Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 23 April 1866

Date: April 23, 1866

Whitman Archive ID: tex.00148

Source: T. E. Hanley Collection, University of Texas. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:273-274. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Brett Barney, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Alyssa Olson

April 23, 1866

Dearest Mother,

I received your letter on Saturday—I am well as usual—shall write to Han to-day—Mother, write soon as convenient after you get this, as I shall want to know if it reached you all right—I have no doubt George will do well in his business—of course there will be slack times once in a while—I have seen the "Radical"1—Mother, I sometimes think the old letter carrier you had, must be the thief2—We have fine weather, plenty of rain to keep down the dust. We had the greatest black procession here last Thursday—I didn't think there was so many darkeys, (especially wenches,) in the world—it was the anniversary of emancipation in this District—

Mother, you must try to take the moving [cooly]3—Well I believe that is all this time—Good bye, dearest mother—Love to sister Mat4 & the little girls.5



1. A favorable review of Drum-Taps appeared in The Radical: A Monthly Magazine, Devoted to Religion, 1 (April, 1866), 311–312: "The author of 'Leaves of Grass,' is as unquestionably a true poet, as the greatest of his contemporaries. He seems to us more purely permeated with the subtile essence of poetry than almost any other." Anne Gilchrist's "A Woman's Estimate of Walt Whitman" also appeared in this journal, 7 (1870), 345–359. [back]

2. See Whitman's letters from March 23, 1866 and March 28, 1866[back]

3. The Whitmans moved to 840 Pacific Street; see the letter from July 30, 1866[back]

4. Martha Mitchell Whitman (1836–1873), also known as "Mattie," wife of Whitman's brother Jeff. [back]

5. Mannahatta and Jessie, Jeff's daughters. [back]


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