Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Hannah E. Stevenson to Walt Whitman, 6 October 1863

Date: October 6, 1863

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00869

Source: Walt Whitman Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: Images of this letter are not currently available.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Tim Jackson, Vanessa Steinroetter, Heidi Bean, and Elise Cook

Mr Whitman,

I1 took from Dr Russell2 your letter to Mr Redpath,3 to stir some warm hearts to aid you in your blessed work among our sick & wounded boys. My sister, Mrs Charles P. Curtis, has already written you, her husband's tears and her own ones—your touching words, coined into gold, or greenbacks. I inclose you to-day $30, the result of an application to my friends, the Misses Wigglesworth.4

Hannah E. Stevenson

80 Temple St.


1. Hannah E. Stevenson was the sister of Margaret S. Curtis, wife of Boston counselor Charles Curtis. Both women sent sums of money to Whitman for his work in the army hospitals. [back]

2. Dr. Le Baron Russell (1814–1819) was a Boston physician who was well acquainted with Ralph Waldo Emerson and James Redpath. Along with other philanthropically minded citizens, Russell sent Whitman money to be used in easing the suffering of the Civil War wounded languishing in the Washington, D.C., area. [back]

3. James Redpath (1833–1891) was the author of The Public Life of Capt. John Brown (Boston: Thayer and Eldridge, 1860), a correspondent for the New York Tribune during the war, the originator of the "Lyceum" lectures, and editor of the North American Review in 1886. He met Whitman in Boston in 1860 (Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman, The Library of Congress, Notebook #90) and remained an enthusiastic admirer; see Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, ed. Sculley Bradley (New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1914), 3:459–461. He concluded his first letter to Whitman on June 25, 1860: "I love you, Walt! A conquering Brigade will ere long march to the music of your barbaric jawp." See also Charles F. Horner, The Life of James Redpath and the Development of the Modern Lyceum (New York: Barse & Hopkins, 1926). [back]

4. Anne and Mary Wigglesworth were friends of Hannah Stevenson's and patrons of various benevolent organizations in Boston. Mary died in 1882 and Anne in 1891; see the Boston Evening Transcript, August 29, 1882, and January 6, 1891. [back]


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