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Thomas Jefferson Whitman to Walt Whitman, 10 November 1872

Dear Walt,

Your letter to Mat received1  We were very glad to hear that you were with Mother—Mattie and I both feared that Mother was having a bad time with her swollen hand—I suppose you have ere this received Mats letter to you at Washington.2

Now about Mats going to Camden and Mothers return with her—our situation here is just this  we have a nice house—and good servants  Mat has nothing to do in the housekeeping way—nor is it needed—the children—one or tother—attends to the marketing—so that there is nothing to attend to—now our idea was that the great change of air, diet and scene that coming west would be to Mother might do her great good—I have a good horse and buggy that she could ride often (every day if she wished)  she could thus see all the city without trouble—Our good weather is now, the fall and early winter—As to her traveling I do not think she would have any trouble—she would take a car in Philadelphia that comes to within abt a mile and a half of my house  here she would take the R. R. stage and be brought to the door—no change but that—and her ticket in Philadelphia brings her and her trunks and puts them both in the house (is not that an improvement over old times)  The run from Philadelphia is about 38 to 40 hours (say a day and two nights) good beds (taking a section) and [I] do not believe hardly Mother would know she was traveling. Unless Mat thinks Mother would come back with her I hardly think Mat will go East just now—her chest and lungs both seem better now and if by care I can get her in the way of taking some little food I have hopes she will get along yet

Not much news with me  am still pegging away—write us what you think of Mothers coming—I would like to write more but am called away by a notice that a pipe is "busted"

affectionately Jeff


  • 1. Walt Whitman's letter of about November 9 is not extant. [back]
  • 2. Probably Mattie's letter of October 28 (Randall H. Waldron, ed., Mattie: The Letters of Martha Mitchell Whitman [New York: New York University Press, 1977], pp. 83-85). [back]
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