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Walt Whitman to Horace Howard Furness, 26 January 1881

 loc.02114.001_large.jpg My dear friend

I am sorry to have to send you word that I am not feeling in good trim at all to-day, & shall be unable to meet you & the other friends at dinner—I send you herewith a couple of pictures (I call it my Quaker picture)1—one is for your father2—also the books herewith—also my love to you—

Walt Whitman  loc.02114.002_large.jpg Walt Whitman 26 Jany 1881

Horace Furness (1833–1912) was the distinguished editor of the Variorum Shakespeare. Furness met Whitman in 1879, and Furness was one of the honorary pallbearers at Whitman's funeral. In "Personal Recollections of Walt Whitman," William R. Thayer, in discussing Whitman's slyness in money matters, stated that for the last six or eight years of the poet's life George W. Childs and Furness subscribed "an annual sum," and paid a young man to act as his driver and valet (Scribner's Magazine 65 [1919], 685).


  • 1. Whitman is likely referring to this photo taken by William Kurtz. [back]
  • 2. Reverend Doctor William Henry Furness (1802–1896) was a close friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a Unitarian minister at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, and a prominent and committed abolitionist. [back]
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