Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 10 January [1867?]

Date: January 10, 1867

Whitman Archive ID: har.00057

Source: Manuscripts Department, Houghton Library, Harvard University. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Ted Genoways (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2004), 7:27. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

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

January 101

3 o'clock p. m.

Dear William,

Mr. Trowbridge2 is going to start for Boston to-night in 7 o'clock train—should you wish to send any word, (or any thing else) to Nelly personally, he will deliver it. I suppose you can find him at Mr. Newton's3 at the barracks cor 17th & I till about 6 p. m.


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).


1. The year of this letter is uncertain but seems to follow an 1867[?] letter from Whitman to O'Connor, where Whitman writes about Nelly O'Connor's "getting off" on a trip. [back]

2. John Townsend Trowbridge visited Whitman in Washington a number of times, beginning in 1863. [back]

3. Alonzo Newton was a close family friend of Trowbridge, and the "Mr. Newton" here may be Alonzo or another member of the Newton family. See John Townsend Trowbridge, My Own Story (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1903), 265–67. [back]


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