Title: Anne Gilchrist to Walt Whitman, 29 January 1882
Date: January 29, 1882
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from The Letters of Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman, ed. Thomas B. Harned (New York: Doubleday, Page, & Company, 1918), 205–206. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.04061
Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Stefan Schöberlein, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Nicole Gray
12 Well Road
Jan 29, '82
My Dearest Friend:
Your letter to Herby was a real talk with you. I don't know why I punish myself by writing to you so seldom now, for indeed to be near you, even in that way would do me good—often & often do I wish we were back in America near you. As I write this I am sitting to Herby for my portrait again—he has never satisfied himself yet: but this one seems coming on nicely—and so is the Consuelo picture. Another one he has in his mind is to be called "The tea-party," and it is to be the old group round our table in Philadelphia—you & me and dear Bee & Giddy & himself. He thinks that what with memory & photograph & the studies he made when with you, he will be able to put you & my darling on the canvas.
Giddy's voice is developing into a really fine contralto & she has the work in her to become an artist, I think & will turn out one of the tortoises who outstrip the hares. Percy and Norah are spending the winter in London (at Kensington)—and we can get round by train in half an hour; so I often see them and the dear little man. Do you remember the Miss Chases—two pleasant maiden ladies who took tea with us once in Philadelphia & talked about Sojourner Truth? One of the sisters is in London this winter & has been several times to see us. The birds are beginning to sing very sweetly here—& our room is full of the perfume of spring flowers—indoor ones. Did dear Bee tell you, in the long letter she once wrote you, how much she loved the Swiss ladies with whom she made her home while in Berne? A more tender & beautiful love and sorrow than that with which they cherish the memory of her never grew in any heart. I think you will like to see some of their letters—please return them, for they are very precious to me (the little matters they thank me for are some of dear Bee's things which I sent them for tokens). Love to your sister & brother. How are Mr. Marvin & Mr. Burroughs? Best love from us all. Good-bye, dear Friend.