Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Thomas Donaldson, 16 September 1886

Date: September 16, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01478

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.

Notes for this letter were created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein and Kyle Barton

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Camden New Jersey
Sept: 16 1886

As I sit here by the open window, this cloudy warm forenoon, I feel that I would just like to write a line (quite purposeless no doubt) sending my love & thanks to you & yours—Do you know this is the anniversary day of my receiving the present through you of the horse & wagon? And much, much good has it done me

—I remain in health much as usual, of late—Shall come over & spend a couple of hours with you soon. Shall send you a postal day before.

Walt Whitman

Shall get the tinotype of horse & wagon &c. for you, first opportunity—.1

Thomas Donaldson (1843–1898) was a lawyer from Philadelphia and a friend of Whitman. He introduced Whitman to Bram Stoker and later accompanied Stoker when he visited the poet; he also organized a fund-raising drive to buy Whitman a horse and carriage. He authored a biography of Whitman titled Walt Whitman, the Man (1896). For more information about Donaldson, see Steven Schroeder, "Donaldson, Thomas (1843–1898)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. A picture of the horse and buggy was taken in October. [back]


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