Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: George Wood to Walt Whitman, [15 January 1863]

Date: January 15, 1863

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00878

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

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, Kathryn Kruger, Joshua Ware, Eric Conrad, Heidi Bean, and Nicole Gray

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Mr dear Sir

You sometimes find a poor soldier whom a small sum would relieve and I beg you will distribute these pieces of paper as you shall see best on your visits to the Hospital.


G Wood

Mr W: Whitman


1. As the manuscript of this letter shows, the date of this letter reads simply, "Thursday"; because Whitman responded to George Wood's letter on Saturday, January 17, 1863, we might thereby assume that the date of this letter is most likely Thursday, January 15, 1863. George Wood (1799–1870) worked as a clerk in the Treasury Department in 1822, and he held various posts in that bureau until his death. He was the author of several satirical works, Peter Schlemihl in America (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1848) and The Gates Wide Open; or, Scenes in Another World (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1869); see National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Undoubtedly he became acquainted with Whitman through Ellen and William O'Connor. Ellen O'Connor mentioned a Mr. Wood in her letter of July 5, 1864. In reply to Whitman's letter, evidently delivered by O'Connor and dated "Thursday"—probably January 15, 1863—Wood wrote: "You sometimes find a poor soldier whom a Small Sum would relieve and I beg you will distribute these pieces of paper as you shall see best on your visit to the Hospital." [back]


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