Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Garaphelia Howard, 4 May 1866

Date: May 4, 1865

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00713

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 Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 5:287. 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, and Alyssa Olson

May 4, 1866.

My dear friend,1

Your contribution of $20 for the soldiers in hospital, sick or wounded, has been received—& I thank you for it most sincerely. I shall apply it to their aid, faithfully & with care.

I was out to Harewood yesterday week, & last Sunday—the patients have however since been removed to another place, near the Old Douglas hospital. Then there are the Providence hospital, & the 5th Reg. Cavalry, & some other small, military hospitals.

There are comparatively few soldiers now that need ministering to, but full enough to occupy one's spare hours—& especially as half of the inmates of the hospitals are discharged soldiers, drawing no pay, though sick, or suffering sometimes very deeply indeed, from relapses of old wounds.

I wish you health, my friend, in body & in spirit. Farewell.

Walt Whitman


1. Garaphelia "Garry" Howard was one of Whitman's Washington friends. In a February 11, 1874, letter to Ellen O'Connor, Whitman describes Howard as "a good, tender girl—true as steel." [back]


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