Commentary

Disciples


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Sunday, February 14, 1892

     10:15 A.M. To W.'s, finding at my mother's on the way this special delivery letter from the Telegram office:
The Evening Telegram
Office, No. 2 Ann St.,
New York, Feb. 13, 1892

Dear Sir:

As a result of the editorial and story in today's Telegram small sums of unsolicited money are beginning to arrive in this office. The senders ask that the money shall be used to adorn Mr. Whitman's sick room

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with his favorite flowers. We have now $9.50 so that $10 can be spent at once. The fund will be very large. Will you, as Mr. Whitman's nearest friend, undertake to keep him supplied with a great abundance of flowers and we will forward the money to you? The sum will probably go over a hundred or two hundred dollars, possibly very much more. You may be able to fill the place with blossoms, provided the doctors see no objection to fresh ones.


Will you kindly reply by wire.

Faithfully yours,

James Creelman


W. sleeping—pale and haggard. Color all gone. Very quiet. Having a busy day ahead I did not stay there. Met Mrs. Von Utassy in day. She spoke of W.'s "beautiful face as he lay there on the pillow." She had never seen him before. Longaker said to me, "The old man is wearing out, but how long it will take him to wear out I wouldn't predict." I telegraphed Ingersoll—Gibson House, Cincinnati: "Whitman sends love. No better—no worse." And I telegraphed Creelman: "Will gladly take charge of funds. Will write. Whitman no better." Late in evening (after eleven) I sat down at W.'s and wrote Creelman to same effect as telegram except to add that Whitman could not stand the flowers—that we would have to spend the money to other purposes. Found a note [from Everett N. Blanke] awaiting me, when I stopped in at 509 Arch.

     W. still in same condition. Day greatly quiet. McAlister had left bulletins, which I at once mailed to Bucke. Stedman and family left at noon today for New York. Tells me he will never undertake such a lecture course again. "It was my first struggle in that field and it will be my last."


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