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Thomas Jefferson Whitman to Walt Whitman, 30 March 1873

My dear Walt

Although I have written two or three letters to you, and Hattie one or two—yet we do not hear from you  dear brother, are you too sick to write  I had a letter from Mother yesterday in which she told me that you had been out a few times and once as far as the office—I hope you have not had a set back since then

If you can I wish you would write me how you are and if you have any chance of getting out here this season—I wish you could come  I think you would enjoy it and I know we would enjoy it hugely

I fear from the way that Mother writes that she is not feeling very well—that she is not quite as happy as when she kept her own house—what do you think about it1

I shall always feel sorry that Mother could not have come out here before Mattie died—she did want to see her so badly—for a week or two before she died she talked much about both of you and Mother and longed much to see you both—but it was not [to] be that she could see either of you

I have felt quite anxious about you—as tis so long since I heard from you directly—I [hope] dear Walt you feel like writing, at least a short letter to me

Hattie and Jess keep quite well and are as good as can be

Write to me Walt

Affectionately Jeff


  • 1. Louisa Van Velsor Whitman was in her final months of life, and some of her complaints undoubtedly resulted from fatigue and pain. She was also bothered by George's wife, Louisa, who talked of nothing "much but house and money" and who sent Edward Whitman on many errands but begrudged him his portion of butter. See Louisa Van Velsor Whitman to Walt Whitman, March 24, 1873, and April 21, 1873 (Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Books, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library). [back]
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