Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: O. K. Sammis to Walt Whitman, 6 April 1860

Date: April 6, 1860

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00863

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: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Heidi Bean, and Nicole Gray

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April 6, 1860
Box [illegible] P.O.

Friend Walter—

I1 design [bearly?] to say How do you do, while you are in Boston, & to express my own pleasure at hearing that your "Leaves of Grass," in its next issue, is to [eminate?] from that City. It will hereafter be read in your day. Every N.E. yankee factory girl will read and re-read it from an unconquerable passion, for to every N.E. mind its unfathomable inspirations willst be "New every morning and fresh every evening." I know what is your mental fare in Boston from my own past personal experience and without wishing to intrude myself above my true level I could wish I were, at least, a stander-by.

How shall I rise to life (action), is, now, my all pressing & all urgent question. Let me have a line in regard to your experience in it, if convenient.

Accept my affectionate regards.
O. K. Sammis To Walt Whitman.


1. Dr. O. K. Sammis was a hydropathist who practiced medicine in Brooklyn and New York in the decades before the Civil War. See Harold Aspiz, Walt Whitman and the Body Beautiful (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980), 44. Whitman refers to Dr. Sammis in an April 15, 1863, letter to his mother. See also Whitman's March 13, 1868, letter of response to Sammis, which suggests that the doctor had requested a recommendation to the U.S. Attorney General's office (Edwin Haviland Miller, ed., The Correspondence [New York: New York University Press, 1961–77], 2:23). [back]


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