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Walt Whitman to Thomas Jefferson Whitman, 15 September [1886]

Lou got home last night all safe2—She & George came here ab't​ 10 last night—She told me many little particulars I was glad to hear, though all is so sad—Nothing special in my affairs—I am writing some—have just sent off a piece to Harpers3—(they may take it, & may not)—I have written a piece ab't​ "War Hospitals" for the Century—which they have taken & paid me for—(Both mag's pay handsomely)—I send you & Jess a letter just rec'd​ from Hannah—We have had several inquiries here about dear Hattie's death—two ladies call'd​ yesterday who had seen Hattie here at Lou's. Love to you, dear brother—Love to you, Jessie dear—

Walt Whitman

Thomas Jefferson Whitman (1833–1890), known as "Jeff," was Walt Whitman's favorite brother. As a civil engineer, Jeff eventually became Superintendent of Water Works in St. Louis and a nationally recognized figure. For more on Jeff, see Randall Waldron, "Whitman, Thomas Jefferson (1833–1890)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Thos: J Whitman | 2437 2d Carondelet | Avenue | St Louis | Missouri. It is postmarked: Camden | Sep | 15 | 5 30 PM | N.J. [back]
  • 2. Louisa ("Lou") Whitman (Whitman's brother George's wife) had traveled to St. Louis to help Whitman's brother Jeff and his daughter Jessie after the death of Jeff's other daughter Mannahatta ("Hattie"). [back]
  • 3. See the footnote to Whitman's letter to Thomas Jefferson and Jessie Louisa Whitman, September 11, 1886. [back]
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