Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Herbert Gilchrist, 15 December 1885

Date: December 15, 1885

Whitman Archive ID: upa.00081

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

Editorial note: The annotation, "Sprague Collection No 31," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein and Kyle Barton

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328 Mickle street
Camden New Jersey1
Dec. 15 1885

Dear Herbert

I have rec'd your letter. Nothing now remains but a sweet & rich memory—none more beautiful, all time, all life, all the earth—

—I cannot write any thing of a letter to-day. I must sit alone & think.2

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. This letter is addressed: Herbert H Gilchrist | 12 Well Road | Hampstead | London | England. It is postmarked: CAMDEN | DEC | 15 | 4 PM | 1885 | N.J.; NEW YORK | DEC 16 | 130 AM | 85. [back]

2. On January 25, 1886, Herbert wrote to Whitman: "You will be glad to hear that I am going to republish some of mother's essays; giving some account of her beautiful life. May I quote from some of your letters to mother? and will you help me to the extent of lending me, mother's letters to you? those that you have kept? I should be glad of them quite soon, as I have got to work already; at present thinking over her life is the only thing that I take pleasure in: indeed I am unable to get my thoughts away, and I don't want to. . . . never did son have such a sweet companionable dear mother as mine." [back]


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