Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Ellen M. O'Connor, 29 February [1876]

Date: February 29, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00319

Source: The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, 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), 3:25–26. 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, Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

431 Stevens st.
cor West.
N. Jersey
Feb: 29.1

Dear Nelly:

About me, my ailments, no great difference. (A queer old doctor here—did I tell you?—sticks to it that, although the trouble has taken the form of paralysis, & instigated far back, the basic & origin are of stomachic nature—at any rate the derangement & suffering now are mostly gastric & liver business—telling in distress of head)—

I went over to PhilPhil: yesterday, & had a nice, good, I may almost say happy afternoon, with dear Mrs. Lesley, Kate Hillard, & the two Miss Lesleys, daughters2—us four, only, no men-critters but me—I was there some four hours, filled with animated talk—we had dinner, very nice, a nice glass of wine—Mrs. L. a fine gentle, sweet-voiced, handsome black-eyed New England woman, (of the Lyman family, daughter of Judge Lyman.)3 With Miss H[illard], though the first meeting, I got along capitally—found her a jolly, hearty girl—evidently seen life & folks, & read lots—she talked much about the London literati, & the (I suppose I may say) personal friends of mine there, both men & women, nearly all of whom she knew well, giving me, among the rest, descriptions of Personnel that were new & very interesting to me. She goes to Wash[ington] to-morrow, to stay there (1734 I st.) a month—reads a series of twelve papers on English poets.

I made a short call on Hector Tyndale, 1021 Clinton st—he came down to see me, in the parlor—(I did not see Mrs. T.)—Hector did not seem much different, physically—had the tone, I thought, of one who is dreary of life, to whom it is all an ennui, a settled morbidity—of course that was the worst. I rec'd a letter from Marvin to-day—from Peter Doyle yesterday—snowing here as I write—the baby fine, fat, bright today, but raising his voice lustily just this moment—You got my letter three days since?4



1. This letter is endorsed, "Ans'd." Its envelope bears the address, "Mrs. E. M. O'Connor, | 1015 O street n. w. | Washington, | D.C." It is postmarked: "Camden | Feb | 29 | N.J.; Carrier | 1 | Mar | 8 AM." [back]

2. See also Whitman's February 24, 1876 letter to Ellen O'Connor. [back]

3. Professor J. Peter Lesley married Susan I. Lyman, the daughter of Judge Samuel Fowler Lyman of Northampton, Massachusetts. [back]

4. Whitman refers here to the letter written on February 24, 1876[back]


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