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Walt Whitman to Thomas Donaldson, 14 August 1888

 loc.01479.001_large.jpg Dear TD—

Am here yet in the sick room—the Doctor thinks it best not to go yet—have had no set back—but remain horribly weak in legs & body—(sometimes wonder whether that would remain for settled)—Thanks for the Catlin1—it is an inexhaustable mine

Walt Whitman  loc.01479.002_large.jpg Written Aug 11/88 T.D. by 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. Donaldson's letter to Whitman does not seem to be extant, but this appears to be a reference to a book by George Catlin (1796–1872), an artist who focused on portraying Native Americans in the Old West. Whitman famously kept a portrait of Osceola by Catlin on his wall. [back]
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