'; Crane hopes to be able to stay in New York for a few days, and see the recipient, 'before going into Chagrin Falls exile'.
Crane committed suicide on 27 April 1932 by jumping off the ship which was taking him back to the United States -- an action to which his financial difficulties, together with the excesses of his life in Mexico, undoubtedly contributed. Difficulties in securing a regular income from the estate of his father (who had died in 1931) and the termination of his Guggenheim Fellowship on 31 March 1932 had rendered his situation precarious, and already on 12 April he was writing to Solomon Grunberg of 'feverish weeks spent in running thither and yon every day or so to borrow enough money to keep us going until my check from the estate finally arrived ... I hope for a little more consistent treatment in the future. After all, it isn't like asking for a favor' (Brom Weber, ed. The Letters of Hart Crane, 1952, p.407). The sudden loss of even this lifeline threatened the break-up of his hedonistic menage with Peggy Cowley in Mexico in favour of a dependence on loans from his stepmother and a return to run his father's businesses in the Cleveland suburb of Chagrin Falls. A number of letters survive from 20 April, communicating this critical news to friends; Weber publishes only two letters of a later date, one a letter to his stepmother on 22 April, and the last a postcard from Havana, on the day before his death. Editor and poet Samuel Loveman was a New York friend, and a constant correspondent of the last four years of Crane's life. Although Loveman was the publisher of Brom Weber's biography of Crane, and a number of Crane's letters to him are selected in Weber's edition, the present letter is not among them.