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Walt Whitman to Percy Ives, 11 August 1885

Dear Percy1

You cannot understand how comforted I was & am to hear from you once more. I have been prostrated by the heat into even more than my usual disability, but trust I am getting around—Respects to your father—God bless you, dear boy—

Walt Whitman

Write whenever convenient—above address—I have a new poem in London Nineteenth Century for August—just out.2

Percy Ives, grandson of Elisa Leggett, was an aspiring artist who made several pencil sketches of Whitman on December 21, 1881. They resulted in the oil painting now in the Feinberg Collection (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). On August 11, 1885, Whitman wrote to Percy in answer to a letter now lost. See Charles E. Feinberg, "Percy Ives, Detroit and Walt Whitman," Detroit Historical Society Bulletin 16 (February 1960), 5–8.


  • 1. See the letter from Whitman to Lewis T. and Percy Ives of September 7, 1881. [back]
  • 2. "Fancies at Navesink" was rejected by Harper's Monthly when Whitman submitted it on May 11; see Henry M. Alden's letter of May 12. He sent it on May 23 to James Knowles, editor of The Nineteenth Century, where it appeared in August. Whitman was paid $145.20 (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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