Title: Hannah Whitman Heyde to Walt Whitman, 20 October 1884
Date: October 20, 1884
Editorial note: The annotation, "'84," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.
Source: Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Hannah Louisa Whitman Heyde Papers, 1853–1892, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00669
Contributors to digital file: Alex Ashland, Stefan Schöberlein, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray
My dearest Brother
How very good you are to send me so much,—It was a great surprise, I dont know what to say. I wont try to say how grateful how much I feel your kindness
What I fear is, you will have to deprive yourself of some needed comfort, and that worries me. Your kindness does me good, but Walt dear your health and your not having to feel anxious about your own needs would do me more good, your welfare and needs and you I think of, more than ever since I have been sick. I am not much sick now, feel pretty well most days. I gain but not as fast as I expected the worst is I cannot walk about much yet. am slow and very careful. have to be to become quite well. I sew & do a little sitting still & of course nothing like when I am well. I do not think it will be long before I shall be able to work again, as usual so you see Walt dear you need not feel in the least anxious I meant to have written, but supposed you thought me well, (I did not know Charlie had written until your letter came) I was waiting to say I was well. I mean to write dear brother before long and tell you everything
You are very good to me to say you will come to see me It would be a great pleasure and comfort to see you. it is a great comfort to know you feel so much interest in me, but Walt dear I shall mind fearfully your spending more money on my account, let alone the risk to your health. that I think of most
To do me the most good is to take care of yourself. I should feel badly too, your not staying here, you have done much for me, it would be hard to not be able to do the least thing to make it pleasant for you to have you come when I get well, that would be something to look forward to.—I have always thought if I was dangerously sick, my greatest wish would be to see you.
Walt dear about the money you have sent me I feel a little uneasy about your sparing so much. I felt bad yesterday. I feel afraid Charlie has been writing one of his conplaining letters. (I may be mistaken) I have asked him what he wrote, he gets angry, says its all right, must leave it to him, but Walt you must never never again send me money unless you have much more than you can use for your own needs. I have some money yet that you sent me that I had saved if needed I have used since I have been sick. I am grateful to Charlie for all he has done for me since I have been sick, but I wish he was different that he would tell me when he writes to you, I knew he wrote to you yesterday,—not what he wrote. he has gone out to take a long walk this afternoon. I am alone, my being sick has been bad for him I know
Hannah Louisa (Whitman) Heyde (1823–1908), youngest sister of Walt Whitman, married Charles Louis Heyde (1822–1890), a French-born landscape painter. Charles Heyde was infamous among the Whitmans for his offensive letters and poor treatment of Hannah. Hannah and Charles Heyde lived in Burlington, Vermont. For more, see Paula K. Garrett, "Whitman (Heyde), Hannah Louisa (d. 1908)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).