Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to John H. Johnston, 29 December 1883

Date: December 29, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02561

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.

Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented, updated, or created by Whitman Archive staff as appropriate.

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Meyer, Stefan Schöberlein, Kirsten Clawson, and Nicole Gray

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Dec 29 '83

Dear friend

Yours rec'd—The little poem you speak of was sent to Harpers, accepted at once & paid for1—when it will appear I know not—

—I am well as usual. Don't know why I have not come on to N Y to visit you—but I think of you all—you Alma & Ally2—with the same old love, & shall be with you again before long. John, I am not favorable to the select extracts plan you mentioned four or five weeks ago—Get the next Baldwin's Monthly—it has a little reminiscence of mine in it3

I go out to Germantown quite frequently—have some very good Quaker friends there—long rides every afternoon4—A spell of real winter here, cold, snow, fog, &c—but bright & sunny to-day as I write.

Happy New Years to all
Walt Whitman


1. "With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea" (see the letter from Whitman to William D. O'Connor of December 3, 1883). [back]

2. Johnston's son, Albert. [back]

3. "An Indian Bureau Reminiscence" (see the letter from Whitman to O. S. Baldwin of December 15, 1883). Whitman published "Some Diary Notes at Random" in Baldwin's Monthly in December, 1885, for which he received $10 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

4. Whitman was with the Smiths from December 15 to 17. He stayed with Francis H. Williams (1844–1922), a poet and dramatist, from December 22 to 26 (see Whitman's Commonplace Book and his letter to Harry Stafford of January 2, 1884). Note also Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1915], 2:341, and Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, 73 [1955], 298–299. [back]


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