Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William H. Taylor to Walt Whitman, 15 June 1891

Date: June 15, 1891

Whitman Archive ID: loc.05874

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.

Related item: Whitman wrote his June 16, 1891, letter to the Canadian physician Richard Maurice Bucke on the back of the last page of this letter. See loc.05875.

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

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No 321 High St Newark
New Jersey
June 15th / 91

My Dear Friend Walt,

I see by the papers that a short time ago you had a Birthday party.1 Above the Three score and ten, and in looking back it has been about forty years since I first knew you. Then a strong stout and stalwart young man that thought nothing of getting on and off a step at full speeds, which you could not attempt now. Nor I either and I am several your junior. Just reaching up to my Three score.

I have been thinking how long since I saw you. I have lived in Newark 22 years, and it was some time before that I saw you, but if I am spared some time during this summer I will be dow to you see you once more, and shall try and bring your Name Sake2 with me. But before I come I want to go to New York and see some of our old friends over there; so if there is any one there that you would like to send word to you will let me know in answer to this. I have in my mind one, that is George Storms,3 as you used to ride more with him than any one else: but I hardly think I will find many of them but I will try my best to find some of them. in the meantime I wish you many happy Birth Days, and you may believe me

as ever your friend
William H. Taylor

William H. Taylor was a former New York driver or a son of one. He had also worked in the milk trade with his brother. See his June 21, 1874, letter to Whitman.


1. Whitman's seventy-second (and last) birthday was celebrated with friends at his home on Mickle Street. He described the celebration in his June 1, 1891, letter to Bolton physician John Johnston: "We had our birth anniversary spree last evn'g — ab't 40 people, choice friends mostly—12 or so women—[Alfred, Lord] Tennyson sent a short and sweet letter over his own sign manual . . . lots of bits of speeches, with gems in them—we had a capital good supper." [back]

2. Taylor is implying that his son is named Walter Whitman Taylor, after the poet. [back]

3. George Storms was a New York driver, and the uncle of Walt Whitman Storms, with whom Whitman corresponded in the 1870s. [back]


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