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Walt Whitman to George and Susan Stafford, 10 June [1880]


I have now been a week in Canada enjoying every thing quietly but finely—I live much outdoors—go riding or some short jaunt or around the farm, most every day—I have a good room—good table [illegible] plenty of young folks (young ladies) & a small army of fine children—a large, quiet library—but the best thing is my hostess, one of those blessed sisterly women I have had the good luck to meet in life's grim journey & have for a friend, more than once—Canada is a far finer country than I supposed—very fair land, the people nicely off—I see none very poor—I remain well for me—am to go to Lake Huron next week for a few days, to return here of course—Harry dear boy, how are you? & Mont2 and Van3 and Debby4—Love to all—

W W  loc_jc.00483_large.jpg


  • 1. George Stafford (1827–1892) was the father of Harry Stafford, a young man whom Whitman befriended in 1876 in Camden. Harry's parents, George and Susan Stafford, were tenant farmers at White Horse Farm near Kirkwood, New Jersey, where Whitman visited them on several occasions. For more on Whitman and the Staffords, 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). [back]
  • 2. Montgomery Stafford (1862–1925) was one of Harry Stafford's brothers. [back]
  • 3. Van Doran Stafford (1864–1914) was one of Harry Stafford's brothers. [back]
  • 4. Deborah Stafford (1860–1945) was the sister of Harry Stafford. She married Joseph Browning. See Daybooks and Notebooks, ed. William White (New York: New York University Press, 1978), 1:35. [back]
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