Title: Walt Whitman to George Wood, 17 January 1863
Date: January 17, 1863
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:71. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Charles Roberts Autograph Collection, Haverford College
Whitman Archive ID: hav.00002
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Brett Barney, Eric Conrad, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Alyssa Olson
Saturday morning Jan 17 '63.
Dear Mr Wood,1
So your generous heart moved you to send the sick and dying young men in the hospitals a handsome little contribution of money (toward $4). I thank you, dear sir, in their name, and in my own, as the organ of your charity. I have distributed part of it in Ward 6, (Dr. Leman, ward surgeon) Campbell Hospital—and shall to-day bestow the rest in the Patent Office Hosp.2 My friend, I must meet you soon again.
1. Apparently George Wood (1799–1870), who went to the Treasury Department as a clerk in 1822 and held various posts in that bureau until his death. He was the author of several satirical works, Peter Schlemihl in America (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1848) and The Gates Wide Open; or, Scenes in Another World (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1858; rev. ed. 1870); see National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Undoubtedly he became acquainted with Whitman through William and Ellen O'Connor. Ellen mentions a Mr. Wood in her letter of July 5, 1864. See also Wood's letter to Whitman dated "Thursday" probably [January 15, 1863] and Whitman's December 29, 1866, letter to Wood. [back]
2. Whitman described the Patent Office Hospital in the New York Times, February 26, 1863 (The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman, 10 vols. [New York: GP Putnam's Sons, 1902], 7:82–84). [back]