Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Reuben Farwell to Walt Whitman, 5 March 1875

Date: March 5, 1875

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00538

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 notes: The annotations, "Reuben Farwell, March. 1875.," and "(sent papers & a few lines April 21, '75)," are in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Kevin McMullen, Ashley Lawson, John Schwaninger, Caterina Bernardini, Nicole Gray, Marie Ernster, Noelle Bates, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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March 5th 75

Walt Whitman

The articals you Sent me I received that is the paper a letter & a Picture and your good wishes all arrived at once.

I have not had time to anser yours untill now. I had an auction yestarday 4 of March to sell my Personally troperty as I told you in my other letter1 I have rented my farm of 35 acers for 5 years

I would like to see you very well and it is "possiably" We may meet again. if I can get an increase of Pension Probaly I will come and see you. Why can not you com & see my family I have a wife & littel Girl2 5 years old this month When we received your Picture She kissed it and likes to show it to every one that comes in the house                I felt proud of it myself                I will have to get a frame for it and hang it up on the wall

Walt my dear old Friend how I would lik to grasp your hand and give you a kiss as I did in the days of yore. What a satisfaction it would be to me. We give posesion the first of April. We move about half a mile from this place my Post office will be the same (address)

your in hast
Reuben Farwell

Walt Whitman

I will try and write more next time

Good by and God bless you Walt Whitman

Reuben Farwell

Reuben Farwell (1843–1926), also called "Little Mitch," was a Union soldier who served with the Michigan Cavalry during the American Civil War. Farwell met Walt Whitman in Armory Square Hospital early in 1864; upon his release from the hospital he corresponded with Whitman. After Farwell received his discharge on August 24, 1864, he returned to his home in Plymouth, Michigan. Evidently the correspondence was renewed when Whitman sent a post card (now lost) on February 5, 1875. In Farwell's last letter, on August 16, 1875, he said that he was planning to leave shortly for California. Eleven letters from Farwell are in the Trent Collection, Duke University. He is mentioned in Memoranda During the War (1875–1876).


1. It is uncertain which letter is being referred to here. [back]

2. Reuben Farwell was married to Ann Eliza Knickerbocker Farwell (1844–1932), and, at the time of this letter, the Farwells were the parents of one daughter, Nettie Blanche Farwell (1870–1955). [back]


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