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Walt Whitman to John Burroughs, 22 June [1877]

Am here having a good time—Carpenter2 returns to Europe in Saturday's steamer—the G[ilchrist]s all well—my folks in Camden all doing well3—Marvin comes here (to the G's) on 6th of July4—Shall come and visit you & S[ula]5 this summer—



  • 1. The envelope for this letter bears the address: John Burroughs | Esopus-on-Hudson | Ulster County New York. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | June | 22 | 3 PM. [back]
  • 2. It was "with real reluctance" that Edward Carpenter returned to England after coming under "the added force of bodily presence" (Days with Walt Whitman, [New York: The Macmillan Company, 1908], 32). [back]
  • 3. Apparently Whitman, with his customary optimism, considered that Louisa's health had improved. See the letter from Whitman to Emma Dowe of July 12, 1877. [back]
  • 4. Joseph B. Marvin, one of Walt Whitman's Washington friends, visited Anne Gilchrist shortly after her arrival in Philadelphia in September, 1876 (Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist, Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings [London: T.F. Unwin, 1887], 228). Marvin had been co-editor of The Radical in 1866-1867. Later he was employed in the Treasury Department in Washington. On December 15, 1874, Marvin wrote to Whitman: "I read and re-read your poems, and the 'Vistas,' and more and more see that I had but a faint comprehension of them before. They surpass everything. All other books seem to me weak and unworthy my attention. I read, Sunday, to my wife, Longfellows verses on Summer, in the last Atlantic, and then I read your poem on the Death of Lincoln. It was like listening to a weak-voiced girl singing with piano accompanyment​ , and then to an oratorio by the whole Handel Society, with accompanyment​ by the Music Hall organ" (Library of Congress). Marvin's veneration of Whitman is also transparent in an article in The Radical Review, I (1877), 224-259. [back]
  • 5. Ursula, Burroughs's wife. [back]
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