Emily Dickinson

Spring 1855

The famously reclusive poet Emily Dickinson rarely ventured beyond her hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts. One rare exception was her trip to Washington DC, and George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, in the spring of 1855. She was 24 years old at the time.

Dickinson wrote in a letter:

...if you haven't been to the sweet Mount Vernon, then I will tell you how on one soft spring day we glided down the Potomac in a painted boat, and jumped upon the shore — how hand in hand we stole along up a tangled pathway 'til we reached the tomb of General George Washington, how we paused beside it, and no one spoke a word, then hand in hand walked on again, not less wise or sad for that marble story; how we went within the door — raised the latch he lifted when he last went home — thank the Ones in Light that he's since passed in through a brighter wicket! Oh, I could spend a long day, if it did not weary you, telling of Mount Vernon — and I will sometime if we live and meet again, and God grant we shall!

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