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Walt Whitman to Talcott Williams, 14 December 1884

A-1127  cor.00002.001_large.jpg My dear friend

Upon the whole I shall have to beg off from Monday night. The doctor enjoins upon me that I am like an old wagon body—must keep rigidly to the smooth ordinarily traveled roads, & not cut across lots any how. Give my friendliest greetings & wishes to Miss Terry & Mr Irving—Should they, or either, feel any day—say from 2 to 3 in the afternoon—like calling upon me here, I should rate  cor.00002.002_large.jpg it a welcome honor.1

—If you have not procured the tickets before receiving this let them go unprocured—Best remembrances to Mrs. Williams.

Walt Whitman

Show this note to Miss Terry and Mr Irving—& if Miss T has the least desire to keep it, please let her do so.

Talcott Williams (1849–1928) was associated with the New York Sun and World as well as the Springfield Republican before he became the editor of the Philadelphia Press in 1879. His newspaper vigorously defended Whitman in news articles and editorials after the Boston censorship of 1882. For more information about Williams, see Philip W. Leon, "Williams, Talcott (1849–1928)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. Whitman used his poor health as an excuse from all social occasions which he did not wish to attend. From December 2 to 4 he dined daily with Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke in Philadelphia, and on December 4 and 5 John Burroughs joined them for trips to Robert Pearsall Smith's home (Whitman's Commonplace Book). [back]
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