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Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist, 18 February [1878]

Dear friend, & Bee, Herby & Giddy—

I am down here at Kirkwood—Came down here some four days ago2—am having a real hearty old-fashioned time, for me—Harry came up for me in the light wagon, the day but one after I was last at your house—a delightful ride down here—& yesterday afternoon one of those nice long rambling drives with George Stafford, in the roomy old light wagon, (a good part of the road through the piney woods, which I always enjoy so much)—

The weather has been & is pleasant—a little cool to-day, but the sun shining out as I write—I was down by the creek most of the forenoon—& shall go down for an hour again this evening—bright moonlight nights—I am quite happy here, for me—We live well, keep good wood fires—& have plenty of chicken, eggs & fresh pork (they kill a hog about every two or three weeks)—Mr Stafford is pretty well—he has been out all day with the team hauling marl—Mrs Stafford is well—Harry & the rest ditto—Mrs Stafford thanks you kindly for the medicine—I don't know what day I shall come up—Love to you all—

W. W.


  • 1. The envelope for this letter bears the address: Mrs A Gilchrist | 1929 North 22d Street | Philadelphia. It is postmarked: Kirkwood | Feb | 1(?) | (?); Philad'a, Pa. | Feb | 19 | 7 PM | (?). [back]
  • 2. According to Whitman's letter to John R. Johnston, Jr. of February 18, 1878, Whitman arrived in Kirkwood on Saturday, February 16, and in his Commonplace Book he mentioned his stay with the Staffords from "16th to 23d inclusive" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). Whitman was with Anne Gilchrist on February 13, and George and Louisa dined with her on the following day (Whitman's Commonplace Book). Susan Stafford had written on January 26, urging that Whitman come to Kirkwood. [back]
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