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Walt Whitman to an Unidentified Correspondent, 30 March 1841


Miss Clarissa Lyvere1 has been assistant teacher in this school for several months past, and I would cheerfully testify to her competence and her general capability as a teacher. Her knowledge of the ordinary branches of a common school education is complete, and I unhesitatingly recommend her to any and all who may desire a good teacher for their children

Walter Whitman Whitestone School.2  loc.03254.002_large.jpg

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


  • 1. Clarissa Lyvere (b. 1825) was an assistant teacher during Whitman's time at Whitestone School in Long Island. According to census records, she would have been about sixteen years old at the time of this letter. [back]
  • 2. Little is known about Whitman's time at Whitestone; in a letter to Abraham Paul Leech—written just five days prior to this recommendation on March 25, 1841—Whitman says "I am quite happy here." His happiness contrasts sharply with the letters he wrote during his tenure at Woodbury. [back]
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