Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Samuel G. Stanley to Walt Whitman, 12 October 1891

Date: October 12, 1891

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04326

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.

Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented, updated, or created by Whitman Archive staff as appropriate.

Editorial notes: The annotation, "Sam'l G Stanley Brooklyn," is in the hand of Walt Whitman. The annotation, "S.G. Stanley," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Kara Wentworth, Ian Faith, Andrew David King, and Stephanie Blalock

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Oct 12th/91.

Dear Friend Water,

I was reading an article in a Magazine the other day; & came across an interesting account of a birthday meeting of your friends,1 & at this late day would like to add my greeting to you, as an old friend.

May the good "Lord" give you continued life and loving friends to cheer you on the journey.

Please remember me to Jeff.2 Can you give me his address.

From your friend,
Sam'l G. Stanley

323 Macon St

Samuel Goodman Stanley (1830–1909) was raised in Brooklyn before heading to California during the 1849 Gold Rush. Upon returning from California in the early 1850s, Stanley established a sash and blind building company, with two branches in Brooklyn and Washington D.C. According to Stanley's letter to Whitman of July 13, 1886, he was an old friend of the poet's from Brooklyn. During the Civil War years, Stanley seems to have been in Washington, and he recalled standing near Secretary Chase's residence when Abraham Lincoln passed by.


1. Whitman's seventy-second (and last) birthday was celebrated with friends at his home on Mickle Street. He described the celebration in a letter to Dr. John Johnston, of Bolton, England, dated June 1, 1891: "We had our birth anniversary spree last evn'g—ab't 40 people, choice friends mostly—12 or so women—[Alfred, Lord] Tennyson sent a short and sweet letter over his own sign manual . . . lots of bits of speeches, with gems in them—we had a capital good supper." [back]

2. Thomas Jefferson Whitman (1833–1890), known as "Jeff," was Walt Whitman's favorite brother. As a civil engineer, Jeff eventually became Superintendent of Water Works in St. Louis and a nationally recognized figure. For more on Jeff, see Randall Waldron, "Whitman, Thomas Jefferson (1833–1890)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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