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Walt Whitman to Mrs. Kelley, [1885–1892]


I have just learned that a young man whom I sent to speak for me in my sympathy for you & deep sorrow for Mr Kelley's death, did not call early last evening—So I write this line—I am too feeble to get around much, but you can command any thing I, or Mrs: Davis,2 can do or furnish—

I had not much acquaintence with your husband—but enough to know that he had a beautiful soul—

Walt Whitman  loc.02597.002_large.jpg

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


  • 1. The Kelleys might have been neighbors of Whitman in Camden. This letter was written during or after 1885, when Mary Davis became Whitman's housekeeper. The "young man" Whitman refers to may be Wililam H. Duckett, Edward Wilkins, or Warren Fritzinger. [back]
  • 2. Mary Oakes Davis (1837 or 1838–1908) was Whitman's housekeeper. For more, see Carol J. Singley, "Davis, Mary Oakes (1837 or 1838–1908)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]
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