Title: John Burroughs to Walt Whitman, 28 June 1864
Date: June 28, 1864
Source: Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00850
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, Luke Hollis, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Heidi Bean, and Nicole Gray
It was my purpose to write to you while home, but ill health prevented me from fulfilling half my plans. I1 am much better now but by no means well. The Comptroller has given me another week of grace in which time I hope to get well. I have just recd a letter from Benton saying I must come and see him and bring you with me.2 This is why I am writing. Can you not come. If you are in N.Y. surely you can. Benton would be delighted; so should I. I shall leave go to Benton next Saturday and stay till Wednesday. If you could not come till Monday or Tuesday even, do so. From N.Y. you will take the Harlem R.R. to Amenia, Dutches Co. Benton lives about a mile from there and keeps the Leedsville P.O. If you should write direct to Leedsville N.Y. With much love
I am yours truly
1. John Burroughs (1837-1921) first met Whitman on the streets of Washington, D.C., in 1864, even though Burroughs had frequented Pfaff's beer cellar, where he consistently defended Whitman's poetry, in 1862. After returning to Brooklyn in 1864, Whitman commenced what was to become a lifelong correspondence with Burroughs. Burroughs was magnetically drawn to Whitman. However, the correspondence between the two men is, as Burroughs acknowledged, curiously "matter-of-fact." Burroughs would write several books involving or devoted to Whitman's work: Birds and Poets, (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1877), Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person (New York: American News Company, 1867), Whitman, A Study (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and company, 1896), and Accepting the Universe (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1920). For more information on John Burroughs see Burroughs, John [1837-1921] and Ursula [1836-1917]. [back]
2. Joel Benton, one of Burrough's friends, was a poet and a reviewer. [back]