Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Moses Lane to Walt Whitman, 26 January 1863

Date: January 26, 1863

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00883

Source: 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, Eric Conrad, and Vanessa Steinroetter

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Nassau Water Department,
Jany 26th 1863

Mr Whitman Dear Sir

Enclosed I1 send you $5. from E. R. Durkee Esq2 $3. " Mrs. E. R. Durkee $1. " L. M. Smith Esq $1. " Geo. H. Burgess Esq $5. " G. T. Coleman Esq. .05 " Willie Durkee .15 " Miss Kate Lane $15.20.

The contributions of Willie Durkee and my little girl are rather small but it takes all their spare funds for the week, and they are the only contributors thus far that will have to deny themselves anything on account of the amount of their contributions.

I hope to be able to make you another remittance this week.

Very truly yours
Moses Lane


1. Moses Lane was chief engineer in the Brooklyn Water Works. Like Jeff, he collected money from his employees and friends. Lane sent Whitman various sums which he acknowledged in letters. In his letter of May 27, 1863, Lane pledged $5 each month. In an unpublished manuscript in the Berg Collection, Whitman, wrote, obviously for publication: "I have distributed quite a large sum of money, contributed for that purpose by noble persons in Brooklyn, New York, (chiefly through Moses Lane, Chief Engineer, Water Works there.)" Lane assisted Whitman in other ways. He was so solicitous of Whitman's personal welfare that on April 3, 1863, he sent through Jeff $5 "for your own especial benefit." [back]

2. According to the Brooklyn city directory for 1863–64, Eugene R. Durkee was a machinist and Lodrick M. Smith a bookkeeper and clerk. George H. Burgess and G. T. Coleman are unidentified. [back]


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