Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Peter Doyle, 29 May [1874]

Date: May 29, 1874

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.01648

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, Eric Conrad, Alex Kinnaman, and Nicole Gray



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431 Stevens st.
Camden,
N. Jersey.
May 29.1

Much the same with me since you left. Had an easier day yesterday—but down again to-day.


W


Correspondent:
Peter Doyle (1843–1907) was one of Walt Whitman's closest comrades and lovers, and their friendship spanned nearly thirty years. The two met in 1865 when the twenty-one-year-old Doyle drove the forty-five-year-old Whitman by horsecar. Despite his status as a veteran of the Confederate Army, Doyle's uneducated, youthful nature appealed to Whitman. Although Whitman's stroke in 1873 and subsequent move from Washington to Camden limited the time the two could spend together, their relationship rekindled in the mid-1880s after Doyle moved to Philadelphia and visited nearby Camden frequently. After Whitman's death, Doyle permitted Richard Maurice Bucke to publish the letters Whitman had sent him. For more on Doyle and his relationship with Whitman, see Martin G. Murray, "Doyle, Peter."

Notes:

1. This postcard is addressed: Peter Doyle | M st. South. bet 4½ & 6th | Washington, D.C. It is postmarked: Camden | May | 29 | N.J. Doyle's visit to Whitman in May 1874 makes the date certain (see the letter from Whitman to Doyle of May 22). [back]


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