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Ellen M. O'Connor to Walt Whitman, 13 March 1888 [Postscript]

 loc.02952.002.jpg P.S.2

The man who treats Wm with the "massage" thought the morning the best time, so comes at seven A. M. & is to come every day at that hour. He thinks he can help Wm. I hope so.

We both send love— N.  loc.02952.001.jpg

Ellen M. "Nelly" O'Connor (1830–1913) was the wife of William D. O'Connor (1832–1889), one of Whitman's staunchest defenders. Before marrying William, Ellen Tarr was active in the antislavery and women's rights movements as a contributor to the Liberator and to a women's rights newspaper Una. Whitman dined with the O'Connors frequently during his Washington years. Though Whitman and William O'Connor would temporarily break off their friendship in late 1872 over Reconstruction policies with regard to emancipated African Americans, Ellen would remain friendly with Whitman. The correspondence between Whitman and Ellen is almost as voluminous as the poet's correspondence with William. Three years after William O'Connor's death, Ellen married the Providence businessman Albert Calder. For more on Whitman's relationship with the O'Connors, see Dashae E. Lott, "O'Connor, William Douglas [1832–1889]" and Lott's "O'Connor (Calder), Ellen ('Nelly') M. Tarr (1830–1913)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. This postal card is addressed: Walt Whitman, | Camden, | New Jersey. It is postmarked Washington | Mar 13 | 8PM | 88 | D.C.; Camden, N.J. | Mar | 14 | 1PM | 1888 | Rec'd. [back]
  • 2. O'Connor sent Whitman two postal cards dated March 13, 1888. This, the second postal card, was intended as a postscript to the first. [back]
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