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Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist, 8 February 1872

Dear friend,

I send by same mail with this, my latest piece, copied in a newspaper2—& will write you just a line or two. I suppose you duly received my former letters (two)—I ought to have written something about your children (described to me in your letter of last summer, July 23d, which I have just been reading again)—Dear boys & girls—how my heart goes out to them3

Did I tell you that I had received letters from Tennyson, & that he cordially invites me to visit him? Sometimes I dream of journeying to Old England, on such visit—& then of seeing you & your children—but it is a dream only.

I am still living here in employment in a Government office—My health is good—Life is rather sluggish here—though not without the sunshine—(Your letters too were warm, bright rays of it)—

I am going on to New York soon to remain there a few weeks4—but my address will still be here—I wrote lately to Mr. Rossetti quite a long letter5—My present address is Solicitor's Office, Treasury, Washington, D. C. U. S. America.

Best love & remembrance to you, dear friend, & to the young folk— Walt Whitman


  • 1. Draft letter. [back]
  • 2. "The Mystic Trumpeter" appeared in the Kansas Magazine on February 1, 1872, and was reprinted in the Washington Daily Morning Chronicle on February 7, 1872. [back]
  • 3. In the draft of this letter Whitman deleted: "and how earnestly I wish them prosperity—well I feel that they must be noble children." [back]
  • 4. Edwin Haviland Miller suggests this timeline is a misstatement concerning Whitman's intended stay in Brooklyn, since, in his February 2, 1872 letter to Rudolf Schmidt, Whitman wrote that he would remain in New York until April 10. Miller also points out that Whitman sent Schmidt an address in Brooklyn where he would be staying, while he provided Gilchrist only his address in Washington. [back]
  • 5. This letter to William Michael Rossetti was dated January 30, 1872. [back]
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