Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Daniel Longaker, 10 May [1891]

Date: May 10, [1891]

Whitman Archive ID: med.00915

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. Edwin Haviland Miller derives his transciption from a transcription of the letter published in Horace Traubel, Richard Maurice Bucke, and Thomas B. Harned, eds., In Re Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1893), 396. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 5:199. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Cristin Noonan, Ryan Furlong, Breanna Himschoot, and Stephanie Blalock

May 10th.

Am feeling this deadly lassitude and weakness to-day the same still. One favorable item at 10, a bowel movement (the first in ten days), viscid quite definite mostly formed, brown, no g't straining (no use of the syringe). If this is the result of the new pills they are very welcome for that obstinate deep-set-in constipation is the back and bottom of all our woes (and seems come to stay). I got the pills soon after 1 yesterday afternoon and took one—then near 5 another—then at 9 this morning another. Had a tolerable night. A rare egg on Graham toast for breakfast—coffee; have been moist—skin half sweating the last 15 or 20 hours. Am sitting here in the big chair in my den as usual.

Daniel Longaker (1858–1949) was a Philadelphia physician who specialized in obstetrics. He became Whitman's doctor in early 1891 and provided treatment during the poet's final illness. For more information, see Carol J. Singley, "Longaker, Dr. Daniel [1858–1949]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R.LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


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