Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Josiah Child, 9 June 1879

Date: June 9, 1879

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1977), 6:20. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: The location of the original manuscript is unknown. Miller's transcription is derived from a transcript provided by Mrs. Pearl Stone.

Whitman Archive ID: med.00634

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Grace Thomas, Eder Jaramillo, Elizabeth Lorang, and Nicole Gray

June 9 '79

My dear Josiah Child

I have only just rec'd yours of April 22d, with $24.50 from Trübner & Co.1 for which am't see receipt enclosed—

I note the order for nineteen new copies, & as soon as I go back to Camden, (within a week) they shall be carefully forwarded to you. You speak of a remittance for of three guineas, promised to be forwarded by Mr. Fraser for the Tobacco Plant piece.2 As no such remittance has been rec'd by me, nor heard about, it has probably been deferred—Mr. F. can address me, & send P O order to Camden—I shall prepare other two pieces & send him for the paper, in response to his kind request.

Thanks for letter enclosures—Mr. Westness's, Mr Walters's & Mr Norman's.3 Will try to send you photos for him (Thos: Dixon's4 is not enclosed)—I keep well, for me—have been away from home gallivanting around, land & water, & especially this city, the last two months—I send you a paper with this.

Walt Whitman

(I write this from New York City, U S A. 1309 Fifth av: near 86th st.: but I return soon to 431 Stevens st: Camden New Jersey—which is my permanent P O address—)


1. Josiah Child was the agent for Trübner & Company (see the letter from Whitman to Trübner & Company of October 1, 1878). On June 25 Whitman shipped thirty-six volumes at $3.50 each, as he informed the firm two days later (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

2. "Three Young Men's Deaths," which appeared in the April issue (2, 318–319). Whitman sent the article on November 27, 1878, to John Fraser, the editor of the magazine. He received $15.30 for it on June 15 (Whitman's Commonplace Book). See the letter from Whitman to John Fraser of June 16, 1879. "The Dalliance of the Eagles" appeared in this magazine in November 1880 (2, 552). [back]

3. In the Walt Whitman Review, 16 (1970), 56–57, Professor Florence B. Freedman has identified T. D. Westness as an uneducated English admirer; see also Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906–1996), 9 vols., 3:571–573. Freedman also points out that Walters may be the Frank W. Walters mentioned in William Sloane Kennedy's The Fight of a Book for the World (West Yarmouth, MA: The Stonecroft Press, 1926), 41. For Henry Norman of the Pall Mall Gazette, see Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:62. [back]

4. Thomas Dixon, an uneducated corkcutter of Sunderland, England, was one of Whitman's early English admirers. In 1856 he had bought copies of Leaves of Grass from a book peddler; one of these copies was later sent by William B. Scott to William Michael Rossetti. Dixon vigorously supported cultural projects and was in effect the ideal laborer of Ruskin, who printed many of his letters to the corkcutter in Time and Tide (1867). See Autobiographical Notes of the Life of William Bell Scott, ed. W. Minto (1892), 2:32–33, 267–269; Harold Blodgett, Walt Whitman in England (1934), 15–17; The Works of John Ruskin, ed. E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn (1905), 17:78–79. [back]


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