Skip to main content

Thomas B. Freeman to Walt Whitman, 13 May 1877

 loc.02111.001_large.jpg [damage] Walt Whitman1

I received your [damage] letter a few days ago. But have not had time to answer it untill​ today. Please excuse me for not answering your other I have been intending to answer it but I am not much of a letter writer and it is hard work for me to get started I am glad to hear you are still able to get around

 loc.02111.002_large.jpg  loc.02111.003_large.jpg

Aunt Jennie got home last Wednesday safe & sound.

I am standing in a store now stay from 6 o'clock AM. untill​ [damage] do not have much more to write Father has got [damage] machine that makes [damage] an hour. I received your paper and read the account of your trip to New York. If the fare gets low enough I will be out to the exhibition. Apples are begin to get pretty scarce now. Mother will finish the letter as I have run out of something to say

so good Bye from your Friend Tom B. Freeman
 loc.02111.004_large.jpg Mr Whitman2

Tomas has been trying to write you a letter but I think he is like myself he thinks what he has to say is not worth putting on paper We are much obliged to you for noticeing​ our boy I think your attention will do him good for I think if all persons would throw their influence around the youth and make the right way attractive we would not have so many bad


I did not intend to write more than to invite you to make us a visit some time during the summer & [damage] boy is at school he will be home the latter part of June we would be glad to have you. make us a visit if you think you can come let us know that we may be at home and we will be as kind as we know how to be

Yours Truly P J Freeman  loc.02111.006_large.jpg


  • 1. Not much information is known about Thomas B. Freeman other than that he was a young man in whom Whitman took an interest. Freeman notes that he was "born the first year of the war," which would make him roughly 16 years old at the time of his first letter to Whitman. The poet mentioned sending Freeman material on several occasions (most likely a copy of Leaves of Grass, a newspaper piece by Whitman that appeared in the Philadelphia Times, and a copy of Drum-Taps). See Walt Whitman: Daybooks and Notebooks, ed. William White (New York: New York University Press, 1978), 1:32, 36, and 56. [back]
  • 2. This letter is endorsed, in Whitman's hand: "from Tom Freeman | May '77." [back]
Back to top