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Laura Lyon White to Walt Whitman, 29 January 1891

 loc_vm.02483.jpg My dear Sir

If there is a wounding word in the "Overland" article in which I speak of you, I trust it may be pardoned one who admiringly reads your writings, and who fancies she feels their spirit

Sincerely Yours Laura Lyon White 1616 Clay St San Francisco Cal.  loc_vm.02484.jpg

Laura Lyon White (1839–1916) was a writer, suffragist, and conservationist. Together with Clara Bradley Burdette, White founded the California Federation of Women's Clubs (CFWC) in 1900 to promote social and environmental activism. The CFWC was instrumental in the protection of California's redwood trees, as well as raising awareness of women's issues throughout the state. In her short story "The Colonel, at Home, in Sonoma County," appearing in the February 1891 issue of Overland Monthly, White's titular character reads from Whitman's "Song of Myself" to the displeasure of the narrator (vol. 17 no. 98 [February 1891], 200–208). White was a regular contributor to Overland Monthly. For more information, see Cameron Binkley, "A Cult of Beauty: The Public Life and Civic Work of Laura Lyon White" (California History 83.2 [January 2005], 40–61).


  • 1. Whitman has drawn a diagonal line in ink through the text of this letter. [back]
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