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Walt Whitman to Susan Stafford, 12 August 1888


Nothing very new or different—I am still in my sick room—Sit up most of the day—write some & keep pretty good spirits—but am as weak & feeble as ever. (Sometimes I opine will remain so.) I think Herbert2 is coming to America soon—may be this month. It is raining all day like fury—coolish—

Walt Whitman  loc_jc.00393_large.jpg

Susan M. Lamb Stafford (1833–1910) was the mother of Harry Stafford (1858–1918), who, in 1876, became a close friend of Whitman while working at the printing office of the Camden New Republic. Whitman regularly visited the Staffords at their family farm near Kirkwood, New Jersey. Whitman enjoyed the atmosphere and tranquility that the farm provided and would often stay for weeks at a time (see David G. Miller, "Stafford, George and Susan M.," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings [New York: Garland Publishing, 1998], 685).


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Mrs: Susan Stafford | Kirkwood | (Glendale) | New Jersey. It is postmarked: Camden, N. J. | Aug 12 | 5 PM | 88; Kirkwood | Aug | 13 | 1888. [back]
  • 2. Herbert Gilchrist (1857–1914), the artist-son of Anne Gilchrist, was a frequent visitor with Whitman to the Stafford farm. For more on him, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden (1857–1914)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, ed., (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]
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