Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John Burroughs to Walt Whitman, 25 February 1883

Date: February 25, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: upa.00010

Source: Walt Whitman Collection, 1842–1957, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: The annotation, "Ursula (the wife)," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman and Nicole Gray

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Esopus N.Y.
Feb 25, 1883

Dear Walt:

I wrote to your Quaker friends thanking them for the invitation for the 22d. I could not have gone in any case, my wife was ill in bed & I had to go to Delaware Co to examine a bank, Ursula was ill in N.Y. She had a relapse after returning home, & has had a hard time,—ague, bronchitis, & a gathering in her ear. She is better now & is down stairs to-day for the first in nearly two weeks. My own health is nothing to brag of, I thought the trouble was with my nervous system, but the doctor finds it in my arterial; arteries hard & brittle, danger from apoplexy &c. Not a very cheering diagnosis tho', I may live to be hanged yet. I have given up eating meat & have otherwise changed my habits—shall probably go out home in the spring & spend the season on the old home farm. I seem to have felt a shadow creeping over me for some years, & this is what it means. But I shall not lose heart: I shall try to gain some of your own cheerfulness & serenity. I wish much I could see you. If you had only sent me word that day, I was on the point of coming over, but felt sure I should miss you if I did.

I received your check for $100 all right. I have a little [glimpse?] of Carlyle & his country in the March Atlantic.

I hope you keep well. Is there any news from Boston about the effort to stop the sale of your poems?

With much love
John Burroughs


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