Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Frederick Wedmore to Walt Whitman, [1885?]

Date: [1885?]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04647

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, "Wedmore," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, Paige Wilkinson, and Stephanie Blalock

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Dear Mr. Whitman,1

Though I had to leave my place of country sojourn yesterday2 before hearing from you. I shall take my chance of finding you at home early on Sunday afternoon—say about 3 o'clock—unless I should hear from you to the contrary at the Lafayette Hotel. I only get to Philadelphia that Sunday morning, & must leave it again for New York in the evening. I stop during the day because I would like to see you & know too that our friend Mrs Gilchrist3 will be disappointed—also—if I don't. And I am dreadfully hurried in New York, and sail on the 19th.

Believe me yours truly
Frederick Wedmore

Frederick Wedmore (1844–1921) was an art critic, short story writer, novelist, and scholar from England. He was also a friend and neighbor of Whitman's admirer and close friend Anne Gilchrist (1828–1885) in Hempstead, England.


1. This letter is crossed out with two red lines. [back]

2. This letter is undated, but, according to Anne Burrows Gilchrist's July 20, 1885, letter to Whitman, Wedmore planned to visit the United States in the Fall of 1885. A letter Whitman received from Herbert Gilchrist the following day, July 21, 1885, indicated that Wedmore was to "call upon" Whitman in September. [back]

3. Anne Burrows Gilchrist (1828–1885) was the author of one of the first significant pieces of criticism on Leaves of Grass, titled "A Woman's Estimate of Walt Whitman (From Late Letters by an English Lady to W. M. Rossetti)," The Radical 7 (May 1870), 345–59. Gilchrist's long correspondence with Whitman indicates that she had fallen in love with the poet after reading his work; when the pair met in 1876 when she moved to Philadelphia, Whitman never fully returned her affection, although their friendship deepened after that meeting. For more information on their relationship, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Anne Burrows (1828–1885)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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