Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 9 December 1888

Date: December 9, 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), 4:246. 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.00721

Contributors to digital file: Braden Krien, Ryan Furlong, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock




Camden
PM Dec: 9 '881

Have had a bad week, but am now much better—over it for this time, indeed—'Twas added to other things (as I believe I told you) a bladder &c. trouble—& giving for a while more annoyance & pain than any thing—The two doctors have just been. Love to you and Nelly2—write, one of you, very soon—The Sunday Tribune, (N Y. to-day) has a short notice3


Walt Whitman

am now sitting alone in my big chair by the oak wood fire—comfortable—


Correspondent:
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)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. This letter is endorsed: "Answ'd Dec. 10/88." It is addressed: Wm D O'Connor | 1015 O Street | Washington D.C. It is postmarked: Camden, N.J. | Dec 9 | 5 PM | (?). [back]

2. Ellen M. "Nelly" O'Connor was the wife of William D. O'Connor (1832–1889), one of Whitman's staunchest defenders. Whitman dined with the O'Connors frequently during his Washington years. Though Whitman and William O'Connor would break in late 1872 over Reconstruction policies with regard to emancipated black citizens, Ellen would remain friendly with Whitman. The correspondence between Whitman and Ellen is almost as voluminous as the poet's correspondence with William. For more on Whitman's relationship with the O'Connors, see Dashae E. Lott, "William Douglas O'Connor," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, ed., (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

3. A review of November Boughs(1888) appeared in the Tribune on December 9, 1888. [back]


Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.