Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Daniel Longaker, 15 April 1891

Date: April 15, 1891

Whitman Archive ID: med.00912

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. Edwin Haviland Miller derives his transcription from a transcription of the letter published in In Re Walt Whitman, eds. Horace Traubel, Richard Maurice Bucke, and Thomas B. Harned (Philadelphia: David McKay), 396. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 5:191. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Cristin Noonan, Ryan Furlong, Breanna Himschoot, and Stephanie Blalock

April 15th, 1 o'clock

Went out in wheel chair1 fifteen minutes; warm, bright sun, flustered, headache—eyes badly blurred—(first time out in four months).

Daniel Longaker (1858–1949) was a Philadelphia physician who specialized in obstetrics. He became Whitman's doctor in early 1891 and provided treatment during the poet's final illness. For more information, see Carol J. Singley, "Longaker, Dr. Daniel [1858–1949]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R.LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. Horace Traubel and Ed Wilkins, Whitman's nurse, went to Philadelphia to purchase a wheeled chair for the poet that would allow him to be "pull'd or push'd" outdoors. See Whitman's letter to William Sloane Kennedy of May 8, 1889[back]


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