Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Ulysses S. Grant, 22 June 1874

Date: June 22, 1874

Whitman Archive ID: nar.03603

Source: U. S. National Archives and Records Administration. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:306. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

431 Stevens st.
N. Jersey.
June 22, 1874.

Would it be convenient to the President to personally request of the Attorney General that in any changes in the Solicitor Treasury's office, I be not disturbed in my position as clerk in that office—all my duties to the government being & having been thoroughly & regularly performed there, by a substitute,1 during my illness.

I shall probably get well before long.2

Very respectfully,
Walt Whitman


1. Whitman refers here to Walter Godey. [back]

2. Whitman was evidently aware that a bill approved by Congress on June 20, 1874, required a reduction of personnel in the Department of Justice. Whitman's letter was sent by Grant's secretary to the Attorney General on July 26, 1874. It was accompanied by a clipping from the Camden New Republic of June 20, 1874, which included "Song of the Universal" and Whitman's (anonymous) comments on his illness. Wecter conjectures that Whitman had the article printed "with the hope that it might catch Grant's eye more effectually than would a letter"; see PMLA, 58 (1943), 1108. [back]


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