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Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist, 27 March [1879]

My dear friend

Yours of yesterday rec'd​ —Also the previous ones2—I keep well—no attack of the neuralgia-rheumatism so far this spring—So I fancy it has skipp'd​ me—havn't​ been down to Kirkwood since early in Dec: last—the Staffords have no doubt moved—Harry comes up about once a month to see me—I expect to come on to N Y to lecture (Death of Abraham Lincoln) the middle of April—Do you know of my friend Mr Johnston, jeweler, 150 Bowery? he is sort of engineering it—in conjunction [with] John Burroughs, (now in Washington)—

My brother & sister well—her sister3 & two children staying with us this spring—the charmingest, fattest, lovingest, cunningest little five year old girl, with the sweet name of Amy4

I dont​ know where I shall go this summer, but must strike off somewhere—Well pleased with the prospect of seeing you & all, in Phila:—Love to Herb and to Giddy—I shall now go over the ferry, & post this in the Phil: Office—return leisurely to C[amden] before dark—

So long, dear friend— W W


  • 1. The year is established by the reference to the Lincoln lecture on April 14. [back]
  • 2. Anne Gilchrist wrote five letters to Whitman in 1879 before he replied: on January 5, 14, and 27, and on March 18 and 26. After moving from Massachusetts to New York, Gilchrist wrote frequently and impatiently to Whitman. She wanted him to come to see her. "Are you never coming?" she asked on January 27, 1879. "I do long & long to see you" (The Letters of Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman, ed. Thomas B. Harned [New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1918], 171). Whitman did not hurry—he never did when he was importuned—and he arrived in New York on April 9. [back]
  • 3. Emma Dowe (see the letter from Whitman to Emma Dowe of July 12, 1877). Her arrival in Camden was noted in Whitman's Commonplace Book on March 6 (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
  • 4. Whitman sent Amy H. Dowe a valentine on February 14 (Whitman's Commonplace Book). Amy taught school in Norwich, Connecticut, from 1912 until 1918, when she moved to Philadelphia with her father. [back]
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