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Walt Whitman to [Daniel Whittaker], 4 April [1876]

Dear Dan:1

I take an interest in the boy in the office, Harry Stafford—I know his father & mother—There is a large family, very respectable American people—farmers, but only a hired farm—Mr. Stafford in weak health—

I am anxious Harry should learn the printer's trade thoroughly—I want him to learn to set type as fast as possible—want you to give him a chance (less of the mere errands &c)—There is a good deal really in the boy, if he has a chance.

Don't say any thing about this note to him—or in fact to any one—just tear it up, & keep the matter to yourself private.

Walt Whitman


  • 1.

    A copy of Memoranda During the War in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection at the Library of Congress is inscribed: "To Dan: Whittaker from his friend the Author." Whittaker, a printer, was employed in the office of the Camden New Republic, where Harry Stafford was an errand boy. (Since Whitman became acquainted with the Staffords in 1876, the year appears to be correct.)

    When Susan Stafford wrote to Whitman on May 1, 1876, she was worried because Harry "left the New Republic office in such A hurry at least untill he had another place as he does not like to work on A farm. he spoke of getting A situation In the park."

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