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Walt Whitman to Charles W. Eldridge, 21 June 1887

Yours of 13th rec'd & welcomed. I have lately sent one copy L of G (completest ed'n) to Dr C[hanning]2 & will send another3—Very hot & oppressive here to-day & has been for a week—I am not well but keep up & around—I am being gifted by Boston friends with the means to get a shanty in the country or by the sea shore (& very welcome it is)—

Walt Whitman

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. This letter is addressed: Charles W Eldridge | p o box 1705 | Los Angeles | California. It is postmarked: Camden | Jun 2(?) | 12(?) M | 87; Philadelphia, Pa. | Jun | 21 | 1 PM | Transit. [back]
  • 2. William F. Channing (1820–1901), son of William Ellery Channing, and also Ellen O'Connor's brother-in-law, was by training a doctor, but devoted most of his life to scientific experiments. With Moses G. Farmer, he perfected the first fire-alarm system. He was the author of Notes on the Medical Applications of Electricity (Boston: Daniel Davis, Jr., and Joseph M. Wightman, 1849). Ellen O'Connor visited him frequently in Providence, Rhode Island, and Whitman stayed at his home in October, 1868. [back]
  • 3. According to his Commonplace Book, Whitman sent copies on June 21 and July 5 (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). See also see the letter from Whitman to Dr. William F. Channing, July 4, 1887. [back]
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