Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 27 August [1872]

Date: August 27, 1872

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00660

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), 2:183–184. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

Tuesday afternoon
Aug. 27.

Dearest mother,

There is nothing particular for me to write about. I am well as usual, and getting along all right, except the hot weather. That continues here without much let up—Mother, I hope the things have arrived by this time, & that you have got your bed fixed. I have had a visitor to–day & yesterday, a young Hungarian gentleman, quite agreeable, talks English well, quite a traveler—went over to the White House with him yesterday, & went all through—the President & family are away, but Gen. Dent1 conducted us through, & was very polite. Mrs. O'Connor2 made me a call Saturday, & John Burroughs to–day—

Mother dear, as soon as I hear from you, I will write more particular about my coming to Camden for a day or two.3 Mother, I shall probably send the order in my next.



1. General Frederick T. Dent (1821–1891) was Grant's aide-de-camp during the Civil War and his military secretary during his administration. [back]

2. It is a reasonable conjecture that the fracas between Walt Whitman and O'Connor occurred about this time; see Horace Traubel, ed., With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906–1996), 3:75–78, and Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1931), 96–99. [back]

3. Walt Whitman visited Camden early in September; he wrote of this visit in his September 15, 1872 letter to Rudolf Schmidt. [back]


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