Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Edwin Einstein to Walt Whitman, 18 November 1875

Date: November 18, 1875

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01611

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 note: The annotation, "Einsteins letter," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Eder Jaramillo, John Schwaninger, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Caterina Bernardini, Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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Nov. 18th, 1875.

Dear Walt—

I would not trouble you with this letter, were it not that I saw mentioned in the N. Y. Sun the other day the fact that you were in very needy circumstances, if that is so will you let me know, and myself and a few other of your old friends would be glad to aid you to the best of our ability. If it is not so, (which I sincerely trust may be the case) pardon the liberty I am taking and believe it is only done out of friendship and good will.

In any case let me hear from you and believe me with best wishes

Your Friend
Edwin Einstein

Union League Club

Edwin Einstein (1842–1905) was a tobacconist and a friend of Walt Whitman's from the Pfaffian days of the 1850s. The Trow's New York City Directory of 1860 listed an Edwin Einstein as "clerk, h 167 W. 14th" (260), while in 1877, the Gouldings New York City Directory listed an Edwin Einstein as "tobacco, 87 Water" (402). Einstein was later elected to a brief stint in the House of Representatives as a New York Republican from 1879 to 1881.


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