Title: James Scovel to Walt Whitman, 6 December 1880
Date: December 6, 1880
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.03720
Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Vince Moran, Anthony Dreesen, Nicole Gray, and Stefan Schöberlein
12th 6th 1880.
My Dear "Old Boy"
I was so full, Sunday, of the "ample ether, and the divine air" of your presence1—and the aurum potabile which always surrounds our symposiums that I forgot to say that I expended $9.50 in pursuit of the recalcitrant, pirate—Worthington,2 in New York City.
Please send me this amount by Bearer, & oblige Your Devoted but "impecunious" friend
J M Scovel
PS. If you want me further, you know how to "whistle" & "I will come to you my lad.
1. James Matlock Scovel began to practice law in Camden in 1856. During the Civil War he was in the New Jersey legislature, and became a colonel in 1863. He campaigned actively for Horace Greeley in 1872, and was a special agent for the U.S. Treasury during Chester Arthur's administration. In the 1870s Whitman frequently went to Scovel's home for Sunday breakfast, as he did on December 2 and 9, 1877 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). For a description of these breakfasts, see Walt Whitman's Diary in Canada, ed. William Sloane Kennedy (Boston: Small, Maynard, 1904), 59–60. For Scovel, see George R. Prowell's The History of Camden County, New Jersey (Philadelphia: L. J. Richards, 1886). [back]