Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Harry Stafford 6–7 July [1878]

Date: July 6–7, 1878

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00407

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 The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1964), 3:126–127. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Grace Thomas, Eder Jaramillo, Nicole Gray, and Elizabeth Lorang

1309 Fifth [av]: near 86th St
New York
Saturday July 6
p m

Dear son1

I supposed you rec'd a paper from me lately with an acc't of some of my movements &c. here, as I sent you one—I had no idea of staying so long when I left 13th June—thought only of staying a couple of days—[but then?] it will be most a month soon—But I shall return to Camden next Tuesday—or Wednesday at furthest—

I keep well & hearty considering—it has been very hot weather here for a week, but I havn't minded it any to hurt—to-day it has been a little more moderate—I have been down this forenoon to Sarony's,2 the great photographic establishment, where I was invited to come & sit for my picture—had a real pleasant time—I will bring you on one of the pictures—

My darling boy, I want to see you very much, & I know you do me too—Harry, I meet many, many friends here, some very fine folks—some tip-top young men too—& there is no end to hospitality, & places to visit &c.—everybody seems to know me—it is quite funny sometimes—but I believe I am as contented down by the old pond as any where—(I wish I was there this afternoon—at least for a couple of hours)—

Well, I see Hunter3 was convicted—we will see now whether he is hung—I see an item in the paper that [Emma?] Bethel had confessed to poisoning the Bishops—I will finish my letter & send it off to-morrow—

Sunday July 7—The little 15 months old baby, little Harry (that was born that night there in 10th street,) is a fine, good bright child, not very rugged, but gets along very well—I take him in my arms always after breakfast & go out in front for a short walk—he is very contented & good with me—little Kitty4 goes too—I had a good night's rest last night, & am feeling comfortable to-day—Good bye for the present, my loving son—It will not be long now before we are together again—

Your old W W


1. The letters from Harry Stafford to Walt Whitman in 1878 reveal the troubled relations between the two men (See Edwin Haviland Miller, "Introduction," Walt Whitman: The Correspondence [New York: New York University Press, 1961–77], 3:1–9). [back]

2. On September 18, Whitman received 250 prints of this photograph (Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

3. Benjamin Hunter was convicted of the murder of John Armstrong, a Philadelphia music publisher, on July 3. [back]

4. Harry (Harold) and Kitty were two of John H. Johnston's children. [back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.