Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to an Unidentified Correspondent, 30 March 1841

Date: March 30, 1841

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03254

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: Cristin Noonan, Amanda J. Axley, Marie Ernster, Erel Michaelis, Kassie Jo Baron, Jeff Hill, and Stephanie Blalock

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Miss Clarissa Lyvere1 has been assistant teacher in this school for several months past, and I would cheerfully testify to her competence and her general capability as a teacher. Her knowledge of the ordinary branches of a common school education is complete, and I unhesitatingly recommend her to any and all who may desire a good teacher for their children

Walter Whitman

Whitestone School.2
March 30

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


1. Clarissa Lyvere (b. 1825) was an assistant teacher during Whitman's time at Whitestone School in Long Island. According to census records, she would have been about sixteen years old at the time of this letter. [back]

2. Little is known about Whitman's time at Whitestone; in a letter to Abraham Paul Leech—written just five days prior to this recommendation on March 25, 1841—Whitman says "I am quite happy here." His happiness contrasts sharply with the letters he wrote during his tenure at Woodbury. [back]


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