Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Charles L. Heyde to Walt Whitman, 30 July 1885

Date: July 30, 1885

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00405

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.

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

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Burlington Vermont
July 30, 1885

Bro Walt

Han recd your card; was much concerned to learn that you had a fall: Weather is very warm here, but fine cool nights: mornings allmost frosty. The grandest genuine summer I ever knew. Mountains allways visible, asserting their supremacy. Vivid lightnings and startling thunder, with heavy showers. A big tornado passed, or crashed over the city, tearing a large luxuriant tree that grew by the gate, by the roots, as if it had been a bramble, and twisting a large to pieces, that grew at the corner of the house, dividing the branches literaly, without knocking down the chimney nor even splintering a picket. How it razed and thrashed the slate roof; several houses were unroofed: the worst gale I ever saw: Han was much frightend: she is improving steadily, though weak: allright. She thinks if she could see you: talks of you great deal. I've not heard of the picture yet sent to George—


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).


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