Title: Walt Whitman to Thomas Jefferson and Jessie Louisa Whitman, 8 September 
Date: September 8, 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.
Location: Missouri Historical Society
Whitman Archive ID: mhs.00023
Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein and Kyle Barton
& Dear Jess
Our hearts out here are with you more than you probably think at this gloomy time.1 I hope & trust you both bear up under it, & that the "God help us" of your telegraphic message will be fulfilled—I find myself better than toward the conclusion of former summers—am still living here at 328 Mickle st—& comfortable.
—I am anxious to hear whether Lou got there all right—am sitting here down stairs by the open window as I write—warm here for two days.
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)."
Jessie Louisa Whitman was the second daughter of Jeff and Martha Whitman.
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 other daughter, Jessie Louisa. [back]