Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Ada H. Spaulding to Walt Whitman, 4 January 1890

Date: January 4, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03951

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, Brandon James O'Neil, and Stephanie Blalock

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My noble and dear friend—Walt Whitman,

I have had the pleasure of talking for you, and of you again. Yes—and a deep interest was aroused. It was good to hear the listener say—"I promise you—I will read him now." One man—fine—true and scholarly and sincere took my hand and said: "I am converted."

Bless you—dear soul! Is it not good to have Truth for a theme?

How I want to see you and talk with you. That few minutes—was so much to me—yet it was so short. For years I have longed to sit beside you and have wondered how it would be. Then—when it came—it was so different from my fancies—but you dear friend, were not disappointing.

Can you make a few strokes of your pen for me—just as a proof that the hand is no weaker than when I took it?

I don't know just what to send that shall give you comfort or pleasure. Flowers fade soon. Please have something that you want—and play that I sent it, instead of this unbeautiful Money Order.

With the tenderest wish—in the beginning of this New Year
Ada H. Spaulding

224 Huntington Ave.

Yes—I have "moved" this Autumn—and have been very busy and tired or I should have written sooner.


Ada H. Spaulding (b. 1841), née Pearsons, was a socialite and active member of various reform movements and women's clubs. She served as the President of the Home Club of East Boston and was a member of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union. She married Ebenezer Spaulding, an Assistant Surgeon during the Civil War, and, later, a homeopathic physician and surgeon who practiced in Boston. Ada Spaulding read and admired Whitman's poetry, visited the poet, and wrote a number of letters to him in his final years. For more on Spaulding, see Sherry Ceniza, "Women's Letters to Walt Whitman: Some Corrections," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 9 (Winter 1992), 142–147.


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