Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walter Godey to Walt Whitman, 1 June 1874

Date: June 1, 1874

Whitman Archive ID: loc.07375

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.

Related item: Whitman struck through this letter and used the blank versos of both pages to record notes about his health.

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

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Solicitor's Office.
June 1st. 1874.

Dear Mr, Whitman.

Your letter with money order came to hand Friday last, for which I return thanks. Your friends are pleased to learn that you are improving in health1 and possibly be with them soon. I passed a very pleasant day up the River Saturday—fishing—the day proved to be warm and after several attempts to catch fish we gave it up in despair and partook ourselves to the 'grove.' I hope you passed the day pleasantly. I have been quite busy and I cease to work for some moments to write and acknowledge receipt of yours of the 28th.2 I close by sending love and best wishes

Your Friend
Walter Godey.

Walter Godey was Whitman's replacement at the Attorney General's office, starting August 14, 1873 (see the letter of introduction for Godey from Whitman to chief clerk Webster Elmes of August 14, 1873). Whitman subsequently sent payment for Godey's service through Charles W. Eldridge (see the letters from Whitman to Eldridge of August 29, 1873 and September 29, 1873.


1. In January 1873, Whitman suffered a paralytic stroke that made walking difficult. He first reported it in his January 26, 1873, letter to his mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman (1795–1873), and continued to provide regular notes on his condition. By mid-March Whitman was taking brief walks out to the street and began to hope that he could resume work in the office. See also his March 21, 1873, letter to his mother. [back]

2. This letter has not been located. [back]


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