Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Charles F. Currie, 1 August 1890

Date: August 1, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00608

Source: Papers of Walt Whitman (MSS 3829), Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. The transcription presented here is derived from The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 5:67. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Ryan Furlong, Stephanie Blalock, and Alex Ashland

Camden New Jersey
Aug: 1 '90

Dear Sir

Herewith find $45:50 to pay my brother Ed's1 board for Aug:, Sept: & Oct: '902

Respectfully &c

Walt Whitman

Charles F. Currie (1842–1913), a Union Army veteran of the United States Civil War, ran a grocery business in Camden, New Jersey, and also served on the Board of Education and as a member of the Board of Freeholders. In 1889, he was elected superindendent of the County Insane Asylum in Blackwood, New Jersey. The institution achieved such a high quality of care for its patients under Currie's management that other institutions implemented his methods and rules. Currie remained superintendent until his health forced him to resign his position in 1910.


1. Edward Whitman (1835–1892), called "Eddy" or "Edd," was the youngest son of Louisa Van Velsor Whitman. He required lifelong assistance for significant physical and mental disabilities, and he remained in the care of his mother until her death. His brother George Washington Whitman cared for him for most of the rest of his life, with financial support from Walt Whitman. For more information on Eddy, see Randall Waldron, "Whitman, Edward (1835–1892)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

2. In 1888, Whitman had put his brother Eddy in the Camden County Insane Asylum in Blackwood, New Jersey, about ten miles from Camden, where Eddy stayed until his death. [back]


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