Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Thomas Donaldson, 6 November 1886

Date: November 6, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: med.00747

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:53. 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 Kyle Barton

Nov. 6 '86—noon

I think of driving over, with Billy,1 to-morrow, Sunday, to be with you from 1 to 4, if the weather is favorable—

Walt Whitman

Thomas Donaldson (1843–1898) was a lawyer from Philadelphia and a friend of Whitman. He introduced Whitman to Bram Stoker and later accompanied Stoker when he visited the poet; he also organized a fund-raising drive to buy Whitman a horse and carriage. He authored a biography of Whitman titled Walt Whitman, the Man (1896). For more information about Donaldson, see Steven Schroeder, "Donaldson, Thomas (1843–1898)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. William H. Duckett (1869–1902?) was Whitman's young Camden friend, who drove the poet's horse and buggy, lived for a while in Whitman's house, and accompanied Whitman on numerous trips. Duckett later established a career in the telegraphy industry; he lived and worked in Ohio and North Carolina before passing away in his native Philadelphia as a result of alcoholism in about 1902. For more information on Duckett, see Stephanie M. Blalock and Brandon James O'Neil, "'I am more interested than you know, Bill,': The Life and Times of William Henry Duckett, Jr.," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 39.2-3 (2022), 89–117. [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.