Jun 02, 2022 - Sale 2607

Sale 2607 - Lot 185

Price Realized: $ 375
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 300 - $ 500
Whitman, Sarah Helen Power (1803-1878)
Three Autograph Letters Signed to Whitman from Gamaliel Lyman Dwight (1841-1875)

Each letter a single wove bifolium transcribed over four pages and dated 1 February 1862, 29 April 1862, and 28 August 1863; the first letter mentioning the Civil War and that Dwight is taking meals with a man who knew Poe, noting, "I intend to find out all that he knows about him and if I glean anything of interest will tell you"; the second written from Camp Winfield Scott outside of Yorktown, Virginia, where he is ten minutes' walk from the enemy camp, and stating in part, "I have taken laughing gas, alcohol, hash-heesh, and been frightened, but no excitement compares with artillery practice," and "A general with one arm just rode by. Very fine!"; the final letter, written from the Headquarters of the Artillery Brigade, 2nd Army Corps near Morrisville, VA, reports the execution of two deserters, and a turning of the tide, "What glorious news comes daily from Charleston! Next Chattanooga and Mobile, and Mr. Reb. must throw up the sponge. We're bound to hold the belt"; each about 9 x 7 unfolded. (3)

Whitman, not only a published poet in her own right, was also a friend of Margaret Fuller and part of the transcendentalist and spiritualist movement in New England. She had what can only be characterized as an intense relationship with Edgar Allan Poe which led to a near-marriage in 1849, the same year of his death. Whitman donated the letters she received from Poe, along with his dagguereotype portrait the biographer, John Henry Ingram. This material is currently held at the Alderman Library at UVA. Colonel Dwight shared Whtiman's interest in Poe, and the two maintained a close relationship.