Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Susan Stafford, 12 July 1888

Date: July 12, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03864

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: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

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Wednesday Sunset
July 12 '881

Still pretty sick here now the fifth week confined here—so weak & no grip on the head—but hope yet for sort of rally—Eva2 was here to-day—Van3 was here last week—Love to you & George4 & Deb5 & Ed6—I have good care—

Walt Whitman

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. This letter is addressed: Mrs: Susan Stafford | Kirkwood | (Glendale) | New Jersey. It is postmarked: Camden, N.J. | Jul 11 | 8 PM | 88; Kirkwood | Jul | 12 | 1888 | N.J. [back]

2. Eva Westcott Stafford (1856–1906) had married Susan's Stafford's son Harry in 1883; she was Susan's daughter-in-law. [back]

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

4. George Stafford (1827–1892) was Susan's husband. [back]

5. Deborah Stafford Browning (1860–1945) was Susan and George Stafford's daughter. [back]

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


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