Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to John Burroughs, 20 June [1879]

Date: June 20, 1879

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00387

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 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.

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Grace Thomas, Eder Jaramillo, Kevin McMullen, and Nicole Gray

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Camden New Jersey
June 20

Dear John Burroughs

I have got back here after ten weeks' absence, & find myself all the better for my trip (& for what it has developed, & sort o' crystallized)—but discover that I need a spell of quiet and slip shod—Thought I should like the Delaware river trip, & have been deferring to write decidedly, in hopes to go—but have concluded it is best for me not to try it—Write to me soon as you get this—Al Johnston would be a good one to take1—there is manliness in the boy—& he needs such a trip

Nothing very new with me. I am well. I get a stray order now & then from England2—a long letter yesterday from Edward Carpenter (I shouldn't wonder if he panned out finely)3—I have sent you papers from here which of course you have rec'd—I enclose the baby's photo, returned4—my sister thinks of her own lost darling whenever she looks at it—If you get others any time, send me one to keep—I am taking it easy—sleep & eat well—Splendid days & nights here lately—

How is 'Sula? How the plantation? Remembrances to Smith



1. Albert, John H. Johnston's son, accompanied Whitman to Burroughs's home in 1878 (see the letter from Whitman to Anne Gilchrist of June 23–26, 1878). [back]

2. Whitman sent the 1876 two-volume edition to E. D. Mansfield and James W. Thomson on June 16, 1879, and to W. G. Brooke on June 20 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

3. Upon his return to England, Herbert Gilchrist spent a week with Edward Carpenter and his family (The Letters of Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman, ed. Thomas B. Harned [New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1918], 183). [back]

4. Burroughs's son, Julian. [back]


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