Title: Richard Maurice Bucke to Walt Whitman, 9 May 1882
Date: May 9, 1882
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from The Letters of Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke to Walt Whitman, ed. Artem Lozynsky (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1977), 11. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.05100
Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Kirsten Clawson, and Nicole Gray
9th May 82
I have the file of Osgood correspondence from O'Connor—so this is American freedom at the end of the 19th Century, is it?—I do not know what to say or do, the more I think about it the worse I feel. The papers here would hardly take the matter up in any shape, nor would it (it seems to me) do much good if they did. [illegible] No American paper (judging from past experience) would print any thing I might write on the subject. The only thing I can think of to do is to have the correspondence just forwarded me by O'Connor printed with some comments of my own and send it broadcast to your friends here and in England and to the press. Would you object to this being done? or would Osgood have any right to object to his letter being printed? I have to be away from home from May 22d to June 6th (about), but it would not be too late to attend to it when I got back and it would give O'Connor time to fire his first shot before the matter was made any more public than it is now.
To do as I propose might have the effect of making it slightly warm for the Philistines, no doubt some of the papers would take it up and it would not do the sale of the book any harm whoever published it.
Please let me know at once what you think of my plan
R M Bucke