Skip to main content

Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 2 August [1870]

Dear friend,

I write a line just to give an account of myself. I am well as usual, & in good spirits. My Mother, brother George, & all, are well. I came through finely on the RR. last Wednesday—& found myself received very agreebly just as I crossed Jersey flats, approaching New York, by an entire change in the weather—the distressing heat gone—& in its place summer atmosphere, of course, but moderate enough—which has continued every day since. I enjoy it all, home here, day & night—especially the nights—which are fine.

I hear that Wm Swinton2 is here, from California. Your name was just mentioned on the editorial page of last Saturday's (I believe Saturday's) Tribune.3 I have seen Mrs. Price, she is ill with asthma. Her daughter Emily4 has had a fine little baby boy, now about a month resident in this mad world—(I write about the baby for Nelly and Jenny)—My sister Martha & the children have migrated from St. Louis to St. Paul, (Iowa) for a few weeks. They are as well as usual.

I am quite busy flying around—the printers & stereotypers commence on my immortal work to-morrow—My dear, dear friend, I hope you are well & in good spirits—I send you my love—also to Charles Eldridge, if he is there—the package of letters & paper came promptly—& I will heartily thank you to continue watching the letters &c. and forwarding them to me in same manner—

Please enclose this in your next letter to Nelly—Nelly, my darling, I hope you are having comfortable times, & that all goes well—& Jeannie too—I think often about you both—& send you my best love—in which I am joined by my Mother.



  • 1. This letter's envelope bears the address, "Wm. D. O'Connor, | Light House Board, | Treasury Dept. | Washington, D.C." It is postmarked: "New York | (?) | (?)." [back]
  • 2. From 1870 to 1874, William Swinton (1833–1893) was professor of English at the University of California. Thereafter he compiled extremely successful textbooks, and established the magazine, Story-Teller, in 1883. [back]
  • 3. On July 30, 1870 the New York Tribune referred to Dr. Holmes's assertion that Boston, "our Literary Head Center," could claim writers like William D. O'Connor. [back]
  • 4. Emily Price had married in 1869. On April 7, 1869, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman informed her son that "Emily price is going to get married…his name is law an artist in the cheap picture line." [back]
Back to top