Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Susan Stafford to Walt Whitman, 16 July 1880

Date: July 16, 1880

Whitman Archive ID: man.00051

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.

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

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July 16th 1880

Dear friend

I received your letter today1 & am sorry to hear that you are sick I hope that you will be better soon I am glad to hear that you like the Country & people & hope you will soon get well to enjoy all & evry thing George2 is well & has been a good deal better this summer than usual the Boys are all well Harry has not been in the store since you were here he left the day after you did Mont3 has taken his place

the weather here has been very warm & dry till this week we have had splendid showers most every day.

things are beginning to look up & farmers are more hopefull

Ruthie has been to Pitman Grove for a weeks pleasure has just returned a day or two ago she had a nice time George spent a day at Williams Town at the old place sais things look worse than when we lived there The Boys have all been off for a day or two of pleasure one at a time next month they will all be off to Pitman Grove for a week Ed was home to day sais he will write to you tomorrow Debbie & Jo are well Debbie will write to you I should not wonder if you get 3 letter from us all at once, I will have to close my letter.4 with love to you & a pleasent journey & a safe return

good by
Sue Stafford


1. Susan M. Lamb Stafford (1833–1910) was the mother of Harry Stafford (1858–1918), who, in 1876, became a close friend of Whitman while working at the printing office of the Camden New Republic. Whitman regularly visited the Staffords at their family farm near Kirkwood, New Jersey. Whitman enjoyed the atmosphere and tranquility that the farm provided and would often stay for weeks at a time (see David G. Miller, "Stafford, George and Susan M.," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings [New York: Garland Publishing, 1998], 685). [back]

2. George Stafford (1827–1892) was Harry Stafford's father. [back]

3. Montgomery Stafford (1862–1925) was one of Harry Stafford's brothers. [back]

4. In this paragraph Susan refers to the other Stafford children: Edwin, Van Doran, Ruth, George, and Deborah, who was married to Joseph Browning. [back]


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