Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Charles W. Eldridge, 7 May 1884

Date: May 7, 1884

Whitman Archive ID: loc.05771

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:369–370. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein and Nicole Gray

328 Mickle Street
Camden New Jersey
May 7 '84

Charley, you would do me a special service if you could get & send me a good photo (or other picture) of Father Taylor, the old sailor preacher. I want it to be engraved for a magazine article1—Picture will be returned—also find out for me when Father T died—No particular hurry—but hope you will be able to help me soon as convenient—

I have had a bad spell nearly all the year—till ab't a month ago—when things turn'd favorably, & I am now about as usual with me—

With good old remembrances—
Walt Whitman

Charles W. Eldridge (1837–1903) was one half of the Boston-based abolitionist publishing firm Thayer and Eldridge, who issued the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass. In December 1862, on his way to find his injured brother George in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Whitman stopped in Washington and encountered Eldridge, who had become a clerk in the office of the army paymaster, Major Lyman Hapgood. Eldridge helped Whitman gain employment in Hapgood's office. For more on Whitman's relationship with Thayer and Eldridge, see David Breckenridge Donlon, "Thayer, William Wilde (1829–1896) and Charles W. Eldridge (1837–1903)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. The article, "Father Taylor and Oratory," did not appear until 1887. Whitman heard Edward Thompson Taylor (1793–1871) preach in the Seaman's Chapel in Boston in 1860 (Gay Wilson Allen, The Solitary Singer [New York: Macmillan, 1955], 239). [back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.