Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Peter Doyle to Walt Whitman, 21 September 1868

Date: September 21, 1868

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00763

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. 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.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Jonathan Y. Cheng, Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Nicole Gray

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Sept 21

Dear Walt,

I was very happy when i received your letter of the 18, & glad to hear you arrived safe & doing so well

Since you went away i have had a very bad cold, & i was afraid it would bring on the chills so i got off to day to get myself all right. There was a very exciting game of Base Ball Played here to day, between the Nationals, & the Olympics, both of this city, i went out to see them & enjoyed it very much when the game ended the score stood Nationals 21, Olympics 15 old Base Ball Players say it was one of the best games they ever saw.

I also visited the Capitol this morning both Houses Adjourned without transacting any business until the of October but from what i can learn they will not meet then I took up the Star Paper this evening to send you some news but i find so many things i came to the conclusion to send you the Paper

John Surratt's trial commenced he to day but the counsel for the defense was not ready they then Postponed the trial until tomorrow.

I have been very busy this week with new conductors learning them them the art of Rail. Roading one of them in Particular his name is Jas Ingraham, he had an introduction to you he was connected with a Female seminary in Ohio but sickness & other reverses has brought him down a little in the world i lend him 15 dollars for to commence work with. Let me know if you have come across our Worthy President Mr. [Dimning?] in your travels as he went to New York last Saturday. The Black Crook runs here yet to very good Houses the Richings opera troupe Playes here next week but i see by the bills there is no new Pieces the same old Playes as last season.

nothing else here in way of Amusements. The Republicans are Preparing for a grand Mass Meeting here to morrow night to consist of Washington Georgetown & Alexandria it is supposed that Mr Colfax will address the meeting

In my other letter i wrote you that my mother was sick i am happy to state that she has got entirely well. i also sent you an extract from the Cronicle in the Star of the same date there is a small piece which i send this time

Henry Hunt sends his love & best regards & thinks it very kind of you to think of him so far away

Dave also sends his love & by the way i must not forget your California friend (i mean Coles driver & also the Californian on 7th street RR Hassett No 7 driver also sends his love

I would write more but i am afraid you tired of this already

no more at Present but


Peter Doyle (1843–1907) was one of Walt Whitman's closest comrades and lovers, and their friendship spanned nearly thirty years. The two met in 1865 when the twenty-one-year-old Doyle was a conductor in the horsecar where the forty-five-year-old Whitman was a passenger. Despite his status as a veteran of the Confederate Army, Doyle's uneducated, youthful nature appealed to Whitman. Although Whitman's stroke in 1873 and subsequent move from Washington to Camden limited the time the two could spend together, their relationship rekindled in the mid-1880s after Doyle moved to Philadelphia and visited nearby Camden frequently. After Whitman's death, Doyle permitted Richard Maurice Bucke to publish the letters Whitman had sent him. For more on Doyle and his relationship with Whitman, see Martin G. Murray, "Doyle, Peter," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


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