Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Susan Stafford, 12 August 1888

Date: August 12, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03866

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

page image
image 1
page image
image 2

Sunday Evn'g
Aug: 12 '881

Nothing very new or different—I am still in my sick room—Sit up most of the day—write some & keep pretty good spirits—but am as weak & feeble as ever. (Sometimes I opine will remain so.) I think Herbert2 is coming to America soon—may be this month. It is raining all day like fury—coolish—

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. | Aug 12 | 5 PM | 88; Kirkwood | Aug | 13 | 1888. [back]

2. Herbert Gilchrist (1857–1914), the artist-son of Anne Gilchrist, was a frequent visitor with Whitman to the Stafford farm. For more on him, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden (1857–1914)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, ed., (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.