Skip to main content

Walt Whitman to Harry Stafford, 31 October [1880]

Dear Hank

I have just written a postal to your folks to say I wouldn't be down till Saturday afternoon (Ashland Station) & I thought I would write you a line—Every thing goes well with me these times considering—health & feelings better since I come back from Canada than for nine years past—(one of the ferry men told me he heard a lady say to another on the boat yesterday as I went off, "He looks older & savager than ever, dont he? but there is a something—I dont wonder that Aleck is all taken up with him" &c &c—Aleck, the ferry man thought, was her husband)—

I am selling quite a good many of my books now1—gives me something to do every day—so you see I have enough to put me in quite a good humor. Then upon going to look where I had my bound books boxed & stored away, up in the garret at Mr. Scovel's, (I hadn't been to look after them in three years)—I found them not only in good condition but found I had twice as many as I calculated—yesterday I had the express man to bring two boxes of 'em home, & left three boxes there still. I got a letter from the PM General, Canada2—the missing letter not there—I am convinced it came to Haddonfield—

2.40 afternoon

I have just had my dinner & am up here in my third story room finishing this—it is a bright sunny day here, after the three days' storm—I have been alone all day, but busy & contented—my room is just right for all the year except the very hottest months—the sun pours in here so nice, especially afternoons—I wish you was here to-day, Hank (I havn't got any wine though)—I see Hoag3 yesterday, & Seigfried too—every body is flying around—Election excitement now, very hot. Sports, newspaper men, & politicians busy as the devil in a gale of wind—Love to you, dear son—I shall be down Saturday4

Your old Walt


  • 1. The records of book sales in Whitman's Commonplace Book are numerous at this time (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
  • 2. Whitman had written to the Postmaster General at Ottawa, Canada, about October 13 (Whitman's Commonplace Book). [back]
  • 3. F. A. Hoag was a young reporter who died on June 17, 1890, at age thirty-five. [back]
  • 4. Whitman was at Glendale from November 6, Saturday, to November 16, 1880 (Whitman's Commonplace Book). [back]
Back to top