Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Susan Stafford to Walt Whitman, 24 July 1888

Date: July 24, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03860

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

Contributors to digital file: Jeannette Schollaert, Ian Faith, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

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July 24/88

My Dear Old Friend

I received your letter written the 21[st day after the?] one of yesterday am glad to know that you are improving a little. I do hope you will soon be well we do miss you so much your friendly visits Tuesdays did me so much good we do hope that you will soon be able to come again. I got Home safely met Ed1 at 1 O clock I got the money had no trouble at the Bank I will send you a chicken when Ed comes in to Camden which will be some time the later part of the week & will send Mrs Davis2 some apples if there is anything that we can do for you how gladly we would do it if there is will you let us know I received a letter from Ruth3 yesterday she spoke of you & sent her love to you.

hopeing that you will soon be able to be with us again I will say goodby Dear friend

S. Stafford

please write often

many thanks for sending me those letters how many good friend you have & how pretty they write I have often wished that I could express my self as nicely but I can't goodby

PS I have just recved a letter from Van4 he has gone to Nebraska has got a posetion there says he will write & tell me how he finds things when he gets settled

Susan M. Lamb Stafford (1833–1910) was the mother of Harry Stafford (1858–1918), who, in 1876, became a close friend of Whitman while working at the printing office of the Camden New Republic. Whitman regularly visited the Staffords at their family farm near Kirkwood, New Jersey. Whitman enjoyed the atmosphere and tranquility that the farm provided and would often stay for weeks at a time (see David G. Miller, "Stafford, George and Susan M.," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings [New York: Garland Publishing, 1998], 685).


1. Edwin Stafford (1856–1906) was one of Susan Stafford's sons. [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]

3. Ruth Stafford (1866–1939), later Ruth Stafford Goldy, was one of Susan Stafford's daughters. [back]

4. Van Doran Stafford (1864–1914) was one of Harry Stafford's brothers. [back]


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