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Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, October (?) 1866

. . . not sick with rheumatism or any thing—I see the carpenters in Brooklyn are demanding $4 a day—I was thinking perhaps George & Smith would just take1 . . .

Write how George & Smith make out—George, how would it do for you to put up a couple of small houses, to be worth about $2000 a piece, in some good spot, outer part of the city—one of the two for us—& the other for sale—I could raise $800 cash—to leave 1200 on bond & mortgage—some such plan—you & Smith could do much of the work yourselves—I only mention it to see whether it would be practicable. Good bye, dear mother,



  • 1.

    The date of this fragment can only be conjectural. In 1866, George was in business with Smith. According to his mother's letter of June 7, 1866, to Walt Whitman, "George and smith and french the mason has bought 5 lots on portland ave opposite the arsenal, 950 a lot, going to put up brick houses" (Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library). On October 10, she wrote: "george says if you will buy smiths half of that lot he will fix the shop (the carpenters shop acrost the street) for me . . . for about 1200 twelv hundred dollars" (Trent Collection).

    Only the lower half of the letter is extant.

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