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J. E. Reinhalter of P. Reinhalter & Company to Walt Whitman, 11 October 1890

 loc.03300.001_large.jpg Walt Whitman Esq. Camden N.J.

Owing to not being able to see you while at your house last thursday I concludet to write and state to you that my brother2 has gone to the Quarry in Massachusetts and will stay there untill all the stones connected with your work are split out. now be kind enough and look over the paper wich I left with you and see if all correct as we are govern ourselfs according and I will call with Mr. Moore3 to see you nex​ tuesday morning at about 10 oclock, should this date not suit please drop me a line, wishing you the best of health and in hopes to see you well. I remain

Yours very truly J. E. Reinhalter  loc.03300.002_large.jpg  loc.03300.003_large.jpg  loc.03300.004_large.jpg

P. Reinhalter & Co. of Philadelphia built Whitman's tomb—an elaborate granite tomb of the poet's design— in Harleigh Cemetery in Camden, New Jersey. The tomb cost $4,000. Whitman covered a portion of these costs with money that his Boston friends had raised so that the poet could purchase a summer cottage; the remaining balance was paid by Whitman's literary executor, Thomas Harned. For more information on the cemetery and Whitman's tomb, see See Geoffrey M. Still, "Harleigh Cemetery," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman Esq. | Camden | N.J. It is postmarked: PHILADELPHIA, PA | OCT 11 | 7 PM | 90; 21. [back]
  • 2. Little is known about the Reinhalter Brothers—likely Joseph E. and Peter Reinhalter, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—beyond their work in designing and constructing granite monuments. [back]
  • 3. Mr. Moore is likely Ralph Moore, who along with J. E. Reinhalter, a designer from P. Reinhalter & Co., had called on Whitman on July 11, 1890, to discuss Whitman's burial vault (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
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