Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Samuel Ward, 26 April [1872]

Date: April 26, 1872

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01712

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:173. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

April 26.

Walt Whitman sends his heart-felt respects & thanks to Mr. Ward,1 for the prompt & generous contribution of $25. The money was conveyed by W. W. to the gentleman intended (Louis Fitzgerald Tasistro,)2 at noon to-day, & will do him infinite good.


1. Samuel Ward (1814–1884), the brother of Julia Ward Howe, co-edited An Elementary Treatise on Algebra (Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1832), was the author of Lyrical Recreations (New York and London: D. Appleton; Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1865), and was a lobbyist for various financiers during the Johnson and Grant administrations. [back]

2. Louis Fitzgerald Tasistro (1808–1875?) came to the U.S. from Ireland as a young man. He edited a newspaper in New York and later had a brief career on the stage. Subsequently he was a translator for the State Department and a lecturer. He was the author of Random Shots and Southern Breezes (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1842) and translator of Louis-Phillipe-Albert d'Orléans, Compte de Paris' History of the Civil War in America (Philadelphia: J. H. Coates, 1875). On April 26, 1872, Whitman inserted in the Washington Daily Morning Chronicle an appeal for "pecuniary assistance for a man of genius," who was not named. On the following day the Chronicle noted "prompt contributions" from, among others, Samuel Ward.

In the Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., there are three receipts written by Whitman and signed by Tasistro. On April 26, 1872, Tasistro acknowledged $70. On April 29, 1872, he accepted an additional $25, and on May 14, 1872, $10. On August 3, 1872, in his own hand, Tasistro signed a receipt for $17. On the verso Whitman noted the total of $122: "also $10 more handed by W. W. to Mr. Tasistro." On October 24, 1872, Walt Whitman wrote: "also about $25 more in different sums since." See Walt Whitman Review, 7 (1961), 14–16. [back]


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