Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Ellen M. O'Connor to Walt Whitman, 20 November 1889

Date: November 20, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02983

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: Kirby Little, Ashlyn Stewart, Breanna Himschoot, and Stephanie Blalock



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1015 O St. N. W.
Nov. 20. 18891

I am at home, but not yet sleeping in the home, as the stove has to be repaired, & the men are slow. Hope you are all right!

With love—
Nelly O'Connor.


Correspondent:
Ellen M. "Nelly" O'Connor was the wife of William D. O'Connor (1832–1889), one of Whitman's staunchest defenders. Before marrying William, Ellen Tarr was active in the antislavery and women's rights movements as a contributor to the Liberator and to a women's rights newspaper Una. Whitman dined with the O'Connors frequently during his Washington years. Though Whitman and William O'Connor would temporarily break off their friendship in late 1872 over Reconstruction policies with regard to emancipated black citizens, Ellen would remain friendly with Whitman. The correspondence between Whitman and Ellen is almost as voluminous as the poet's correspondence with William. For more on Whitman's relationship with the O'Connors, see Dashae E. Lott, "O'Connor, William Douglas [1832–1889]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, ed. (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. The envelope for this letter bears the address: Walt Whitman | Camden, | New Jersey. It is postmarked: Washington D.C. | NOV 20 | 12:30 PM | 89; Camden, N.J. | NOV 21 | 6 AM | 1889 | Rec'd. [back]


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