Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John Jarvey Brown to Walt Whitman, [1881–1891]

Date: [1881–1891]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01109

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: Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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Here is one soul, born in the year of meteors '59,1 who, most unutterably has, in these last 3½ years, received the shock of thy influence.

Welcome to Britain!—especially to North Britain!—most especially to the foreground of my own certain centre of identity: we will cross orbits.2

Unmistakably yours,
J.J. Brown.

160 Cathcart Rd; Glasgow,
Walt Whitman.
United States. America

—The Great Camerado is here! The Lover True for whom we pine, He is here!!3

J.J. Brown.

J.J. Brown.

John Jarvey Brown (b. 1859) was a chemist and druggist in Glasgow. According to the 1881 Scotland Census, Brown lived at 160 Cathcart Road; by the 1891 Census, he had moved to 285 Main Street in the parish of Barony. This letter likely dates to the 1880s.


1. Brown is referencing Whitman's poem "Year of Meteors. (1859–60.)"[back]

2. Brown writes this letter at the top of pages he seems to have taken from a printed book or journal that he likely intends as enclosures for Whitman. The letter appears at the top of part of an essay entitled "Existence." A poem titled "Things" is also enclosed. Brown writes his name at the bottom of each printed page and may be the author of these works. [back]

3. Brown is quoting from section 45 of Whitman's "Song of Myself"[back]


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