Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Thomas Jefferson Whitman to Walt Whitman, 13 April 1863

Date: April 13, 1863

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00408

Source: Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from Thomas Jefferson Whitman, Dear Brother Walt: The Letters of Thomas Jefferson Whitman, ed. Dennis Berthold and Kenneth M. Price (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1984), 48. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, Kathryn Kruger, and April Lambert

Brooklyn, N. Y.
April 13th/63

Dear Walt,

We hardly know what to think of not hearing from you  we certainly expected to have a letter from you this morning. Mother is quite anxious and of course fears that something has happened to you. Walt write to me at once wont you. I have written you two letters, one containing the $10 that Van Anden owed you, and another I mailed you last Sat. eve.1 Mother gave me a letter to mail you on Monday but I forgot it till to-day. You must not tell mother about it. We are all well and as jolly as usual. Andrew does not seem to get much better. He was at our house to-day to dinner  his voice is [still?] so that you can hardly here him speak.2

We had a letter from George yesterday. He was at Mt Sterling Ken.3 He seems to feel quite well and satisfied. Mother had a letter from Heyde. He says that she must fix up her third story room for Han an him and a lot of stuff. He says that Han must come home. He says that Han wants him to take a house and let her [take?] a man and wife to board. He wants to know what he shall do with his business. How should he get along. All of which I am sure I dont know how Mother can answer him. He is a case. I dont know what to think abt him. Walt I havnt time to write you a long letter, and indeed I havnt anything to write about. I hope to hear from you soon. All send their love, Hattie particularly.

affectionately, Jeff.


1. By the time Jeff's letter reached Walt, the poet had already written to acknowledge receipt of the letters from April 6, 1863 and April 11, 1863. Isaac Van Anden, publisher and proprietor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Walt Whitman edited this paper (March 1846–January 1848) until he quarreled with Van Anden over political issues. For more on Van Anden see Raymond A. Schroth, "The Eagle and Brooklyn," in Brooklyn USA: The Fourth Largest City in America, ed. Rita Seiden Miller (New York: Brooklyn College Press, 1979), 99–119. [back]

2. See Jeff's letter to Walt from April 3, 1860[back]

3. On April 3, 1863, the Ninth Army marched from Paris, Kentucky, to Mount Sterling, Kentucky. For the next two weeks the army camped in this area, although on April 15, 1863, it did invade Sharpsburg, Kentucky, only to return to Mount Sterling the same day (Jerome M. Loving, ed., Civil War Letters of George Washington Whitman [Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1975], 91). [back]


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