Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Edward P. Cattell to Walt Whitman, 21 October 1877

Date: October 21, 1877

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01253

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.

Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented, updated, or created by Whitman Archive staff as appropriate.

Contributors to digital file: Eder Jaramillo, Vince Moran, and Nicole Gray

page image
image 1
page image
image 2
page image
image 3
page image
image 4

Sunday 21th

old man i got your kind and welcom letter last week and was glad to hear from you my loving old friend1 i love to hear from you and to know that you ar well and i would Com up to see you But i cant get of a day now for we ar so Bisse now husking corn i went with some Boys up the Pond to day and i seen your old [Chir?] floting down the [stream?] Then went up to the house to gorge Stafford2 then seen herbert gillchrist3 and all of georges folks. i Would like to Com up to town i think of you old man think of the times down on the Crieek. i did want to Com up to Camden on Wensday to [G. B.?] But i Cant get of i hop next Summer we will Be togearter more then we was this

May this find you well as i am so good

dear walt i wont Com up to town next Sat day. or Sat day week and i would like to see you and have a talk i love you Walt and all ways will so may god Bless you

is my prayer from of your frend
Edward P Cattell

New Jersy


1. In May 1876, Whitman met Edward Cattell, a young farm hand and a friend of the Staffords. The poet took an interest in the Cattell family: "about 25 or 6—folks mother, father &c. live at Gloucester—his grand, or great grandfather, Jonas Cattell, a great runner, & Revolutionary soldier, spy." Whitman referred to Jonas in the Philadelphia Times on January 26, 1879. Whitman took special interest, however, in Edward, as charged entries from one of his diaries make clear: "the hour (night, June 19, '76, Ed & I.) at the front gate by the road." Two days later he noted "the swim of the boys, Ed. [Stafford?], Ed. C. & Harry" (Diary Notes in Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). In 1877 Whitman cited "Sept meetings Ed C by the pond at Kirkwood moonlight nights" (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.), and in Diary Notes on October 29, "Ed. Cattell with me." [back]

2. George Stafford (1827–1892) was the father of Harry Stafford, a young man whom Whitman befriended in 1876 in Camden. Harry's parents, George and Susan Stafford, were tenant farmers at White Horse Farm near Kirkwood, New Jersey, where Whitman visited them on several occasions. For more on Whitman and the Staffords, see David G. Miller, "Stafford, George and Susan M." Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, eds., (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), 685. [back]

3. Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist (1857–1914), son of Alexander and Anne Gilchrist, was an English painter and editor of Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1887). For more information, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden (1857–1914)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.