Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist, 1 May [1877]

Date: May 1, 1877

Whitman Archive ID: upa.00168

Source: Walt Whitman Collection, 1842–1957, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:82. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Grace Thomas, Eder Jaramillo, Kevin McMullen, and Kenneth Price

May 11

My dear friend

I have come up from White Horse, & think of visiting you tomorrow Wednesday—towards the latter part of the afternoon. Will be then to supper. Have met Edward Carpenter of Brighton, England, & have taken the liberty of inviting up to your house to spend a couple of hours—to be there at 6—I am keeping up well in health for me.

Walt Whitman


1. Walt Whitman had been with the Staffords from April 24 to 30, and Edward Carpenter was in Camden on May 1 (The Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). This was Whitman's first meeting with his fervid English admirer (see the letter from Whitman to Edward Carpenter of April 23, 1876). On March 1, 1877, Carpenter wrote to Whitman about his intended visit: "I think there are reasons why we should meet. . . . What must be done—and what you have largely (for a foundation entirely) done—is to form a new organic centre for the thought growth of this age. All seemed clear to me at times, so simple, so luminously clear—I have no more doubt or trouble for myself—but then to express it: that is an endless business—a thing never finished." In Days with Walt Whitman, Carpenter erred in dating his visit May 2 ([New York: The Macmillan Company, 1908], 3–4). A few days later he followed Whitman to Kirkwood, where he was charmed by the poet's naturalness among the earthy Staffords. [back]


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