Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John Burroughs to Walt Whitman, 1 May 1882

Date: May 1, 1882

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01140

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: Stefan Schoeberlein, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Eder Jaramillo, and Nicole Gray

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West Park NY
May 1st 1882

Dear Walt:

With your letter came one from O'Connor bursting with wrath; I think I will enclose it to you. No doubt he will be a host there in W. & will reach that miserable Dist. Attny. yet. Tis a pity Osgood has not got some pluck & so make a fight. No doubt we could beat them to tatters, & make a big strike for the book Write & ask him if he will fight if he is well backed up. It is the last thing I ever dreamed of. If this is the wish of Boston then I pray for her purification by a fire ten times bigger than the fire of a few years ago.

I enclose my ck. for the amt. you ask for, $100.

What a blank there in New England! To me Emerson filled nearly the whole horizon in that direction. But I suppose it is better so, tho' the very sunlight seems darkened. I should have gone to his funeral had I not had so much to do before sailing for England. I wrote a page on him for the Critic, yesterday, tho' I may be too late.

If our passage was not paid to England, I should not go. I am ashamed to go off at such a time. I have had no heart for the trip from the first, & now the death of Emerson (how those few words penetrate me!) & your troubles, make me want to stay at home more than ever.

If you have Mrs Gilchrist's address send it me; also that of Mr. Carpenter.

I have written an essay on Carlyle which I think goes to the heart of him more than anything I have seen. I spoke to your North American Review man about it on Friday, but he did not bite; said it was not in his line, &c. I shall probably offer it in London.

If you do not hear from me again anything addressed to me care Henderson Brothers Glasgow, 49 & 51 Union Street will be forwarded to me. We land at Glasgow & shall stay there a few days.

Ever your friend
John Burroughs


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