Title: Fred Vaughan to Walt Whitman, 17 May 1860
Date: May 17, 1860
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Calamus Lovers: Walt Whitman's Working-Class Camerados, ed. Charley Shively (San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1987), 47. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00572
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Heidi Bean, Kathryn Kruger, and Nick Krauter
What the devil is the matter? Nothing serious I1 hope.—It seems mighty queer that I cannot succeed in having one word from you.—I swear I would have thought you would be the last man in this world to neglect me.—But I am afraid.—
Lizzie is married!, Johnny is dead! Walt has forgotten.
Such is life, Yours,
1. Fred Vaughan was a young Irish stage driver with whom Whitman had an intense relationship during the late 1850's. For discussion of Vaughan's relationship with Whitman, see Jonathan Ned Katz, Love Stories: Sex between Men before Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 123–132; Charley Shively, Calamus Lovers: Walt Whitman's Working-Class Camerados (San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1987), 36–50; Ed Folsom and Kenneth M. Price, Re-Scripting Walt Whitman: An Introduction to His Life and Work, "Chapter 4: Intimate Script and the New American Bible: "Calamus" and the Making of the 1860 Leaves of Grass." [back]