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Walt Whitman to Abby H. Price, 30 July 1866

My dear friend,

I write mainly to see whether I have got the right address—to find whether this reaches you—If so please give me an answer as soon as convenient.

As you see, I am still in Washington—have a small place in the Attorney General's office—pleasant, agreeable, &c. but pretty moderate pay. My health has been good—& I have got through the hot weather all right—It is a long while since I have heard from you—& indeed it is nearly a year since I have been in New York—Direct to me Attorney Gen's. office, Washington—I expect to come north soon for a short time—Love to Helen, Emily, Arthur & all.


Mother is living at 840 Pacific st. bet. Washington & Grand av's Brooklyn.

Abby H. Price (1814–1878) was active in various social-reform movements. Price's husband, Edmund, operated a pickle factory in Brooklyn, and the couple had four children—Arthur, Helen, Emily, and Henry (who died in 1852, at 2 years of age). During the 1860s, Price and her family, especially her daughter, Helen, were friends with Whitman and with Whitman's mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman. In 1860 the Price family began to save Walt's letters. Helen's reminiscences of Whitman were included in Richard Maurice Bucke's biography, Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1883), and she printed for the first time some of Whitman's letters to her mother in Putnam's Monthly 5 (1908): 163–169. In a letter to Ellen M. O'Connor from November 15, 1863, Whitman declared with emphasis, "they are all friends, to prize & love deeply." For more information on Whitman and Abby H. Price, see Sherry Ceniza, "Price, Abby Hills (1814–1878)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. The envelope for this letter bears the address: Abby H. Price, | 279 East 55th st. | New York City. It is postmarked: Washington | Jul | 30 | Free. [back]
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