Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Ulysses S. Grant, 27 February 1874

Date: February 27, 1874

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02108

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.

Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented, updated, or created by Whitman Archive staff as appropriate.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, Eric Conrad, and Nicole Gray

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431 Stevens st.
Cor West.
Camden, N. Jersey.
Feb. 27. '741

Dear Mr. President,

Hoping, (should time & inclination favor,) to give you a moment's diversion from the weight of official & political cares—& thinking, of all men, you can return to those scenes, in the vein I have written about them—I take the liberty of sending, (same mail with this) some reminiscences I have printed about the war, in nos. of the N. Y. Weekly Graphic.2

I am not sure you will remember me, or my occasional salute to you, in Washington. I am laid up here with tedious paralysis,—but think I shall get well & return to Washington.

Very respectfully
Walt Whitman

Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822–1885) was the highest ranking Union general of the Civil War. As commander of the Army of the Potomac, he accepted the surrender of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. Grant was elected to two consecutive terms as president, first in 1868 and again in 1872.


1. A draft version of this letter also exists in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., written on the verso of some notes describing Whitman's illness. On March 6, Grant's secretary, Leon P. Luckey, replied that the President "wishes me to assure you of his appreciation of the polite attention, and his best wishes for your speedy recovery." [back]

2. "'Tis But Ten Years Since" appeared in the Weekly Graphic from January 24 to March 7. For a discussion of these articles, see Thomas O. Mabbott and Rollo G. Silver, American Literature, 15 (1943), 51–62. Later these articles appeared in Memoranda During the War[back]


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