Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Susan Stafford, 30 January 1883

Date: January 30, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03998

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 Schoeberlein, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Eder Jaramillo, and Nicole Gray

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Jan: 30 '83

Dear friend

Your letter came & I ought to have written to you before, but one thing & another prevented. I was up to Germantown, to a friend's, where I have been a good deal lately,—Spent the Christmas & New Year holidays there1—they came for me, so I went & was glad—a big house full of people, old & young folks, & plenty of fun & every thing good—lots of oysters—& cook'd so nice—I never knew how much there is in the cooking—Otherways I have been here in C. all the time, have done a little work writing, but nothing much,—My brother from St Louis has been on here with us for a while—& I have callers & visitors quite often—

Ruth I got your letter—it was very acceptable—I will answer it before long2

How are you all? I hope this will find you all well—little George3 is all right again I trust by this time—I met two jolly & good-looking Jersey boys this afternoon over in Market Street, Phila.—it was Elmer and Ed Stafford4—we had a little talk—did me good to meet them—I dont think Jersey has two nicer looking boys—I was on my way to West Philadelphia to see about a Mr Anders, an elderly man sick with consumption. Young Mr Anders and I had got acquainted in Canada two years ago, & quite attached to each other—he was a soldier there—I got a letter from him from Montreal day before yesterday, asking me to go to a certain number in West Phila: & see his father, who had come on here some time ago quite sick—Young A. wanted me to see & write to him how the father was particular—So I went up to-day—when I got there I found the elder A. was dead & buried—so I have just had to write the sad intelligence to my Canada friend5—love to you & all


I have written a few lines to Harry

I want to come down soon—Is the coast clear?


1. Whitman was with the Smiths from December 30 to January 2 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). See also the letter from Whitman to William D. O'Connor of December 27, 1882[back]

2. This sentence and the postscript were written in red ink and perhaps added to the letter by Whitman at a later time. [back]

3. Susan Stafford's son. [back]

4. Elmer (1861–1957) was Susan Stafford's nephew; Edwin was her son. [back]

5. This letter is not known. [back]


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