Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Mrs. Charles Hine to Walt Whitman, 4 August 1871

Date: August 4, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01730

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, "from Mrs Hine | ab't my dear friend C.H.," is in the hand of Walt Whitman. The annotation, "see notes Dec 18 1888," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Ashley Lawson, Beverley Rilett, and Nicole Gray

page image
image 1
page image
image 2
page image
image 3
page image
image 4
page image
image 5
page image
image 6

My Dear friend Walt Whitman

I have written so many letters to you dictated by Charles that I feel a painful pleasure in commencing this to you at this time—knowing that his voice is silent, & that no pleasant message can come from his lips to you. It is useless for me to tell you how strong his affection was for you, & how he has looked forward to you coming to NH. I think after your visit to him that his hold on life seemed to give way and his yearnings were all accomplished. There was a gentleman Mr John Matthew who was very kind to him once in New York when he was sick he had sent several invitations to him but he put it off for some reason, & he was the only one of all his friends. His exit was peaceful, no struggles, a gradual giving way. He used to say—"I don't believe I can die" when his sufferings were so great—it seemed as if his release would never come—and although I thought he was likely to die any time, still I find I was unprepared for his departure & my ambition & hopes are all crushed. I am feeling most keenly the desolation of widowhood. I look at my three children & think what a work I have got left to perform. The duty of Father & Mother both merged in one. As far as my means go I am left very dependent—Charley's protracted sickness exhausting the little he had laid by. I hope I may realize a little from the sale of pictures. I want to ask you if you could at the distance I live assist me to get some writing or copying to do. I thought you if anyone might know of something, & you could perhaps make inquiries—that might lead to my getting some business of that kind—I wish I might. Mr Townsend a dear friend of Charleys has sent you a paper with a pleasant article written by himself. I hope you have red it. I am intending to visit New York soon & shall try & call upon your Mother. It will be always pleasant to me hear from you; any & every association connected with my Husband will be hallowed. The funeral was Masonic and largely attended & the ceremony at the grave was very impressive. My Mother from Massachusetts is with me for a few days and it is a great comfort.

Hoping to hear from you soon

I am very sincerely yr friend
Mrs Charles Hine

August 4th 1871 No 22 Nash St. New Haven, Conn


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.