Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Ellen M. O'Connor, 5 August [1874]

Date: August 5, 1874

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00353

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), 2:311. 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.
Aug 5.1

Dear Nelly,

Your good letter came all right—it is pretty much "the same subject continued"—with my health & feelings—very grave depressions, alternated with more favorable spells—

To-day, as I write, I am in good spirits & comparatively comfortable—after a painful attack last night—So it goes—What will be the finale remains to be seen.

I await your further letters with some curiosity—(for strange as it may seem, men have that weakness as well as your sect)—I have to-day dispatched dear Mrs. Johnson's picture by mail—(It is intended to be put in a square gray or white mat with oval top, & then in a plain black walnut rustic square frame, with thin strip of gilt inside, & good plate glass)—I shall look for Charles Eldridge—

My sister is spending a few weeks at Atlantic City—I am here, (declining several invitations) muchly but pleasantly, alone—We have a fine old Irish woman, (an old maid, not so very old either) who cooks nicely & runs the domestic machinery, for brothers George & Eddy, & self—She little knows how much good she does me with her great splendid coarse face & stout figure & warm-blooded & quaint & simple & affectionate ways—

Write soon, Nelly dear—


1. This letter is endorsed, "Ans'd." Its envelope bears the address, "Mrs. E. M. O'Connor, | 1015 O street, near 11th N. W. | Washington | D.C." It is postmarked: "Camden | Aug | 5 | N. (?) ; Carrier | 6 | Aug | 8 AM."

The year is corroborated by the allusion to Nancy Johnson in the third paragraph; see Whitman's June 10, 1874 letter to Ellen O'Connor. [back]


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