Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Peter Doyle to Walt Whitman, [7] November [1875]

Date: November 7, 1875

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01881

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.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Janel Cayer, Ashley Lawson, Kevin McMullen, John Schwaninger, and Nicole Gray

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Baltimore and Potomac Rail Road Co.1
Washington Station,

[Dear?] Walt

Your Welcome Letter rec [illegible]. i have just come from Mr Nashs2 and had a good Square dinner Wish you was [illegible] to tell you to come on and they would do the best they could to make your visit pleasant. i will meet you at the Depot  the train gets to Wash 4:10 PM

i will Say no more until i see you

So Long

Peter Doyle (1843–1907) was one of Walt Whitman's closest comrades and lovers, and their friendship spanned nearly thirty years. The two met in 1865 when the twenty-one-year-old Doyle was a conductor in the horsecar where the forty-five-year-old Whitman was a passenger. Despite his status as a veteran of the Confederate Army, Doyle's uneducated, youthful nature appealed to Whitman. Although Whitman's stroke in 1873 and subsequent move from Washington to Camden limited the time the two could spend together, their relationship rekindled in the mid-1880s after Doyle moved to Philadelphia and visited nearby Camden frequently. After Whitman's death, Doyle permitted Richard Maurice Bucke to publish the letters Whitman had sent him. For more on Doyle and his relationship with Whitman, see Martin G. Murray, "Doyle, Peter," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. This letter was cut into pieces and pasted back together. On the back Whitman drafted a letter to Edwin Einstein dated November 26, 1875[back]

2. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Nash were Washington friends to whom Whitman referred frequently in his letters to Peter Doyle and with whom he often stayed when he visited Washington. Michael Nash was an old resident of the city; Whitman's December 5, 1873, letter to Doyle mentioned a speech Nash gave to the Oldest Inhabitants' Association. [back]


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