Title: Walt Whitman to Alfred Pratt, N. M. Pratt, and John B. Pratt, 20 January 1870
Date: January 20, 1870
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:93. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.01688
Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad
Attorney General's Office,
Jan. 20, 1870.
Dear son & comrade Alfred Pratt: 1
I have received your letter of the 14th. So you are going to Kansas, & it would seem you think of settling there—so it may be we shall not see each other—but I wish you to write to me, & let me know how it goes with you—& I hope, dear boy, you will continue to remember me with a love which time shall not fade out.
My dear friends,
N. M. and J. B. Pratt,
I appreciate your kindness & your hospitable invitations, & I am sure it would be a good change & a comfort to me to come out & see you, & be with you a few days, surrounded with new scenery, & a farm life—it is what I should enjoy of all things—and I hope things may work so that I can come one of these days—if so, I will send you word, in advance—The picture of the dear daughter will be welcome—I should also like another of my dear loving boy Alfred, as soon as he gets any late ones, if he does so—
So good bye & God bless you, my dear friends, & my love to all.
All that is known about Alfred Pratt is contained in this letter and those of
June 10, 1865, August 7, 1865, August 26, 1865,
September 27, 1866,
January 29, 1867, July
25, 1867, October 28, 1867, and July 1, 1869.
On January 14, 1870, Alfred spoke of his departure for Kansas, and John offered to send a picture of his "daughter," whom Alfred had married in August 1868: "She ways about 100 lbs and is as handsome as a picture." (A picture of Alfred and his wife at the time of their marriage is in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.) He concluded: "please write soon to your unworthy friends" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). On March 15, 1870, John informed Walt Whitman that Alfred had left on January 25, 1870, and had settled in "Douglass," Kansas. This was apparently the last letter in the correspondence. [back]