Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Charles L. Heyde to Walt Whitman, 3 August [1891]

Date: August 3, [1891]

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00487

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: Ethan Heusser, Cristin Noonan, Brandon James O'Neil, and Stephanie Blalock



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Studio
Aug 3d–'911

Our reverd and true Friend—in whom we have placed our reliance—

You will be please to learn that Han's2 condition is improving—Dr Binghams3 father4 is very old and failing—he has gone to see him, and has supplied Han with all necessary remedies—

I have grown nervous—as a consequence of this illness of Han's—I was allways of an apprehensive nature——

I think that Lou5 could come on, without detriment, to Han's convalescence, and yet her visit might have a prostrating effect—I will write every day—here it is—hopefull now—

Gratefully ever,
Charlie


Correspondent:
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).

Notes:

1. Richard Maurice Bucke has supplied the year for this letter, writing "'91" in red ink following Heyde's date. [back]

2. Hannah Louisa (Whitman) Heyde (1823–1908), youngest sister of Walt Whitman, married Charles Louis Heyde (ca. 1820–1892), a Pennsylvania-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]

3. Dr. Leroy Monroe Bingham (1845–1910) graduated from Bellevue Medical College in New York in 1870 and moved to Burlington, Vermont, in 1874. He became Hannah's physician after 1882. For more information, see William B. Atkinson, M.D., The Physicians and Surgeons of the United States (Philadelphia: Charles Robson, 1878), 375. [back]

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

5. Louisa Orr Haslam Whitman (1842–1892), called "Loo" or "Lou," married Walt's brother George Whitman on April 14, 1871. Their son, Walter Orr Whitman, was born in 1875 but died the following year. A second son was stillborn. Walt lived in Camden, New Jersey, with George and Louisa from 1873 until 1884, when George and Louisa moved to a farm outside of Camden and Whitman decided to stay in the city. Louisa and Walt had a warm relationship during the poet's final decades. For more, see Karen Wolfe, "Whitman, Louisa Orr Haslam (Mrs. George) (1842–1892)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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