Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Susan Stafford, 10 November [1884]

Date: November 10, 1884

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03918

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.

Editorial note: The annotation, "(1884)," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein and Kyle Barton

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328 Mickle street
Monday 3 pm Nov 101

Thanks my dear friend for the nice chicken—I have just had a part of it for my dinner—& the honey in the comb just like that is something I like—I had a very pleasant visit out in Germantown—I went partly at the request of a fine jolly young Englishman who is visiting there for a few days, & told me much about my friends in England (of whom I find I have far more than I knew of)—

I am about as usual—feel considerably better, more able to get around since the cool weather has set in—had rather a bad summer—my walking power gives out more this year, & I am afraid is destined to be worse, instead of better—otherwise I am about the same—appetite good—spirits ditto—

—I am sorry I wasn't in when you stopped this forenoon—have been hoping you would stop this afternoon—Does George keep well this fall?—Ruth how do you like married life?2—I rec'd the cake—very nice—Well Ed, how are you about Cleveland?3—I am just as well satisfied—

—I have rec'd a long letter from Herbert4—nothing very new. The Lord bless you & be with you all—

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. November 10 fell on Monday in 1884, and see the letter from Whitman to Robert Pearsall Smith of November 6, 1884[back]

2. Ruth Stafford (1866–1939) married William Goldy (1863–1907) on August 19. [back]

3. A reference to the contested presidential election between James G. Blaine and Grover Cleveland. [back]

4. Perhaps a reference to the letter Herbert Gilchrist wrote on September 30, 1884[back]


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