Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist, 19 May [1878]

Date: May 19, 1878

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1964), 3:119. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York; The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Whitman Archive ID: hyb.00008

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Grace Thomas, Anthony Dreesen, Kevin McMullen, Kirsten Clawson, and Nicole Gray

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Sunday afternoon
May 19

My dear friend

I came up last night from a three days visit to White Horse2—went down thinking only to spend the day, but the spring beauty of the creek, skies, weather, trees, birds &c. fascinated me—

I am feeling excellent well to-day, for me—have been out to a gay breakfast party (lawyers & ladies & lots of talk, & champagne)3—& enjoyed it very well—but once of such a thing will last me a long while—got home about one o'clock, (it has now just struck four)—consequence of my gay breakfast is, I have not eat any dinner—but shall go to Col. Johnston's to supper4

Thanks to Herbert for his good letters of the 7th from Brooklyn—& the 16th from Northampton5—please give him the enclosed postal, I found at White Horse—May-be you will like to read Miss Hillard's letter—so I enclose it—The Staffords are mostly as usual—George S. not very well, but around at work—Debbie not married yet6

You must have fine surroundings indeed at Round Hill—As I close we have the prospect of a fine evening—A cannon has just boomed out on the river, probably an ocean-steam just come in, firing her signal gun—& I am just off to Col. J's, & to leave this at the P O—

Best love to all—
Walt Whitman


1. The envelope for this letter bears the address: Mrs Anne Gilchrist | Round Hill Hotel | Northampton | Mass:. It is postmarked: Camden | May | 19 | N.J. [back]

2. Whitman had been with the Staffords from May 16 to 18 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

3. He had breakfast at the home of James Matlack Scovel (Whitman's Commonplace Book) [back]

4. Whitman almost invariably went to Johnston's on Sunday evenings when he was in Camden. [back]

5. These letters are not known. [back]

6. Debbie was married on June 13, 1878 (Whitman's Commonplace Book). [back]


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