Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John M. Rogers to Walt Whitman, 9 February 1871

Date: February 9, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01865

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 notes: The annotations, "Jack Rogers," and "Feb. 9.," are in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Charley Shively, Kathryn Kruger, Ashley Lawson, John Schwaninger, Caterina Bernardini, Amanda J. Axley, Cristin Noonan, Paige Wilkinson, and Stephanie Blalock

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Feb 9 1871

Dear Father if I may call you so

I am well and hearty as ever I received you kind and welcomb letter and was to hear that you are enjoying good health I wrote answer to you letter but it got mislaid and I did not mail it I was looking over some letters to day and I came acrost yours so I thought I would wright another we have had very cold weather here this Winter and there is a great deal of Ice in the river the Fulton Fery 1 Boats was over and hour going acrost this morning

I am not on the cars any more I had some word with one of the employees and as I was in the right rather than to have any trouble I told the Presedend I would leave as the weather was so cold and look for something else to do but I have found nothing as yet I would come to W if I thought I could get any thing to do so good by for the presant

I remain yours


Dear Father I should like to see you very much and if you see or hear of any one that wants to get a sober and steady young man you can wright for me and I will come out there with much love

I remain your Loveing Son
John M. Rogers

Direct to No. 3 Fulton St.

John (Jack) M. Rogers was a Brooklyn driver with whom Whitman had a loving relationship. Whitman first met him in Brooklyn on September 21, 1870. For more on Rogers and his relationship with the poet, see Charley Shively, ed., Calamus Lovers: Walt Whitman's Working-Class Camerados (San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1987), 122–135.


1. Before the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, the Fulton Ferry connected Fulton Streets in Manhattan and Brooklyn across the East River. The Fulton Ferry Company, founded by Robert Fulton (1765–1815) and William Bayard Cutting (1850–1912) obtained a lease on the route in 1814 and merged with the South Ferry Company in 1839 to form the New York and Brooklyn Union Ferry Company. [back]


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