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Walt Whitman to Harry Stafford, 8 December [1883?]

. . . It is dark & foggy & miserable outside weather—but I have had a good supper & am sitting up here feeling jolly & thankful enough (yet a little lonesome)1 . . .


  • 1. Since Whitman wrote several post cards to Harry after he went to Canada, probably the fragment reproduced here was sent at this time, since December 8 fell on Saturday in 1883. In a letter to Whitman from Canada on November 28, Harry complained of his work as "turnkey" in Bucke's asylum, asked for letters of recommendation, and concluded: "Your boy is away among strangers and a good long letter from his dear friend will do him good." On December 17 Harry asserted: "I am determined to make a hit somewhere and dont forget it. I havent had a blue spell yet and think I can get along without any . . . With lots of love and a good old time kiss I am ever your boy Harry." According to a letter to his father on January 12, 1884, Harry was reading Haeckel and Darwin, but was not satisfied with his position at the hospital: "The rules of the Asylum are absurdly strict and of a military form." [back]
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