Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Thomas Jefferson Whitman to Walt Whitman, 5 July 1875

Date: July 5, 1875

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), 171. 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.00474

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, and April Lambert




St. Louis,
July 5th 1875

My dear Walt

Although you hear from us so seldom yet we do not forget you—I expected to get to Camden before this1—but business prevented—We have had lots of political trouble here this spring and summer and the end is not yet—how it will affect me I am unable to even guess now—sometimes it looks bad and then again as if it would blow over—at any rate it cannot be long before it will decide itself one way or another2

Tis a long while since we have heard from you—how are you getting along  now and then we see some little thing in the papers—the last was that you were engaged in getting up another book3—I was glad to know that you were feeling well enough—

How is George and Loo. I hope well  Is George busy still on the pipe question  We are having very hot weather for the last few days—On Thursday next Hattie and Jessie depart for Iowa or Wisconsin for a month or two—Jess and Hat have grown quite up and begin to look like young ladies—they keep to school pretty close and study well—

Let me hear form you when you can—if matters change here I shall make you a visit for awhile—I should endeavor to get a job in Baltimore as I see they are getting ready to build works there—

Love to all—not forgetting Ed


Jeff


Notes:

1. Jeff had visited Walt Whitman at least twice since the last extant letter: in September 1873 and June 1874 (Edwin Haviland Miller, ed., The Correspondence [New York: New York University Press, 1961-77], 2:241, 306). [back]

2. In April 1875 a new Board of Water Commissioners was appointed. Jeff's close friend Henry Flad, a member of the board since 1867 and president since 1873, was among those replaced. Because one of the new appointees was Joseph Brown, the former mayor, Jeff may be concerned that politics is exerting too much influence over the waterworks. He may also be anxious about the vote on the new state constitution scheduled for August 1875 in which St. Louis would be granted home rule. See Thomas Jefferson Whitman to Walt Whitman, 22 July 1877[back]

3. In the spring of 1875, Walt Whitman began work on his so-called "Centennial Edition" of Leaves of Grass (Gay Wilson Allen, The Solitary Singer: A Critical Biography of Walt Whitman [New York: Macmillan, 1955; rev. ed., New York University Press, 1967], p. 463). [back]


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