Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walter Whitman Reynolds to Walt Whitman, 16 November [1869]

Date: November 16, [1869]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01864

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.

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

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

New York
Nov 16

My Dear friend Walter

I received your letter of the 29th1 and was very glad to here from you I am very Sorry to keep you waiting so long for my answer. we have just got done taking account of stock I have ben very busy for the last too weeks. I am working in the Same place. I am very tired when I get home at night my feet are very sore from the nails sticking up in the heels of my shoes I wish you a Merry Christmas I was very glad to get your Picture I think it looks very much like you I send you mine in return

I have received the title of Unkle my sister Josephine2 has a little Boy he is one week old his name is John R. Crum3 he weigh ten pounds I am going to [get] my wages raised after the Holidays father has just received Employment In the pipe yard foot of 24th St of East River mother & father send there Regards this is all at present

With Love I remain
your Affectionate friend
Walter Whitman R.

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." Walter Whitman Reynolds wrote to Whitman on February 9, 1870, April 26, 1870, and May 13, 1872. In his May 1872 letter, Reynolds begged Whitman, "friend Walt I want to know if you will be kind enough loan me twenty dollars as I want to get a pair of pants and a coat." If Whitman replied, his letters are not extant. According to Whitman's daybook, his namesake Reynolds visited him on September 1, 1889.


1. This letter has not been located. [back]

2. 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]

3. Based on Walter Whitman Reynolds's mention of the Christmas holiday and on U. S. Census records, John R. Crum, Jr. was almost certainly born in December 1869. Crum died of Diptheria in 1876, at the age of six. [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.