Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Herbert Gilchrist, 24 April [1880]

Date: April 24, 1880

Whitman Archive ID: upa.00072

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: Alicia Bones, Grace Thomas, Eder Jaramillo, Kevin McMullen, and Nicole Gray

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Kirkwood (Glendale) New Jersey
U S America1
April 24

Down here on one of my visits2—Mr and Mrs S and all the young folks well as usual—E is still over at Laurel Mills, & is well & hearty—H runs the store here—(the store is doing middling well)—M and V and R and G3 all right & growing fast—

—Begins to look like spring—apple trees all in bloom, & the sprouting wheat a rich emerald, beautiful—(but just to-day is raw and half-raining & darkish)—the l[ecture] went off fairly, it was good fun for me, grave as the subject was—I sent you a short report—I am surprised about B4—my health & strength fair



1. This postal card is addressed: Herbert Gilchrist | 5 Mount Vernon | Hampstead | London England. It is postmarked: Haddonfield | Apr | 29 | N.J.; Philad'a Pa. | Apr | 25(?) | Paid All. [back]

2. Whitman was at Glendale with the Staffords from April 23 to May 4 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

3. Harry's brothers, Montgomery (1862–1926?), Van Doran (1864–1914), and George (1869–1924). For Ruth, see the letter from Whitman to Herbert Gilchrist of August 3–5, 1878[back]

4. Whitman sent to Mrs. Gilchrist the account in the Camden Daily Post on April 16, 1880 (Whitman's Commonplace Book). On March 28 Mrs. Gilchrist wrote at length about Beatrice's decision to give up her medical studies. Evidently during her stay in Switzerland Beatrice had decided that because she was intellectually incapable of becoming an ideal physician, she preferred to abandon the profession. Her sympathetic (but possessive) mother observed that "the profession was like a great man that swallowed her up from me." A year later Beatrice committed suicide (see the letter from Whitman to Harry Stafford of September 9, 1881). [back]


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