Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to O.G. Hempstead and Son, [2 May 1888]

Date: [May 2, 1888]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.07641

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: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Ryan Furlong, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock

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To O G Hempstead & Son
407 Library street

Dear Sirs:

Please treat with the bearer of this, Mr Horace Traubel,1 a personal friend of mine, the same as you would with me, & consider him as my fully authorized agent in the matter.2

Walt Whitman
328 Mickle st Camden

O.G. Hempstead & Son was a customs brokerage house located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


1. Horace L. Traubel (1858–1919) was an American essayist, poet, and magazine publisher. He is best remembered as the literary executor, biographer, and self-fashioned "spirit child" of Walt Whitman. During the late 1880s and until Whitman's death in 1892, Traubel visited the poet virtually every day and took thorough notes of their conversations, which he later transcribed and published in three large volumes entitled With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906, 1908, & 1914). After his death, Traubel left behind enough manuscripts for six more volumes of the series, the final two of which were published in 1996. For more on Traubel, see Ed Folsom, "Traubel, Horace L. [1858–1919]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

2. This note was written on a blank envelope in response to a letter dated April 28, 1888 from Hempstead & Son notifying Whitman of the imminent arrival of apparel sent to him by Lady Mount Temple (for more on this letter and on Whitman and Traubel's dealings with O.G. Hempstead & Son, see Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Wednesday, May 2, 1888). Whitman described Lady Mount Temple's present as "a beautiful vest of knit stuff, wool, & silk" in his letter to Robert Pearsall Smith of May 7, 1888[back]


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