Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Moses Lane to Walt Whitman, 27 May 1863

Date: May 27, 1863

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00884

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, Kathryn Kruger, Joshua Ware, and Vanessa Steinroetter

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Engineer's Office, Brooklyn Water Works,
355 Fulton Street,
Brooklyn, N.Y.
May 27th 1863

Walt Whitman
My Dear Friend

Enclosed I1 send you ten dollars. This is my contribution $5. per month, and is for the months of April and May. I Recd a letter from you yesterday. I think you have Recd all the money I have sent thus far.

I intended to write you several days since.

I have the promise of more money which I will send you soon.

Very truly yours
Moses Lane

P.S. Your letter to Messrs Wyckoff &c. was Recd and delivered to Mr. Wyckoff.2


1. Moses Lane (1823–1882) served as chief engineer of the Brooklyn Water Works from 1862 to 1869. He later designed and constructed the Milwaukee Water Works and served there as city engineer. Like Jeff Whitman, he collected money from his employees and friends for Walt's hospital work. Lane sent Whitman $15.20 in his letter of January 26, 1863, and later various sums which Whitman acknowledged in letters from February 6, 1863, May 11, 1863, May 26, 1863, and September 9, 1863. In this letter, Lane pledged $5 each month. In an unpublished manuscript in the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection, New York Public Library, Whitman wrote, obviously for publication: "I have distributed quite a large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 as well (see Whitman's letters from December 29, 1862, and February 13, 1863). 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. Nicholas Wyckoff was the president of the First National Bank of Brooklyn. Whitman sent a letter to Wyckoff (or possibly Daniel Northrup) on May 14, 1863[back]


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