Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Marie Wallace to Walt Whitman, [1865–1885]

Date: [1865–1885]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01978

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, Jonathan Y. Cheng, Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Amanda J. Axley, Erel Michaelis, Paige Wilkinson, and Stephanie Blalock

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Dear Sir:

I met of late, by chance, with an extract from your writings,—with which as a whole I have to confess I am but little acquainted. This is the passage. "I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self-contained"—and so on, ending with—"Not one is respectable or industrious on the whole earth."1

That is all there was, and it is great! I love animals, and understand them well, feeling a [warmer?]kinship to them, as a rule, than to their human [brethren?] feeling too, I acknowledge, more keenly akin to their sufferings and ways, than to those of mankind, as being so much less desired. Then the cool assumption of immortality for creatures who have mainly proven false to the great trusts reposed in them, while these humbler ones, as the dog, and horse, faithful unto death, unselfish, and devoted must be cut short in a career honest and true, innocent, and uncomplaining.

But this little note was not intended to afflict you with a [illegible] discussion of the mighty matters of the Land which holds us all, big and little in its mighty leash, but to ask you, respected sir, to point me to the volume wherein I can find the above excerpt, and its context. "More" is what I desire and if you will kindly help me thereto, I shall remain as now

Yours gratefully
Marie Wallace

Gramercy Park House
New York

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


1. Wallace is quoting from Whitman's "Song of Myself." [back]


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