Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Truman Howe Bartlett, 14 October 1883

Date: October 14, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: har.00049

Source: Amy Lowell Collection, 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 created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schoeberlein, Kirsten Clawson, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Nicole Gray, and Elizabeth Lorang

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Camden NJ1
Oct: 14 '83

Rec'd your letter2—I send three photo's by same mail with this—is the profile one something like what you want?—I don't know but I have already sent you the front face with hand up, as I designed one for you—but as I am not certain I send this—I have just returned from two weeks down along the Jersey sea beach, & am well as usual—always glad to hear from you—hope we shall be together again one of these days—give my best love to Mrs. F and to B.O'R3



1. This letter is addressed: T H Bartlett | sculptor | 394 Federal Street | Boston Mass:. It is postmarked: Camden | Oct | (?) | 5 PM | N.J.; Philadelphia, Pa. | Oct | 14 | 7 PM | Transit. [back]

2. Bartlett (1835–1923), an instructor in modelling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was characterized by William Vaughan Moody as "a magnificent old goat and man of God . . . passing hours with immortal phrases"; see Hermann Hagedorn, Edwin Arlington Robinson (New York: Macmillan, 1938), 254. Bartlett evidently affected the Whitman pose with his open collar and flowing tie. On June 8, 1883, Bartlett informed Whitman that "the cast of your hand I shall soon send to Paris to be cast in bronze." The plaster cast is in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; a bronze cast is at Yale. Probably Whitman met Bartlett at Colonel Johnston's studio on September 1, 1878 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

3. Elizabeth Fairchild was the wife of Colonel Charles Fairchild, the president of a paper company, to whom Whitman sent the Centennial Edition on March 2, 1876 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). He mailed her husband a copy of Progress in April, 1881, shortly after his visit to Boston, where he probably met the Fairchilds for the first time (Commonplace Book). [back]


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