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Margaretta L. Avery to Walt Whitman, 25 February 1889

 loc_gk.01427_large.jpg Dear Cousin Walter

I have not herd​ from you, onely through the papers in regard to your Health. hope you will have your wish gratifyed & make that visit to California. William is Sick most of the time. we have had the fashionable Complaint. the Gripp. the Boarder in the House [illegible] not none escaped. I should like to see you loc_gk.01428_large.jpg Jennets1 daughter Clara2 Boards in the same house with us. John3 has a Grand Son living with him. he is well as can be expected. did you get to​ Handkerchiefs I sent you Christmas. the reson​ I ask I sent a Fan to Miss Lida Wha[illegible]4 she did not get it. a Miss Waters5 from St Louis called up on us with her Sister. she said was acquainted with your brothers family. her Sister lived in my house at one time, nice family William & I often talk of you  loc_gk.01429_large.jpg and your Dear mother so kind & good all ways. we feel so sorry that Chicago will have the Fair.6 many persons will have to pass through New York it will do us som​ good. I got your Picture on Broadway near 28 st for my Friend Mrs Edward Smith7 the head of the Clothing Firm of Smith Gray8 her Sons cary​ on the business. she writes som​ potry​ for her friends I have two Books. I must close to go to lunch.

wishing you much love from your Cousin Margaretta L. Avery  loc_gk.01430_large.jpg

Margaretta Avery was a cousin of Whitman's mother Louisa Van Velsor Whitman; she and her husband William lived in Brooklyn and visited Whitman when he was in Camden, at which time Whitman sold Margaretta a copy of Two Rivulets and gave her a copy of Memoranda During the War (See Walt Whitman: Daybooks and Notebooks, ed. William White [New York: New York University Press, 1978], 1:44n115).


  • 1. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]
  • 2. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]
  • 3. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]
  • 4. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]
  • 5. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]
  • 6. There was a great deal of competition among major U.S. cities, especially Chicago and New York, for a world's fair to be held in celebration of 400 years since Columbus's "discovery" of the New World. The U.S. Congress was tasked with making the decision and chose Chicago, where the World's Columbian Exposition finally opened a year late, in 1893. [back]
  • 7. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]
  • 8. Smith, Gray & Company of Williamsburg and Brooklyn was founded by Edward Smith, a tailor, in 1833, who partnered with his brother-in-law, Allen Gray, a patternmaker. They formed a company to make clothing for boys and children and opened a store together in Williamsburg in 1864. The company quickly grew and by late in the century was one of the largest manufacturers of boys' and men's clother in New York. [back]
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