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John Baker to Walt Whitman, 4 August 1888

 loc.01092.001_large.jpg Mr. W. Whitman Camden Dear Sir

I trust you will pardon me for intruding upon you—after you read my letter—I see by the papers you like myself have the horrible misfortune of a stroke of Paralysis.

I see you are improving. I am oh so very glad—but not so with me—on the contrary I am gradually growing worse—my case is called progressive Bulbar paralysis—is mine anything like yours.

I have been to New York to see  loc.01092.002_large.jpg  loc.01092.003_large.jpg Dr. E. C. Seguine,1 but found he was in Europe.

I was first attacked in my right eye last Oct. it passed off and in April it again showed itself in the eye side of my face roof of my mouth tongue & throat—I can only swallow liquid food. my speech is badly affected–and I am growing very weak;

If your case is like mine—and you can tell me where you received the most good I will be very greatefull​ to you

hoping you may eventually recover your health

I Remain yours in Sympathy John Baker Penfield Monroe Co N.Y.  loc.01092.004_large.jpg

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


  • 1. Edward Constant Seguin (1843–1898) was a French-born and widely known New York neurologist, one of the first American professors of neurology and a founding member of the American Neurological Association. See Christopher G. Goetz and Charles H. Harter, "Treating Melancholia at Home: Theoretical Wisdom and Grim Reality in the Career of E. C. Seguin," Neurology 80 (April 30, 2013), 1710–1714. [back]
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