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Francis Wilson to Walt Whitman, 16 January 1891

 loc_vm.02479.jpg My dear Mr Whitman,

Will you accept this accompanying package as a sort of kindling wood accompaniment to the sun-set breeze.2 I am assured that it is the  loc_vm.02480.jpg best of its kind and the very best of anything is not too good for Walt Whitman—at least that is the opinion of

Yours Sincerely, Francis Wilson Mr Walt Whitman (Chestnut st theatre)3  loc_vm.02481.jpg  loc_vm.02482.jpg  loc_vm.02477.jpg see | notes | Jan 16 | 1891  loc_vm.02478.jpg

Francis Wilson (1854–1935) was an actor, playwright, and memoirist. He would go on to become the founding president of Actor's Equity.


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Mr Walt Whitman | 328 Mickle st. | Camden, | N.J. There is no postmark or stamp on the envelope. [back]
  • 2. In his January 13, 1891 letter, to Whitman, Joseph M. Stoddart announced that he was going to visit the poet with a number of other people, including the actor Francis Wilson. As Whitman told Traubel the visit was brief but "brightening" (With Walt Whitman in Camden, Thursday, January 15, 1891). The next day Traubel reported that Whitman received the letter from Wilson (With Walt Whitman in Camden, Friday, January 16, 1891). This letter was accompanied by a bottle of Old Crow Whiskey, which is the "kindling wood" Wilson refers to here. [back]
  • 3. The Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia had a long history; it was founded in 1791. After burning down twice (once in 1820, a second time in 1856), the theatre was rebuilt several blocks from its previous location, where it thrived until 1913, when it closed permanently. [back]
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