ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington,
Nov. 3, 1866.
The bearer, my friend, Mr. Shambaugh,2 was showing me a letter he has received, (he is on a Committee of Sold. & Sail. Union League)—I think it ought to be published in full. You make a brief introduction to it & let it go in a Sunday Chronicle.3 Let him have a proof when it is set up, to bring to me.
The text presented here is derived from Edwin Haviland Miller, ed., Walt Whitman: The Correspondence, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–77). For a detailed description of discrepancies between this electronic edition and the print source, see our statement of editorial policy.
According to Miller, the manuscript of this letter, dated November 3, 1866, is held in the Richard Josiah Hinton Collection, Kansas State Historical Society. Miller's publication was based on a transcription by Professor Carroll Hollis.
1. Richard Josiah Hinton (1830–1901) was born in London and came to the U.S. in 1851. He trained as a printer, and, like James Redpath, went to Kansas and joined John Brown. In fact, but for an accident he would have been with Brown at Harper's Ferry. A man mistaken for Hinton was hanged. Together with Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Hinton also planned the jailbreak of John Brown's accomplices Albert Hazlett and Aaron Stevens in Charlestown for the "Jayhawkers," a band of abolitionists who assisted slaves through the Underground Railroad that included Silas S. Soule. With James Redpath he was the author of Hand-book to Kansas Territory and the Rocky Mountains' Gold Region (New York: J. H. Colton, 1859). Later he wrote Rebel Invasion of Missouri and Kansas (Chicago: Church & Goodman, 1865) and John Brown and His Men (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1894). Apparently Hinton had suggested that Thayer & Eldridge print Leaves of Grass (see The New Voice, 16 [February 4, 1899], 2). Hinton served in the Union Army from 1861 to 1865, and saw Whitman while lying wounded in a hospital, a scene which he described in the Cincinnati Commercial on August 26, 1871. After the war Hinton wrote for many newspapers. He defended William O'Connor's The Good Gray Poet in the Milwaukee Sentinel on February 9, 1866. Hinton's article in the Rochester Evening Express on March 7, 1866, was a lengthy account of Whitman's "Farms and Fortunes in England and America," with quotations from O'Connor and John Burroughs. Obviously pleased, Whitman sent it to friends, including William Michael Rossetti, who acknowledged it on April 12 (Feinberg; Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1906–1953], 2:123). See also Traubel, 2:396; William Sloane Kennedy, The Fight of a Book for the World (West Yarmouth, Massachusetts: The Stonecroft Press, 1926), 19, 67, 110–111, 242; the Boston Transcript, December 21, 1901. (Back)
2. Shambaugh has not been identified. (Back)
3. Probably Whitman wanted the letter printed in the Washington Sunday Chronicle. (Back)