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Ralph Waldo Emerson to Walt Whitman, 12 January 1863

Dear Sir,

I am very sorry to be so late with my reply to your note, which was received by me just on leaving home to go to Canada, & thence to some of your West N.Y. cities, a journey which has left me no leisure for writing notes to diplomatists, until today.2

If you wish to live in that least attractive (to me) of cities, I must think you can easily do so. Perhaps better in the journalism than in the Departments. You will see that I have dated my note from my known residence.3 With best hope,

R. W. Emerson

Walt Whitman, Esq.


  • 1.

    Endorsed (by Walt Whitman): "R W Emerson | Jan '63."

    The envelope for this letter bears the address: Walt Whitman, Esq. | Washington.

  • 2. At the time of this letter Emerson was on one of his lyceum tours; see Ralph L. Rusk, The Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1949), 418-419, and The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson 10 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1964–95), 5:302. [back]
  • 3. See Emerson's letters to Salmon P. Chase and William H. Seward from January 10, 1863. [back]
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