Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 30 April 1867

Date: April 30, 1867

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00648

Source: The Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:327. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

Attorney General's Office,
April 30, 1867

Dearest mother,

I received your letter—also one from Jeffy. I wrote to Jeffy yesterday—I suppose it is for the best that he should go to St. Louis 1 —as it seems to be a great position—I was much pleased to hear that it was Mr. Kirkwood 2 who was the designing Engineer—& also that Davis 3 is to go to St. Louis on the works—

Well, mother, about domestic matters—I hardly know what to say at present—Jeff did not say in his letter what was proposed, or how he & Mat thought of doing—I can tell better after I hear—But, Mother, you must not worry about it—it will be arranged some way—

There is nothing new in my affairs—I have a little more work these days than usual, but get along first rate—am satisfied with the boarding-house as well as could be expected. Love to you & all, dear mother. I write this at my desk—spring is quite advanced here—it is a damp, misty, cloudy forenoon—but pleasant—I can send you whatever money you need, dear mother, any time—or can come on for a few days—try to take things coolly.



1. This offer was first described in Walt Whitman's April 23, 1867 letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman. [back]

2. James P. Kirkwood was a New York engineer; in his September 29, 1865 letter, Thomas Jefferson Whitman wrote to Walt Whitman that Kirkwood had gone to St. Louis to construct a water works. [back]

3. Joseph P. Davis, who accompanied Jeff to St. Louis after returning from Peru in 1865. [back]


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