Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to George Ferguson, 22 May 1891

Date: May 22, 1891

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02066

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. . The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 5:202. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Cristin Noonan, Andrew David King, Breanna Himschoot, and Stephanie Blalock

328 Mickle St:
Camden New Jersey1
May 22 '91

Dear Sir,

If the paper is bo't & any commencem't made in printing the 400 "Nov: Boughs"2 all right—If nothing, stop it & wait for further orders.

The press work paper &c: of the little "Good-Bye my Fancy"3 make a first rate, good, satisfactory job—& the press work is capital. If worth while I sh'd like the pressmen, foreman &c: to see this.

Walt Whitman

This is Warren Fritzinger,4 my nurse & friend—

George Ferguson was the printer who had set the type for Whitman's November Boughs (1888).


1. This letter is addressed: Ferguson | Printer | 15 North 7th Street | Philadelphia. [back]

2. Whitman's November Boughs—a book of prose and poetry—was published in 1888 by David McKay. The book included a long prefatory essay, "A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads," a collection of sixty short poems under the title "Sands at Seventy," and reprints of several articles already published elsewhere. For more information on November Boughs, see James E. Barcus Jr., "November Boughs [1888]." [back]

3. Whitman's book Good-Bye My Fancy (1891) was his last miscellany, and it included both poetry and short prose works commenting on poetry, aging, and death, among other topics. Thirty-one poems from the book were later printed as "Good-Bye my Fancy 2d Annex" to Leaves of Grass (1891–1892), the last edition of Leaves of Grass published before Whitman's death in March 1892. For more information see, Donald Barlow Stauffer, "'Good-Bye my Fancy' (Second Annex) (1891)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

4. Frank Warren Fritzinger (1867–1899), known as "Warry," took Edward Wilkins's place as Whitman's nurse, beginning in October 1889. Fritzinger and his brother Harry were the sons of Henry Whireman Fritzinger (about 1828–1881), a former sea captain who went blind, and Almira E. Fritzinger. Following Henry Sr.'s death, Warren and his brother—having lost both parents—became wards of Mary O. Davis, Whitman's housekeeper, who had also taken care of the sea captain and who inherited part of his estate. A picture of Warry is displayed in the May 1891 New England Magazine (278). See Joann P. Krieg, "Fritzinger, Frederick Warren (1866–1899)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), 240. [back]


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