Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Helen and Abby H. Price, 6 October 1876

Date: October 6, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: pml.00043

Source: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, N.Y. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:62. 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, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

Oct 10, 1876.1

Dear Helen, Dear Abby, & all—2

I am still jogging along here—still just holding on—sometimes (perhaps a quarter of the time) tolerably fair—the rest, by the skin of my teeth—but upon the whole with a spirit of cheerfulness & content with what comes that quite surprises myself.

My new edition 2 Vols is out & bound, & pictured & autographed. I sell a few, mostly to England3—gives me a little occupation—got your letter—write again—believe me, Helen and Abby dear, I appreciate the letters, & most of all your persistent & faithful friendship.

Walt Whitman


1. This letter's envelope bears the address, "Miss Helen Price | (or Mrs Abby Price)| Red Bank | New Jersey." It is postmarked: "Camden | Oct | 6 | N.J." [back]

2. This is the last letter Whitman wrote to Abby H. Price, who was dead when he wrote to Helen on April 21, 1881. Whitman, who had lived with the Prices at various times in the 1860s, evidently did not visit them after his mother's death in 1873 until he journeyed to his birthplace in 1881. [back]

3. This is one of Whitman's characteristically misleading statements. He had exhausted the first printing of 100 to 150 copies of the 1876 edition, but he sent, as his Commonplace Book (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.) and his letters reveal, many copies of the second printing to English and American admirers. [back]


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