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Walt Whitman to John Burroughs, 15 March [1872]

We have had cold & spiteful weather all the time of my visit here—over a month—& I have not had my usual outdoor enjoyment, loafing about &c—have been indoors most of the time—I also caught cold just on coming here, & it has bothered ever since.

How are you, dear friend? & how is 'Sula2—dear friend, too—Write me a few lines, John—let me know how Chauncey3 is getting along—if he finds any difficulty—but I guess not—I guess he is getting along well—Is there any thing new among my friends there in Wash'n?

I have got out my new edition, from same plates as the last, only all bound in One Vol.—neatly done in green cloth, vellum—looks the best & most ship-shape of any edition yet—have not added any of my later pieces in this—leaving them to some future issue—

Rec'd a letter from Mrs. Gilchrist in England—she has been reading "Wake Robin" & takes to it greatly4—says Rossetti dined at her house not long since—(You know she is the authoress of the "Woman's Estimate," in the Radical)—

John, I think it likely I shall return about the 1st of April—Mother has had a bad spell for three days, but is about as usual again, yesterday & to-day—direct to me here—

Love to all, Walt.


  • 1.

    This letter, as the contents confirm, was written at the same time as Whitman's March 15, 1872 letter to Peter Doyle. Evidently one of the executors inserted "'71" after the date on the manuscript.

    This letter's envelope bears the address, "John Burroughs, | Office Comptroller | of the Currency, | Washington, | D.C." It is postmarked, "New York | Mar | 15 | (?)30 PM."

  • 2. Burroughs' wife Ursula. [back]
  • 3. Chauncey B. Deyo, Burroughs' nephew, was substituting for Whitman while he was in Brooklyn; see Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1931), 88. Whitman wrote of Deyo's "sudden insanity & death" in his June 5, 1874 letter to Burroughs and in his June 10, 1874 letter to Ellen M. O'Connor. [back]
  • 4. Gilchrist referred to reading Burroughs' Wake-Robin (1871) in a letter to Burroughs on October 19, 1875 (Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades [Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1931], 115). It is surprising that not until this late date did Whitman inform his friend of Gilchrist's authorship of the article in The Radical. [back]
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