Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Sloane Kennedy, 11 July 1888

Date: July 11, 1888

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:184. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00895

Contributors to digital file: Ryan Furlong, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock




Camden
Wednesday Sunset
July 11 '88

Am setting up & have just eat my supper—The flowers rec'd this day—perfumed & delicious—before me this moment—thanks to dear Mrs: K.1—pretty sick yet, but I shall rally.


Walt Whitman


Correspondent:
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 [1896], 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).

Notes:

1. On July 9, 1888, Kennedy had written, "Mrs. K will send some pinks soon." [back]


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