Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Peter Doyle, 19 July [1872]

Date: July 19, 1872

Editorial notes: The annotations, "1872," and "1872," 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.01738

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



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New York,
Friday afternoon—July 19.

Dear boy Pete,

I rec'd your letter yesterday—nothing very new with me—am better than I was when I wrote you before—shall return to Washington next week somewhere about the middle of the week.

Pete, you must try to keep good heart—Perhaps this will find you at work again—if not, you must keep up a cheerful heart, all the same—I have just been spending a couple of hours with Joaquin Miller—I like him real well1


Walt

$10 enclosed


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. See Whitman's letter to Charles W. Eldridge of July 19, 1872.  [back]


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