Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Percy Ives to Walt Whitman, 21 October 1886

Date: October 21, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02363

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: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock

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Oct 21-1886.
48 Rue d'Orsel

My dear Walt Whitman.

Yesterday I gave a letter of introduction to you to a lady friend of mine, Miss Helen Moore. Miss Moore was speaking to me of your poetry yesterday as she and I were walking through the galleries of the Louvre, she is an intellectual lady and she admires a great deal you have written, she enjoyed so much your lecture on the assassination of Lincoln. She leaves Paris for her home in Philadelphia in a few weeks, stopping at London on her way.

Miss Moore has just had her first book published, "Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley" and I think you would feel that it was well written if you should read it.1

I feel sure you will find pleasure in Miss Moore's company for she is very appreciative.

I was more than pleased to receive the papers you sent me in which I found so much about you. I am sorry I could not have heard the lecture on Lincoln, there is a spirit and movement to your work that I feel directly.

I hope you are better and able to get about without trouble. If you can find time and strength to write me even a line I shall be much pleased. There is something about a written word from one that brings more happiness than anything excepting the person himself.

Again many thanks for the papers and I trust that the letter of introduction I gave to Miss Moore will be agreeable to you and you will not feel I have taken too much liberty.

Percy Ives

Percy Ives, grandson of Elisa Leggett, was an aspiring artist who made several pencil sketches of Whitman on December 21, 1881. They resulted in the oil painting now in the Feinberg Collection (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). On August 11, 1885, Whitman wrote to Percy in answer to a letter now lost. See Charles E. Feinberg, "Percy Ives, Detroit and Walt Whitman," Detroit Historical Society Bulletin 16 (February 1960), 5–8.


1. Little is known about this writer from Philadelphia. Besides her 1886 book on Wollstonecraft, Moore published The Literature of Philanthropy in 1893. She was married to a Nathaniel D. Moore. [back]


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