Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to John Burroughs, 22 June [1877]

Date: June 22, 1877

Whitman Archive ID: prc.00047

Source: Miller's transcription is derived from a typescript of the letter, provided by Professor Thomas Ollive Mabbott. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:89. 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, and Kevin McMullen

1929 north 22d st Phila1
June 22

Am here having a good time—Carpenter2 returns to Europe in Saturday's steamer—the G[ilchrist]s all well—my folks in Camden all doing well3—Marvin comes here (to the G's) on 6th of July4—Shall come and visit you & S[ula]5 this summer—



1. The envelope for this letter bears the address: John Burroughs | Esopus-on-Hudson | Ulster County New York. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | June | 22 | 3 PM. [back]

2. It was "with real reluctance" that Edward Carpenter returned to England after coming under "the added force of bodily presence" (Days with Walt Whitman, [New York: The Macmillan Company, 1908], 32). [back]

3. Apparently Whitman, with his customary optimism, considered that Louisa's health had improved. See the letter from Whitman to Emma Dowe of July 12, 1877[back]

4. Joseph B. Marvin, one of Walt Whitman's Washington friends, visited Anne Gilchrist shortly after her arrival in Philadelphia in September, 1876 (Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist, Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings [London: T.F. Unwin, 1887], 228). Marvin had been co-editor of The Radical in 1866-1867. Later he was employed in the Treasury Department in Washington. On December 15, 1874, Marvin wrote to Whitman: "I read and re-read your poems, and the 'Vistas,' and more and more see that I had but a faint comprehension of them before. They surpass everything. All other books seem to me weak and unworthy my attention. I read, Sunday, to my wife, Longfellows verses on Summer, in the last Atlantic, and then I read your poem on the Death of Lincoln. It was like listening to a weak-voiced girl singing with piano accompanyment , and then to an oratorio by the whole Handel Society, with accompanyment by the Music Hall organ" (Library of Congress). Marvin's veneration of Whitman is also transparent in an article in The Radical Review, I (1877), 224-259. [back]

5. Ursula, Burroughs's wife. [back]


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