Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist, 10–16 November [1880]

Date: November 10–16, 1880

Whitman Archive ID: pml.00050

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, 1964), 3:192–194. 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, Grace Thomas, Eder Jaramillo, and Nicole Gray

Nov: 10th—
Down at the Staffords
Kirkwood (Glendale)1

I still keep quite well considering—have been down here the past week2—every thing much the same as of old with our friends the S[tafford]s—Mr and Mrs S, and all their sons and daughters—Harry is down at Atlantic City, telegraph operator at a RR station but is going to Camden, same position—

A fine week down here for me—the finest sort of mellow sunny autumn weather—the old woods fine & I in it for hours every day (sometimes I think it as good in its way as the Creek)—I go about nearly the same, my lameness no better (occasionally pretty bad, worse) but my feelings of comfort & strength in general better than former years—often decidedly better—

13th Saturday—Still here—We drove over yesterday (Mrs S and I) to the old place at Timber Creek & down by the pond—I thought it beautiful as ever along the creek and banks—

This month Scribner has a long criticism by E C Stedman on L of G & author, quite funny—"I would & I would not" style, with a bad portrait3—Dr. B[ucke] is furious—Burroughs thinks it well enough & will do good—probably the truth between the two—

I see in the papers allusions to "the Gilchrist Thomas process" & its adoption in some of the great works & foundries—So I think it must be a permanent triumph—I congratulate you all & of course Percy especially (for all I dont know him)4

Sunday 14th

Rather cold, the feeling of snow, but dry & pleasant in a way—I sell some of my books occasionally—have quite a supply left—of late have had more American purchasers than foreigners—(different from previous experience)5

Rec'd your letter of two months since in Canada—it was very welcome—I wrote a postal card from here to Herbert, over a month ago6—Did he get it? Is the address on this right? Do you see any thing of my friend Josiah Child?7 A gentleman named Ingram8 (in the Engineer's office, London General Post Office) has written to me twice in the interest of publishing a Vol: of my prose writings in London9—He seems to be a nice sort of man (is the author of an edition of Poe in London)—I think I shall give him your address & ask to call on you.

Love to you all—where is Beatrice, & how?
Walt Whitman

Nov 16—I return home to Camden to-day—Every thing as usual—I am well—fine November weather, crisp & sunny—



1. The envelope for this letter bears the address: Mrs Gilchrist | Keats' Corner | Wells Road | Hampstead | London | England. It is postmarked: Camden | Nov | 17 | N.J.; London, N.W. | Z A | No 29 | 80. [back]

2. Walt Whitman was in Kirkwood from November 6 to 16, 1880 (Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

3. Stedman's "Walt Whitman" appeared in the November issue of Scribner's Monthly (47–64); it was reprinted in Poets of America (Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed., [Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1885], 349–395). For the reactions of Whitman's friends to Stedman's article, see Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1931), 192–195, and the letter from Walt Whitman to John Burroughs of November 26, 1880[back]

4. On July 17, 1880, Anne Gilchrist informed Louisa Whitman that some Americans had purchased Percy's "Dephosphorization process"; see Edwin Haviland Miller, "Amy H. Dowe and Walt Whitman," Walt Whitman Review 13 (September 1967), 73–79. See also the letter from Walt Whitman to Herbert Gilchrist of February 6, 1879[back]

5. Analysis of Whitman's records in the Commonplace Book about book sales in 1880 shows that purchasers were chiefly Americans (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

6. See the letter from Walt Whitman to Herbert Gilchrist of October 10, 1880[back]

7. On July 10, 1880, Child informed Whitman that Trübner & Co. had exhausted its supply of Leaves of Grass. He sent a draft for $80.50, and ordered ten copies of Leaves of Grass and five of Two Rivulets (The John Rylands Library, Manchester, England). [back]

8. Whitman wrote on September 19 to John H. Ingram (1848–1916), who, in addition to the edition of Poe's writings, wrote Chatterton and His Circle and Christopher Marlowe and His Associates (Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

9. After reading this letter to his mother, Herbert Gilchrist wrote on November 30, 1880 about the publication of Whitman's prose writings in England. He wanted to illustrate the volume which he thought was to be entitled "Pond Musings by Walt Whitman" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; The Letters of Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman, ed. Thomas B. Harned [Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page, 1918], 195–196). [back]


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