Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 21 July [1882]

Date: July 21, 1882

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:298. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, New York Public Library

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00462

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

July 21—Evn'g1

Yours of 20th rec'd2—Nothing very new—the 2d & larger Phila. ed'n L of G. will be ready ab't 26th or 7th3—(I like it best of all my ed'ns)—I will send you one soon as I can get it—also Florio's Montaigne if it can be had4



1. This letter is endorsed: "Answ'd July 24/82." It is addressed: Wm D O'Connor | Life Saving Service Bureau | Washington D C. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | Pa. | Jul 21 82 | 11 PM; Washington, D.C. | Jul | 22 | 7 AM | 1882 | Recd. [back]

2. In 1888, speaking to Horace Traubel, Whitman observed that he had read O'Connor's letter of July 20 "a dozen times" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1915], 2:60). O'Connor was so vituperative in dealing with Comstock that Traubel omitted the following passage: "It a disgrace to the Government that they should employ this vile maggot bred from carrion—the rat of the cloaca—this lump of devil's-dung." [back]

3. This edition appeared on August 4 (see the letter from Whitman to O'Connor of August 6, 1882). [back]

4. On July 7 O'Connor asked Whitman to see whether Rees Welsh & Co. had a copy of the first edition of Florio's Montaigne (Charles E. Feinberg Collection, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.). See also Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, 2:496. [back]


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