Chapter 23 is the last chapter in Part I, and, in it, Keller describes the many friends who have made her life so full and happy. One of these friends is Bishop Brooks, with whom Keller had a long and intelligent correspondence about spiritual matters. He told Keller not about dogma but about the universal brotherhood of all people and about the existence of God. At the time Keller wrote this chapter, Brooks had already died.
Keller also writes about Oliver Wendell Holmes, a poet and physician for whom Keller recited a Tennyson poem. Keller also recalls visiting Whittier, referring to John Greenleaf Whittier, a New England poet. Keller recited several of his poems and promised to visit him again, but he died before she could do so. She also recalls having visited Edward Everett Hale, a minister and author, and she enjoyed a long friendship with Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, who was the person who first put Keller's father in touch with the Perkins Institute in Boston (where Anne Sullivan worked). Bell was the inventor of the telephone and dedicated a great deal of his life to helping the deaf. As Keller writes, "He is never quite so happy as when he has a little deaf child in his arms."
Keller also talks about the literary figures she met at the house of Laurence Hutton in New York. At his home, Keller was introduced to many of the leading writers of her day, including Mark Twain and William Dean Howells. Though Keller was blind and deaf, her world was wide, and she enjoyed friendships with many of the leading cultural, literary, and scientific figures of her day. Her friendships with public figures would have been rare for any woman of her day, but particularly for a woman who was blind and deaf.