Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to John Burroughs, 11 June [1879]

Date: June 11, 1879

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00386

Source: Papers of Walt Whitman (MSS 3829), Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. 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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1309 Fifth avenue
New York
June 11

Dear John Burroughs

As you see I am still here—but I leave for Camden next Saturday—I still keep ab't the same as when I last saw you—The Johnstons all well—The Gilchrists sailed last Saturday in the Circassia1

—I send you the "Tobacco Plant" with a piece of mine will interest you—(you'll see I have used one of your letters of last winter)2—How nicely those English get up their print things—

—This has been a good visit for me—it sort o' rehabilitates me for speaking & literary handling, writing, off-hand, more than I anticipated—half-paralytic as I am—henceforth I feel more at ease, more self confidence—which is always half the battle—

I hope 'Sula is comfortable this hot weather (very hot here to-day)—& the babe—When you write direct to Camden—I send Smith3 a paper, with my love



1. The Gilchrists sailed for Glasgow on June 9, 1879 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). See also the letter from Whitman to Anne Gilchrist of August 18, 1879. Before embarking, Anne Gilchrist and Whitman had a private farewell at Johnston's home—a farewell which neither was willing to discuss (Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades [Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1931], 146–147). The meeting was Anne Gilchrist's final defeat, as she "learned of finalities | Besides the grave." [back]

2. "Three Young Men's Deaths" (see the letter from Whitman to John Fraser of June 16, 1879). [back]

3. Burroughs's hired hand, Smith Caswell. [back]


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