With as much eagerness and ‘hunger’ as Traubel exhibited when receiving letters and memorabilia from Whitman himself, I too am thrilled and delighted to acquire an original handwritten letter by Horace Traubel. The letter is a significant addition to my ever-growing collection of Whitman (and Traubel) “heap of nothings and somethings,” – the description Whitman himself used for his own collection of books, papers, letters and memorabilia.
Written 105 years ago, to the day, its recipient is unknown as it is addressed ‘Dear Friend’. As best as I can transcribe Traubel’s handwriting, the letter says:
The provenance of the letter is the estate of Gene DeGruson, a noted literary collector.
It’s also interesting to note that DeGruson also possessed a handwritten and signed manuscript of Whitman’s poem, Ah, not that Granite Dead and Cold, that was later published as Washington’s Monument that sold at auction for the staggering price of $57,750!
I can assure you, dear reader, I paid far less for the Traubel letter, but nonetheless, it’s a gem and I am very pleased to acquire it. With a hearty salute to Traubel, “I attach the letter here:”
Traubel, Horace. (1906). With Walt Whitman in Camden (March 28 – July 14, 1888). Boston: Small, Maynard & Company. pp. 3.