Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to George and Susan Stafford, 16 January [1881]

Date: January 16, 1881

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03901

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

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Kirsten Clawson, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Nicole Gray

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431 Stevens Street
Camden Sunday afternoon
Jan: 16

My dear friends

You havn't sent for the two big books Herbert sent you, so as I have been snowed in a good deal lately, I have opened them & read quite a good deal in them—they are queer books, the very finest of printing & paper & some odd pictures1—I got a postal from Mrs Gilchrist yesterday—she is improving—the rest all well—

—We have had a rough hard winter, all around—Keeps me in mostly, but I make a dash out now & then—I still keep pretty well this winter—if it hadn't been so cold I should have been down to see you—Ed how do you like being home again? But I think you are contented most any where—how is the nag? I was out once or twice sleighing—my brother took me—his mare Nelly is in fine condition—pretty lively—makes things fly sometimes

I have been in all day reading & writing—I have put up two sets of my books, to send off this evening's mail, to purchasers2—a very quiet day, but I have enjoyed it—outside it is cold and half-cloudy, not an inviting day out—

—Well Mont have you found any chance yet at telegraphing? I think the best thing a fellow can do this weather, is to stay home & keep warm,—but when the spring opens then make a dash somewhere—Van I suppose will make a farmer—well if he is satisfied, it is about as good as anything, I don't know but better—

There comes my call to dinner, & I shall go for it without delay & finish my helter-skelter letter afterwards.

Dinner all right, baked beef pie—I am now going out to see one of the ferry men a friend, very sick,—I have provided a bottle of brandy to take him, as I understand the doctor orders milk punch—there is a good deal of sickness around here, much diphtheria—Well I must stop—Good bye & Good bless you friends Susan, George, & Harry dear—



1. See the letter from Whitman to Susan Stafford of January 30, 1881. Anne Gilchrist's "postal" has not been located. [back]

2. In his Commonplace Book Whitman noted sending two volumes to John A. Scott in London; on the following day he forwarded a set to Miss Harriet W. Robinson in Brooklyn (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]


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