Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John S. Shults to Walt Whitman, 9 August 1887

Date: August 9, 1887

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03705

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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Camden, N.J.,
August 9th

Walt Whitman Esq.
Dear Sir

Yours of the 6th. inst. received and contents noted.1 We will direct the owner to take the half. number.

Yours Respectfully
John S. Shults

Per Osler.

John S. Shults (1836–after August 1887) served at least three terms as the City Surveyor in Camden. In 1860, he moved from Reading to Camden, where he started working as a teacher. During the Civil War, Shults held a clerkship and was later associated with the Sanitary Commission. He studied surveying under then City Surveyor Edward H. Saunders. Shults was elected surveyor in 1878 and was re-elected in 1881 and 1884 (George Reeser Powell, The History of Camden County New Jersey [Philadelphia: L. J. Richards & Co., 1886], 438).


1. Whitman, a year later, described the conflict to Traubel as follows: "If you have [a letter] sent to Camden address them plainly to Walt Whitman as well as to the street number. That catamount next door—down—has made his number 328—built some little house on six or seven feet of his lot and given it a full number, so throwing me out! . . . I wrote to the City Surveyor about it . . . and he said he would have it set right—but has not done so. '328' belongs to me, by every right of precedent recent and remote" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Friday, October 5th, 1888). [back]


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