Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Thomas Nicholson, 5 September 1883

Date: September 5, 1883

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:349–350. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: The Trent Collection of Walt Whitman Manuscripts, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00777

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schoeberlein, Kirsten Clawson, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Nicole Gray, and Elizabeth Lorang




Camden New Jersey U S A
Evn'g Sept: 5 '83

Tommy,1 your letter come to hand this evening, & I will just scratch off a few lines to answer at once—for I am ever so glad to know you have not forgot me, as I have not you, Tommy boy. I heard by some London boy I met quite a while ago that you was married & I supposed since you had your hands full of business, new associations &c.

Tom, I will just tell you about things—I still live in the same quarters in Camden, but shall soon break up permanently from here. I keep pretty well—feel as well as when I last saw you, & I suppose look ab't the same—(perhaps grayer & redder)—though young enough in spirit & now in my 65th year, I could easily pass for 75 or so—Ups and downs of course, but I thank God I have had two pretty good years—& especially this past summer (which has been a remarkably fine one here.) My two books bring me in a moderate income2—I am satisfied with very plain living—& bless the Lord I am likely to have enough for that as long as I need—

Tom, give my best regards to your wife, for all I have no acquaintance with her yet—I wish to be remembered to any of the Asylum boys I knew there who yet remain—I remember well the kindness of them all, & the gay old rides around—Tom, do you recollect that Sunday evening you drove the women in town to church, & we had a sociable drive all around?—that was the time we first got acquainted—I have been thinking a good while of coming on to visit Dr Bucke again, & then I will come & see you3—God bless you, Tommy boy—

Your old friend,
Walt Whitman


Notes:

1. One of the young men whom Whitman met at Bucke's asylum (see the letter from Whitman to Nicholson of October 14, 1880). [back]

2. On June 1 Whitman received from McKay $227.15 in royalties (University of Pennsylvania) and on December 5 $102.51 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). The sale of books was: 867 copies of Leaves of Grass and 558 copies of Specimen Days[back]

3. Though Whitman spoke frequently of visiting Richard Maurice Bucke, he did not go to Canada after his journey in 1880. [back]


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