Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Charles L. Heyde to Walt Whitman, 24 December 1890

Date: December 24, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04743

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.

Editorial note: The annotation, "Dec 26 '90 Camden This is the only decent (or nearly decent) letter f'm the whelp I have rec'd for two years—(but there is a mean sneer & snarl even in this)," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Cristin Noonan, Amanda J. Axley, Marie Ernster, and Stephanie Blalock



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21 Pearl St
Dec 24 1890

Our noble good brother Walt Your generous gift of 10 dollars, (divided) was duly recd—Gratefull for my share, which added to 10 I received for a painting, enabled me to pay my interest, now overdue to the Winooski Bank—Have also recd a box from Lou,1 but very little money—yet it contained a fine sugar cured ham, corked coffee, tea, and wearing apparel for herself—

We have kind contributions occasionally of necessaries for home consumptions— [illegible]ing good will—Han2—Shall write—


Charlie3


Correspondent:
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).

Notes:

1. Louisa Orr Haslam Whitman (1842–1892), called "Loo" or "Lou," married Whitman's brother George Whitman on April 14, 1871. Their son, Walter Orr Whitman, was born in 1875 but died the following year. A second son was stillborn. Whitman lived in Camden, New Jersey, with George and Louisa from 1873 until 1884, when George and Louisa moved to a farm outside of Camden and Whitman decided to stay in the city. Louisa and Whitman had a warm relationship during the poet's final decades. For more, see Karen Wolfe, "Whitman, Louisa Orr Haslam (Mrs. George) (1842–1892)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

2. Hannah Louisa (Whitman) Heyde (1823–1908), youngest sister of Walt Whitman, married Charles Louis Heyde (ca. 1820–1892), a Pennsylvania-born landscape painter. Charles Heyde was infamous among the Whitmans for his offensive letters and poor treatment of Hannah. Hannah and Charles Heyde lived in Burlington, Vermont. For more, see Paula K. Garrett, "Whitman (Heyde), Hannah Louisa (d. 1908)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

3. On the verso of this letter, Whitman has written a note indicating his deep dislike for Heyde, whom he calls a "whelp" with a "mean sneer & snarl." [back]


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