Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Abby H. Price, 7 September 1868

Date: September 7, 1868

Whitman Archive ID: pml.00025

Source: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:43. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

September 7, 1868.1

Dear Abby:

I have leave of absence commencing first of next week, and intend coming on to New York, for a while, to spend the first part of it. Are you so fixed that you can give me a room? You must answer candidly no, if not—please write at once—I am well as usual—nothing very new or important with me. The advent of the new Attorney General, Mr. Evarts,2 does not seem likely to affect my position here.3 But there have been many dismissals of clerks in the Departments. The O'Connors are well—the little girl has picked up amazingly—goes about, indeed, as strong & nimble as a grasshopper—

In a late letter, Mother said she had not seen any thing of Helen or Emily for some time—I suppose you have been off in the country.

Love to all—& good bye for the present.



1. This letter's envelope bears the address, "Mrs Abby H. Price, | 331 East 55th street, | bet 1st & 2d av's. | New York City." It is postmarked: "(?) | Sep | 8." [back]

2. William Maxwell Evarts (1818–1901) was chief counsel for Andrew Johnson during the impeachment trial of 1868. As a reward for his services, Johnson appointed Evarts Attorney General later in the year; Evarts was Secretary of State from 1877 to 1881 and U.S. Senator from New York from 1885 to 1891. [back]

3. On October 9, 1868, however, O'Connor wrote cryptically to Walt Whitman: "I had a long and free talk with [Ashton] about Mat Pleasants and Evarts, in connexion with you, which I must tell you about when we meet. It made me feel quite anxious, but I guess all's right, while Ashton is there. Pleasants is a miserable devil. I wish I had power in that office for a little while. I'd put a spoke in the wheel of his vendetta, which would carry it and him to a safe distance." [back]


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