Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Thomas B. Freeman to Walt Whitman, 13 May 1877

Date: May 13, 1877

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02111

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.

Contributors to digital file: Vince Moran, Eder Jaramillo, Alicia Bones, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, and Kenneth Price

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Sloan's Station
May 13/ 77

[illegible] Walt Whitman1

I received your [illegible] letter a few days ago. But have not had time to answer it untill today. Please excuse me for not answering your other I have been intending to answer it but I am not much of a letter writer and it is hard work for me to [get?] started I am glad to hear [you are?] still able to [get?] around

Aunt Jennie got home last Wednesday safe & sound.

I [am?] standing in a store now stay from 6 o'clock AM. untill [illegible] do not have much [more?] to write Father has got [illegible] machine that makes [illegible] an hour. I received your [paper?] and read the account of your trip to New York. If the fare gets [low?] enough I will be out to the exhibition. Apples are begin to get pretty scarce now. Mother will finish the letter as I have run out of something to say

so good Bye from your Friend
Tom B. Freeman

Mr Whitman2

[Tomas?] has been trying to write you a letter but I think he is like myself he thinks what he has to say is not worth putting on paper We are much obliged to you for noticeing our boy I think your attention will do him good for I think if all persons would throw their influence around the youth and make the right way attractive we would not have so many bad

I did not intend to write more than to invite you to make us a visit some time during the summer [&?] [illegible] boy is at school he will be home the latter part of June we would be [glad?] to have you. make us a visit if you think you can come let us know that we may be at home and we will be as kind as we know how to be

Yours Truly
P J Freeman


1. Not much information is known about Thomas B. Freeman other than that he was a young man in whom Whitman took an interest. Freeman notes that he was "born the first year of the war," which would make him roughly 16 years old at the time of his first letter to Whitman. The poet mentioned sending Freeman material on several occasions (most likely a copy of Leaves of Grass, a newspaper piece by Whitman that appeared in the Philadelphia Times, and a copy of Drum-Taps). See Walt Whitman: Daybooks and Notebooks, ed. William White (New York: New York University Press, 1978), 1:32, 36, and 56. [back]

2. This letter is endorsed, in Whitman's hand: "from Tom Freeman | May '77." [back]


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