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Walt Whitman to Ellen M. O'Connor, 7 January [1875]

Am feeling better than during Nov.​ and first part of Dec​ —strength better than for a long time—rec'd​ the Springfield Rep[ublican]2 this morning—(is it from you or Ch[arley]?)3—That ¶ in the T[ribune]4 was the most flourishing puff yet given me—& from them!—A leaden, heavy day here, with sulky rain & some snow & sleet—I have to stay in, but am feeling comfortable.



  • 1.

    This letter's envelope bears the address, "Mrs. E. M. O'Connor | 1015 O street, near 11th N. W. | Washington D.C." It is postmarked: "Camden | Jan | 8 | N.J.; Carrier | 9 | Jan | 8 AM."

    In light of the references to the two newspapers, discussed in the notes below, the year seems reasonably certain.

  • 2. Perhaps the issue of December 29, 1874, in which a correspondent expressed surprise that Whitman was not included in Emerson's Parnassus, and noted the New York Tribune's change in attitude; see the notes to Whitman's December 5, 1874 letter to Whitelaw Reid. [back]
  • 3. Whitman refers here to Charles Eldridge. [back]
  • 4. This is probably a reference to a paragraph in the New York Tribune on December 26, 1874, which commented on Whitman's services during the Civil War, and concluded: "…we need not share or contest the opinion of his poetry held by Mr. Tennyson and Mr. Emerson, to hope that he may soon recover and that he may enjoy the peaceful age he has earned." In the judgment of Whitman and his friends, the Tribune had been hostile chiefly because of the influence of Bayard Taylor. [back]
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