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 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.

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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