Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Susan Stafford, 2 January 1881

Date: January 2, 1881

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03900

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: Eder Jaramillo, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Stefan Schöberlein, and Nicole Gray

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Camden Sunday afternoon
Jan 2

Dear friend Susan & Dear friends all

We are having an awful spell of weather up here, snow-storms & bitter cold ever since Christmas—about the wintriest week I remember take it all through—thermometer down below zero, night & day—But I suppose you know all about it & have had the same—I still keep well & in good trim, thank the Lord—eat my Christmas dinner & spent the evening at the Baptist minister's here, Mr Lung,1 a grand wife, & a big family all home to dinner seven children two grown—had a good time—haven't been out any where else particular for a month—in fact the storms & snow & bad walking keep me weatherbound—rec'd two more letters from Herbert2—he has sent you by mail two big books, the Life of Blake,3 he sent them to me to take to you—they are quite valuable & curious books—I think the first time George or Van or Mont comes up they had better stop here & get them—Herbert also sent me a P.O. order for a small sum, asking me to get something for your children for Christmas—I have not yet cashed it at the P.O.—Mrs G appears to be about well again—

It is now 12½ Sunday—it is moderated, & the sun has come out—my sister has just come home from church—All goes on about as usual here—New Year's day was rather flat, all around, so bleak & cold & deep snow—Still the women are out in their finery, plenty of them—I believe some would parade out in their new bonnets & pretties if it froze their noses off—George, dear friend, how are you getting along this winter?—did you get the new cider—& is any of it left?—I suppose Mont and Van are stout & jolly as ever—have you had any sleigh riding boys?—Susan I sent you a little book & one to Kate—did they come?—I want to see you all but I don't know when I shall come down.

Love to you & George—


1. Augustus H. Lung lived at 426 Stevens Street (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.); he was the pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church. [back]

2. Herbert Gilchrist wrote to Whitman on November 30, 1880, and on December 13, 1880[back]

3. For the Staffords' copies of The Life of Blake, see Whitman's letters to George and Susan Stafford of January 16, 1881 and to Susan Stafford of January 30, 1881[back]


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