Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Rudolf Schmidt to Walt Whitman, 24 July 1876

Date: July 24, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01916

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, "Sent a paper—slips—& Mem Aug 10 '76," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Eder Jaramillo, John Schwaninger, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Caterina Bernardini, Amanda J. Axley, Erel Michaelis, and Stephanie Blalock

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24th of July 1876

My dear Walt Whitman.

Being totally without news from you since January this year I began to fear, that you may be severely ill; else I presume, that you would have let me hear from you, at least by papers and little parcels as ordinary. I wrote to you in April a forthnight before my marriage. If the letter1 should not have reached you, I hereby tell you, that at the 14th May I married my dear faithfull little wife,2 to whom I have been betrothed since some years. I am a living example of the old sentence, that riches are no ingredient of happiness.

If you have duely received my letter from April, you will know, that I have made vain and to myself very humiliating efforts to arrange a demonstration in favour of you among the ladies of Copenhagen.

My thoughts were with on the 4th. Your name most surely had the best claims to be memorable at "the Centennial"; most probably it has not been [it?] at all.

I think to write something about George Washington. Should you know some good memoirs and relations of contemporaries about the Anglo-American work?

My dear wife is greeting you as a friend. Your kind earnest face is looking on us in this moment from our wall.

Tomorrow I dare reach the age of forty years.

I should be glad if these lines may meet you in good health and good temper.

—Rudolf Schmidt

The Danish writer Peter Carl Rudolf Schmidt (1836–1899) was the editor of the idealist journal For Idé og Virkelighed ("For Idea and Reality") and had translated Whitman's Democratic Vistas into Danish in 1874.


1. See Schmidt's letter to Whitman of April 18, 1876. [back]

2. Rudolf Schmidt was married to Emilie Amalie Lasson Schmidt. [back]


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