Title: George William Foote to Walt Whitman, [February or March 1878]
Date: February or March 1878
Editorial note: The annotation, "recd Feb or March '78," 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: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.02048
Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Eder Jaramillo, Stefan Schöberlein, and Nicole Gray
12 Gower St
Your letter, which Mr Rossetti forwarded to me, took me by surprise, and gave me pain also. I had just returned to the above address after a twelve-months absence, during which I had married and buried a gifted and beautiful young wife, and such a letter from you did not tend to solace the pain of my bereavement.
I gave my employé at the Secularist office the sum of £3 to procure a P.O.O. which I instructed him to forward to you. He was also to see that the books were sent to their proper destinations as soon as received, as I was much away from home. The £3 included about £1 from myself, the subscriptions mentioned in your letter being almost all I received from others.
I had some difficulty in finding the address of the gentleman who subscribed a guinea, but having done so, I find that he never received his copy of the "Leaves of Grass" although strangely enough he never made any complaint about it. My employé, then, must have cheated me. I discovered that he drank and neglected the business, and had to discharge him, and soon after to drop the paper too; but I did not suspect him in pecuniary matters. Where he is now I don't know.
Of course I hold myself responsible, and in a week or two I will send a remittance with a list of the subscribers. I would have done this at once on receiving your letter, but my wife's illness and death were so costly and so unspeakably painful, that I was impoverished in pocket and broken down in health. I wrote you a letter at Christmas, when I expected some money, but the money was not forthcoming and so the letter was not sent.
G. W. Foote