Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Harry Stafford, 12 November [1880]

Date: November 12, 1880

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00417

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, 1964), 3:194. 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, Anthony Dreesen, Grace Thomas, Kevin McMullen, and Nicole Gray

At the Store Glendale
Friday afternoon Nov: 12

Dear Hank

I am staying here yet—yesterday Deb1 came over here about 2 o'clock & we took Modoc & went over (your Mother & I) to the old place2—went down to the pond & all around—I thought the pond, & creek, the big part there to the west, looked beautiful as ever—the big spring, the other way (east) is all stopped up, disappeared altogether—the big south field Wes has got in wheat—otherways things look not much different—pretty lonesome though, as we didn't see chuck nor child nor any living thing on the premises—(but I suppose it will be different when Lizzie3 gets there)—but the jaunt about there & the ride, made us a very pleasant three hours—Nothing new here—Your folks have been up to town twice this week—Van once & your father once—they were all gathering apples for cider yesterday, & to-day are burying the cabbages—Hieniken4 comes over as usual (likes his cider)—this morning I went over to the school library & got six or seven books—he took me—

I go around here the same as ever—jaunt in the woods & loafe about a good deal, (but always sure to be back at meal time)—heavy storms this week two nights, but the days bright & clear every time—

& you, dear son, how do you make out down there? We think & speak about you often—as I write, the wind is blowing a south west gale around here—I suppose it is pretty cold at Atlantic5—It is now ¼ after 1—the school children are playing & making a great racket, & I see Hiniekin just come down from his dinner—the shoemaker has been over for his pitcher of cider—and there I hear Ruth calling me to come to my dinner—so I must bid good bye to you for the present, & God bless you, my darling son—


I think of going up to Camden to-morrow or Sunday—most likely Sunday—Mont expects to go over with Ben Sharp soon—


1. Harry's married sister, Deborah Browning. [back]

2. The former home of the Staffords, where Whitman had recuperated in the late 1870s. [back]

3. Lizzie H. Hider was shortly to marry Wesley Stafford, Harry's cousin (see the letter from Whitman to Susan Stafford of February 6, 1881). They occupied the former home of Susan and George Stafford (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

4. Theodore Hieniken, apparently a friend of the Staffords, was occasionally mentioned in Whitman's Commonplace Book, but spelled Heineken, Hieneken, and Hinieken. [back]

5. Harry was working at the time in Atlantic City, N.J. [back]


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