Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Charles L. Heyde to Walt Whitman, 27 December 1889

Date: December 27, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00417

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.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Ashlyn Stewart, Breanna Himschoot, and Stephanie Blalock

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Van Ness and American Hotels
Burlington Vt.
Van Ness House
The Van Ness House has a Safety Hydraulic Passenger Elevator Fire Escape and the Grinell Automatic Sprinkler
Fine Views of the Lakes and Mountains from all parts of the House.
Burlington Vt.
Dec 27 1889

Bro Walt.

I think that we have mastered the disease—Han1 recuperates [a] little—weather changed to colder—hard last night. house comfortable, but for the boisterous wind—

Was handed a paper from a neighbour to day—"Every Week"—contained an illustrated notice of yourself—gratified Han very much——

Times hard after Christmas, money scarce—I have just 75 cents remaining after purchasing coal and a few sundries for our table———Interest paid until Nov next—ton of coal on hand—50 cents milk tickets——cash is demanded for provisions—no probability of selling a painting now makes me apprehensive—a dollar occasionally would help—have put up 100 feet of new fence (parts) against my neighbour—compelled to do so—paid 65 dollars th[is?] fall for street flagging—taxes 25 35/100 paid, until next September: several good paintings on hand—remember us, when you can—dare not, must not ask for credit—our house—our home!

Gratefully yours,

Han has enough—she says—Send money to me——

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 Louisa (Whitman) Heyde (1823–1908), youngest sister of Walt Whitman, married Charles Louis Heyde (1822–1890), a French-born landscape painter. 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]


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