Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walter Whitman Reynolds to Walt Whitman, 26 April 1870

Date: April 26, 1870

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01862

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 annotations, "Money sent to WWR," and "1870," are in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Beverley Rilett, John Schwaninger, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Caterina Bernardini, Amanda J. Axley, Cristin Noonan, and Stephanie Blalock

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91 & 93 FULTON ST., and 80, 82, & 84 ANN ST.
New York,
April 26 1870.1

My Dear friend Walt I now take my pen in hand to let you know how I am getting along I am in very good health at present & I hope you are the same. my father2 is not very well at present he has been Laid up for a week with the Rhumatism In his feet he is getting Better. I am very sorry to have any Bad news to tell you but I can not help it. I have got in trouble I bought some patent medicine to the amount of three Dollers. I bought some medicine for a freind of my fathers3 & he gave me the money to pay for them & I Spent it I am very sorry I Done it. I have Learnt a lesson from it witch will last me a life time. We have a new Cashier & he is looking over the books & he seen the account against me & he says if I Do not pay it before—Saturday night he will tell Mr. Robbins4 & then I will be Disgraced & Discarged I asked my Sister5 to lend three Dollers & she would not. She said I might get Disgrased for all She cared & now I apply to you as the last friend I have in this world I wish you would lend me three Dollers & I will pay you as soon as I can earn it you will Oblidge me very much & save me from being Disgraced. this is all at present, I will write as soon as I hear from you

and now good by from
your friend with love
Walt Whitman R

I will put this in an Extry Envelope so that if you Do not Receive it I will get it without any one seeing it.

yours &c. WR

Walter Whitman Reynolds (b. 1854), named after the poet, was the son of Henry Reynolds (b. 1827–before 1880), a car driver, and Eliza Reynolds (b. 1828?). Walter's mother Eliza Reynolds, wrote to Whitman on October 16, 1868, imploring Whitman to get to know his namesake. She described Walter as "a nice boy, between 13 and 14 years old" and told the poet: "i thought perhaps you might take an interest in him."


1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman | Attorney Generals Office | Washington | D.C. It is postmarked: NEW YORK | APR | 26; CARRIER | [illegible]. [back]

2. According to the 1860 U. S. Census, Henry Reynolds (b. 1827–before 1880) was a "car driver" in New York. [back]

3. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]

4. Daniel Robbins started working as an apprentice for John McKesson and Charles Olcott, who were in wholesale drug and import business. He later became a partner in the business, which was renamed McKesson & Robbins.  [back]

5. Reynolds is referring to his sister Josephine Reynolds Crum (b. 1851–1898). Josephine had married John R. Crum (b. 1848), a shirt cutter, in 1869.  [back]


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