Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to John H. Johnston, 21 July 1885

Date: July 21, 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.04932

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Nicole Gray, and Kyle Barton



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328 Mickle street
Camden New Jersey
July 21 '85 Evn'g1

Dear friend

The watch (a beauty)—the knives & forks & the china ware all reach'd me safely this afternoon2—thanks, thanks & best love—Of your letter every point & behest shall be obeyed—Fearfully hot day again—but I am standing it so far—am just going out for my evening sail on the Delaware. God bless you & yours.


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 | Cor: Broome | New York City. It is postmarked: PHILADELPHIA | PA | JUL 21 85 | 8 30 PM. [back]

2. Whitman noted receipt of these articles in his Commonplace Book on July 19. [back]


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