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Benjamin Russell, Jr., to Walt Whitman, 26 October [1867]

 loc.02857.001b_large.jpg Walt Whitman Esq Dr​ Friend and elder brother

I have waited till I am afraid you have forgotten me—or else never received the letter I wrote in answer to yours of date "a long time ago" (very definite) in reply to my first to you: I am inclined to believe that your silence does not mean that you do not wish to hear from me again. You remember the "Dear Strange Boy and brother" as you were pleased to call me do you not?

I have an impression that I can give a reason why you did not answer my last though I  loc.02857.002b_large.jpg perhaps do you injustice in the thought: When I wrote I said something I think about Wentworth2 having the copyright of your book. Now it strikes me that you might have thought me interested in the matter but I am not nor have I ever been. You do not need that I should go into particulars to tell you the conclusion arrived at about the matter. If I did you injustice pardon me.

The past six months has brought changes to me as it probably has to you and I have had some sad experiences though I think I am all the better for it: Besides the experience has taught me many things that I should probably have never otherwise learned. Some times the world seems very dark but is only brighter for it when the clouds have passed away. I think we never enjoy  loc.02857.003b_large.jpg any thing till we have suffered the opposite. And, were there no—what we call sin there would be no happiness. But the world is beautiful, happy and full of Love, and the longer I live the more I realise it. Every sorrow and sadness gives way to joy when we contemplate the future that awaits the immortal soul. Be life e'er so weary, live on then, brave hearted. Hope on, through the darkness, and smile through. My dear Heaven waitheth​ for mortals when earth is departed. And eternity lives, at the death bed of years.

What do you think of the political condition of affairs or are you no politician. I can perhaps, believe that you are not interested in such matters.

But I will not write more now till I hear from you again.

Till then Good by

With love sincere I am Your Friend Benjamin Russell Jr Section 4, East Boston  loc.02857.004b_large.jpg  loc.02857.005_large.jpg Benj. Russell, jr Boston Oct 26. '67.  loc.02857.006_large.jpg

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman Esq | Washington | D.C. It is postmarked: Boston | Oct 26 | MASS; [] | OCT | 27 | []. [back]
  • 2. Horace Wentworth was Thayer and Eldridge's former boss who later acted as the firm's creditor. Wentworth received the plates of Leaves of Grass as compensation for his financial loss when Thayer and Eldridge went bankrupt in 1861. W.W. Thayer informed Whitman of this change in ownership on April 19, 1861. For Wentworth's offer to sell the plates of Leaves of Grass and Leaves of Grass Imprints to Whitman, see his November 27, 1866 letter. [back]
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