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Isabella A. White to Walt Whitman, 6 October 1874

 loc_vm.02135_large.jpg Mr. Whitman Dear Sir

I regret very much that I am obliged to write to you again, but as I am very much in need of some money just as soon as possible I thought perhaps you would be willing to settle up your bill if you do you will greatly oblige me we have nearly two hundred & fifty dollars besides the regular expenses to pay within the next twenty days so you will see that we will need all that  loc_vm.02136_large.jpg we can make or get that is due us. Your bill was up to the first of August thirty eight dollars ($38.00) I am willing to give you ten dollars ($10.00) for the things which I took from you that is nearly as much as they would cost if new and as much as they are worth to me. Then you will still owe twenty eight ($28.00) which if you could let me have this week will be a great favor—

Of course I will not charge you for keeping your things since, but would be glad if you would have them removed soon

Yours Respectfully Mrs Isabella A White  loc_vm.02137_large.jpg  loc_vm.02138_large.jpg  loc_vm.02133_large.jpg Mrs. White Oct. 74  loc_vm.02134_large.jpg

Whitman stayed with Dr. George A. White, a chiropodist, and his wife Isabella A. White from March 1, 1871, until Whitman left Washington following his stroke in 1873. Whitman had paid $236 in rent through June 10, 1873. On November 28, 1873, Dr. White acknowledged for his wife receipt of $28 "on account . . . for rent of room etc from May 1st/73." Whitman gave up one room at the Whites' on June 10, 1873: "Kept the other at $2.50 a month" ("Payments to Dr. and Mrs. White," Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman Papers, 1842–1937, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts, ed. Edward F. Grier [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 2:942). Isabella White had written, evidently early in July, about the rent due for his room; Whitman's reply is not extant. In her letter of July 29, 1874, she offered to purchase Whitman's bedstead and certain other effects. Whitman had not settled his account by the time White wrote this letter and offered him a credit of $10 for his furnishings against a balance of $38. See also Whitman's July 10, 1874, letter to Peter Doyle, in which Whitman left instructions for the delivery of his boxes from the Whites.


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Mr. W. Whitman | 431. Stevens St | Camden | N J. It is postmarked: Washington | [illegible]. [back]
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