Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Moses A. Walsh to Walt Whitman, 9 April 1886

Date: April 9, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04627

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, "from Moses Walsh at the Wesley Water Cure—Penn:," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, Kyle Barton, and Stephanie Blalock

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Highland Hygiean Home.
Near the celebrated Delaware Water-Gap
Railways: Delaware, Lackawanna & Western. And N. Y., Susquehanna & Western.
Stations: Water Gap. Telegraph and Express.
April 9th 1886

My dear Walt Whitman

I distributed the papers and magazines you sent me to every body around me and they are a source of pleasure to all.

This is the Paradise and purgatory at once of idlers, and the doctor does all in his power to induce people to leave off every intellectual exercise:—to become stupid; as he says: "be a cabbage head". By doing so he says the health is restored more completely and quickly than it otherwise can be. We go to bed at 8.30 P.M. and rise at 6 a.m. Take a short walk: get breakfast at 7.30 a.m. Go to prayers at 8.30—take another walk or lounge about: get water treatment from 10.30 to 12 m. From 12 m. to 1 p.m. is "rest hour" every body is expected be as quiet as a mouse and hand over himself or herself to complete "rest." Dinner at 1.30 P.M. Rest 40 minutes after dinner then take long walks, drives, reading or loafing until 6 o'clock when those who want take supper—Most people go without supper—but I am not one of these. After supper talk or play cards until bed time. The people who gather here are mostly people of small calibre and odd notions and possessing some little means of living in an independent way and to enable them to flit about from one Water Cure to another and enjoy the rather unusual sort of society which it seems to me is peculiar to Water Cures. Many of them are real sufferers from bodily afflictions of one kind or another and it is likely that their lives would become intolerable to them if the water cure did not offer them a means of enjoyment by creating a society—a cult of its kind—of kindred spirits under afflictions, each tottering under its little load of little things and small philosophy, but large in the measure of satisfaction it brings to its votaries. The Spirit of piety which one observes is a genuine source of comfort, and blesses the lives of many who but for this would be in sad distress.

I think I shall be home early next week.2

Yours Very truly
Moses A. Walsh

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman | Camden | N.J. It is postmarked: EXPERIMENT MILLS, | APR. | 9 | 1886 | PA.; PHILADELPHIA, PA | APR | 9 | 1886 | 3PM | TRANSIT; CAMDEN, N.J. | APR | 9 | 7 PM | 1886 | REC'D. Besides the central letterhead there are two sidebars, the left reading "A HOME OF BEAUTY AMONG THE MOUNTAINS. Dry, Clear, Bracing Air, Rapid Streams, Healing Sunlight, Nerve-Restoring Sleep, Restful Surroundings. | F. Wilson Hurd, M.D., Physician & Proprietor." and the right reading "NATURAL CURE for all Diseases. PILES And all other Rectal Troubles a specialty. When all other treatment fails Come Here. Natural Cure is Permanent Cure. Drug Cure is Chronic Disease." [back]

2. As no answer by Whitman is extant, the context of this letter remains unclear. [back]


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