Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William T. Otto to Walt Whitman, 12 January 1865

Date: January 12, 1865

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00219

Source: Oscar Lion Papers, 1914–1955, New York Public Library, New York, N.Y. The transcription presented here is derived from Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden (New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1914), 3:470-71. 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, and Vanessa Steinroetter

Department of the Interior,
January 12, 1865.


Upon reporting at this Department and passing a satisfactory examination you will be appointed to a First Class Clerkship at a compensation of twelve hundred dollars per annum.1 I am, Sir, very respectfully, your obt servant

W. T. Otto, Assistant Secretary.2

Walt Whitman, Esq. Brooklyn, N. Y.


1. Less than two weeks after this letter, on January 24, 1865, Otto informed Whitman of his appointment as clerk at the salary of "$1200 per annum." [back]

2. William T. Otto (1816–1905) was Assistant Secretary of the Interior. William D. O'Connor had arranged an interview for Whitman with Otto for a clerk position in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. [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.