Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William M. Muchmore, 21 October 1851

Date: October 21, 1851

Whitman Archive ID: bhs.00002

Source: Brooklyn Historical Society. 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.

Contributors to digital file: Cristin Noonan, Amanda J. Axley, Marie Ernster, Erel Michaelis, Kassie Jo Baron, Jeff Hill, and Stephanie Blalock

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Tuesday afternoon,
October 21st, 1851

Mr. Muchmore,
Dear Sir,

If convenient, will you remind Mr. Tunis G. Bergen,1 of my bill for advertising, ($50) which was presented two weeks ago, and referred to Com. on Accounts—so that, if found all ship-shape, it may be passed for payment this afternoon—as that would oblige me, if there is no objection.

Yours truly
Walter Whitman printer

Hand this note to Mr. Bergen, if you choose.—

From Walter Whitman | W.M. Muchmore, Member Board of Supervisors for Kings County

William M. Muchmore was on the Board of Supervisors of Kings County in New York in the 1850s and 1860s. He would later become Superintendent of the Kings County Lunatic Asylum.


1. Teunis G. Bergen (1806–1881) was a Brooklyn official acquainted with Whitman. Bergen was a member of the 241st regiment of the New York State militia, where he achieved the rank of Colonel. Trained as a surveyor, Bergen enjoyed a succesful career in the field before turning to politics. He served on the Kings County Board of Supervisors as the Supervisor of New Utrecht for twenty-three years (1836–1859). In 1864, Bergen was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat. He held this office until 1867. In one of his "Paragraph Sketches of Brooklynites," published in the Brooklyn Daily Advertiser on June 1, 1850, Whitman characterized Bergen as "the Nestor of the Board of Supervisors," and noted that he had been "a very Cerberus in his watch over the Treasury" (Edwin Haviland Miller, ed., The Correspondence [New York: New York University Press, 1961–77], 1:37, n1). [back]


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