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Walt Whitman to Webster Elmes, 14 August [1873]

Mr. Elmes,1 Dear Sir,

I respectfully ask to substitute the services of the bearer Walter Godey, in the office, for the present, instead of my own—having made an arrangement with him to that effect, if permitted by you. He writes a good hand, and I think would soon get broke in, and prove efficient. I would ask you to put him at my desk and give him a trial—on some letters first, before giving him the books—(or any other work or arrangement thought best.)

I have had a tedious time but I seem to be now decidedly though slowly recovering and hope to be in Washington before long.2

Walt Whitman


  • 1. Webster Elmes was the chief clerk in the Attorney General's office. [back]
  • 2. George H. Williams, the Attorney General, wrote on the verso of this letter: "If the pay of Mr Whitman goes on I see no objection to this personal arrangement if the bearer is a suitable person of which you must judge." [back]
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