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Walt Whitman to John and Ursula Burroughs, 11 July [1878]

Dear John & 'Sula Burroughs,

I kept staying & staying in N Y​ —but left yesterday in the 4 p m train, had a fine run to Phila:​ & here I am to-day in my regular den—all the better for my month's trip—

Nothing very new—brother & sister well as usual—my two nieces, Jeff's daughters, are here & are a great comfort to me. Hot weather, awful—yet I am standing it well so far. I suppose you got the Tribune of July 4 with my letter in.1 And the box of Graham biscuits by Express—(Of course you know they must be soak'd half an hour or more in milk or water—I sweeten mine with sugar, but some dont like it)—

How are you getting along this hot weather? & how is that baby?2

Walt Whitman

I eat my biscuits for supper only—have two or three of them in a bowl soak'd for an hour, & the water pour'd off, & then a little milk, & plenty of sugar—they must be fixed just right, or they ain't good—


  • 1. Whitman referred to "A Poet's Recreation," published in the New York Tribune on July 4, 1878. [back]
  • 2. Writing on the same day, July 11, Burroughs informed Whitman that "we got our baby just as the heat began, July 1st, & we have had our hands full. . . . He is a bright little fellow & I expect we shall 'set a store' by him as the old women say." This adopted child was Julian Burroughs (1878–1954), who later became a landscape painter, writer, and photographer. [back]
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