Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Lavinia F. Whitman to Walt Whitman, [June 1891]

Date: [June 1891]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04861

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: Andrew David King, Cristin Noonan, Brandon James O'Neil, and Stephanie Blalock

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My dear friend

I am too sorry that you are not well enough to see me, but I trust I may be able to do so, when I come again—I read with much interest the celebration of your seventy second birth day—You & I are nearing the other land—I was seventy two in November last—

I did want to see you so much—I had a little old shoe with me, with which I wanted to inspire you to write me [some verses?]—

It was once worn by my darling & only little grandchild—it always speaks volumes to me about her sweet ways & her new angel life—

Could you write me something that I can preserve of your own, written in your seventy third year I should value it greatly—

I wish I could read you what is said in the "Lawyers and judges of Maine" about Judge Whitman. You would like him, so perfect a character—

But I have said too much.—

May our [Heavenly?] Father spare both you & I for sometime yet

Truly your friend
Lavinia F Whitman

My address is 2337 N. 18th st Phila

Lavinia Fanning Watson Whitman (1818–1900) was the eldest daughter of John Fanning Watson—author of Annals of Philadelphia (1830) and a well known historian of Philadelphia and New York City—and his wife Phebe Barron Crowell. In 1846, Lavinia became the first woman to sponsor a United States Navy ship when she christened the sloop-of-war, the USS Germantown, in Philadelphia. She married Harrison Gray Otis Whitman, a son of Maine Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ezekial Whitman.


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