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Walt Whitman to Susan Stafford, 24 September 1882

 loc_jc.00517_large.jpg Dear friend

Your letter of over a week ago rec'd​ —& I should have answer'd​ before, but I expected to come down myself, or send word—but one thing or another delays the publication of my new book, & I am waiting for that—it is all printed and ready, & will be out early this coming week—I will bring you one when I come down—there is lots in about the pond & the old lane &c. and my times there five or six years ago—(but there are ever so many subjects in it)—

—I went round yesterday in the rain to make a short visit to Mrs Rogers1—She is pretty well, considering—complains of being weak in the limbs & flush'd​ with the heat, but sat in the parlor & talked very cheerful & friendly, some time—said she hoped you would come up very soon—I ask'd​ if she didnt intend going down to your house soon—she said no, she expected to go on east (Mass:​ ) to see her daughter—she said Amos was to be home that Saturday evening, to stay over Sunday—ask'd​ me to come around & get acquainted with him—So I had a very pleasant little visit—Every thing there look'd​ about the same, nice & comfortable—Jane came to the door—

We have had nothing but rain, rain, here, the last three or four days—seems to pour down all day long—it is well I didn't come down early in the week as I had intended  loc_jc.00518_large.jpg but now as I write (Sunday, late forenoon) it is very pleasant sunshiny again—as I sit here the bells are ringing for church, off aways—sounds very good—every thing quite delightful after the long dark equinoctial storm—but I just wish I was down there this minute—a day there in the woods—

—Where my books are now publish'd​ is 23 South 9th Street, Philadelphia2 (not far from Leary's book store)—and they have fixed me up a big table and arm chair, by a window up stairs, all to myself—& there I go for an hour or two or three, every day if I like—the whole building is stuff'd​ with books, some old, some very costly, some very rare—all the histories, dictionaries &c. you can think of, & everything else—

—Nothing very new with me—I still keep well—eat my rations every time—I havn't seen or heard any thing of Harry or any of you for a long time—except I saw Joe3 at the ferry over a week ago—I want to come down Friday next, to Kirkwood, in the usual 4 o'clock train—shall be down Friday4—Love to you and George, Ruthy & all—

Walt Whitman


  • 1. See Whitman's letter to Susan Stafford of May 14, 1882. [back]
  • 2. On September 24 the Springfield Republican said: "It is to be regretted that Whitman had not the patience to wait for some firm of consequence to take up the task Osgood so feebly laid down," and then cited an objectionable advertisement of Leaves of Grass, undoubtedly the one referred to in The Critic of October 7: "We learn from Messrs. Rees Welsh & Co.​ , of Philadelphia, that 'the party who inserted the advertisement' in which Mr. W's 'Leaves of Grass' was characterized as 'a daisy' 'has no longer charge of that department.'" [back]
  • 3. Susan Stafford's son-in-law, Joseph L. Browning. [back]
  • 4. Whitman went to Glendale on September 30, Saturday, and remained there until October 3 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). See the jottings in November Boughs (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1888), 76–77. [back]
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