Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 27 July 1888

Date: July 27, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00724

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), 4:193. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Ryan Furlong, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock

Friday Afternoon
July 27 '88

No particular set back but am still imprisoned by room and bed—very bad weakness of legs and body—the worst of head trouble disappeared—Thanks for your letter1—my little Nov. Boughs2 is ab't done (with copy)—rainy here today—I am sitting up—

Walt Whitman

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. On July 25, 1888, O'Connor referred only briefly to his "own bad state" and expressed his gratitude that Whitman was recovering (see Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Tuesday, August 21, 1888). Whitman observed of O'Connor's letter: "William always has the effect of the open air upon me." [back]

2. Whitman's November Boughs was published in October 1888 by Philadelphia publisher David McKay. For more information on the book, see James E. Barcus Jr., "November Boughs [1888]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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