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Walt Whitman letter to Thomas Donaldson


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

American poet Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819, in West Hills, Long Island, New York, and died of illness on March 26, 1892, in Camden, New Jersey. Whitman is best known for his collection of poetry,

Leaves of Grass, which was first published in 1855. Whitman continued to revise and rework his Leaves of Grass for the remainder of his life, ultimately producing nine different editions, each featuring further revisions, new poems, and some deletions of earlier poems. In 1881 Whitman settled on the final arrangement of Leaves of Grass and subsequently made no further revisions to the core text. All new poems written after 1881 were added to Leaves of Grass as annexes to the 1881 edition; the final authorial edition of his poems, the so-called "death-bed" edition, appeared in 1892, shortly before his demise.

"Walt Whitman."Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. (accessed March 2011).

This collection consists of an 1889 holograph letter, with envelope, from Walt Whitman to Thomas Donaldson.

The letter, dated and postmarked June 9, 1889, concerns a check from British actor Henry Irving. Whitman asks to confirm whether the check is meant for himself, and makes note of his poor financial situation. The accompanying envelope is also inscribed in Whitman's hand.

Box V-1, F0277: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Source unknown.

Processed and encoded by Alexander Clark Johnston, March 2011. Further encoded by George Apodaca, September 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2011 March 11
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Autograph letter signed, Camden, New Jersey, to Thomas Donaldson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1889 June 9.
Box V-1 Folder F0277
Physical Description

1 p., with envelope.

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