Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Herbert Gilchrist to Walt Whitman, [Summer? 1887]

Date: [Summer? 1887]

Whitman Archive ID: med.00837

Source: The location of this telegram is unknown. The transcription presented here is derived from Elizabeth Leavitt Keller, Walt Whitman in Mickle Street (New York: J. J. Little and Ives Company, 1921), 76. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Amanda J. Axley, Marie Ernster, and Stephanie Blalock

Am in New York and may arrive in Camden1 at any moment.2

Herbert Gilchrist

Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist (1857–1914), son of Alexander and Anne Gilchrist, was an English painter and editor of Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1887). For more information, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden (1857–1914)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. Elizabeth Leavitt Keller describes Whitman's reaction as follows: "'He's coming to paint me,' said Mr. Whitman on reading the message; 'I had forgotten about him. We will put him over there somewhere; I don't see what I can do to stop it; he has come all the way from England—from England'" (Walt Whitman in Mickle Street [New York: J. J. Little and Evans, 1921], 76–77). [back]

2. Herbert Gilchrist painted an oil portrait of Whitman in the summer of 1887; it was still unfinished when he returned to London in September. Gilchrist then painted a finished replica of the painting that he displayed at the Grosvenor Gallery in London (he brought this replica back to the U.S. the next year, and it is now in the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Rare Book and Manuscript Library). See Ruth L. Bohan, Looking into Walt Whitman (University Park: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006), 97–105. [back]


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