Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: John H. Johnston to Walt Whitman, 9 September 1885

Date: September 9, 1885

Editorial note: The annotation, "see notes July 5 1891," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

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: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02568

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray



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J. H. JOHNSTON,
JEWELER
SPECIALTIES: DUPLICATE WEDDING PRESENTS. DIAMONDS, WATCHES, FINGER RINGS.
THE REPAIRING OF FINE WATCHES AND JEWELRY A SPECIALTY.
150 BROWERY, COR. BROOME ST.
New York,
Sept 9 1885

Dear Walt:

Glad to hear from you once more.

Many thanks for the books you sent. I inclose $2.00 for the two and for the balance all the thanks you desire.

Do you mind telling me how much of a Mortgage there is on your house?

Alma1 is well. She goes with me tonight to see Robson & Crane in the Comedy of Errors.2

Sincerely yours
J H Johnston


Correspondent:
John H. Johnston (1837–1919) was a New York jeweler and close friend of Whitman. Johnston was also a friend of Joaquin Miller (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1915], 2:139). Whitman visited the Johnstons for the first time early in 1877. In 1888 he observed to Horace Traubel: "I count [Johnston] as in our inner circle, among the chosen few" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Wednesday, October 3, 1888). See also Johnston's letter about Whitman, printed in Charles N. Elliot, Walt Whitman as Man, Poet and Friend (Boston: Richard G. Badger, 1915), 149–174. For more on Johnston, see Susan L. Roberson, "Johnston, John H. (1837–1919) and Alma Calder" Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. Alma Calder Johnston was an author and the second wife of John H. Johnston. [back]

2. Stuart Robson (1836–1903) and William Henry Crane (1845–1928) were American stage actors and long-time collaborators. Their Broadway adaptation of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors was perhaps their most successful act. [back]


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