Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 7 May 1888
Date: May 7, 1888
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:169. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, New York Public Library
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00606
Contributors to digital file: Ryan Furlong, Stefan Schöberlein, and Stephanie Blalock
May 7 '88
I send you some papers to while away the time—Was out yesterday driving in the country—never did the spring impress me more—it was just the right temperature—the very sun & wind and grass with sort o' human relations—(what a beautiful object is a young wheat field! what color!)—Had a good supper, oysters & champagne, at my friends the Harneds2 in the evn'g—I only eat two meals a day—
William Douglas O'Connor (1832–1889) was the author of the grand and grandiloquent Whitman pamphlet "The Good Gray Poet," published in 1866 (a digital version of the pamphlet is available at "The Good Gray Poet: A Vindication"). For more on Whitman's relationship with O'Connor, see Deshae E. Lott, O'Connor, William Douglas [1832–1889].
1. This letter is endorsed: "Answ'd May 16/88." It is addressed: Wm D O'Connor | 1015 O Street | Washington | D C. It is postmarked: Camden, N.J. | May 7 | 4 30 PM | 88. [back]
2. Thomas Biggs Harned (1851–1921) was one of Whitman's literary executors. Harned was a lawyer in Philadelphia and, having married Augusta Anna Traubel, was Horace Traubel's brother-in-law. For more on him, see Dena Mattausch, "Harned, Thomas Biggs (1851–1921)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]