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Letter to William D. O'Connor, May 5, 1867

Whitman, Walt. "Letter to William D. O'Connor, May 5, 1867." Walt Whitman: The Correspondence. Ed. Edwin Haviland Miller. New York: New York University Press, 1961. 327-329.
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In a letter to his friend William D. O’Connor, Whitman writes about visiting his family in Brooklyn. His brother is quite ill, suffering from malignant erysipelas; however, Whitman feels certain he will recover. His mother is well, and he has visited various friends while in the city.

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To William D. O'Connor
5.5. [I867]
ADDRESS: Wm. D. O'Connor,|Light House Board,|
U.S. Treasury Dep't.|Washington,|D.C.
POSTMARK: New-York|May|8|(?).

Dear William O'Connor,
When I arrived home yesterday I found my brother worse than I had anticipated. It is a case of malignant erysipelas, with great swelling, sores, & for a while complete blindness, now partially relieved. There are spells also of lethargy & flightiness-all bad enough, yet, as far as the case stands at this present writing, he will come out safe, I somehow feel certain.
Mother is well as usual-defers every thing else, & does the nursing, &c. for George. When I came, yesterday, I found her standing with a cup of warm tea, feeding slowly with a spoon, to some one wrapt in a great blanket, & seated in an arm chair, by the stove-I did not recognize my brother at first-he was so disfigured, & the features out of all proportion & discolored. Mother put down the cup, &c. & began to cry-this affected poor George-yet I preserved my composure, though much distrest, as you will understand.
The rest of the family are well. Jeff leaves to-morrow evening for St. Louis. It is cold here, with raw easterly wind. I met Henry Clapp in Broadway yesterday-he has a $1500 clerkship in a public office in New York-I met Edward H. House-also other of my young men friends-they are all very, very cordial & hospitable-I shall go over & make Mrs. Price a short visit this afternoon.
They all talk of you here-as of the good person, the desired one, exhilarating, whose presence gives sun, & whose talk nourishes-(I think you must have laid yourself out that evening.)
Dear Nelly, I send you my love-also to Charles Eldridge--shall probably remain here the ensuing week.

People who Created this Work

Whitman, Walt author

People Mentioned in this Work

Clapp, Henry [pages:328]

Whitman has met with Henry Clapp in Broadway.

House, Edward [pages:328]

Whitman mentions that during his stay in Brooklyn, he has met with Edward House.