Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Charles L. Heyde to Walt Whitman, 2 March 1889

Date: March 2, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00413

Source: The Trent Collection of Walt Whitman Manuscripts, 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: Kirby Little, Caterina Bernardini, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock



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U.A WOODBURY PROP.
Van Ness and American Hotels
L.S. DREW
H.N. CLARK
MANAGERS
Burlington Vermont.
The Van Ness House has a Safety Hydraulic Passenger Elevator Fire Escape and the Grinnell Automatic Sprinkler
Van Ness House
Fine Views of the Lakes and Mountains from all parts of the House
Burlington Vt.
March 2 1889

Bro. Walt.

Han1 just recieved your letter, with kind enclosure of 1 dollar for herself. Success of your book abroad gives great satisfaction. She is not very strong, but does her best, and very much. I am embarressed at times greatly to procure necessaries for house—coal [etc?]—Weather has been very unusually cold—is warmer now— Mrs Tyler2 made us a visit—saw your card/postal, and was surprised at the vigor of your handwriting. I thought Mr Bucke3 might purchase a picture of Canada Chute, could he see one, for his enthusiasm and enduring regard for you (to help us) but I did not write—one grows desperate under difficulties you know, and my apprehension about our home and home has made me [despondent?]. I now carry a painting out, and get what I can for it—bad business regarding prices.


C. L. Heyde


Correspondent:
Charles Louis Heyde (1822–1890), a French-born landscape painter, married Hannah Louisa Whitman (1823–1890), 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).

Notes:

1. Hannah Louisa (Whitman) Heyde (1823–1908), youngest sister of Walt Whitman, married Charles Louis Heyde (1822–1890), a French-born landscape painter. Charles Heyde was infamous among the Whitmans for his offensive letters and poor treatment of Hannah. Hannah and Charles Heyde lived in Burlington, Vermont. For more, see Paula K. Garrett, "Whitman (Heyde), Hannah Louisa (d. 1908)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

2. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]

3. Richard Maurice Bucke (1837–1902) was a Canadian physician and psychiatrist who grew close to Whitman after reading Leaves of Grass in 1867 (and later memorizing it) and meeting the poet in Camden a decade later. Even before meeting Whitman, Bucke claimed in 1872 that a reading of Leaves of Grass led him to experience "cosmic consciousness" and an overwhelming sense of epiphany. Bucke became the poet's first biographer with Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1883), and he later served as one of his medical advisors and literary executors. For more on the relationship of Bucke and Whitman, see Howard Nelson, "Bucke, Richard Maurice," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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