Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John Burroughs to Walt Whitman, 16 June 1882

Date: June 16, 1882

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01141

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.

Editorial note: The annotation, "see notes Aug 20 1888," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schoeberlein, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Eder Jaramillo, and Nicole Gray

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June 16, 1882

Dear Walt:

I have delayed writing to you longer than I intended to. We had a pleasant passage over, & have been as happy as sight seers can expect to be. We keep pretty well & take things easy. My first taste of the country was at Alloway, Burns' birth place. We spent a week here in a cozy little inn on the banks of the Doon, surrounded by one of the sweetest & finest farming countries I ever beheld. From there we went up into the Highlands, where I did some mountain climbing: thence around to Edinburgh. From there we went down to Carlyle's country & spent a week at Ecclefechan, arriving there the 1st day of June just as the first red clover was beginning to bloom. I walked a good deal about Ecclefechan & shall write something about it & weave in certain things I want to say of Carlyle. I enclose a daisy & a spray of speedwell that I gathered from Carlyles grave. There is no stone yet marking his grave. I saw the graves of 8 "Thomas Carlyles." The "Carlyls" as the Scotch call them were a numerous race in this section. They were a stern savage set, not to be trifled with. One old Scotchman said they were "bullies." Then we went down into the Lake region for a few days; & thence to London. Mr. Carpenter has been up & spent a day & a night with me. He has recently lost his father. He is well. We have been out to Mrs. Gilchrist's twice to tea She & Grace are alone, Herbert being off in Wales, painting. They chided me for not bringing you, & entertain hopes of seeing you yet. They are well & have a pleasant cheery house. You would have a good time if you were to come. I have seen no one else in London & do not expect to. Rossetti I hear is not well. We shall leave here to-morrow, or I shall, for Haslemere & thence through some of the Southern Countries for a week; wife & Julian will stay with an old acquaintance of ours at Brentford, near London. I presume we shall be home in August. June has been cold & wet here: no heat, no warmth.

Conway has an article on Emerson in the June Fortnightly Review, but it is hasty & of not much account. I hope to hear yet that Osgood has not thrown up Leaves of Grass. I expect a letter from O'Connor every day. Drop me a line care of Henderson Brothers, 51 Union Street, Glasgow Scotland.

Ever your friend,
John Burroughs.


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