Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Peter Doyle, 12 August [1870]

Date: August 12, 1870

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01526

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:106. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

August 12.

Dear son,

Yours of yesterday 11th has just this minute come, & I wish to write a few lines so that you may get them before Sunday. I have not time to write much, as it is now about 5 p. m. Dear son, I hope you will not feel discouraged at the situation, even if it comes to the worst. It is now thought that business generally throughout the country is ready to revive as soon as the hot season is done, & that every thing will be brisker this fall than any time since the war. Dear Pete, whatever happens, in such ups & downs, you must try to meet it with a stout heart. As long as the Almighty vouchsafes you health, strength, & a clear conscience, let other things do their worst—& let Riker1 go to hell. You are better off to-day to be what you are, than to be him, with his $10,000 a year—poor thin-livered cuss that he is—

My darling son, I will send you $5 every Saturday, should you be idle—as I can easily spare that, & you can depend upon it—it wont go far, but it may take the edge off.

Many, many loving kisses to you, dear son—for I must close, or I shall lose to-night's mail.



1. Silvanus S. Riker, president of the Washington & Georgetown Railroad, for which Doyle worked. [back]


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