Title: Walt Whitman to Thomas Jefferson Whitman, 6 September 1886
Date: September 6, 1886
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.
Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977).
Location: Missouri Historical Society
Whitman Archive ID: mhs.00021
Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein and Kyle Barton
Sept 6 '86
I hardly know what to say to you and Jess in your fearful affliction—will not attempt any of the usual consolations1—
I suppose Lou is there, as she wished to start Saturday night—& I havn't heard since. Dear, dear Hatta—
—I am ab't as usual—have got thro' the summer pretty well—
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)."
1. Mannahatta (Hattie) Whitman, the poet's niece, died on September 3 and was buried three days later (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). George Whitman's wife Louisa went to St. Louis to be with Jeff and his daughter Jessie Louisa. [back]