Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 6, 1863: Thomas Jefferson Whitman to Walt Whitman


Poet Walt Whitman served as a volunteer nurse in Washington, D.C. while members of his family solicited funds for Whitman to use for the relief of wounded Union soldiers. On February 6, 1863, Whitman's brother Jeff wrote to him, forwarding another $11 in donations.
Brooklyn, N. Y. Feb. 6th 1863

Dear Brother Walt,

Mr Lane1 handed me the enclosed $11 to be sent to you for the soldiers

$10. Contributed by Hill & Newman
$1. " " Henry Carlow

Mr Lane thinks your last letter to me was a clincher. Newman, of the above firm was in the office and upon finding out what we were doing promised to give $10. Mr Lane, thinking perhaps that by sending the money immediately might save a life or at least help to do it, advanced the money and wished me to write you to-day.

Mother and Mat are getting along with their colds but Sis is not so well to day. She seems to have more colds and her head is almost stopped up.

Poor little toad I often wish that I could take it for her, however she gets along with it quite well and is not more cross than the law allows for a little one that has such a cold. If mother could be persuaded to let the scrubbing of the lower entry alone for a few days she would recover, but I believe that she is too much afraid of Mrs Brown, for this morning, and it was one of those cold rainy ones, she went to work and scrubbed as usual. I think they all have had the worst colds that I know of. How do you get along about your appointment, does it come and will it. Do you hear from George. What do you think about Han?, the lot, and matters in general. I think Walt, that mother has showed her age more within the last three or four weeks than I ever knew her to before.

Everything is just the same with me. I am getting along quite well, and if Mr Lane holds his position I shall eventually be all right. I think I shall be able to carry through my little "real estate" scheme without much trouble, and I think it is a good one. at least I must try, for I am "in" and I suppose I shall not be a true Whitman if I dont get dis-heartened, however I do not feel at all so just now. On the "contrary quite the revarse" You must write oftener, home, particulay Mr Lane. He likes much to hear from you, every letter is productive of good, of course I mean those speaking of the manner of your visits to the Hospitals. Walt, you must be doing more real good than the whole sanitary Commission put to-gether  Mr Lane, in conversation with a gentleman in the office, said yesterday that we ought to raise money enough to keep a 100 Walt Whitmans, support them and pay them, (if they could be found.) and by that means take the rough edge off the War. Tis indeed true. I am thankfull that you are there. Somehow I feel that as if George, God bless him, was a little safer while you are so near him and while you are doing so much good. Oh how I wish that he could come home now, without running any more risk, and for myself, I think that he ought to. If they go to consolidating the regiments I sincerely hope that by some accident, he may be left out. I really feel worried on mothers account. I know that if anything should happen to him that she could not stand it. However I suppose we must get along the best we can.

With the exception of the colds, we are all in jolly good health Mother has taken breakfasts dinner and supper I guess, with Mat and I ever since you went away. We call her up in the morning and if it is very cold I go down and make her fire while she works and eats breakfast with us. Then Ed comes along just as I leave and Jess is generally getting up when I go home to dinner. so we live. all send love to you.

Affectionately your brother Jeff

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