Title: Walt Whitman to Mary Whitall Smith Costelloe, 1 June 1886
Date: June 1, 1886
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.
Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977).
Location: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.01350
Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray
328 Mickle Street
Camden New Jersey— U S America1
June 1 '86—
Best love & greeting to you, & to Mr C2—also to Dr Bucke3— Best love to your father, mother & Logan4 I to-day enter on my 68th year I have rec'd Dr's good letter, with your good note enclosed—Nothing new with me—I am ab't as usual—fine sun and air to-day no very warm weather here yet—Am sitting here by the open window—great bunches of roses, pinks & mignonette near me
Mary Whitall Smith Costelloe (1864–1945) was a political activist, art historian, and critic, whom Whitman once called his "staunchest living woman friend." A scholar of Italian Renaissance art and a daughter of Robert Pearsall Smith, she would in 1885 marry B. F. C. "Frank" Costelloe. She had been in contact with many of Whitman's English friends and would travel to Britain in 1885 to visit many of them, including Anne Gilchrist shortly before her death. For more, see Christina Davey, "Costelloe, Mary Whitall Smith (1864–1945)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).
1. This postal card is addressed: Mrs: Costelloe | 40 Grosvenor Road | Embankment Westminster | London S W | England. It is postmarked: CAMDEN | JUN | 1 | 4 30 PM | 1886 | N.J. [back]
2. Benjamin Francis Conn Costelloe (1854–1899), Mary's first husband, was an English barrister and Liberal Party politician. [back]
3. On May 13 Richard Maurice Bucke had written to Whitman enthusiastically about his visit with the Costelloes. [back]
4. Logan Pearsall Smith (1865–1946) was Mary's brother. For more information on Smith, see Christina Davey "Smith, Logan Pearsall (1865–1946)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]