Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Peter Doyle, 3 November [1874]

Date: November 3, 1874

Editorial notes: The annotations, "1875," and "1875," are in an unknown hand.

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.01670

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



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Camden,
Nov. 3.1

Dear boy,

I have rec'd your letter, & enclose the $10 for you. I am still the same—am all alone in the house to-day, as my brother has gone to New York & my sister has gone somewhere visiting to spend the day. How I wish you were here to-day


Walt.


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 letter cannot have been written in 1875, as the executors suggested: Louisa had a baby on November 4, 1875, and Whitman at that time was preparing to leave for Washington.  [back]


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