Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Abraham Paul Leech, [Late 1841?]

Date: [Late 1841?]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.05431

Source: Walt Whitman Papers, Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, 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: Cristin Noonan, Amanda J. Axley, Marie Ernster, Erel Michaelis, Kassie Jo Baron, Jeff Hill, and Stephanie Blalock

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Friend Leech

How d'ye do?—I have quite a hankering to hear from, and see Jamaica, and the Jamaicaites.—A pressure of business, only, has [pre]evented my coming out among the "friends of yore," and the familiar places which your village contains.—I was an hour in your village the other day, but did not have time to come up and see you,—I think of coming up in the course of the winter holidays.

Farewell,—and dont forget writing to me, through the P.O.—

May your kind angel hover in the invisible air, and lose sight of your blessed presence never

W Whitman

A. P. Leech | [J?]1

Abraham Paul Leech (1815–1886) was the son of Obadiah Paul Leech (1792–1881), an auctioneer, and his wife, Susan Holland Leech. One of three children, Leech would go on to become a bookkeeper and friend of Walt Whitman. Leech also served as secretary pro tem of The Jamaica Lyceum in the 1840s in Jamaica, New York. He and his wife, Phebe Kissam Duryea Leech (1823–1885) had two children: Abraham Duryea Leech (1851–1876) and John Leech (1860–?).


1. Whitman wrote Leech's name on the back of the final page of the letter. The ornate, unclear character may be a capital "J." Ted Genoways notes that Arthur Golden has speculated that this letter may have been hand-delivered to Leech by a friend or that the "J" would have been enough to for a postal service delivery in the early 1840s (Walt Whitman: The Correspondence, ed. Ted Genoways [Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, 2004], 7:12). [back]


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