Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: John Burroughs to Walt Whitman, 16 October 1888

Date: October 16, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: med.00829

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. The transcription presented here is derived from Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden (New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1915), 2:493–494. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Ashland, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock




West Park,
Oct. 16, 1888.

I hope you will continue writing me such notes as these, "My food nourishes me better." I shall certainly see our great friend again. I am pretty well—work now with better heart. I had a few days by the sea with Mr. Johnson1 after I left Camden. My love to W.W.


J.B.


Correspondent:
The naturalist John Burroughs (1837–1921) met Whitman on the streets of Washington, D.C., in 1864. After returning to Brooklyn in 1864, Whitman commenced what was to become a lifelong correspondence with Burroughs. Burroughs was magnetically drawn to Whitman. However, the correspondence between the two men is, as Burroughs acknowledged, curiously "matter-of-fact." Burroughs would write several books involving or devoted to Whitman's work: Notes on Walt Whitman, as Poet and Person (1867), Birds and Poets (1877), Whitman, A Study (1896), and Accepting the Universe (1924). For more on Whitman's relationship with Burroughs, see Carmine Sarracino, "Burroughs, John [1837–1921] and Ursula [1836–1917]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]


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