Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Ellen M. O'Connor, 9 November [1875]

Date: November 9, 1875

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00366

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), 2:342–343. 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

Tuesday, 9th Nov.
11 a.m.

Dear Nelly,

I am in Washington, stopping at Mr. & Mrs. Nash's, L st. south east, Navy Yard—am middling well, for me—shall be in pretty sure up to 10 a.m. & from 2 to 3 p.m. Am so fixed that it is very convenient for my friends to call—Love to you.1

Walt W


1. On this visit Whitman attended a public reburial of Poe's remains in Baltimore, and commented on Poe in an unsigned article in the Washington Star on November 18, 1875; see The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman [New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1902], 4:286–287; and Rollo G. Silver, "A Note about Whitman's Essay on Poe," American Literature, 6 (1935), 435–436.

On November 15, 1875, sixteen Washingtonians sent a petition to Benjamin H. Bristow, Secretary of the Treasury: "We respectfully ask that Walt Whitman, 'the Good Gray Poet,' may be appointed to a position in the Treasury Department." The docket in the National Archives reads: "The Secretary says give the applicant a place Jany. 1, '76 if possible." Though Whitman apparently did not comment on this proposal, Burroughs knew of it, and wrote to Dowden in April 1876: "We expected he would have a position in one of the Departments at Washington again before this, as it was promised last winter, but nothing seems to come of it yet" (Clara Barrus, The Life and Letters of John Burroughs [Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin], 1:183). [back]


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