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Walt Whitman to Susan Stafford, 2 January 1881

 loc_jc.00491_large.jpg Dear friend Susan & Dear friends all

We are having an awful spell of weather up here, snow-storms & bitter cold ever since Christmas—about the wintriest week I remember take it all through—thermometer down below zero, night & day—But I suppose you know all about it & have had the same—I still keep well & in good trim, thank the Lord—eat my Christmas dinner & spent the evening at the Baptist minister's here, Mr Lung,1 a grand wife, & a big family all home to dinner seven children two grown—had a good time—haven't been out any where else particular for a month—in fact the storms & snow & bad walking keep me weatherbound—rec'd​ two more letters from Herbert2—he has sent you by mail two big books, the Life of Blake,3 he sent them to me to take to you—they are quite valuable & curious books—I  loc_jc.00492_large.jpgthink the first time George or Van or Mont comes up they had better stop here & get them—Herbert also sent me a P.O. order for a small sum, asking me to get something for your children for Christmas—I have not yet cashed it at the P.O.—Mrs G appears to be about well again—

It is now 12½ Sunday—it is moderated, & the sun has come out—my sister has just come home from church—All goes on about as usual here—New Year's day was rather flat, all around, so bleak & cold & deep snow—Still the women are out in their finery, plenty of them—I believe some would parade out in their new bonnets & pretties if it froze their noses off—George, dear friend, how are you getting along this winter?—did you get the new cider—& is any of it left?—I suppose Mont and Van are stout & jolly as ever—have you had any sleigh riding boys?—Susan I sent you a little book & one to Kate—did they come?—I want to see you all but I don't know when I shall come down.

Love to you & George— W W


  • 1. Augustus H. Lung lived at 426 Stevens Street (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.); he was the pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church. [back]
  • 2. Herbert Gilchrist wrote to Whitman on November 30, 1880, and on December 13, 1880. [back]
  • 3. For the Staffords' copies of The Life of Blake, see Whitman's letters to George and Susan Stafford of January 16, 1881 and to Susan Stafford of January 30, 1881. [back]
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