Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Thomas Donaldson, 2 December 1883

Date: December 2, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: med.00804

Source: The location of the original 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), 3:356. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray

December 2, 1883

["Acknowledging receipt of an invitation to the reception of Henry Irving, which he declines; and expressing a wish to call on Donaldson soon."]1

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. The date and summary of the letter are drawn from a catalog put out by George J. C. Grasberger, Inc. The location of this manuscript is presently unknown. Whitman had supper with the Donaldsons on December 4—"a very enjoyable evening, warm hospitality—fine children" (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). Irving described a visit to Camden in The Theatre, 5 (April 1885), 178–179. [back]


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