Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to James Speed, 13 October 1866

Date: October 13, 1866

Whitman Archive ID: dar.00003

Source: The Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College. 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), and supplemented, updated, or created by Whitman Archive staff as appropriate.

Editorial note: The annotation, "Walt. Whitman | Washington," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, Alyssa Olson, and Nicole Gray

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Attorney General's Office,
Oct. 13, 1866

Dear Mr. Speed,

I send herewith a copy I have procured of the new edition "Leaves of Grass." The price is $3.

In the office here every thing goes on much as before you left. Mr. Ashton has been home to vote, remaining away three days. He & Mrs. A. are well. He seems to be busy preparing for the ensuing term, Supreme Court. Mr. Stanbery is quite popular—he is a still, bland, old fellow,—is much at the President's—has left every thing in the office to go on as before.

Pleasants, Stitt, &c are well. Andy Kerr is off on leave of absence.1

All hands join in sending best esteem & love to you.

We have had an awful rain storm of five days, raining with hardly any intermission. The water is way up on the base-ball grounds & on 11th st from the Canal most up to the avenue.

Tell Charley that I have not forgotten him—I send him my love, & hope we may meet again one these days.

To-day there has been quite a rush of Confederate Generals to the office—Gen. Beauregard, Gilmore, & three or four others, have had interviews with Mr. Stanbery.

Walt Whitman

James Speed (1812–1887), was appointed attorney general by Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He continued to serve during Andrew Johnson's presidency, but resigned in July 1866, due to his opposition to Johnson's Reconstruction policies.


1. Matthew F. Pleasants, Frank U. Stitt, and Andrew Kerr were employees in the office; see Whitman's letters to Kerr of August 25, 1866 and October 29, 1865[back]


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