PUBLICATION: L (1894) 336; L (1931) 325.
The date is conjectural. This is the earliest known letter to Maria Whitney, and the formal signature implies that the acquaintance, initiated persumably either by the Bowleses or by Austin and Sue, began not long before the "acuter days" of the severe illness of Samuel Bowles, in early December. At that time Miss Whitney was making trips from Northampton to Springfield two or three times a week. Perhaps she had delivered some message from Bowles.