Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 26 March [1886]

Date: March 26, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00544

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), 4:23. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein and Kyle Barton

328 Mickle st—Camden1
March 26

Am ab't the same as usual—Had a bad spell two weeks ago, but am now around after my sort, nearly the same (a letting down a little peg, if no more, every time)—Yes I have had superb treatment from my English friends—Yours of 23[?]d rec'd2—I dont know whether I told you that a young Englishman who came into a fortune not long since, sent me 50 pounds3—then the Nineteenth Cent paid me 30£ for the little poem4


William Douglas O'Connor (1832–1889) was the author of the grand and grandiloquent Whitman pamphlet The Good Gray Poet: A Vindication, published in 1866. For more on Whitman's relationship with O'Connor, see Deshae E. Lott, "O'Connor, William Douglas (1832–1889)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. This letter is endorsed: Answ'd May 25/86. It is addressed: Wm D O'Connor | Life Saving Service | Washington | D C. It is postmarked: Camden | Mar | 26 | 4 PM | 1886 | N.J. [back]

2. On January 21 and March 23 O'Connor complained of an incapacitating lameness. [back]

3. Edward Carpenter. Actually the gift came from Carpenter and the Ford sisters (see the letter from Whitman to Carpenter of August 3, 1885). Bessie (d. 1919) and Isabella (1855–1924) Ford were sisters who lived together in Leeds. They were friends and disciples (as well as cousins) of Carpenter, and active social reformers, working for women's suffrage, trade unionism, and an independent labor party. [back]

4. "Fancies at Navesink" (see the letter from Whitman to Percy Ives of August 11, 1885). [back]


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