Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Letter from Walt Whitman to Hannah Heyde, [13 April 1887]

Date: April 13, 1887

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.04763

Contributors to digital file: Ryan Furlong, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock



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Camden1
Wednesday 12:40 pm

Go to New York this afternoon to deliver my lecture commemorative of "Death of Abraham Lincoln"2 there to-morrow afternoon—Return here Friday—Am only middling well—Have just written a card to Jeff3 and Jess4


Walt Whitman


Correspondent:
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).

Notes:

1. This postal card is addressed: Mrs: H L Heyde | 21 Pearl Street | Burlington | Vermont. It is postmarked: Camden | APR 13 | 8PM | 87; Burlington | APR [illegible] | [illegible] PM | REC'D; New York | APR 14 | 130 AM | 87 | Transit. [back]

2. Whitman first delivered this lecture in New York in 1879 and would deliver it at least eight other times over the succeeding years, delivering it for the last time on April 15, 1890. He had published a version of the lecture as "Death of Abraham Lincoln" in Specimen Days (1882-83). For more on the lecture, see Larry D. Griffin, "'Death of Abraham Lincoln,'" Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, ed., (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), 169–170. [back]

3. Thomas Jefferson Whitman (1833–1890), known as "Jeff," was Walt Whitman's favorite brother. As a civil engineer, Jeff eventually became Superintendent of Water Works in St. Louis and a nationally recognized figure. For more on Jeff, see Randall Waldron, "Whitman, Thomas Jefferson (1833–1890)." [back]

4. Jessie Louisa Whitman was Jeff Whitman's daughter. [back]


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