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Susan Stafford to Walt Whitman, 29 December [1878]

Dear friend,

we have looked for you down with us so long & you have not come that we have given up all hope of ever seeing you again with us so I write to say the kit of fish and all the nice presents that you have so kindly sent us have all come safe and we all thank you more than words can tell.2 I should have written for you last weeks to spend Christmas with us but I had a very severe attact​ of the heart & was not able to do so [no handwritten text supplied here] I am better now will you please come this week [no handwritten text supplied here] we shall look for you [no handwritten text supplied here] do not disappoint us. We have waited so long please write what day you will come & we will meet you at the Station,

ever your friend, S.M. Stafford


  • 1. This letter was marked Sunday, which would fit 1878; however, Whitman sent a kit of fish November 24, 1877, so the date may be 1877. [back]
  • 2. 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). [back]
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