Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William H. Taylor to Walt Whitman, 21 June 1874

Date: June 21, 1874

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01964

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, "Wm. H. Taylor 201 Elm St. Newark N.J. (sent p.card April 27) [illegible]," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

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

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201 Elm St.
Newark, New Jersey
June 21st, 1874

My Dear Friend

Your Letters & papers came duly at hand.1 But I did not know that you had been sick2 until I received your Letter; But I hope you are improving, and will finally get all right again.

I left New York in Oct. 1868, and me and my Brother started A Milk Depot here And we [illegible] [until?] the Spring of 72. When we separated and I commenced to Paddle my own Canoe: I have A small route And keep A Depot. And am making A fortune very Slow indeed, so slow—that I shall never get rich; Business is [very steady here?] at present And [there is so much?] opposition in the milk trade and A great reduction in the price from 10 to 6 cts per quart. While the Wholesale prices remain about the Same

You speak about your old friends in New York. Since I left there I have Seen But few of the old Drivers, Henry Taylor alias (Sap Back), William Baun alias (Baulky Bill) and old Pop Rier is the only ones that have Been over to see me.3 Taylor was over last week And he was speaking about [how?] [He?] is [illegible]gent for Sewing ([machines?] And lives at [illegible] City. the war cleared out A good many of the old veteran drivers, And now I hear they have got the patent Boxes in all the Stages which will drop off A few more

[young Walter?] is growing very fast And Begins to notice things in general, And has never seen A sick day So far. And all the rest of us are in our usual good Health: I should very much like to come and see you—But my time is pretty much Occupied. But should very much like you come and see me at any time you feel able.

Enclosed you will find A Card which my friends say resembles your Humble Servant Very Much

[you shall please write soon?] And send me any papers you [like?] when convenient. I suppose this is your last production:

My Best Wishes from your friend,
William H. Taylor
So Long

William H. Taylor was a former New York driver or a son of one. He had also worked in the milk trade with his brother.


1. These letters have not been located. [back]

2. In January 1873, Whitman suffered a paralytic stroke that made walking difficult. He first reported it in his January 26, 1873, letter to his mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman (1795–1873), and continued to provide regular notes on his condition. By mid-March Whitman was taking brief walks out to the street and began to hope that he could resume work in the office. See also his March 21, 1873, letter to his mother. [back]

3. Little is known about the men Taylor mentions here except that they were former drivers in New York and friends of Whitman. [back]


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