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Walt Whitman to Harry Stafford, 14 July 1881

Dear boy Harry

Glad to hear from you by your letter, & hope the Ashland job may lead to something better in both pay & hours—I am not very well—the fearful heat has struck in to me, & I have had a miserable two weeks past1—shall get away soon, but don't know exactly when & where—will write to you soon as I get anywhere & have any thing to say2

I have been staying alone here in the house, as the folks have gone off on summer trip—My sister is at the White Mountains—I take my meals at Mrs Wroth's 319 Stevens—I like it—An old lady I knew quite well died there very suddenly—funeral to-day (this forenoon) there.

How are you all? I have not seen or heard any thing from you all since Ruth's letter telling me not to come down, & that your mother was going away—I see Ben Stafford3 last evening over in Market street Phila: he told me he was standing in the market—had been at it for a week, & liked it—I see Hoag4 once in a while—it was a good little squib he put in the Press and Courier about you at Ashland—

Well, Harry, dear son, I believe that is all, (& not much either)—Love to you & all—

Your old W.W.

Keep a good heart through botherations—I will write to you from somewhere again before long—


  • 1. On July 15 Whitman wrote in his Commonplace Book: "quite unwell these days—prostrated with the heat & bad, bad air of the city" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
  • 2. Whitman left Camden on July 23 to meet Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke in Jersey City (Whitman's Commonplace Book). [back]
  • 3. George Stafford's cousin (see the letter from Whitman to Herbert Gilchrist of August 3–5, 1878). [back]
  • 4. See the letter from Whitman to Harry Stafford of October 31, 1880. [back]
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