Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 26 February [1873]

Date: February 26, 1873

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00312

Source: The Oscar Lion Papers, New York Public Library. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:201–202. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

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

Wednesday noon
Feb. 26.

Dearest mother,

I am getting along real well, upon the whole—I went out and over to the office yesterday— went in & sat down at my desk a few minutes—It was my greatest effort yet, and I was afraid I had overshot the mark again, as I felt dizzy & tired last night— But to-day I feel getting along all right—I am going out a little to-day, but not much— I feel now over the worst of my bit of sickness, & comparatively comfortable—

Poor Martha—the thoughts of her still come up in my mind, as I sit here a great deal of the time alone—Poor Jeff, & poor children too—

I have received a letter from Lillie Townsend1—Aunt Sally2 is still living and well as usual, & nothing very new— I have just got a second note from Mrs. Price—

Mother, I shall try to get out, & get my Feb. pay, I have to get it from the old office, & then I will send you your $20. (I hope within a couple of days, or three at most)—

I expect Mrs. Burroughs3 here probably to-day with a carriage to take me out riding—so you see I am beginning to sport around—

Every thing here now is inauguration—& will be till the 4th of March is over— for my part I want to get out of the way of it all—

Love to you, mammy dear, & to Georgey & Lou & all—


1. Lillie Townsend was, like Priscilla Townsend, presumably a cousin of Louisa Van Velsor Whitman (see Walt Whitman's April 21, 1873 letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman). [back]

2. Louisa Van Velsor Whitman's aunt, Sally Mead. [back]

3. On March 2, 1873, Ursula Burroughs reported to her husband how much Walt Whitman had enjoyed the ride (Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades [Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1931], 81). [back]


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