Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Leon P. Luckey to Walt Whitman, 6 March 1874

Date: March 6, 1874

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02234

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 notes: The annotations, "Miscellaneous," and "Mostly 1874–'5—('3 & '6 too)," are in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Ashley Lawson, Eder Jaramillo, John Schwaninger, Caterina Bernardini, Amanda J. Axley, Cristin Noonan, Paige Wilkinson, and Stephanie Blalock

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Executive Mansion,
Washington D.C.
Mch 6th 1874,

Dear Sir:

The President1 desires me to acknowledge the receipt of your very kind letter of the 27th ultimo,2 also the numbers of the N.Y. Weekly Graphic, containing your reminiscences of the war.3

He wishes me to assure you of his appreciation of the polite attention, and his best wishes for your speedy recovery.4

Very resptly, Yours
Leon P. Luckey5

Mr. Walt Whitman
Camden, New Jersey

Leon P. Luckey was the secretary to President Ulysses S. Grant.


1. 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. [back]

2. See Whitman's letter to Ulysses S. Grant of February 27, 1874[back]

3. The series of articles "'Tis But Ten Years Since," which detailed events of the Civil War, appeared in the Weekly Graphic in six installments: January 24, 1874; February 7, 1874; February 14, 1874; February 21, 1874; February 28, 1874; and March 7, 1874. For a discussion of these articles, see Thomas O. Mabbott and Rollo G. Silver, American Literature, 15 (1943), 51–62. [back]

4. In January 1873, Whitman suffered a paralytic stroke that made walking difficult. He first reported it in his January 26, 1873, letter to his mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman (1795–1873), and continued to provide regular notes on his condition. By mid-March Whitman was taking brief walks out to the street and began to hope that he could resume work in the office. See also his March 21, 1873, letter to his mother. [back]

5. The script of the letter is by a government calligrapher, but Luckey has signed his own name. [back]


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