Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Stephen J. W. Tabor, 31 October 1871

Date: October 31, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: prc.00098

Source: Private collection of Dr. Kendall Reed. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Ted Genoways (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2004), 7:32. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Jonathan Y. Cheng, Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Alex Kinnaman, and Nicole Gray

Oct. 31, '711

Dear Mr. Tabor:

I write a line to introduce the bearer, Rev. George L. Chase, of Minesota,2—who is interested in the history of Erasmus.3

I like Mr. Chase much—have known him many years,4 & cordially commend him to you.

Walt Whitman

Stephen J. W. Tabor (1815–1883) was a newspaper editor and county judge in Independence, Iowa, before being appointed Auditor of the United States Treasury, a post he held from 1863 to 1878. He was also a book collector whose private library included 6,000 volumes. For more about Tabor, see Benjamin F. Gue, History of Iowa from the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century (New York: The Century History Company, 1903), 4:258.


1. This letter is addressed: Introducing Rev. Mr. Chase | Hon. Stephen J. W. Tabor | 4th Auditor. | West Wing. | Treasury Building. [back]

2. George L. Chase, Episcopal minister from Minnesota. [back]

3. Desiderius Erasmus (1467–1536) was a Renaissance scholar and theologian. [back]

4. Chase is mentioned twice in Whitman's notebooks (see Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts, ed. Edward Grier [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 2:828; and Daybooks and Notebooks, ed. William White [New York: New York University Press, 1978], 1:61). In the Reed Collection are a number of letters from Chase to his future wife, discussing Whitman and documenting their friendship. See Jon Miller, "'Dear Miss Ella': George L. Chase's Whitman-Inspired Love Letters," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 19 (Fall 2001), 68–89, which reprints many of Chase's letters. [back]


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