Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walter Whitman Storms to Walt Whitman, 20 April 1875

Date: April 20, 1875

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01949

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, "Walter Storms April 26—75," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

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

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Apr. 20 1875

My dear Friend, Mr. Whitman

I received your letter by Monday evenings mail.

I did not expect to hear from you so soon after writing nevertheless, I was just as glad to hear from you, I wrote in my last letter that we knew nothing about uncle George.1 well, shortly after I had written to you we received a letter from him. this was on Friday night, and on the preceeding Saturday I went to N.Y. (the first time I had ever been there alone). I croosed over on 23rd St. Ferry, walked to 9th Ave, and took the cars to W. 43rd St. where I found uncle George at No. 35, so, if you will do him, as well as me, the favor of writing to him, you will please both of us, direct to No. 35 W. 43 St. I suppose you know Arthur Henry.2 well, he is keeping the place near the 5th Ave. Stage Stables, and there is where George is staying. since Papa saw him, he has had very sore feet and legs, so bad that he could not have worked, even if he had had it. they were considerable better when I was there. I got there about 10 o'clock, and took dinner with him, then we went down to Fulton Ferry, with Nick Speer,3 a 5th Ave. driver, and a great friend of Uncle George. I guess you dont know Speer, he belongs in Paterson.

well, we went to Fulton Ferry, and I was to take boat from Peck's ship to go out on L. I. but, the boat was not running, so I crossed from James's ship to Hunter's Is. and took the cars from there to Great Neck. I have a cousin living there whom I went to visit. I left Uncle George at James' Ship. I suppose you have read all about the new P.O. in N.Y. It is a splendid building and is nearly finished. The Astor house has sold out its old Furniture and everything, and the building itself is undergoing repair the inside and front are all taken out, and it is to be fixed up splendid. The East River bridge does not seem to be getting on very fast I believe the piers are not quite finished. I suppose you have heard that several of convicts have escaped from Blackwells, and Boss Tweed4 is to be released. Dan Bryant5 died, a week ago last Saturday.

The weather here, is remarkably cold for the time of year, it freezes hard every night. April 16th, there fell 11 inches of snow and people rode with the sleigh, there are no gardens made yet, but I have plants in my hot bed big enough to be transplanted. Papa6 wrenched his back last Thursday, and has been laid up ever since.

I am not much of a young man yet, I am 17 years old, all but a few days, but very small for my age I would not be taken for more than 13

I go to school every day, answer soon

W. W. Storms

P.S. we got a letter from Uncle George last night—he had no work, and his limbs were not very well

Walt Whitman Storms (probably born in 1858; see the letter from Herman Storms to Walt Whitman, January 11, 1865) was the son of Herman Storms (1822–1898) and the nephew of George Storms (1829–1886), both New York drivers.


1. George Storms (1829–1886) was a New York driver and the uncle of Walt Whitman Storms, with whom Whitman corresponded in the 1870s.  [back]

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

3. Little is known about Nicholas (Nick) Speer. According to the Paterson, New Jersey City Directory (1876), Speer was a driver with a home at 48 Pearl St. in the city. [back]

4. William Magear Tweed, popularly known as "Boss" Tweed, was a New York politician most famous for his corruption and subsequent incarceration for stealing millions of dollars from New York taxpayers. [back]

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

6. Herman Storms, a driver, visited Whitman with other drivers in 1876. Whitman lists Storms's address as "Pascock p.o. Bergen co. N.J." in his notebook (Edward F. Grier, ed., Notes and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1961–84], 2:481). [back]


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