Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Harry Stafford, 20 August 1881

Date: August 20, 1881

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04003

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: Kirsten Clawson, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Stefan Schöberlein, and Nicole Gray

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Aug: 20 1881.1

Dear Hank

I am here seeing to the setting up & stereotyping of my book in a big printing office, (Rand & Avery.)2—Every thing goes satisfactory enough, so far. I suppose you rec'd the paper (or papers?) I sent—they will give you some acc't of two or three little happenings in my jaunt—I was down on Long Island at the spot where I was born & where I had spent my summers in youth from time to time—went around to all the old places I hadn't seen before for 40 years—seems to me now the most beautiful region on earth—Dr Bucke was with me & he thought so too—Before I went there, I was at Rockaway (L I) & at Long Branch (N J)—The last two weeks I have been in N Y City—So you see I have been the rounds—I am pretty well—& have been so—

I shall probably stay here a month or more—Dear boy I wish you would write to me a good long letter & tell me all the news, especially about yourself. Direct to me care of Osgood & Co: 211 Tremont Street, Boston, Mass: and I shall get it. I have not been much about Boston this time, but it is a lively place to be in—the streets all crumpled up, short, and more corners & angles than any thing else, but clean & handsome—this forenoon I have been some time on the Common (an old Park of 60 or 70 acres right in the midst of the city with lots of fine very old trees)—I am now writing this in Osgood's place in Boston (they are the publishers of my book)—How are you & all getting along?—I wish you to give my love to your father & mother—Debbie & Jo Ed, Mont, & Van—Ruth & little George—& tell them I remember the good times I have had, past summers—& show this letter to them, if they wish—

It is now nearly 1, & I must go off to my dinner—God bless you dear boy & farewell for this time—I shall write again before long—

Your old Walt


1. This letter is written on letterhead from James R. Osgood & Co. [back]

2. This firm had also printed the third edition (see the letter from Whitman to Abby H. Price of March 29, 1860). Whitman arrived in Boston on August 19 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]


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