Title: Thomas Jefferson Whitman to Walt Whitman, 8 October 1863
Date: October 8, 1863
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Thomas Jefferson Whitman, Dear Brother Walt: The Letters of Thomas Jefferson Whitman, ed. Dennis Berthold and Kenneth M. Price (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1984), 78-79. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00425
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Tim Jackson, and April Lambert
My dear Walt
|$5||by Moses Lane3|
|$2||" J. D. Martin4|
|"1||" Henry Carlow5|
In my yesterdays letter I said something about the acknowledgement of the moneys I fear that I did not express myself so that you could understand me I do not want to get the credit of sending money that I dont send,—I want to show your letters to those that contribute so that they may see that all the money they give me is duly sent and appropriated and as I proposed this regular contribution I dont like to have them know that I am the first one to back out, but as I said yesterday I think that whatever I possibly can do I ought to do for Andrew, that whatever I can give ought to be given to him. Andrew is in a bad fix, he is hardly able to get around and has no money Mat sends him at least one good meal a day. He generally comes and spends an hour or two at the house. I had quite a talk with Dr Ruggles6 yesterday about him. The Dr says that had he gone to the interior when he first advised him to in the summer he would have stood a fair chance of getting well, but that now he thinks that it is more than wicked to take his money and make beleive to cure him for in his opinion that is almost impossible I think that it is about so. It makes one feel rather bad when you think of it dont it Ruggles says that his lungs are much diseased. I wish that you could come home for a short time and see Andrew Mother and the rest are quite well. This morning mother is not quite so well,—a bad cold—yesterday Jess was sick all day—there is no doubt Walt in my mind but that Mother is doing injury both to herself and Jess by her economy they do not have enough good things to eat, and they are both of the age that they require it. I have spoken of it till I have tired and it dont accomplish any-thing. I wish you was at home to give a little advice now and then.
Walt I often think of you wonder what you are about and how you get along. Do you have any employment there. You must often meet Brooklyn people there I understand that they liked your letter at the Times. Twas superior to the Brooklyn one I'm sure.7
Walt let me hear from you—a letter that I can show Lane &c They like to read your letters Mattie and the babies are well and send their love. Ruggles always tells me to remember him to you. Probasco8 complains that he has not heard from you since he sent you some money, fears that it did not reach you I will write again soon
Thos J. Whitman
7. On October 4, 1863, the New York Times printed Walt Whitman's "Letter from Washington." This wide-ranging article discussed such matters as the beauties of Washington, the progress on the Capitol Dome, army ambulances, and the quality of light in the city (Emory Holloway, ed., The Uncollected Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman [Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page and Company, 1921], 2:29–36). "From Washington" appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Union of September 22, 1863 (The Uncollected Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman, , 2:26–29). [back]