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James W. Wallace to Walt Whitman, 23 June 1891

 loc_vm.01243_large.jpg My dear Walt Whitman,

Just a line or two of loving remembrance & good wishes.—I hope that you are better than you were, & that the summer weather is doing you good. How I should like to hear that you are able to get out in it with good results!

We have had glorious weather here for several days,—bright  loc_vm.01244_large.jpg & warm—even hot at times—but with pleasant breezes. Saturday & Sunday especially were almost perfect days.—I spent all the time I could in the open air, wandering about Rivington & absorbing its perfect summer beauty.—If only I could transfer some of it to my letter & convey the bright sunshine & grateful warmth & balmy blossom scented air to you!

But I took no notes & gave myself up wholly to the influences of the time.  loc_vm.01245_large.jpg And how little can any picture—on canvas or in words—convey of the real impressions made upon one, with their infinite complexity & harmony, & their mysterious relation to the absorbing tallying soul.—

Tonight, as I write, the sky is clouded & threatens rain. But that too will be grateful after the hot days.

I fear the effects of  loc_vm.01246_large.jpg the excessive heat reported from New York upon you, but hope for the best.

With love to you always Yours affectionately J.W. Wallace  loc_vm.01241_large.jpg  loc_vm.01242_large.jpg

James William Wallace (1853–1926), of Bolton, England, was an architect and great admirer of Whitman. Wallace, along with Dr. John Johnston (1852–1927), a physician in Bolton, founded the "Bolton College" of English admirers of the poet. Johnston and Wallace corresponded with Whitman and with Horace Traubel and other members of the Whitman circle in the United States, and they separately visited the poet and published memoirs of their trips in John Johnston and James William Wallace, Visits to Walt Whitman in 1890–1891 by Two Lancashire Friends (London: Allen and Unwin, 1917). For more information on Wallace, see Larry D. Griffin, "Wallace, James William (1853–1926)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman, | 328, Mickle St | Camden | New Jersey | U.S. America. It is postmarked: BOLTON | 47 | JU 24 | 91; NEW YORK | JUL | 3; C | 91; PAID | F | ALL; CAMDEN, N J. | JUL | 3 | 4 PM | 91 | REC'D. [back]
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