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John M. Rogers to Walt Whitman, 26 December 1872

 loc.01870.007_large.jpg Dear friend and Father

as it is snowing here to night I was looking of some letter I came acrost​ one of your letter and as it some time cince​ I have seen or heard from you I though​ I would write a few lines to you [worn-away] am as well as I can be and am getting very Stout but how do you do and are you well and how do you get along this  loc.01870.008_large.jpg cold weather it has been very Cold here I am now employed at the Contentatual​ Bank Note Co2 and I geting​ alon​ very nicely do much better than I did with the wood Co3

Last Sunday we had very largee​ fire in Brooklyn Dr. Talmage Church4 in Schrminhorn​ St. was destroyed and some very large fires in New York City Barnums Musimum​ 5 and a larg​ Printing Co in Center St but I supose​ you have heard of it ee'r​ this


for now I will close with love

I remain your John M Rogers Address John M Rogers 230 Duffield St Brooklyn  loc.01870.010_large.jpg  loc.01870.011_large.jpg Johnny Rogers, Dec 31 '72  loc.01870.012_large.jpg

John (Jack) M. Rogers was a Brooklyn driver with whom Whitman had a loving relationship. Whitman first met him in Brooklyn on September 21, 1870. For more on Rogers and his relationship with the poet, see Charley Shively, ed., Calamus Lovers: Walt Whitman's Working-Class Camerados (San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1987), 122–135.


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Mr Walt Whitman | Attorney Generals Office | Washington | D.C. It is postmarked:BROOKLYN | DEC. [back]
  • 2. The Continental Bank Note Company was established in 1863 in order to compete for government contracts to print stamps. On May 1, 1873, Continental received the only government contract to print stamps; the contract was renewed in 1877, a year before Continental merged with the American Note Bank Company. [back]
  • 3. It is unclear to which wood company Rogers refers. [back]
  • 4. The Brooklyn Tabernacle, built in 1870 by the congregation of Reverend Thomas De Witt Talmadge (1832–1902), burned in a December 1872 fire—one of the worst in the city's history. Although rebuilt in 1874, the second tabernacle burned in 1889, and a third burned in 1894. [back]
  • 5. From 1841 to 1865, Barnum's American Museum was owned by Phineas T. (P. T.) Barnum (1810–1891), who rose to fame as an American showman and founder of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. The New York City museum, which included a zoo, theater, and wax museum, burned in one of New York's most famous fires. Although Barnum attempted to reopen the museum, his second museum also burned in 1868. Rogers must be referring to the former location of Barnum's American Museum, as Barnum left the museum business following the 1868 fire in order to focus on the circus, which he opened at Madison Square Garden. [back]
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