Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Respegius Edward Lindell to Walt Whitman, 4 July 1880

Date: July 4, 1880

Editorial note: The annotation, "from Ed: Lindell July 4 '80," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

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: Charles Sixsmith Collection at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Whitman Archive ID: man.00046

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Meyer, Eder Jaramillo, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Nicole Gray, and Stefan Schöberlein



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Camden
July 4th 1880

Friend Walt Whitman

The above date is not much account to you Canadians, though a whole heap to us.1 I hope you and doctor Buck2 will not have another fight of coarse you will want to celebrate the day we swore vengence against him and his ancesters, though I guess he has forgot it all now, anyhow give him my kind regards—the weather has been long warm about two weeks. You know that we had commenced a new depot when you left, well now it is beginning to [lume?] up one span of the 400 feet by 180—is about finished and looks huge, if you stay away all summer you wont know the place when you come back you will remember that we had a new Rail Road under way running to Atlantic City, it is finished and such crowds that went down yesterday you never saw before we never had such a rush on the Ferry before 4 men in the ticket office could not sell the tickets fast enough, it requires 3 collectors to take up the Ferry tickets with hard work that is Phila side you know. I saw [old?] Col Johnson3 and Doctor Ridge last night they were blowing for Gen Hancock Doctor Ridge says he has been to New York and that New York city will give Hancock one hundred thousand majority people think that he will go in with a [rush?]

I guess that you know Gen Hancock may be, though I suppose you don't vote for him I don't think (Garfield) is not strong. I hear them say that your friend J W Forney4 has come out for Hancock with the press I don't know—we have received several papers from you, one about your arival in London and a very good account of you us fellows your friends were pleased with it and also your letter about your wanderings that you gave the paper. The paper in our opinion is a good one well Edited rather more spicy than our Phil journals

The boys read your little postal cards with much pleasure, all being delighted to hear from you Hiskey5 is all the same, and Charley Walton6 and Bill Clark would send their love if they new I was writing, we wish you may have a pleasant time all through and not get sick like you did before I expect that Ontario is a good place in summer I wonder if it is not cold next winter there however you will be home before the winter comes I am going up to Col Johnsons tonight, Maggie goes to Delaware this week to spend some time

Resp yours
E Lindell


Notes:

1. Captain Respegius Edward Lindell worked for the Camden ferries (Specimen Days, ed. Floyd Stovall [New York: New York University Press, 1963], 183). He was also a viola player (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

2. Richard Maurice Bucke (1837–1902) was a Canadian physician and psychiatrist who grew close to Whitman after reading Leaves of Grass in 1867 (and later memorizing it) and meeting the poet in Camden a decade later. Even before meeting Whitman, Bucke claimed in 1872 that a reading of Leaves of Grass led him to experience "cosmic consciousness" and an overwhelming sense of epiphany. Bucke became the poet's first biographer with Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1883), and he later served as one of his medical advisors and literary executors. For more on the relationship of Bucke and Whitman, see Howard Nelson, "Bucke, Richard Maurice," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

3. Among early friends at Camden was John R. Johnston (1826–1895), "the jolliest man I ever met, an artist, a great talker," Whitman wrote in a November 9, 1873, letter to Peter Doyle. Johnston was a portrait and landscape painter who for years maintained a studio in Philadelphia and lived at 434 Penn Street in Camden. See The New-York Historical Society Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564–1860 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957). Whitman was fond of Johnston's children, Ida and Jack (John Jr.). [back]

4. John W. Forney (1817–1881) established the Philadelphia Press in 1857, the Washington Sunday Morning Chronicle in 1861, and the Daily Morning Chronicle in 1862. In 1878 he founded the Philadelphia Progress, a weekly magazine to which Whitman contributed; "The First Spring Day on Chestnut Street" appeared in the Progress on March 8, 1879 (Specimen Days, ed. Floyd Stovall [New York: New York University Press, 1963], 188–190). During the Washington years Whitman's self-puffs had frequently appeared in Forney's newspapers. Later in 1879 the publisher accompanied Whitman to Kansas (see the letter from Walt to Louisa Whitman of September 12–13, 1879). [back]

5. Tilghman Hiskey worked for the Camden ferries (Specimen Days, ed. Floyd Stovall [New York: New York University Press, 1963], 183). See the letters from Whitman to Hiskey of June 20 and July 27, 1880[back]

6. Captain Charles W. Walton was a member of the Fifty-first Regiment, New York State Volunteers. [back]


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