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John Jarvey Brown to Walt Whitman, [1881–1891]

 loc.01109.001_large.jpg Walt,

Here is one soul, born in the year of meteors '59,1 who, most unutterably has, in these last 3½ years, received the shock of thy influence.

Welcome to Britain!—especially to North Britain!—most especially to the foreground of my own certain centre of identity: we will cross orbits.2

Unmistakably yours, J.J. Brown. 160 Cathcart Rd; Glasgow, Scotland. Walt Whitman. United States. America —The Great Camerado is here! The Lover True for whom we pine, He is here!!3  loc.01109.002_large.jpg J.J. Brown.  loc.01109.003_large.jpg  loc.01109.004_large.jpg J.J. Brown.

John Jarvey Brown (b. 1859) was a chemist and druggist in Glasgow. According to the 1881 Scotland Census, Brown lived at 160 Cathcart Road; by the 1891 Census, he had moved to 285 Main Street in the parish of Barony. This letter likely dates to the 1880s.


  • 1. Brown is referencing Whitman's poem "Year of Meteors. (1859–60.)". [back]
  • 2. Brown writes this letter at the top of pages he seems to have taken from a printed book or journal that he likely intends as enclosures for Whitman. The letter appears at the top of part of an essay entitled "Existence." A poem titled "Things" is also enclosed. Brown writes his name at the bottom of each printed page and may be the author of these works. [back]
  • 3. Brown is quoting from section 45 of Whitman's "Song of Myself". [back]
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