Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John M. Rogers to Walt Whitman, 10 April 1871

Date: April 10, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01868

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 note: The annotation, "John Rogers: April 10 '71," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

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

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April 10/711

Dear Father

I receive your kind and affecinate letter2 on Saturday and was glad to hear from you and that you are well and hearty I am gaing very fast I feel beter now than I have in some time It is very warm here to day the German People are agoing to have a great time here to day other wise things is about the same things is very quite here in the City I should like very much [illegible] to washington but I can not afford it at presant it cost me a great deal when I was sick but every thing is paid and I have a little left so I shall have to get someing to do very quick or I shall be bankrupt with out any money I have not found any thing yet I started out this morning to look for work I do wish I could find something there to do so we could be togather that would be so nice I know I should like it You say your are very busy now I supose this is a busy time of the year with you is it not yesteryday was a nice day I went to church & S School so as I do not think of any thing more I will close. so good by for this time

I remain your affecinate Son
John M Rogers

P S write Soon with love I am yours


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. This letter is addressed in Whitman's hand as follows: Walt Whitman | Attorney Generals' Office. | Washington | D.C. It is postmarked: NEW YORK | APR 11 | 1.30 P.M.; CARRIER | APR | 1 [illegible] | [illegible] AM. [back]

2. This letter has not been located. [back]

3. In his letter to Whitman of April 6, 1871, Rogers explained that he was as "well now as can be expected after geting off of a sick bed of four weeks with a fever" and that he had "lost a great deal of fleash" during his illness. [back]

4. Whitman often enclosed a self-addressed envelope in his outgoing letters to friends. The envelope in which Rogers mailed this letter appears to be one such envelope pre-addressed by Whitman. [back]


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