Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John M. Rogers to Walt Whitman, 25 April 1875

Date: April 25, 1875

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01872

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 M. Rogers New Britain Conn April 26. '75," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Eder Jaramillo, John Schwaninger, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Caterina Bernardini, Marie Ernster, Paige Wilkinson, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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New Britain
April 25 1875

Dear Father & Friend

Your letter came to hand the first of this week and I was glad to hear from you but very sorry to hear of your loss of health & bereavement1 this liaves me and family all well my little Boy2 is growing very fast and is getting as fat as he can be Worke is very dul here I have only about two days work in a week and the wages are small I do not everage two dollars a day when I work I am working on locks I do not like the place here and shall get away from here as soon as I can How Is work there I can work at most any thing that comes along I should like very much to see you and if every thing goes well I may come on to see you this summer I got a little behind through the winter and have not quite caught up yet I have got a little Buisness out side of my work which I do Evenings I am connected with Sovererns of Industry I Sell Butter & Sigars and that helps me a great deal so that I manadge to get along And I think by the first of June I shall be all square here We deal with a firm in Philadefia Clother Bennett & Co Tower Hall I think it is in Market St there is a Mr Walters3 with them and he is coming [on?] here soon to take Orders and Measament for the Soverns Do you remember meeting a yong Lady with me at the corner of Fulton and Court Sts once that is my wife she remembers you well so good by for this time I will try to write oftener in future we all send love

from your affecinat son &c
J. M. Rogers.

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. In January 1873, Whitman suffered a paralytic stroke while living in Washington, D.C. A few months later, his mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman (1795–1873) passed away. After his mother's death, Whitman moved to Camden, New Jersey, where he lived with his brother George Whitman and George's family at 431 Stevens Street. [back]

2. As yet we have no information about these people. [back]

3. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]


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