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Daniel G. Brinton to Walt Whitman, 12 April 1890

 loc_es.00081.jpg Dear Friend:

It is difficult to express the gratification I have felt in looking over the pages of the volume you so kindly sent me.1 These pages mirror a life, and the meaning of a life—rather should I say, not a life, but life, for the lines which fill them express, not particulars, but universals. On this account, future generations will not let die the contents of this book; and that I have it from him who wrote it is a peculiar pleasure to me.

Believe me, Most gratefully yours D. G. Brinton To Walt Whitman.  loc_es.00082.jpg

Daniel Garrison Brinton (1837–1899) was a surgeon in the Union Army during the American Civil War and then practiced medicine in Pennsylvania. He went on to become a professor at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where he taught archaelogy and ethnology, and, later, he worked as a professor of linguistics and archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania. Whitman admired Brinton, who would speak at the poet's funeral.


  • 1. Whitman records in his daybook for April 3 1890, that he "presented Dr Brinton with big book" (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). Whitman often referred to his Complete Poems and Prose, published in 1888, as the "big book." [back]
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