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Walt Whitman to the Staffords, 15[–17] April [1881]

Well here I am in a grand old hotel, the finest in town—the proprietor Mr Ferrin1 (a stranger too) sent and invited me to stop here as the guest of the house & no bill to pay—nice room large, fire in it, first rate grub (too good, I am tempted too much)—When I got up this morning, snow falling thick & every thing dark & cloudy & wintry—but looks a little brighter now—I am feeling pretty well—went out around yesterday & last night—great bright stirring city, this—great people, these Yankees—I like them—I am used tip top here—friends call all the time2—lecture comes off to-night.

Saturday Evening Lecture went off first rate last night—best I have had yet, better audience (better than New York or Philadelphia)—I am enjoying myself well—have been out riding today & shall go again to-morrow. I dont know that I can tell you anything particularly to interest you but I suppose you will like to have a word. I am to stop here till Tuesday or Wednesday next. Love to Harry & Ed—I send you a paper—

Walt Whitman

Boston Friday now April 15


  • 1. Charles B. Ferrin, the proprietor of the Revere House. Whitman was in Boston from April 13 to 19. The proceeds from the lecture amounted to $135 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
  • 2. For the Boston visit, see The Critic of May 7, 1881; Specimen Days, ed. Floyd Stovall (New York: New York University Press, 1963), 264–269, 347–348; and Gay Wilson Allen, The Solitary Singer (New York: New York University Press, 1955), 491. An account of Whitman's lecture appeared in the Boston Herald on April 16. [back]
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