Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to John H. Johnston, 23 June 1885

Date: June 23, 1885

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.02564

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein and Kyle Barton



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328 Mickle street
Camden New Jersey1
June 23 '85

Dear friend

I have no idea of going abroad—couldn't do it anyhow—as I am very lame & find it difficult to get about here, even small distances—Otherwise I should have been on to see Alma2 and you—for my wishes have been with you both—My general health however is very fair. I am getting along here better than you think for—for very little suffices me—

As I write it is beautiful weather—temperature perfect—Love to Alma & all—


Walt Whitman


Correspondent:
John H. Johnston (1837–1919) was a New York jeweler and close friend of Whitman. Johnston was also a friend of Joaquin Miller (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1915], 2:139). Whitman visited the Johnstons for the first time early in 1877. In 1888 he observed to Horace Traubel: "I count [Johnston] as in our inner circle, among the chosen few" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Wednesday, October 3, 1888). See also Johnston's letter about Whitman, printed in Charles N. Elliot, Walt Whitman as Man, Poet and Friend (Boston: Richard G. Badger, 1915), 149–174. For more on Johnston, see Susan L. Roberson, "Johnston, John H. (1837–1919) and Alma Calder" Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. This letter is addressed: J H Johnston | Jeweler | 150 Bowery | New York City. It is postmarked: PHILADELPHIA | PA | JUN 23 85 | 2 30 PM. [back]

2. Alma Calder Johnston was an author and the second wife of John H. Johnston. For more on the Johnstons, see Susan L. Roberson, "Johnston, John H. (1837–1919) and Alma Calder" (Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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