Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 24 March 1889

Date: March 24, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: har.00039

Source: Manuscripts Department, Houghton Library, Harvard 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.

Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented, updated, or created by Whitman Archive staff as appropriate.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Caterina Bernardini, Alex Ashland, and Stephanie Blalock



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328 Mickle street
Camden New Jersey
March 24 '89

Thanks for the money & order wh' were duly rec'd—I have sent the book1 to you by express, & when you get it safely please send me a card notifying me. Am laid up here disabled & paralyzed, but getting along, & comfortable enough.

Best love to you & yours2
Walt Whitman


Correspondent:
Charles Aldrich (1828–1908) was an ornithologist, a member of the Iowa House of Representatives, an infantry captain in the Civil War, and founder of the Iowa Historical Department. He was also an avid autograph collector, especially of Whitman's. He was so eager that the poet termed him "a very hungry man...never satisfied—is always crying for more and more" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Tuesday, August 20, 1889).

Notes:

1. Whitman's Complete Poems & Prose (1888), a volume Whitman often referred to as the "big book," was published by Philadelphia publisher David McKay in December 1888. With the help of Horace Traubel, he made the presswork and binding decisions for the volume. Frederick Oldach bound the book, which included a profile photo of the poet on the title page. For more information on the book, see Ed Folsom's Whitman Making Books/Books Making Whitman: A Catalog and Commentary. [back]

2. Aldrich acknowledged receipt of the book on March 25, 1889. Aldrich's check for $25 is in the Houghton Library. [back]


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