Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Ada H. Spaulding to Walt Whitman, 31 May 1889

Date: May 31, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: loc.08098

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: Zainab Saleh, Stephanie Blalock, and Brandon James O'Neil

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Form No. 1
This Company TRANSMITS and DELIVERS messages only on conditions limiting its liability, which have been assented to by the sender of the following message. Errors can be guarded against only be repeating a message back to the sending station, for comparison, and the company will not hold itself liable for errors or delays in the transmission or delivery of Unrepeated Messages, beyond the amount of tolls paid thereon, nor in any case where the claim is not presented in writing within 60 days after sending the message.
This is an UNREPEATED MESSAGE, and is delivered by the request of the sender, under the conditions named above.
THOS. T. ECKERT, General Manager. NORVIN GREEN, President.
CHECK 12 Paid
Received at
541PM 5/31 1889
Dated Boston Mass 31

To Walt Whitman
328 Mickle St

Your many friends give thanks for your brave and generous seventy years.1

A.H. Spaulding

Ada H. Spaulding (b. 1841), née Pearsons, was a socialite and active member of various reform movements and women's clubs. She served as the President of the Home Club of East Boston and was a member of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union. She married Ebenezer Spaulding, an Assistant Surgeon during the Civil War, and, later, a homeopathic physician and surgeon who practiced in Boston. Ada Spaulding read and admired Whitman's poetry, visited the poet, and wrote a number of letters to him in his final years. For more on Spaulding, see Sherry Ceniza, "Women's Letters to Walt Whitman: Some Corrections," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 9 (Winter 1992), 142–147.


1. This telegram was printed, along with numerous other notes and addresses honoring Whitman on the occasion of his 70th birthday, in Camden's Compliment to Walt Whitman: May 31, 1889: Notes, Addresses, Letters, Telegrams, ed. Horace L. Traubel (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: David McKay), 71. [back]


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