Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Anne Gilchrist to Walt Whitman, September 1877

Date: September 1877

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04060

Source: The Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1842–1937, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from The Letters of Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman, ed. Thomas B. Harned (New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1918), 154–155. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Eder Jaramillo, Stefan Schöberlein, and Nicole Gray

Round Hill, Northampton, Mass.
Monday, Sept., '77.

Dearest Friend:

I have had joyful news to-day! Percy's wife has a fine little boy—it was born on the 10th, and Norah got through well & is doing nicely; so I feel very happy.

Since then Per. has gone to Paris where he is to read a paper before the "Iron and Steel Institute" on the Elimination of phosphorus from Iron—which is also a little triumph of another kind for him—for the Council which accepted his paper is composed of eminent English scientists, & eminent foreign ones will hear it.—I need not tell you it is indescribably lovely here now—no doubt Kirkwood is the same—the light so brilliant, and yet soft—the rich autumn tints just beginning to appear—the temperature delicious—crisp & bracing, yet genial.

The throng of people is gone—but a few of the pleasantest of the old set remain—& a few interesting new ones have come!—among them Mrs. Dexter from Boston, who was a Miss Tic[k]nor, daughter of the author of the book on Spanish literature—she and her husband full of interesting talk. Also Mr. Martin B—and his wife—a fine specimen of a leading Bostonian. Besides these also a physician from Florida whom I much admire—with a beautiful firm tenor voice—very handsome & graceful too, a true southerner, I should say—(but of Scotch extraction).

Next week we go to Boston.

I went over the Lunatic Asylum here the other day & saw some strange, sad sights—some figures crouched down in attitudes of such profound dejection I shall never forget them—some very bright and talkative. It is said to be the best managed in America. Dr. Earle, who is at the head, is a man of splendid capacity for the post—a noble-looking old man (uncle of those Miss Chases you met at our house).

I can't settle to anything or think of any thing since I received Percy's letter but the baby & Norah. Love to you & to Mrs. Whitman & Hattie & Jessie.

Good-bye, dear Friend.
Anne Gilchrist.


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