Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Mrs. Kelley, [1885–1892]

Date: [1885–1892]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02597

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: Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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328 Mickle Street
Monday 2 PM1

I have just learned that a young man whom I sent to speak for me in my sympathy for you & deep sorrow for Mr Kelley's death, did not call early last evening—So I write this line—I am too feeble to get around much, but you can command any thing I, or Mrs: Davis,2 can do or furnish—

I had not much acquaintence with your husband—but enough to know that he had a beautiful soul—

Walt Whitman

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


1. The Kelleys might have been neighbors of Whitman in Camden. This letter was written during or after 1885, when Mary Davis became Whitman's housekeeper. The "young man" Whitman refers to may be Wililam H. Duckett, Edward Wilkins, or Warren Fritzinger. [back]

2. Mary Oakes Davis (1837 or 1838–1908) was Whitman's housekeeper. For more, see Carol J. Singley, "Davis, Mary Oakes (1837 or 1838–1908)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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