Title: Walt Whitman to Susan Stafford, 16 May 
Date: May 16, 1887
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.03930
Contributors to digital file: Alex Ashland, Stefan Schöberlein, Kevin McMullen, and Stephanie Blalock
Camden1 Monday Evn'g
—Nothing very new with me—I am not very well—but around as usual—go out driving a little most every day—Herbert2 will soon be here. In his last letter he said he sh'd start soon3—Have not seen Harry4 for over a week—Come up & see us.
Susan M. Stafford was the mother of Harry Stafford, who, in 1876, became a close friend of Whitman while working at the printing office of the Camden New Republic. Whitman regularly visited the Staffords at their family farm near Kirkwood, New Jersey. Whitman enjoyed the atmosphere and tranquility that the farm provided and would often stay for weeks at a time (see David G. Miller, "Stafford, George and Susan M.," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings [New York: Garland Publishing, 1998], 685).
1. This postal card is addressed: Mrs: Susan Stafford | Kirkwood | (Glendale) | New Jersey. It is postmarked: CAMDEN, N. J. | MAY 16 | 8 PM | 87. [back]
2. Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist (1857–1914), son of Alexander and Anne Gilchrist, was an English painter and editor of Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1887). For more information, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden (1857–1914)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]
3. Herbert Gilchrist informed Whitman of his arrival in New York in his letter of May 27, 1887. [back]
4. Harry Stafford was Susan's son and a close friend of Whitman's. [back]