Life & Letters


In this section, the Whitman Archive offers a growing amount of correspondence. We are gathering, transcribing, encoding, and annotating documents so as to compile the first complete record of Whitman's personal correspondence, both incoming and outgoing. With the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) we have made available Whitman's pre-Civil War, Civil War, Reconstruction, post-Reconstruction, and Late-Life correspondence. Users interested in viewing letters from specific eras of Whitman's life can use the links at the top of the search box to the left. We have also provided a list of all letters currently available for the period 1840–1892, so that users can proceed through the letters without regard to these imposed boundaries. By default, the letters are listed in chronological order. Users have the option to sort the letters by both sender and recipient, or to search the text and XML encoding of the documents to return relevant results. For more information on the transcription and encoding of these materials, please see our statement of editorial policy.

In addition to the annotations available for many of the letters, several introductions to correspondence of Whitman family members provide extensive context for reading the letters to and from Walt Whitman. These include:

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