Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: James M. Scovel to Walt Whitman, [1884–1892]

Date: [1884–1892]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03755

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, "Scovel," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, Paige Wilkinson, and Stephanie Blalock

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1030 am

Dear Walt

The boy forgot to tell you I am sick in bed with a very much swelli [illegible] throat & will not be able to get down today—Have sent for Doctor.1

—Please put Judge Wescotts2 name in the book—with your own. He said he w'd regard it as a great favor [illegible] [over?]


We had a Halcyon & [voceberun?] time. A trifle too Halcyon for me—

James Matlack Scovel (1833–1904) began to practice law in Camden in 1856. During the Civil War, he was in the New Jersey legislature and became a colonel in 1863. He campaigned actively for Horace Greeley in 1872, and was a special agent for the U.S. Treasury during Chester Arthur's administration. In the 1870s, Whitman frequently went to Scovel's home for Sunday breakfast (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). For a description of these breakfasts, see Walt Whitman's Diary in Canada, ed. William Sloane Kennedy (Boston: Small, Maynard, 1904), 59–60. For Scovel, see George R. Prowell's The History of Camden County, New Jersey (Philadelphia: L. J. Richards, 1886).


1. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]

2. John Wesley Wescott (1849–1927) practiced law in Camden County. In 1884, he was appointed Presiding Judge of the Common Pleas for the county. In 1914, he was appointed Attorney General of the State. [back]


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