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Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 27 August [1872]

Dearest mother,

There is nothing particular for me to write about. I am well as usual, and getting along all right, except the hot weather. That continues here without much let up—Mother, I hope the things have arrived by this time, & that you have got your bed fixed. I have had a visitor to–day & yesterday, a young Hungarian gentleman, quite agreeable, talks English well, quite a traveler—went over to the White House with him yesterday, & went all through—the President & family are away, but Gen. Dent1 conducted us through, & was very polite. Mrs. O'Connor2 made me a call Saturday, & John Burroughs to–day—

Mother dear, as soon as I hear from you, I will write more particular about my coming to Camden for a day or two.3 Mother, I shall probably send the order in my next.



  • 1. General Frederick T. Dent (1821–1891) was Grant's aide-de-camp during the Civil War and his military secretary during his administration. [back]
  • 2. It is a reasonable conjecture that the fracas between Walt Whitman and O'Connor occurred about this time; see Horace Traubel, ed., With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906–1996), 3:75–78, and Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1931), 96–99. [back]
  • 3. Walt Whitman visited Camden early in September; he wrote of this visit in his September 15, 1872 letter to Rudolf Schmidt. [back]
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