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Walt Whitman to Charles W. Eldridge, 29 December [1873]

Dear Charley,

I am getting along favorably—looking on the sunny side of the case, I am probably better now than at any time since I was paralyzed—(though bad enough yet.) My improvement is not much in the head troubles, & hardly any in my left leg, but very perceptible in my strength & vim generally—& my confidence remains (still unaffected in the main, by all the tediousness of hope deferred again & again) that, for all I am in the woods yet, I shall emerge & see light again. It was to Harpers I sold at handsome prices my pieces—(I sent a second one which, like the first, they took, at my own price at once & sent me the money)—They are in type, and I have read the proofs. So they are off my mind. One is called "Song of the Redwood tree," (California) & one the "Prayer of Columbus"—When they will appear I don't know, but suppose soon—take this to Nelly.

Nelly, my dear, I received your welcome letter last evening. I am waiting for the photos of my St. Louis Nieces to be returned from an old grand-aunt of mine (92 years old),2 mother's mother's sister, who wanted to see them in N.Y., & then I will send them to you. I spent Christmas alone here, as my brother and sister had gone down for three days on a visit to Delaware—I am in good heart. We shall yet meet, Nelly dear.


I send a P.O. Order for $30. for Godey—I sent him $20 on the 23rd.


  • 1. Transcript. [back]
  • 2. Sally Mead, whom Whitman had mistaken for her sister Phebe Pintard in his April 1–2, 1873 letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman. [back]
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