That a correspondence covering a period of forty years should have been preserved, is due to the fact of my mother's life-long friendships; and to the methodical care of those to whom her letters were addressed - I sincerely thank those friends. Some of "her most beautiful, characteristic and copious letters" were written to her friend Walt Whitman. I suggested to Mr. Whitman, the giving of these letters or rather extracts from them, for publication in the present volume. But the poet was not entirely favourable or willing. "I do not know," he says in a late letter to me, "that I can furnish any good reason, but I feel to keep these utterances exclusively to myself.