Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Isabella A. White to Walt Whitman, 29 July 1874

Date: July 29, 1874

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01983

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, "Mrs. White July 29," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Kevin McMullen, John Schwaninger, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Caterina Bernardini, Marie Ernster, Noelle Bates, Paige Wilkinson, and Stephanie Blalock

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535. 15th St Wash
July 29th/'74

Mr. Whitman
Dear Sir

Your letter has just been received, and thought you would like to have an early answer. I am glad to have the room as I need it and will do the best I can to accommodate you. The bedstead, springs, mattress, one feather pillow, & two hair ones, basin & pitcher the three tumblers & one small pitcher I could make use of. They are not what I should have bought out of the store they have been used by you for some time; I have never used the room or things, if you do not ask too much for them I will take them—please write as soon as you get this & let me know what you want for them as I am anxious to have all the cleaning done before the &c return. Besides those things there are ten chairs two old tables, rocking chair looking glass & wollen spread that I cannot use for any thing, but if you tell me what you want for them I might dispose of them for you, so please let me know their value. I will keep your other things in safty for you as you wish; and will first state here that I would not have written to worry you about the money if I had not wanted it very particularly before the &c absence I did not think it would inconvenience you so much—Please write just as soon as you get this as I will be anxious to heare your answer

Very Respectfully
Mrs. I. A. White

Whitman stayed with Dr. George A. White, a chiropodist, and his wife Isabella A. White from March 1, 1871, until Whitman left Washington following his stroke in 1873. Whitman had paid $236 in rent through June 10, 1873. On November 28, 1873, Dr. White acknowledged for his wife receipt of $28 "on account . . . for rent of room etc from May 1st/73." Whitman gave up one room at the Whites' on June 10, 1873: "Kept the other at $2.50 a month" ("Payments to Dr. and Mrs. White," Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman Papers, 1842–1937, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts, ed. Edward F. Grier [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 2:942). Isabella White had written, evidently early in July, about the rent due for his room; Whitman's reply is not extant. In this letter, she offered to purchase Whitman's bedstead and certain other effects. Whitman had not settled his account when White wrote again on October 6, 1874, and offered him a credit of $10 for his furnishings against a balance of $38. See also Whitman's July 10, 1874, letter to Peter Doyle, in which Whitman left instructions for the delivery of his boxes from the Whites.


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