Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Martha Whitman to Walt Whitman, 11 August 1867

Date: August 11, 1867

Whitman Archive ID: owu.00003

Source: The Bayley-Whitman Collection, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Notes for this letter were created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from The Letters of Martha Mitchell Whitman, ed. Randall H. Waldron (New York: New York University Press, 1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Nicole Gray

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Sunday, August 11th/67

My dear Walt

I received your letter and was right glad to get it1 I am in rather a writing mood today and have written a long letter to Han2 I also enclosed one from Jeff it was a very long and lively one and I thought it would please her. I am having very pleasant times here, sometimes, it is very gay, it it the style here when any one has company every one calls on them. tomorrow I have to return quite a number it is quite a bore to me to make fashionable calls but of course I must submit to it. but what I enjoy most of any thing else is sitting in my window looking down the Susquanhanna for miles and on the opposite side long ranges of the Alleganny Mountains they are mostly cultivated and their is something delightful about the scenery I would never tire looking at it we have not had what I call a real hot day this summer the children are very happy and contented seldom talk about home they are very fat and burnt Hattie talks a good deal about seeing you, and says she is going out with Uncle Walt. I write to Mother quite often it seems to cheer her up to get letters, I tell her every little particular I have been to a number of picnics they are very pleasant. this week we expect to go to the Barclay coal mines3 every one around here seems related some way to Mr or Mrs Mason we also go riding a good deal the time passes quickly and I am much pleased that I decided to come here I expect to leave for Washington with Mary & Jule the 29th ins't Wont you come and me Walt before you leave for Brooklyn4 I want to see you very much about those "Notes"5 I would like much to have a copy but think it hardly worth while to send them here but you will save me a copy when I come to Washington I dont think of any more to write at present and it is getting late and I want yet to write one to Mother bidding you good night I remain your Affectionate sister


I forgot to tell you the children said before they went to sleep to give their love to Uncle Walt


1. This letter is not known. [back]

2. Hannah Heyde, Walt's sister. [back]

3. The Barclay Railroad and Coal Company owned large coalfields about ten miles southwest of Towanda (records of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania). [back]

4. Walt went to Brooklyn sometime between September 7 and 15 (Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller [New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977], 1:337–38). It is not known whether Mattie saw him in Washington, but she was back in Brooklyn when he arrived there (The Correspondence, 1:340). [back]

5. Probably John Burroughs's Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person, which had recently been published. [back]


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