Skip to main content

Charles W. Eldridge to Walt Whitman, 15 October 1873

 uva.00064.020.jpg Dear Walt:

Your letter came to hand yesterday with the key of the trunk enclosed. In accordance with your request I met Peter Doyle at Milburn's after office and we proceeded to your room and made up the package as you directed, and Peter took it to the Adams Express office.

The contents are, Gray suit, coat, vest & one pair of pants. Black overcoat. Black felt hat. Pair of Buckskin gloves.

You should receive them in good order to-day, as they were strongly enveloped & plainly directed.

Let me know if you get them all right. I return the key enclosed herewith. Let me know how you are as often as you can. You had but one pair of gray pants, at least that was all there was in that trunk.

Affectionately Yours, Charley1  uva.00064.019.jpg

Charles W. Eldridge (1837–1903) was one half of the Boston-based abolitionist publishing firm Thayer and Eldridge, who issued the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass. In December 1862, on his way to find his injured brother George in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Whitman stopped in Washington and encountered Eldridge, who had become a clerk in the office of the army paymaster, Major Lyman Hapgood. Eldridge helped Whitman gain employment in Hapgood's office. For more on Whitman's relationship with Thayer and Eldridge, see David Breckenridge Donlon, "Thayer, William Wilde (1829–1896) and Charles W. Eldridge (1837–1903)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. Whitman crossed this letter out and wrote several lines of poetry on the back. [back]
Back to top