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Walt Whitman to Ruth Stafford, 24 June [1879]

 loc_vm.00269.jpg Dear Ruthey

I received your letter and was glad to hear from you by your own writing. You must be having good times over there at Glendale. Do you all like it there as well as the old farm? Well Ruth it is now over six months since I have seen any of you except Harry.1 The last three I have been away in New York—return'd only a few days ago—I am well and fat, & have been so, & my visit & lecture & jaunts on the water & seashore &c. all did me good.


Tell your mother that the baby born over two years ago when Mrs Johnston died there in N Y is still living & though not rugged is a nice sweet little child—He is named Harry2

To-day a friend from Philadelphia has made me a half-hour call, with his four nice girls, one of them about your age, two a little older, & one younger. He has four boys and four girls. First he takes the four boys out, & then the four girls—I enjoyed their call—They were going off on a little excursion—

My brother & sister are well as usual—My nieces are now here3—have left school—they are grown, tall hearty girls—


Tell Mont4 I want to see him—I often wished he was with me to see the sights, when I was in New York—It is very hot here to-day—I want to come down soon, probably next week, & see you all & see the new place—I will send word a day or two before, so Mont or you can come to the station for me. Love to you & all, Ruthy dear. I shall come soon.5

Walt Whitman  loc_vm.00272.jpg


  • 1. Whitman was last with the Staffords from November 29 to December 6, 1878. Ruth was Harry's sister (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
  • 2. See the letter from Whitman to Anne Gilchrist of March 23, 1877. [back]
  • 3. Mannahatta and Jessie Louisa, Walt's brother Thomas Jefferson Whitman's daughters, came to Camden almost annually. [back]
  • 4. Ruth's brother, Montgomery. [back]
  • 5. Whitman went to Glendale on July 2 (Whitman's Commonplace Book). [back]
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