Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Alfred Pratt, 1 July 1869

Date: July 1, 1869

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01687

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), 2:82. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

Attorney General's Office,
July 1, 1869

Dear Alfred Pratt,1

I am still here in Washington, & work in the same office—My health is good, & there is nothing specially new or important with me since I wrote you last. I have received your letters. Dear boy, I would like to see you, that we might be together once more, even if but for a little while—I have thought I would try to journey out your way,2 for a few days—but it dont seem practicable just at present—

I hope you are well—you must write me a good long letter all about your affairs & yourself—all will be interesting—

I send you my love, & to your parents also3—Tell them I hope yet to meet them—Good bye, dear young man—I too have not forgotten those times when you lay sick in the hospital—& our love for each other—such things are not easily forgotten—Some day I will try to come out there, & we will see each other again.

Walt Whitman

I send you a newspaper with a piece in about me,4 that may interest you. I send it same mail with this.

Good bye, my loving boy5


1. All that is known about Alfred Pratt is contained in this letter and those of June 10, 1865, August 7, 1865, August 26, 1865, September 27, 1866, January 29, 1867, July 25, 1867, October 28, 1867, and January 20, 1870[back]

2. The Pratts lived in Williamson, New York. [back]

3. Whitman omitted mention of Alfred's wife, whom Alfred had married in 1868; Whitman referred to her in his January 20, 1870 letter to the Pratts. [back]

4. Probably the Washington Sunday Chronicle of May 9, 1869. [back]

5. At the bottom of the page, within a little square, is printed in pencil in another hand, "For | Mother." [back]


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