Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Charles L. Heyde to Walt Whitman, 27 October [1888]

Date: October 27, [1888]

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00410

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. 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, "1888," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Jeannette Schollaert, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

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Burlington, VT
Octo 27


Somehow I was always under the impression that the picture we have had so long was Jessie's which occassioned the demand for a photo of Manhatta.1 The picture of Jessie2 which you propose to send us, will compose the twain, and we shall not need one of Manhatta: I like that name! and my enthusiasm was rekindled in a very lively degree by the presence of these two blooming girls greeting me so warmly, calling me "Uncle Charlie" — I had just returned from a second visit to the Adirondacks the day after they arrived. Han was sick — very sick. I doubt that she will ever be hale and strong, or normal again. She thinks that, if she could make you a visit, and have a good long rest, she would be restored. You could suggest to her that, if at any time she would like to make you a visit, you would be prepared to recieve her: If, for the time, you could furnish a couple of rooms. It may be necessary. I had a talk with Dr Lund3 lately: he thought it would be beneficial to write to her. Continue the Phila Press: visit the Progress. dont need it. George4 sent word that she should come, at any time, and remain with him as long as she desired.


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. Manahatta, often called "Hattie," was the daughter of Whitman's brother Jeff and his wife Martha. [back]

2. Jessie Louisa Whitman (1863–1957) was the second and youngest daughter of Whitman's brother Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Whitman (1833–1890) and Jeff's wife Martha Mitchell Whitman (1836–1873). [back]

3. Dr. William B. Lund became Hannah Heyde's doctor after the former doctor, Samuel W. Thayer, had died. He remained the family's doctor until Hannah Heyde's death in 1908. [back]

4. George Washington Whitman (1829–1901) was Walt's brother and the sixth child of Louisa Van Velsor Whitman. He was ten years Walt Whitman's junior. For more information on George Washington Whitman, see Martin G. Murray, "Whitman, George Washington," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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