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O. K. Sammis to Walt Whitman, 6 April 1860

 loc.00863.001.jpg Friend Walter—

I1 design bearly to say How do you do, while you are in Boston, & to express my own pleasure at hearing that your "Leaves of Grass," in its next issue, is to eminate from that City. It will hereafter be read in your day. Every N.E. yankee factory girl will read and re-read it from an unconquerable passion, for to every N.E. mind its unfathomable inspirations willst be "New every morning loc.00863.002.jpg and fresh every evening." I know what is your mental fare in Boston from my own past personal experience and without wishing to intrude myself above my true level I could wish I were, at least, a stander-by.

How shall I rise to life (action), is, now, my all pressing & all urgent question. Let me have a line in regard to your experience in it, if convenient.

Accept my affectionate regards. O. K. Sammis To Walt Whitman.  loc.00863.003.jpg  loc.00863.004.jpg


  • 1. Dr. O. K. Sammis was a hydropathist who practiced medicine in Brooklyn and New York in the decades before the Civil War. See Harold Aspiz, Walt Whitman and the Body Beautiful (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980), 44. Whitman refers to Dr. Sammis in an April 15, 1863, letter to his mother. See also Whitman's March 13, 1868, letter of response to Sammis, which suggests that the doctor had requested a recommendation to the U.S. Attorney General's office (Edwin Haviland Miller, ed., The Correspondence [New York: New York University Press, 1961–77], 2:23). [back]
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