Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Jane Stansberry to Walt Whitman, 15 July 1874

Date: July 15, 1874

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00764

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, "Mrs. Jane Stansberry July. 1874.," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Jonathan Y. Cheng, Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Marie Ernster, Noelle Bates, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

page image
image 1
page image
image 2
page image
image 3
page image
image 4

Howard Lake
July 15th 1874

Mr Walt Whitman

Dear Friend It is with Pleashure I take the oppertunity of writing you a letter As my Husband1 became Acquainted with you In Washington. And He Has took So much time And pleashure In telling me of you. And How kind you were to Him that you Seem to me Almost Like a brother. And I Have often thought of writing to you. William Received Some papers From you yesterday Which we All take great pleashure In Reading And, Aspecialy those Poems you Have written. they Are Splendid. their is a Preaspeterian Minister Liveing with my Sister who takes great Delight In Reading those Papers His Home Is In Philadelphia His Name is David Myrdock2

Well you Said you would Like to visit Howard Lake. I wished you would for I do believe you would get your Health Hear We would Be Happy to Have you Visit us, But we are Poor.

We have found out what the Privatians of life is Since we came west we Came Here For williams Health He was very Healthy Before he went to the Army. they Sent him home From Washington withe the fever He Meet his Brother In one mild of Home He Passed By him as He would a Stranger He did Not know Him He Has Never Received Nothing From the government. I think He Aught to Have a pentian.. I thought I would Ask your Advice And Asistence In trying For A pentian.. I will Send you His Discharge you will Please give me your Advice. tell me if you think He can get a pentian And How to get it.......... &c.. We are Ecpecting a letter From you their Has been two Letters written to you Since we Received Any Answer one was sent the first of June & one Since3

I see In the papers you Sent, Reports From Camden of the, 4, day of July their was a Sabath School Picknic Here. My Mother & Father was their My Mother Is very old I dont Suppose She will Be with us on the 4 day of July In the Comeing year

Well I hope you will get your Health Better, you Will Please Excuse this

My Best Wishes to you
From your Comrades Wife
Jane Stansbery

Please write Soon

Jane Stansbery
Howard, Lake
Wright Co. Minn
Please write Soon

Jane Stansberry was the wife of William Stansberry, a former soldier whom Whitman had met in Armory Square Hospital.


1. "After the lapse of over 8 years," William Stansberry, a former soldier whom Whitman had met in Armory Square Hospital, wrote on December 9, 1873, from Howard Lake, Minn., and recalled "the Blackbery [Jam?] you gave me & all the kindness which you shown." After Whitman replied on April 27, 1874 (lost), Stansberry wrote again on May 12, 1874, about the hospital visits. On June 28, 1874, he thanked Whitman for his letter and "22 News Pappers." Evidently in reply to another lost letter from Whitman, Stansberry asked on July 21, 1875, for "the Lone of 65$" in order to return to West Virginia, where he expected to find witnesses to support his application for a pension. This was evidently the last letter in the correspondence. See also The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman [New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1902], 10 vols., 4:134. [back]

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

3. These letters have not been located. [back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.