Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: James M. Scovel to Walt Whitman, [June 1885–March 1892]

Date: [June 1885–March 1892]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03761

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, Paige Wilkinson, and Stephanie Blalock

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Monday 9 AM

My Dear Walt

As I feared the "Repub" is not bursting with Liberality—as you see by the little ["ence"?] Bowles1 $8—does not seem to me capable of division but I am ready to do whatever you say, in the [Beaises?]. I send you a bottle of the best "Gibson", this City affords. Mrs Scovel2 bids me say she is reading the the Gilchrist article3 but will return it Tuesday.

Thine Cordially
James Matlack Scovel

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. Samuel Bowles (1826–1878), the editor of the Springfield Republican[back]

2. Mary Mulford Scovel (1831–1893) of Camden, New Jersey, was the daughter of Dr. Isaac Skillman Mulford and his wife Rachel Mickle Mulford. Mary was a member of the Society of Friends, and she married James Matlock Scovel in 1856. [back]

3. Anne Gilchrist's "A Confession of Faith" appeared in To-Day in June 1885, 269-284. [back]


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