Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William H. Duckett to Walt Whitman, 20 December [1889]

Date: December 20, [1889]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02004

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, "Dec: 20 '89 Bro't to me by lad George Anderson from Bill Duckett,—Sent back word I was quite sick & hard up—(no money) W W," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Cristin Noonan, Brandon James O'Neil, Andrew David King, and Stephanie Blalock

page image
image 1
page image
image 2
page image
image 3
page image
image 4
page image
image 5
page image
image 6

C. T. 470.
Received | M 12/20 18

Dear Friend Walt.

Walt Can you let me have ten or Fifteen Dollars have been having pretty hard luck of late and find myself Broke My board is due Monday & have about 2 Dollars to do it with Now will you kindly let me have what you can, You can give to bearer & he will bring to me Will return you both amounts after 1st of year, How is your health hope as well as your Spirits generally used to be I was over to see you some days since but you was unable to see We would like to see you very much but you understand the Circumstances well I will say So long

affectionately Yours
Wm H Duckett

Do what you can as I am in a bad way

The Bearer is Geo Anderson1 one of Our Messengers Boys here


William H. Duckett (1869–1902?) was Whitman's young Camden friend, who drove the poet's horse and buggy, lived for a while in Whitman's house, and accompanied Whitman on numerous trips. Duckett later established a career in the telegraphy industry; he lived and worked in Ohio and North Carolina before passing away in his native Philadelphia as a result of alcoholism in about 1902. For more information on Duckett, see Stephanie M. Blalock and Brandon James O'Neil, "'I am more interested than you know, Bill,': The Life and Times of William Henry Duckett, Jr.," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 39.2-3 (2022), 89–117.


1. As yet we have no information about this person. [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.