Title: Walt Whitman to William Sloane Kennedy, 10 August 1884
Date: August 10, 1884
Editorial note: The annotation, "'84.," is in the hand of William Sloane Kennedy.
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:374. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: The Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Whitman Archive ID: duk.00799
Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein and Kyle Barton
The Wonders &c has arrived safely1—& thank you for sending it—I am getting along pretty much in the old way—only an extra lameness—Love to you & Mrs: K—
William Sloane Kennedy (1850–1929) was on the staff of the Philadelphia American and later published biographies of Longfellow and Whittier (Dictionary of American Biography). Apparently Kennedy had called on the poet for the first time on November 21, 1880 (William Sloane Kennedy, Reminiscences of Walt Whitman , 1). Though Kennedy was to become a fierce defender of Whitman, in his first published article he admitted reservations about the "coarse indecencies of language" and protested that Whitman's ideal of democracy was "too coarse and crude"; see The Californian, 3 (February 1881), 149–158. For more about Kennedy, see Katherine Reagan, "Kennedy, William Sloane (1850–1929)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).
1. Kennedy's Wonders and Curiosities of the Railway was printed in Chicago in 1884. [back]