Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Daniel G. Brinton to Walt Whitman, 12 April 1890

Date: April 12, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: loc.07098

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: Kirby Little, Ian Faith, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, and Stephanie Blalock



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2041 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia.
April 12/90

Dear Friend:

It is difficult to express the gratification I have felt in looking over the pages of the volume you so kindly sent me.1 These pages mirror a life, and the meaning of a life—rather should I say, not a life, but life, for the lines which fill them express, not particulars, but universals. On this account, future generations will not let die the contents of this book; and that I have it from him who wrote it is a peculiar pleasure to me.

Believe me,
Most gratefully yours
D. G. Brinton

To Walt Whitman.


Correspondent:
Daniel Garrison Brinton (1837–1899) was a surgeon in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and then practiced medicine in Pennsylvania. He went on to become a professor at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where he taught archaelogy and ethnology, and, later, he worked as a professor of linguistics and archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania. Whitman admired Brinton, who would speak at the poet's funeral.

Notes:

1. Whitman records in his daybook for April 3 1890, that he "presented Dr Brinton with big book" (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). Whitman often referred to his Complete Poems and Prose, published in 1888, as the "big book." [back]


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