University of Delaware Library

Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892.

Walt Whitman letter to Thomas Donaldson

1889 June 9

Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 099, F277

Creator: Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892.

Title: Walt Whitman letter to Thomas Donaldson

Inclusive Dates: 1889 June 9

Extent: 2 items (1 p., with envelope.)

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

Language: Materials entirely in English.


MSS 099, F277, Walt Whitman letter to Thomas Donaldson, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

BOX V-1, F277: Shelved in SPEC MSS 099


Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL:


Source unknown.


Processed and encoded by Alexander Clark Johnston, March 2011.

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

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 Department, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

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).

Scope and Content Note

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.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892-- Correspondence.
Donaldson, Thomas, 1843-1898-- Correspondence.
Irving, Henry, Sir, 1838-1905.
Topical Terms
Poets, American--19th century.
American Poetry--19th century.
Form/Genre Terms
Letters (correspondence)

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of MSS 099 Miscellaneous Literary and Historical Manuscripts

MSS 099, F661 Walt Whitman photograph and note

MSS 099, F819 Horace Traubel collection of Walt Whitman papers

MSS 099, F892 Walt Whitman manuscript

Detailed Contents List

Autograph letter signed, Camden, New Jersey, to Thomas Donaldson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1889 June 9   [Box V-1 F277]

1 p., with envelope.