Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Susan Stafford to Walt Whitman, 29 December [1878]

Date: December 29, 1878

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04084

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from Calamus Lovers: Walt Whitman's Working Class Camerados, ed. Charley Shively (San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1987), 166. 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, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Eder Jaramillo, and Nicole Gray

December 291

Dear friend,

we have looked for you down with us so long & you have not come that we have given up all hope of ever seeing you again with us so I write to say the kit of fish and all the nice presents that you have so kindly sent us have all come safe and we all thank you more than words can tell.2 I should have written for you last weeks to spend Christmas with us but I had a very severe attact of the heart & was not able to do so                I am better now will you please come this week                we shall look for you                do not disappoint us. We have waited so long please write what day you will come & we will meet you at the Station,

ever your friend,
S.M. Stafford


1. This letter was marked Sunday, which would fit 1878; however, Whitman sent a kit of fish November 24, 1877, so the date may be 1877. [back]

2. 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). [back]


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