Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist, 19 September [1877]

Date: September 19, 1877

Whitman Archive ID: pml.00044

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), 3:96–97. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Anthony Dreesen, Eder Jaramillo, Kevin McMullen, and Nicole Gray

431 Stevens Street Camden
Wednesday Sept 19

Nothing special to write about—& yet I thought I would send you a line—A good, long, kind, hearty, satisfying visit from John Burroughs & Herby last evening—I suppose they are now on the RR to New York1

And you? I hope you are feeling in good heart & physique—Your note to my sister rec'd & read with sympathy & love by all—

We are all well—My brother is off to his labors, (which are still quite pressing)—My sister has gone out to market—Hattie & Jessie are down stairs sewing—I am sitting up here in my 3d story south room by the open window writing this—feeling quite well for me—

Love to you & the girls, & God bless you all—
Walt Whitman

Bee, dont neglect to write us word—tell us when we can come over for at least a momentary call—& could I or any of us be of any service to you?2


1. Herbert Gilchrist stayed with John Burroughs at Esopus-on-Hudson until about October 4. See the letter from Whitman to Edward Carpenter of October 5, 1877[back]

2. Anne Gilchrist had, as she wrote to one of her English friends on December 23, "a somewhat severe operation (under ether) to cure an injury received at the birth of one of my children which has always troubled me—The success depended largely on skilful nursing afterward and this Bee accomplished" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). In the same letter Mrs. Gilchrist made an interesting comment upon her stay in America: "I rejoice that we came—to see it all with our own eyes, but I also rejoice very much that I do not feel as if I ought to stay—as I should have done if it had offered manifestly better advantages and opportunities for Herby and Bee than England." Not a word about her disillusionment with the person who, not mentioned by name, was simply "an American poet." [back]


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