Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John Baker to Walt Whitman, 4 August 1888

Date: August 4, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01092

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: Kirby Little, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

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Penfield Monroe Co NY
Aug 4th, 1888

Mr. W. Whitman
Dear Sir

I trust you will pardon me for intruding upon you—after you read my letter—I see by the papers you like myself have the horrible misfortune of a [stroke?] of Paralysis.

I see you are improving. I am oh so very glad—but not so with me—on the contrary I am gradually growing worse—my case is called progressive Bulbar paralysis—is mine anything like yours.

I have been to New York to see Dr. E. C. Seguine,1 but found he was in Europe.

I was first attacked in my right [eye?] last Oct. it passed off and in April it again showed itself in the [eye?] side of my face roof of my mouth tongue & throat—I can only swallow liquid food. my speech is badly affected–and I am growing very weak;

If your case is like mine—and you can tell me where you received the most good I will be very greatefull to you

hoping you may eventually recover your health

I Remain yours in Sympathy
John Baker

Penfield Monroe Co N.Y.

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


1. Edward Constant Seguin (1843–1898) was a French-born and widely known New York neurologist, one of the first American professors of neurology and a founding member of the American Neurological Association. See Christopher G. Goetz and Charles H. Harter, "Treating Melancholia at Home: Theoretical Wisdom and Grim Reality in the Career of E. C. Seguin," Neurology 80 (April 30, 2013), 1710–1714. [back]


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