Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Garaphelia Howard, 4 May 1866

Date: May 4, 1865

Source: 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.

Location: Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00713

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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