Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, [25 June 1882]

Date: June 25, 1882

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00456

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), 3:293–294. 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

Sunday Evn'g2

Yours of yesterday rec'd—I had heard nothing of the Boston P. M. action—(it is not some mistake?—As you describe it?)3—The price of the book such a volume as I sent you is $3—I sent one to Prof. Loomis4—The heat here to-day has been awful, but I seem to stand it well—


I decidedly approve your non-answer to Sigma5


1. This letter is endorsed: "Answ'd June 29/82." It is addressed: Wm D O'Connor | Life Saving Service Bureau | Washington | D C. It is postmarked: Camden | Jun (?) | 26 | 7 AM | N.J.; Washington | Jun | 26 | 5 M(?) | (?). [back]

2. June 25 was on Sunday in 1882. The year is also confirmed by the notes below. [back]

3. On June 24 O'Connor reported that the Boston postmaster had halted a lecture by George Chainey on Leaves of Grass (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Friday, December 21, 1888, 349). Obviously he meant the sending of the printed lecture through the mail (see the letter from Whitman to George Chainey of June 26, 1882). [back]

4. After O'Connor's request on June 15, Whitman sent the volume on June 20 to Professor Elias Loomis (1811–1889), the astronomer and Yale professor, who at the time was in the Nautical Almanac Office of the Navy Department in Washington (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). According to O'Connor's letter of June 19, Loomis knew that Emerson had never qualified his praise of Leaves of Grass (Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [Boston: Small, Maynard, 1906], 1:313). [back]

5. O'Connor "judged it prudent to withhold my reply to 'Sigma.'" [back]


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