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Walt Whitman to Louisa Orr Whitman, 18 September 1881

Dear Sister Lou

I still remain well—Am out here in Concord on a visit1—spent last evening with Mr Emerson very pleasantly indeed—am to take dinner with him to-day—Every thing very agreeable here—I am at F B Sanborn's—(the little picture at the top is the house)2—as I write (Sunday forenoon 11 o'clock) I look out on the Concord river—something like the Schuylkill—

The book is almost finished—I am on the last pages of the proof—will be ready in the stores ab't​ last of October—will be issued first in England, to secure the copyright there—as that is required, & I consider it important—Shall leave here (Boston) in about ten days—(perhaps less)3—expect to stop in New York probably a week or so, & then on home—I sent your letter to Mrs. Gilchrist—I have not written yet—it is so sudden & dreadful4—I thought I would wait a while—rec'd​ your letter & as always was glad to get it—it is a sunny, Indian summery spell of weather here now, cool enough, but just suits me—I go back to Boston probably to-morrow—

Yes I rec'd​ the wedding invitation cards from Mr [&] Mrs Elverson for Alice5 & the happy (proposed) bride groom—I think him a lucky man—

Well I must close at once, for here comes a fine lively team of white horses to take me out to ride, to be driven by the owner, Miss Mann,6 herself—With love as always—

Brother Walt


  • 1. Whitman's account of this visit to Concord, during which he met A. Bronson Alcott and Louisa and the Emersons as well as visited the graves of Hawthorne and Thoreau, appeared in The Critic on December 3 (330–331) and later became part of Specimen Days (ed. Floyd Stovall [New York: New York University Press, 1963], 278–282). See also the letter from Whitman to John Burroughs of September 19, 1881. [back]
  • 2. Whitman wrote on Sanborn's stationery, which had a sketch of his home the top of the sheet. [back]
  • 3. Whitman left Boston on October 22 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
  • 4. The death of Beatrice Gilchrist (see the letter from Whitman to Harry Stafford of September 9, 1881). [back]
  • 5. See the letter from Whitman to Louisa Orr Whitman of April 13–14, 1878. [back]
  • 6. Probably one of the daughters of Horace Mann's brother, Thomas. [back]
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