Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Charles W. Hine to Walt Whitman, 9 April 1876

Date: April 9, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01726

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, "CW Hine ans by sending paper & circular April 11 '76," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

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

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

South Norwalk Ct
April 9th 1876

Walt Whitman
My Dear Sir

You may and doubtless will think very strange of a perfect stranger writing to you, but I have read all I could ever find of your writings and have studied and admired you more than all of the others on the top of Gods green Earth together, and seeing an article in the N.Y. Herald a few days ago regarding your misfortune, I wish to say I should like to subscribe to your forthcoming book (as I understand through the press you are about to publish one.)

I often think of a passage in your "Leaves of Grass" when you say it is wonderful how we "affect each other without ever seeing each other"1 and have sometimes felt an almost irresistible impulse to come where you are and talk with you face to face.

I think you will understand my motive well enough to think this emanates from a sincere feeling of admiration of your genius. of all the original writers (if there be such a thing as an original writer) I think you are the most original. You have inspired me with thoughts most sublime to myself and I devoutly thank you accept this humble tribute in the same spirit which has prompted it is the wish of your devoted admirer

C. W. Hine

P.S. will you be so kind as to reply to this giving me the much desired information regarding your forthcoming book &c and much oblige. Direct 340 Water St Bridgeport Ct.


CW Hine
340 Water St

Charles W. Hine (1832–1881), of Connecticut, served as a sergeant in the Union Army during the American Civil War. According to the 1880 United States Census, Hine was a farmer, and he and his wife Marina Thomas Hine (1834–1896) were the parents of four children.


1. Hine is referencing the poem that Whitman would eventually title "Who Learns My Lesson Complete?" [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.