Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Herbert Gilchrist to Walt Whitman, 1 Dec 1888

Date: December 1, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02199

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, "H H Gilchrist," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Kirby Little, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

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1708 Chestnut Street
Phila. Pa. U.S.A.1
Saturday morning,
1st December 1888

My dear Walt,

I want to introduce to you my friend Edward Pease2 of London (or more properly Newcastle)—he will be able to tell you about your numerous friends in Newcastle & London.

When my dear mother3 was initiating "The Free Will Offering"4 in London Edward Pease was the first to render advice & practical assistance, all of wch he did in a very charming way. Our friend is of well known Quaker stocke.— He is going stay some little time in Philadelphia. I hope to come over & see you soon—

With all love—
Herbert Gilchrist

Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist (1857–1914), son of Alexander and Anne Gilchrist, was an English painter and editor of Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1887). For more information, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden (1857–1914)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. This letter is addressed: To Walt Whitman | 328 Mickle Street | Camden, New Jersey. Gilchrist has also written "Introducing Edward R. Pease of London" and "Herbert H. Gilchrist Dec 1st 1888" on the envelope. [back]

2. Edward Reynolds Pease (1857–1955) was an English writer and a founding member of the Fabian Society. [back]

3. Anne Burrows Gilchrist (1828–1885) was the author of one of the first significant pieces of criticism on Leaves of Grass, titled "A Woman's Estimate of Walt Whitman (From Late Letters by an English Lady to W. M. Rossetti)," The Radical 7 (May 1870), 345–59. Gilchrist's long correspondence with Whitman indicates that she had fallen in love with the poet after reading his work; when the pair met in 1876 when she moved to Philadelphia, Whitman never fully returned her affection, although their friendship deepened after that meeting. For more information on their relationship, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Anne Burrows (1828–1885)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

4. See Whitman's letter to Herbert Gilchrist from August 1, 1885, detailing the poet's attitude toward the "free will offering" of financial support from his admirers in Europe and the US. [back]


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