Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 18 June [1882]

Date: June 18, 1882

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00454

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), 3:291–292. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schoeberlein, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Eder Jaramillo, and Nicole Gray

June 18 p m

Only a word to catch this evening's mail—the second letter in today's Tribune fully follows up the first—& I should say settles the Chadwick points—Dear friend, I only wanted to say again how entirely satisfied I am with your championship, matter & spirit—

Walt Whitman

The "savage" letter of "Sigma" following seems a very curious one.2 I am more than half inclined to think it some crafty friend who takes the mask of foe—


1. This letter is endorsed: "Answ'd June 19/82." It is addressed: Wm D O'Connor | Life Saving Service Bureau | Washington | D C. It is postmarked: Camden | Jun | 18 | 6 PM | N.J.; Washington, D.C. | Jun | 19 | 4 AM | 1882 | Recd. [back]

2. On June 15, O'Connor notified Whitman of the appearance of his article in the New York Tribune and of what Whitelaw Reid termed "a savage article on the other side." On June 19, O'Connor tentatively proposed that Spofford, the Librarian of Congress, was the author of the letter signed "Sigma" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Tuesday, June 12, 1888, 314), but on June 29, he decided upon Richard H. Stoddard ( Wednesday, November 7, 1888, 49). [back]


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