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Walt Whitman to Mary Whitall Smith Costelloe, 11 May [1886]

I am still here & nothing very new or different—I suppose you rec'd the Press with a brief report of my Lincoln lecture in Phila: April 15—I go out every day with my mare & rig—sometimes to Phila.—Alice2 comes often, was here Saturday.

Has Dr Bucke arrived?—& you too I haven't heard from you in a long time—I am sitting here in the little front room down stairs—

Walt Whitman

Mary Whitall Smith Costelloe (1864–1945) was a political activist, art historian, and critic, whom Whitman once called his "staunchest living woman friend." A scholar of Italian Renaissance art and a daughter of Robert Pearsall Smith, she would in 1885 marry B. F. C. "Frank" Costelloe. She had been in contact with many of Whitman's English friends and would travel to Britain in 1885 to visit many of them, including Anne Gilchrist shortly before her death. For more, see Christina Davey, "Costelloe, Mary Whitall Smith (1864–1945)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Mrs.: B F C Costelloe | 40 Grosvenor Road | Westminster | London S W | England. It is postmarked: Camden | May | 11 | 3 PM | 18 (?) | N.J. [back]
  • 2. Alys or Alice Smith, Mary's sister. [back]
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