Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Herbert Gilchrist, 21 November [1876]

Date: November 21, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: upa.00062

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.

Notes for this letter were created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Jonathan Y. Cheng, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, Eric Conrad, and Nicole Gray

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431 Stevens street
Nov 21

My dear Herbert

I had a safe little jaunt home yesterday afternoon1—What a long-drawn-out storm—cloudy yet this morning.

Upon talking more fully with my sister about the colored woman Rosy, I am convinced she would not do—so I think we will give up any further thought of her as a help to you—

J T Nettleship's address is 233 Stanhope street, Regents' Park N W—The criticism in the Examiner was written by J H McCarthy.2 I am feeling pretty well (for me) this morning—Affectionate regards to all—

Walt Whitman

Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist (1857–1914), son of Alexander and Anne Gilchrist, was an English painter and editor of Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1887). For more information, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden (1857–1914)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. A reference to his return from a visit to the Gilchrists in Philadelphia from November 18 to 20 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

2. According to his Commonplace Book, Whitman sent Two Rivulets on September 7 to Justin H. McCarthy, Jr. (1860–1936). On September 23, McCarthy thanked him for the volume, and recalled that his father, the novelist, had met the poet in 1870; see also Gay Wilson Allen, The Solitary Singer (New York: Macmillan, 1955), 418–419, and Justin McCarthy, Reminiscences (London: Chatto & Windus, 1899), 1:258–261. McCarthy's unsigned review of Two Rivulets, "Songs Overseas," appeared in The Examiner on October 21. After praising Whitman's description of Lincoln's death, McCarthy observed: "Could he apply this power to the whole as to this chapter, Walt Whitman might abandon all other titles for that of America's first historian." [back]


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