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John and Margaret Stillwell to Walt Whitman, 20 October 1863

Mr. Whitman kind frind

i improve the present time to write a few lines to you to thank you for the kindness you have shown towards our afflicted son1 i feel that we cant thank you half enuf for the interest you have Manifested toward him our Dear boy but you have out heart felt thanks for what you have Done for him and us as parents to James and we humble hope the lord will reward you for it and May you in the hour of need find the Same frind you have been to James and i have no Doubt but what you will. our blessed Saviour Says whosoever shall give a cup of cold water to any one Shall not lose his reward therefore i know the lord will reward you for all the kindness you have Showed our Son and to others i Dare Say for those that are kind to one is kind to More and while you are sympathiseing with the afflicted and try to Do little offices of kindness for them May your own Soul be watered from on high for i know when we Do any acts of kindness to others it brings peace and happiness in our own breast for god blesses us in the Deed May god bless you Dear Sir for what you have Done and Still Doing for us for if you Do it for James you Do it for us and i hope god will bless you in your basket and in your Store in your Soul and in your body wich i trust is his and now Dear Sir i would still ask you to watch over our Dear Son be a father and a Mother to him to Comfort him as far as you can Encourage him tell him not to borrow trouble but to hope for the best if his leg only Does well we are in hopes that with help he can soon come home i have written Several time if he wanted me to Send him Some things to let Me know and i would Send Some thing that he would relish for i know well person can eat Most any food while those that aint well require Something better we Dont know what the Doctor would allow him to eat and if we sent him things that he could eat we Dont know wether he would get it or not that is the reason we aint Sent nothing to him but if he is likely to Stay any time or wont be able to come home soon as we would wish we would like to know how Does he like the new Doctor i hope he will Doctor those that come under his care as those that Must give account and now Dear friend again i would ask you to see to him all you can and you hear things that would interest him and help to pass away the time O if i had wings like noah Dove how soon would i fly and Sit Down by his Side but you must be mother to him yours respectfully


  • 1. John and Margaret Stilwell were the parents of James, John, and Julia Stilwell. [back]
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