Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: George H. Williams to Walt Whitman, 10 March 1873

Date: March 10, 1873

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00389

Source: The 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: Rowman and Littlefield, Inc., 1961), 3:475–476. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, John Schwaninger, Amanda J. Axley, Cristin Noonan, Paige Wilkinson, and Stephanie Blalock

Department of Justice,
Washington, Mar. 10, 1873.

Walt Whitman, Esq.,
Washington, D. C.

You are hereby transferred from the office of the Attorney General to a clerkship of the third class in the office of Solicitor of the Treasury,1 to take effect on the 1st instant.

Very respectfully
George H. Williams,
Attorney General.

George Henry Williams (1820–1910), U. S. Senator from Oregon, served as Attorney General from 1871 to 1875. On the recommendation of Solicitor of the Treasury Bluford Wilson, Williams dismissed Walt Whitman on June 30, 1874; Whitman "respectfully acknowledged" his dismissal in his July 1, 1874, letter to Williams.


1. Bluford Wilson was Solicitor of the Treasury at the time of Whitman's transferral to that office. Whitman would serve in the Solicitor of the Treasury office until mid-1874. On June 30, 1874, Wilson informed George Henry Williams, Attorney General, that "Walt Whitman is the clerk of this class who can be discharged with least detriment to the national service" (National Archives & Records Administration.). On June 30, 1874, Williams informed the poet of his dismissal. Williams dismissed Whitman on June 30, 1874; Whitman "respectfully acknowledged" his dismissal in his July 1, 1874, letter to Williams. [back]


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