Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to W. O. Baldwin, 4 March 1868

Date: March 4, 1868

Whitman Archive ID: csl.00001

Source: Connecticut State Library State Archives. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Ted Genoways (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2004), 7:29. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Jonathan Y Cheng, Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Alex Kinnaman, and Nicole Gray

March 4, 1868

My dear Mr. Baldwin:

I write in reference to a friend of mine, Dr. Charles H. Bowen,1 of this city, who will soon call upon you personally. He seeks the appointment of Surgeon to the Metropolitan Police here. I have known Dr. Bowen for several years. He was a volunteer U.S. Army surgeon during the war, & was considered one of the best. I can fully join in the same testimony, as he treated, as physician or surgeon, many a case under my own eye, for days & even months. He is a good Union man, of full professional experience, gentlemanly manners, temperate, in the prime of life—& I have more than once, when watching his treatment, called him an intuitive physician.

I most strongly recommend him as the right man, & one without deficiency in any of the qualifications needed for the place of Police Surgeon.

Should you wish it, I will be glad to wait upon you, to testify further regarding Dr. B. I send you, dear sir, my friendliest respects & well wishes,

Walt Whitman

Dr. W. O. Baldwin was a physician, a member of the Board of Health, and an elected representative to the chamber of the city council in Washington, D.C.


1. Dr. Bowen, a "contract surgeon" with the United States Army, served at Armory Square Hospital in Washington, D.C. For more, see Wayne W. Westbrook, "The Case of Dr. Bowen: An Unknown Whitman Letter Recommending an Army Doctor," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 1 (1983), 26–29. [back]


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