Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Harry Scovel to Walt Whitman, 22 June 1880

Date: June 22, 1880

Whitman Archive ID: man.00040

Source: Charles Sixsmith Collection at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester. 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.

Notes for this letter were created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Editorial note: The annotation, "from Harry Scovel June 26 '80," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Meyer, Eder Jaramillo, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Nicole Gray, and Stefan Schöberlein

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Camden N.J.
June 22d 1880.

Dear Mr Whitman:

I was very much pleased with your Postal Cards because I knew you had remembered me in the midst of your travels and pleasures.

Your letter to the "Camden Daily Post" was a grand one and every body is delighted with it. Mother said it was the best letter she ever read—

How I wish I was with you—I dearly love to Travel—

Camden is dull, very dull, and painfully hot—

I hear from [Loui?] Odenheimer1—not directly, but through some of her relations, that she is no better—what a sad thing to happen to a Girl of her age and prospects—

The Boys around the Ferry miss you greatly—I hear them talking about you often—I know [Trim?] Hand2 one of the Pilots—He and Hiskey3 are very fond of you—

I suppose you will be away for some lenghth of time yet—Do write occasionally, and send some papers too, for we all like to hear from you, when you are so far away from us—All the family send love and hope for your safe return to us benefitted by your trip—

With love
Harry Scovel


1. Apparently, whatever Odenheimer's condition was, it was not life-threatening. Nine years later, Whitman told Horace Traubel: "The Odenheimer girls have been in: you know them? Lou Odenheimer? They brought me tiger-lilies—leopard lilies, they called them" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Friday, August 16, 1889). [back]

2. Whitman's "Scenes on Ferry and River" in Specimen Days lists the day-shift of the Camden ferry as "captains Hand, Walton, and Giberson" (Floyd Stovall, ed. [New York: New York University Press, 1963], 183). [back]

3. Tilghman Hiskey worked for the Camden ferries (Specimen Days, ed. Floyd Stovall [New York: New York University Press, 1963], 183). See the letters from Whitman to Hiskey of June 20 and July 27, 1880[back]


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