Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Jerome Buck to Walt Whitman, 16 October 1888

Date: October 16, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01094

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.

Editorial notes: The annotations, "See notes Oct. 17th '88," and "also 18th," are in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Jeannette Schollaert, Alex Ashland, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

page image
image 1
page image
image 2
page image
image 3
page image
image 4

Law Offices1
October 16 1888

My dear Sir,

Please accept my lasting acknowledgement for the copy of "November Boughs"2 so kindly sent me through the persuasion of our friend Mr Harned.3

This expression of your goodness I did not expect nor deserve. I sought only thro' Tom Harned a line from your hand to place in my copy of 'Leaves of Grass.'

Tis many a year ago that I learned to love your noble, honest robust nature, and the immortal lines that flowed from your virile and vigorous pen.

Your poetry above all others is stamped with intense sincerity and rugged beauty and I love it for its entire absence of pretence, cant affectation and hypocrisy.

If you ever come my way I know a place hard by, where a bottle of the reddest Burgundy may be found that will dispel the November chill of age and make our hearts as joyous and generous as its own ruddy hue.

I am my dear Mr Whitman
Gratefully & faithfully yours
Jerome Buck

For Walt Whitman Esquire
Camden NJ

Jerome Buck (1835–1900) was a lawyer and writer in New York City. He was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and he studied law under his mother's second husband, John Titus Esquire. After being admitted to the bar, Buck moved to New York, setting up his law offices in Broadway. Buck was also fond of reading and writing poetry. For more information on Buck, see William W. H. Davis, History of Bucks County Pennsylvania, 2 vols. (New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905), 2:227.


1. This letter is addressed: For Walt Whitman Esquire | Camden | New Jersey. It is postmarked: [illegible] | OCT 16 | 530 PM | 88; CAMDEN, N.J. | OCT| 17 | 6 AM | 1888 | REC'D. [back]

2. Whitman's November Boughs was published in October 1888 by Philadelphia publisher David McKay. For more information on the book, see James E. Barcus Jr., "November Boughs [1888]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

3. Thomas Biggs Harned (1851–1921) was one of Whitman's literary executors. Harned was a lawyer in Philadelphia and, having married Augusta Anna Traubel, was Horace Traubel's brother-in-law. For more on him, see Dena Mattausch, "Harned, Thomas Biggs (1851–1921)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.