Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Jacques Reich to Walt Whitman, 12 February 1890

Date: February 12, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03561

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: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Ian Faith, Alex Ashland, and Stephanie Blalock

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To. Walt Whittman Esq.
Studio 2 W. 14th st
New York
Febr. 12th 901

My dear sir

I have delivered your book to Mr. Bancroft.2 I was sorry to find him in bed ill since several weeks.

I take the pleasure to mail to you some proofs of my drawings and ask you to accept them with my kindest regards.

Thanking you for your kindness at the occasion of my visit to you, and wishing you good health I am most respectfully

Jacques Reich3

Jacques Reich (1852–1923) was a portrait etcher from Hungary. He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; he would later establish a studio in New York. He also worked for the United States Mint. Reich made the drawing of Abraham Lincoln that appeared on the tickets for Whitman's Lincoln Lecture in Madison Square Theatre in New York in 1887. He visited Whitman late in the poet's life and made what is believed to be the last drawing of Whitman done in the poet's lifetime, dated "Feb. 3 '90." For a reproduction of Reich's drawing of Whitman, see Edwin Haviland Miller, ed., Selected Letters of Walt Whitman (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1990), 273.


1. The sender's address and the date appear at the bottom of the leaf. [back]

2. Whitman sent, via Reich, a copy of his 1889 "pocket book" edition of Leaves of Grass to the renowned American historian and diplomat George Bancroft (1800–1891), who then lived in Washington DC. For Whitman's memories of having seen Bancroft when both lived in DC, see Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden>, Wednesday, July 18, 1888. See Whitman's daybook for February 3, 1890, for his note that he "sent pk't-b'k L of G. to Bancroft Wash'n" and noted "(rec'd)" when he got Reich's confirmation letter (William White, ed., Daybooks and Notebooks [New York: New York University Press, 1978], 547). [back]

3. The letter has been canceled with a vertical line. [back]


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