Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John W. Wroth to Walt Whitman, 27 October 1889

Date: October 27, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04507

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.

Editorial note: The annotation, "JW Wroth," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Andrew David King, Cristin Noonan, and Stephanie Blalock

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Hda de El Rosario
Jesus Maria
October 27 de/891

My dear Mr Whitman

Your kind package of photos just received they were quite a long time on road I was delighted I assure you to get them and they occupy the foremost place in my picture gallery—

I send you by this same mail a few photographs that I had obtained. They are not very good but I thought that they might give you an idea of the country—

I have been hoping to go East the end of the year so that I could see once more—some of the old familiar faces—but I seem to be hoping against fate—as the manager here will not accept my resignation, but wants me to agree to stay another year instead—& am afraid that I will have to do so. While I appreciate his valuation of my services I would prefer to go East—but have been treated too kindly here to go against the wishes of the Company—

Everything here is still green—& oranges, lemons & bananas—are very plentiful I wish that I could only send you some—as I know that you would enjoy them so much—& we have so many—I have just come from a trip to one of the mining properties belonging to this Company—situated some forty miles off through a most picturesquely wild country that I ever saw—the mine is situated at the bottom of a cañon running from fifty to two hundred feet deep by forty-five to fifty feet wide, & the only access to it is down a notched stick for fifty feet till you strike a narrow ledge of rock hung over an immense waterfall & along that slender ledge you have to lower yourself by aid of ropes. I have been through it once but not for all the mines in Mexico would I go down it again—Life is too short & sweet to attempt it a second time. Mexico is improving greatly foreign capital is coming in daily—mines are being opened—the value of Mexican dollars is higher than it has been for a long time & a general feeling of better times prevails—as the mail is going out & as our mails here here are so uncertain. I will have to send this off hoping you will pardon the short letter, but I did not want anytime to pass before I acknowledge yr photographs so kindly sent—so acknowledge them by this same mail that they came in on

Hoping that every day will bring you improved health & strength—is the sincere wish of

Your Young Friend
J. W. Wroth

John W. ("Johnny") Wroth was the younger son of Mrs. Caroline Wroth, who was the wife of a Philadelphia importer, at whose residence (319 Stevens Street, Camden) Whitman took his meals for a period of time beginning in July 1881. Johnny moved with his mother and his brother James Henry ("Harry") Wroth to Albuquerque, New Mexico, soon after, and Whitman kept in touch with them.


1. The year of Wroth's letter is uncertain. It has been transcribed here as 1889, but it might be 1887. [back]


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