Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Fred B. Vaughan to Walt Whitman, 2 May 1862

Date: May 2, 1862

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00589

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 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, Elizabeth Lorang, Eric Conrad, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Kathryn Kruger, Nick Krauter, and Stephanie Blalock

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I am to be married tomorrow, Saturday at 3 o'cl at 213 W. 43rd St.—near 8th Ave.

I shall have no show! I have invited no company.—

I want you to be there.—

Do not fail please, as I am very anxious you should come.1

Truly yours,

New York
May 2/62

Fred Vaughan was a young Irish stage driver with whom Whitman had an intense relationship during the late 1850's. For discussion of Vaughan's relationship with Whitman, see Jonathan Ned Katz, Love Stories: Sex between Men before Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 123–132; Charley Shively, Calamus Lovers: Walt Whitman's Working-Class Camerados (San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1987), 36–50; Ed Folsom and Kenneth M. Price, Re-Scripting Walt Whitman: An Introduction to His Life and Work, "Chapter 4: Intimate Script and the New American Bible: "Calamus" and the Making of the 1860 Leaves of Grass."


1. If Whitman attended Vaughan's wedding, there is no description of the occasion in any of the poet's surviving records. Vaughan's later letters do not mention the ceremony. [back]


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