Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist, 27 February 1883

Date: February 27, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02154

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:328–329. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schoeberlein, Kirsten Clawson, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Nicole Gray

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Feb: 27 '83

Your good words (Jan 27–Feb 13) just rec'd. Of course does me good to hear from you—(that anecdote of Lady Dilke too pleased me)2

Every thing goes on pretty much the same with us here in Camden—my sister quite up to her standard of health—not plus, but not minus either—my brother a little on the plethoric, & a little more minus than is desirable, but goes forth as usual every day—is building a house for their own occupancy on the little farm at Burlington—

I go out quite a good deal as guest to a charming Quaker family, R Pearsall Smith & Mrs Smith at Germantown—a son & two fine daughters—dear friends all—have fine drives—the elder daughter, 20, is a great reader of L of G.3

My books doing—L. of G. sales have been good—Specimen Days not so good yet, but I am satisfied. (Wilson4 & McCormick, St. Vincent St. Glasgow, are publishing S D for the British market)—Dr Bucke's book is in the hands of the printers here (Phila) & is to be published by David McKay, 23 South 9th St. Phila. Will be out in three or four weeks. The Vols. of Carlyle's and Emerson's Letters are out here (Boston)—I have just glanced at them5—I suppose you recd "the Bible as Poetry" in the "Critic"—

I don't know where I shall flit to the coming summer—if I am well enough—Even as I write I receive a letter from John Burroughs, & will just enclose it—dont want it again—(not as promising as I could wish)—if you can lay hands on the last Century (March) read J. B's piece—I think very fine—best love to you—& to dear Herb, and dear Giddy—The Staffords are all well—I havn't been down there in some months, but am going.6



1. This letter is addressed: Mrs. Anne Gilchrist | Keats' Corner | 12 Well Road | Hampstead | London | England. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | Feb | 27 | 1883 | Pa.; London, N.W. | M E | Mr 9 | 83. [back]

2. In her letter of January 27, Anne Gilchrist related how Lady Dilke handled a betrayer of a maid (The Letters of Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman, ed. Thomas B. Harned [New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1918], 211–212). [back]

3. Mary Whitall Smith. [back]

4. Fred W. Wilson of this firm wrote to Whitman on February 27, 1884: "You may be pleased to know that your Leaves of Grass is going very well here. I have been a reader of your writings for the last ten years or so and have in my humble way done my best to spread a knowledge of your work. (Indeed I have evinced the sincerity of my belief in you by going farther in its expression than most people have thought prudent in me—viz: by becoming your publisher in this country. Not in the slightest degree do I regret taking this step for I look upon you as one of my teachers and as such owe you my debt of gratitude)" (The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.). [back]

5. See the letter from Whitman to William D. O'Connor of February 21, 1883[back]

6. Apparently Whitman did not visit the Staffords from November 27, 1882, to April 14, 1883. Harry Stafford called on the poet on March 5 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]


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