Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John B. Robinson to Walt Whitman, 29 December 1884

Date: December 29, 1884

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03551

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: Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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Delaware County Institute of Science,1
(Organized, A.D., 1833)
Media, Pa.,2
Dec. 29th 1884

Walt Whitman Esq
Camden, New Jersey
Dear Sir:

My friend Col. [Jewel?]3 wrote me that you would come here & Lecture for us. Could you come in Jan'y say about 29th inst or Feb. 5th or 12th & give us your Lecture on Lincoln,4 We would pay you 25$—Our resources are small or we would offer more.

Jno: B Robinson
for comtee Dela. [Co?] Ins.

John B. Robinson (1846–1933) was a Republican politician from Pennsylvania. Educated at the Unviersity of Pittsburgh and at Amherst College, Robinson served in the Navy before going on to become a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1884–1888), a Pennsylvania State Senator (1889–1892), and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1891–1897). In the early 1880s, Robinson also the edited the Delaware County Gazette newspaper and owned the Media Ledger.


1. The Delaware County Institute of Science (DCIS) was founded in 1833. The Institute's mission was to support the learning of the public by establishing a lending library and a natural history museum. The DCIS continues to maintain the museum and library located at the corners of Jasper Street and Veteran's Square in Media, Pennsylvania. [back]

2. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman | Camden | New Jersey. It is postmarked: Media | DEC 29 | 1884 | PA.; Philadelphia, PA | Dec | 29 | 4PM | Transit; Camden, N.J. | Dec | 29 | 6PM | 1884 | Rec'd. [back]

3. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]

4. This is a reference to Whitman's lecture entitled "The Death of Abraham Lincoln." He first delivered this lecture in New York in 1879 and would deliver it at least eight other times over the succeeding years, delivering it for the last time on April 15, 1890. He published a version of the lecture as "Death of Abraham Lincoln" in Specimen Days and Collect (1882–83). For more on the lecture, see Larry D. Griffin, "'Death of Abraham Lincoln,'" Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, ed. (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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