Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Charles L. Heyde to Walt Whitman, 16 March 1885

Date: March 16, 1885

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00403

Source: The Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library. 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.

Editorial note: The annotation, "'85," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Ashland, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray

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Mar 16, 1885.

Bro Walt

You will be gratified to know that Han is steadily growing stronger.1

Recd Camden paper with [Col Schells?] notice of the Good Gray Poet: pleased Han very much: I consider it photographic and highly entertaining: handed it to the local edr of "Free Press": was republished a couple days ago, and by this time has been circulated and read throughout the entire state.

Bought Han the chair, large, wallnut frame, well, handsomely upholstered: commodious with head rest: is very comfortable, at 9 dollars cash, new from store. Hard times: Distributed paintings: 7, framed—65 dollars—some discounts—Realized 137 dollars—paid out for new stove etc, coal, groceries, installment on slate roof—painters, butcher etc—$149.00—

Hard winter: 20 below zero, two nights ago—freezing without intermission—lake a white plane 10 miles across. Avalanches of snow slipping from the slates, crushing, thundering, covering all near or below it—

1st of May the steamer is due on the lake—must change soon—yet holds on grimly—Han sends her love to you—allways Walt; Walt is so good—Han remembers Brooklyn and younger days: a great change—she will get well.

C. L. H.

Charles Louis Heyde (ca. 1820–1892), a French-born landscape painter, married Hannah Louisa Whitman (1823–1908), Walt Whitman's sister, and they lived in Burlington, Vermont. Charles Heyde was infamous among the Whitmans for his offensive letters and poor treatment of Hannah. For more information about Heyde, see Steven Schroeder, "Heyde, Charles Louis (1822–1892)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. Hannah Heyde was frequently sick, but the exact nature of her ailment in 1885 is unknown. [back]


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