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Walt Whitman to Anne and Herbert Gilchrist, 12 June [1877]

Dearest friend

After dinner, now, seated out in an arm chair under the tree, the grass below, & the good breeze laving me, I have just read (& reread) the three letters, yours & Herby's & Mr Carpenter's—sweet, & welcome & bracing all of them somehow1

Yes, dear friend, I will be up by Thursday evening, in time for tea, if nothing happens—Count much on seeing you all, & the cluster of friends—May-be while there are so many with you I had better sleep over in Camden, & Herby & Mr Burroughs2 take my room & bed—but we will see when I come—the days I shall surely be there—

Love to you, Herby & the girls—& to John Burroughs & Mr Carpenter3 if they get there before me— W W

Herby, to-day is cloudy & threatening here though no rain yet—(I shouldn't wonder if Mr Stafford's prophecy ab't​ the week proved true)—You ought to have been here yesterday & be here to-day for one thing—we have oceans of delicious strawberries most every meal—

(The camp-out project in Aug: with J[ohn] B[urroughs] is magnificent4—O that I were well & hardy enough, to go with you—but it is out of the question)—


  • 1. These letters are not known. [back]
  • 2. Evidently Burroughs changed his plans. He wrote to Whitman on August 10 after a three-week trip to Canada and a brief visit to Boston and Concord (Charles E. Feinberg Collection; Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Friday, September 14th, 1888, 318–319). He was in Camden about the middle of September. See the letter from Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist of September 19, 1877. [back]
  • 3. Anne Gilchrist had written to Burroughs early in May inviting him to meet Edward Carpenter. According to his next letter of May 16, Carpenter was to visit Burroughs at the latter's home. On June 5 Burroughs mentioned a three-day visit: "I like him much—a modest, sensible man and a great admirer of W. W." (Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades [Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1931], 140–141). [back]
  • 4. Herbert went to Esopus with Burroughs in September (see the letter from Whitman to Anne Gilchrist of September 19, 1877). [back]
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