Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 19 April [1873]

Date: April 19, 1873

Whitman Archive ID: med.00420

Source: The location of the original manuscript is unknown. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:214–215. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Janel Cayer, Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

April 19, Saturday. 1

It is now about noon, & I have just come over to the office, and have put up the window for a few moments, to stand & get the fresh air, & then put it down again. Right opposite the window—in the President's grounds a man in his shirt-sleeves is raking up the grass that has been already cut on a ¾ acre patch—so you can see spring has advanced here—the trees are quite green—

Mother, I have had the second application of electricity to-day, quite a good application by Dr. Drinkard—he rubs the handles over my leg & thigh, for perhaps twenty minutes—the shock is very perceptible—it is not painful at all, feels something like pressing a sore—I feel as I said before, that it will be beneficial to me, (though there are different opinions about it)—I feel better to-day than yesterday—I think, mother dear, there is no doubt at all that I progress surely though very slowly, (& with an occasional bad spell)—

Did you read in the morning papers to-day about the fight with the Modocs out in California—& Col. Mason—I think (but am not sure) it is Jule Mason2—it is quite interesting—I am going to work for a couple of hours now at my work in the office books—I am feeling quite comfortable this afternoon.


1. Transcript. [back]

2. Whitman was mistaken. It was Colonel E. C. Mason, not his old friend Julius Mason. The warfare with the Modocs lasted from November 29, 1872, to October 3, 1873; see Keith A. Murray, The Modocs and Their War (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1959), 318–319. [back]


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