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Letter to William D. O'Connor, September 11, 1864

Whitman, Walt. "Letter to William D. O'Connor, September 11, 1864." Walt Whitman: The Correspondence. Ed. Edwin Haviland Miller. New York: New York University Press, 1961. 241-242.
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Whitman writes a note to his friend William D. O’Connor. He complains that living in New York is no longer satisfactory, and hints that he may be moving to Washington D.C. soon.

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To William D. O’Connor
Endorsed: “Answ’d.” Address: William D. O’Connor | Light house Board Treasury | Department | Washington | D C. Postmark: Brooklyn N.Y. | Sep | 11 | 1864.

Brooklyn | Septempber 11 1864
Dear friend
I have nothing of consequence to write, but I thought I would send you a few lines anyhow. I have just written Nelly a letter, & send to Little Compton—We are full of politics here, the dispute runs high & hot everywhere—I think the Republicans are going to make a stout fight after all, as there is confusion in the opposition camp—the result of course I do not pretend to foretell—
My health is quite re-established, yet not exactly the same unconscious state of health as formerly—The book is still unprinted—Our family are all well as usual—I go two or three times a week among the soldiers in hospital here—
I go out quite regularly, sometimes out on the bay, or to Coney Island—& occasionally a tour through New York life, as of old—last night I was with some of my friends of Fred Gray association, till late wandering the east side of the City—first in the lager bier saloons & then elsewhere—one crowded, low, most degraded place we went, a poor blear-eyed girl bringing beer. I saw her with a McClellan medal on her breast—I called her & asked her if the girls there were for McClellan too—she said yes every one of them, & that they wouldn’t tolerate a girl in the place who was not, & the fellows were too—(there must have been twenty girls, sad sad ruins)—it was one of those places where the air is full of the scent of low thievery, druggies, fowl play, & prostitution gangrened—
I don’t know what move I shall make, but something soon, as it is not satisfactory any more in New York & Brooklyn—I should think nine tenths, of all classes, are copperheads here, I never hear before such things as I hear now whenever I go out—then it seems tame & indeed unreal here, life as carried on & as I come in contact with it & receive its influences—
How is Ashton? & is he there again? I got a letter from Charley Eldridge yesterday—I suppose he is now in Boston—My dear friend, I often think of you, & count on our being together again, may be quite soon—meantime good bye & God bless you & I send you my best love—
We are having a sloppy rainy dark Sunday here to-day—Lewis Brown (that was in ward K Armony Square) is a clerk in the Provost Marshall’s office, cor 18th & I sts—I got a letter from him the other day—perhaps you may see him some time—I am going off for a couple of weeks soon, to Burlington, Vt.—O how the rain is pouring down as I write—at the other window sits my mother reading the Sunday Herald—quiet & pleasant & soothing—only us two home to-day—not a word spoken in a long time—

People who Created this Work

Whitman, Walt author

People Mentioned in this Work

The Fred Gray Association [pages:241]

Whitman mentions having gone out with some of his friends from the Fred Gray association.