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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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Whitman writes a letter to his friend William O’Connor from New York where he is visiting his sick brother, George.

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To William D. O’Connor 5.5. [1867]

Address: Wm. D. O’Connor, | Light House Board, |
U.S. Treasury Dep’t. |Washington, | D.C.
Postmark: New-York | May | 8 | (?).

Brooklyn | Sunday afternoon, May 5th.
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 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 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 mentions running into Henry Clapp on Broadway.

House, Edward [pages:328]

Whitman mentions running into Edward House and some other of his "young men friends."