Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Charles L. Heyde to Walt Whitman, 11 April 1890

Date: April 11, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04729

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.

Contributors to digital file: Andrew David King, Cristin Noonan, Breanna Himschoot, and Stephanie Blalock

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Van Ness House
L. S. Drew & H. N. Clark
U. A. Woodbury, Proprietor.
Burlington, Vt.
April 11.1

Our dear, good brother Walt

Han2 is better this morning, yesterday she could scarcely stand up—back is weak—Appetite good however—or so-so

Weather indescribable, chilly from the Adirondacks, and the Lake.

Persons occasionally enquire how I manage to provide, knowing that I sell so few paintings, at so low a price—I tell them our good friend and brother, Walt, sends us a dollar, at times 2 every few days—and sometime since, sent 5 by mail—which with my contriving helps us—which is appreciated.

People are surprised and pleased—under the impression you are so poor—in money—

I suppose that George3 does not care much for us—

Han tires sometimes, thinks we had better sell, get a smaller place, and have some money—but this is such a pretty situation.

Gratefully Yours
Charlie & Han.

Charles Louis Heyde (ca. 1820–1892), a French-born landscape painter, married Hannah Louisa Whitman (1823–1908), Walt Whitman's sister, and they lived in Burlington, Vermont. Charles Heyde was infamous among the Whitmans for his offensive letters and poor treatment of Hannah. For more information about Heyde, see Steven Schroeder, "Heyde, Charles Louis (1822–1892)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman | Camden | New Jersey. It is postmarked: BURLIN [illegible]T. | AP [illegible] | 1030 AM | 90; NY | 4-12-90 | 830 AM; CAMDEN, N.J. | APR 12 | [illegible] | [illegible]D. [back]

2. Hannah Louisa Whitman Heyde (1823–1908), sister of Walt Whitman and wife of Charles Heyde. Hannah and Charles lived in Burlington, Vermont. [back]

3. George Washington Whitman (1829–1901) was the seventh child of Walter and Louisa Whitman. George learned to read and write as a pupil under his older brother Walt (who briefly served as a schoolteacher) in Long Island, and worked as a carpenter prior to his military service during the Civil War. When the war ended, he became a pipe inspector for the City of Camden and the New York Metropolitan Water Board. For more on George's life see Martin G. Murray, "Whitman, George Washington (1829–1901)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998. [back]


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