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Walt Whitman to Peter Doyle, 24 July [1871]

Dear Pete,

I rec'd the $50 to-day all right,1 and a real help to me—I have money, but cannot have the use of it just now—so this comes first rate—

I spent yesterday down on the sea-shore—was all by myself—had a splendid good day—took my dinner with me—went down in the boat 12 miles in the morning, & back in a big open horse car, toward evening, through the fields & woods—very pleasant indeed—staid a long while in the water—weather perfect—Mother2 is better to-day—she has been pretty sick, with several ups & downs—I am as well as a fellow can be—eat & sleep tremendous—Shall stay here a week or so longer—shall be back first part of next week if nothing happens—

Well, Pete, I believe that is all this morning—Good bye, my darling son, and a long, long kiss from your loving father



  • 1. Whitman had requested $50 in his July 16–21, 1871 letter to Doyle. [back]
  • 2. Louisa Van Velsor Whitman (1795–1873) married Walter Whitman, Sr., in 1816; together they had nine children, of whom Walt was the second. The close relationship between Louisa and her son Walt contributed to his liberal view of gender representation and his sense of comradeship. For more information on Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, see Sherry Ceniza, "Whitman, Louisa Van Velsor (1795–1873)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]
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