Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Mary Whitall Smith Costelloe, 26 June 1888

Date: June 26, 1888

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.01369

Contributors to digital file: Ryan Furlong, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock



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Camden New Jersey1
June 26 '88—US America

The doctor says I hold long substantially—wh' is the best I can send you this day—I have had a hard forenoon bad weakness &c.—but a little better & sitting up now —fearful hot weather here—best love & remembrance to you & father— I am a little apprehensive ab't him2


Walt Whitman


Correspondent:
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).

Notes:

1. This letter is addressed: Mrs: Mary Whitall Costelloe | 40 Grosvenor Road | the Embankment | London | England. It is postmarked: Camden | Jun 26 | 8 PM | 88; Philadelphia | Jun 26 | 11 PM | Paid. [back]

2. Mary's sister Alys Smith, en route to England, wrote to Whitman on June 20, 1888. Alys noted on the envelope: "Mr. Smith much better for the voyage." [back]


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