Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William T. Otto to Walt Whitman, 24 January 1865

Date: January 24, 1865

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00220

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), 3:471. 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, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Eric Conrad

Department of the Interior,
Washington, D. C.,
January 24, 1865.


You are hereby appointed to a Clerkship of the first class—in the Office of Indian Affairs, of this Department—the salary of which is $1200 per annum, to commence when you have subscribed the enclosed oath, and entered upon duty. I am, Sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant

W. T. Otto, Assistant Secretary.1

Walt Whitman, Esq. of New York


1. 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. See O'Connor's December 30, 1864, and Otto's January 12, 1865, letter to Whitman. [back]


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