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: A Vindication, published in 1866. 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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