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Hannah E. Stevenson to Walt Whitman, 6 October 1863

Mr Whitman, Sir,

I1 took from Dr Russell2 your letter to Mr Redpath,3 to stir some warm hearts to aid you in your blessed work among our sick & wounded boys. My sister, Mrs Charles P. Curtis, has already written you, her husband's tears and her own ones—your touching words, coined into gold, or greenbacks. I inclose you to-day $30, the result of an application to my friends, the Misses Wigglesworth.4

Respectfully, Hannah E. Stevenson 80 Temple St. Boston


  • 1. Hannah E. Stevenson was the sister of Margaret S. Curtis, wife of Boston counselor Charles Curtis. Both women sent sums of money to Whitman for his work in the army hospitals. [back]
  • 2. Dr. Le Baron Russell (1814–1819) was a Boston physician who was well acquainted with Ralph Waldo Emerson and James Redpath. Along with other philanthropically minded citizens, Russell sent Whitman money to be used in easing the suffering of the Civil War wounded languishing in the Washington, D.C., area. [back]
  • 3. James Redpath (1833–1891) was the author of The Public Life of Capt. John Brown (Boston: Thayer and Eldridge, 1860), a correspondent for the New York Tribune during the war, the originator of the "Lyceum" lectures, and editor of the North American Review in 1886. He met Whitman in Boston in 1860 (Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman, The Library of Congress, Notebook #90) and remained an enthusiastic admirer; see Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, ed. Sculley Bradley (New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1914), 3:459–461. He concluded his first letter to Whitman on June 25, 1860: "I love you, Walt! A conquering Brigade will ere long march to the music of your barbaric jawp." See also Charles F. Horner, The Life of James Redpath and the Development of the Modern Lyceum (New York: Barse & Hopkins, 1926). [back]
  • 4. Anne and Mary Wigglesworth were friends of Hannah Stevenson's and patrons of various benevolent organizations in Boston. Mary died in 1882 and Anne in 1891; see the Boston Evening Transcript, August 29, 1882, and January 6, 1891. [back]
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