Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Peter Doyle, 30 June [1871]

Date: June 30, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01599

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), 2:124–125. 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

June 30.12

Dear boy,

I rec'd your letter of Tuesday last, & was glad to hear every thing was going on all right. I am well, & still enjoying myself in a quiet way—I have been home every evening since I come—but out quite a good deal in the day—the weather is splendid here—plenty cool enough. This has got to be a great place for boating—All the rich men have their yachts, and most every young man belongs to a boat or yacht club—sometimes of a pleasant day, especially Sunday, you will see them out all over up & down the bay in swarms—the yachts look beautiful enough, with white sails & many with white hulls & their long pennants flying—it is a new thing to see them so plenty.

11 o'clock Friday forenoon.

Pete, I am sitting in my room home, finishing this—have just had a bath, & dressed myself to go over to New York, partly on business—shall go down & put this in the P. O. here—shall walk down as it is a very pleasant forenoon—

When you write tell me if you have read Charles Reade's novel of "Foul Play"3—if not, I have one here I will send you—

Dear son, I believe that is all this time—I send my love, dear son, & a good loving kiss—I think of you every day—Give my best regards to all enquiring friends, & inform them I expect to be back in about three weeks—

Good bye, my darling boy—from your comrade & father,


1. This letter cannot have been written in 1872 (the year assigned by the executors), for then Walt Whitman read a poem at Dartmouth College on June 26, 1872, and visited Hannah at Burlington, Vermont, on June 30, 1872; Whitman described the 1872 trip in his July 19, 1872 letter to Charles Eldridge. Note also the similar material in this and Whitman's June 29, 1871 letter to Ellen M. O'Connor. [back]

2. This piece of correspondence is addressed, "Peter Doyle, | Conductor, | Office Wash. & Georgetown | City RR. Co. | Washington, | D. C." It is postmarked: "New York | Jun | 30 | (?)." [back]

3. Foul Play, by Charles Reade and Dion Boucicault, was published in Boston in 1868. [back]


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