Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to John Burroughs, 2 July 1877

Date: July 2, 1877

Whitman Archive ID: med.00668

Source: Miller's transcription is based on text from The Modern School (April–May 1919), 6:126. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:89. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Anthony Dreesen, Eder Jaramillo, Kevin McMullen, and Nicole Gray

Kirkwood, N. J.,
July 2, 1877.

Am down here for a couple of weeks on a farm with friends, enjoying things.1 Still keep pretty well this summer. Marvin is coming to Mrs. G[ilchrist]'s on the 6th & 7th.2 I shall be there. That "Eagle" grows, grows.3

W. W.


1. Whitman was with the Staffords from June 25 to July 6 or 7 (The Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

2. Joseph B. Marvin, one of Walt Whitman's Washington friends, visited Anne Gilchrist shortly after her arrival in Philadelphia in September, 1876 (Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist, Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings [London: T.F. Unwin, 1887], 228). Marvin had been co-editor of The Radical in 1866-1867. Later he was employed in the Treasury Department in Washington. On December 15, 1874, Marvin wrote to Whitman: "I read and re-read your poems, and the 'Vistas,' and more and more see that I had but a faint comprehension of them before. They surpass everything. All other books seem to me weak and unworthy my attention. I read, Sunday, to my wife, Longfellows verses on Summer, in the last Atlantic, and then I read your poem on the Death of Lincoln. It was like listening to a weak-voiced girl singing with piano accompanyment , and then to an oratorio by the whole Handel Society, with accompanyment by the Music Hall organ." Marvin's veneration of Whitman is also transparent in an article in The Radical Review, I (1877), 224-259. [back]

3. This is a reference to "The Flight of the Eagle" in Birds and Poets. See the letter from Whitman to John Burroughs of January 24, 1877[back]


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