Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Thomas Donaldson, [8 April 1886]

Date: April 8, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: prc.00102

Source: Kendall Reed Collection; The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. . The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Ted Genoways (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2004), 7:82. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Nicole Gray, and Kyle Barton

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328 Mickle st: Camden N J1

Dear T D

Yours of yesterday rec'd announcing the 3 o'clock P M arrangement. Opera House Chestnut above 10th—for 15th inst. I will be ready & on hand.2 When you come over, Sunday or any other day soon, come in the forenoon or before 3 in afternoon or in even'g as convenient

Walt Whitman

Thomas Donaldson (1843–1898) was a lawyer from Philadelphia and a friend of Whitman. He introduced Whitman to Bram Stoker and later accompanied Stoker when he visited the poet; he also organized a fund-raising drive to buy Whitman a horse and carriage. He authored a biography of Whitman titled Walt Whitman, the Man (1896). For more information about Donaldson, see Steven Schroeder, "Donaldson, Thomas (1843–1898)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. This letter is addressed: Thomas Donaldson | 326 North 40th Street | Philadelphia. It is postmarked: CAMDEN | APR | 8 | 3 PM | 1886 | N.J.; RECEIVED | APR 8 | 7 PM | PHIL [illegible]; REC'D PHILA | B | APR 9 [illegible] | 6 AM. [back]

2. On April 15, 1886, Whitman delivered his Lincoln lecture in Philadelphia at the Chestnut Street Opera House. Donaldson and Talcott Williams each raised funds to pay Whitman for the event. On April 15, Whitman received $370 from Donaldson and $304 from Williams. Whitman expanded upon this brief note in a letter to Williams on May 4, 1886[back]


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