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Walt Whitman to Ellen M. O'Connor, 29 February [1876]

Dear Nelly:

About me, my ailments, no great difference. (A queer old doctor here—did I tell you?—sticks to it that, although the trouble has taken the form of paralysis, & instigated far back, the basic & origin are of stomachic nature—at any rate the derangement & suffering now are mostly gastric & liver business—telling in distress of head)—

I went over to Phil​ Phil: yesterday, & had a nice, good, I may almost say happy afternoon, with dear Mrs. Lesley, Kate Hillard, & the two Miss Lesleys, daughters2—us four, only, no men-critters but me—I was there some four hours, filled with animated talk—we had dinner, very nice, a nice glass of wine—Mrs. L. a fine gentle, sweet-voiced, handsome black-eyed New England woman, (of the Lyman family, daughter of Judge Lyman.)3 With Miss H[illard], though the first meeting, I got along capitally—found her a jolly, hearty girl—evidently seen life & folks, & read lots—she talked much about the London literati, & the (I suppose I may say) personal friends of mine there, both men & women, nearly all of whom she knew well, giving me, among the rest, descriptions of Personnel that were new & very interesting to me. She goes to Wash[ington] to-morrow, to stay there (1734 I st.​ ) a month—reads a series of twelve papers on English poets.

I made a short call on Hector Tyndale, 1021 Clinton st​ —he came down to see me, in the parlor—(I did not see Mrs. T.)—Hector did not seem much different, physically—had the tone, I thought, of one who is dreary of life, to whom it is all an ennui, a settled morbidity—of course that was the worst. I rec'd​ a letter from Marvin to-day—from Peter Doyle yesterday—snowing here as I write—the baby fine, fat, bright today, but raising his voice lustily just this moment—You got my letter three days since?4



  • 1. This letter is endorsed, "Ans'd." Its envelope bears the address, "Mrs. E. M. O'Connor, | 1015 O street n. w. | Washington, | D.C." It is postmarked: "Camden | Feb | 29 | N.J.; Carrier | 1 | Mar | 8 AM." [back]
  • 2. See also Whitman's February 24, 1876 letter to Ellen O'Connor. [back]
  • 3. Professor J. Peter Lesley married Susan I. Lyman, the daughter of Judge Samuel Fowler Lyman of Northampton, Massachusetts. [back]
  • 4. Whitman refers here to the letter written on February 24, 1876. [back]
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