Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Hiram Corson to Walt Whitman, 26 March 1886

Date: March 26, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01336

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 annotation, "Hiram Corson," is in the hand of Walt Whitman. The annotation, "see notes June 8/1888," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, and Kyle Barton

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The Cornell University1
Ithaca, N.Y.
26 March, 1886.

My dear Mr. Whitman:

Allow me to introduce to your acquaintance, my young friend, Mr. E. H. Woodruff, who desires the pleasure and honor of meeting you and exchanging a few words. Mr. Woodruff is one of your many lovers connected with our University, and I am sure it will be a proud satisfaction to him to meet you.2

I remember with great pleasure my visit to you last March, when I was on my way home from Johns Hopkins Univy. I brought, you will remember, a letter from Howard Furness.

I expect to be in Philada on the 1st, 2d and 3d of April, and to visit Mr. Furness; and I shall be much pleased if I can have the opportunity of again meeting you.

Hoping that you are enjoying good health.

I am, my dear Sir,
Very truly yours.
Hiram Corson

Walt Whitman Esq.

Hiram Corson (1828–1911) was a scholar of English literature from Philadelphia, where he taught at Girard College. While his studies focused mainly on canonical British texts (Shakespeare, Chaucer, etc.), Corson would also give public readings of Whitman's verse.


1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman Esq. | Camden, N.J. | Introducing | Mr. E.H. Woodruff. [back]

2. Edwin H. Woodruff (1863–1941), then a member of the staff of the Cornell University Library, was introduced to the poet by Hiram Corson in a letter of March 26, 1886. Two days later he was in Camden (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). Earlier, on June 4, 1882, Woodruff had sent Whitman a poem written under his influence and printed in the Cornell Era. Later Woodruff became a professor of law and was dean of the Cornell Law School from 1916 to 1921. See Cornell University, Faculty. Necrology of the Faculty, 1941–1942, 5–7. [back]


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