Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 25 December [1871]

Date: December 25, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: pml.00031

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), 2:144–145. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

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

Department of Justice
Washington 187.
Dec. 251—Evening ½ past 6—2

Well, mama dear, Christmas day is finished, & I thought I would just send you a line—We have had a mild day, as warm as spring—I took dinner at O'Connor's by invitation—we had an excellent dinner—I am invited to Dr. Channings3 this evening, but I hardly feel like going, & shall not go—They are very clever people, & have invited me to Newport next summer—

I am writing this in the office, (alone in my own room)—I have just time to catch the mail—I hope you have had a nice Christmas, mama dear—May be George & Lou are with you—(I hope you will all take a glass of the Spanish wine)—

I believe I told you in my last that I wrote to Martha and Han—Good bye, mama dear, for this time, & Love to you & Lou & all—


Mother, I will send the order in my next—The bells are all ringing for 7 oclock church—there is a chime of bells in one of the churches—they are playing an old hymn tune—it sounds good—it is a beautiful moonlight night—


1. In his January 1, 1872 letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, Walt Whitman reported that he had sent three letters to his mother the preceding week, of which this was the first. [back]

2. This letter's envelope bears the address, "Mrs. Louisa Whitman | p. o. Box 218, | Brooklyn, New York." It is postmarked: "Washington | Dec | 25 | D.C." [back]

3. William F. Channing, the doctor whom Walt Whitman had visited in Providence in October, 1868. [back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.