Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Francis P. and William C. Church, 30 December 1867

Date: December 30, 1867

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:354. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: Private collection of Mrs. Joseph Perkins

Whitman Archive ID: prc.00017

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad




Washington
December 30, 1867

Messrs. Church.1
My dear sirs:

I shall be in New York, & will call upon you, 2d of January. By the way, would you please have the little piece, the verses "Ethiopia Commenting," put in type, & a proof taken & ready for me?2


Walt Whitman


Notes:

1. William Conant Church (1836–1917), journalist and publisher, was a correspondent for several New York newspapers until he founded the Army and Navy Journal in 1863. With his brother Francis Pharcellus (1839–1906), he established the Galaxy in 1866. Financial control of the Galaxy passed to Sheldon and Company in 1868, and it was absorbed by the Atlantic Monthly in 1878. William published a biography of his life-long friend Ulysses S. Grant in 1897, and Francis wrote for the New York Sun the unsigned piece "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." See Edward F. Grier, "Walt Whitman, the Galaxy, and Democratic Vistas," American Literature, 23 (1951–1952), 332–350; Donald N. Bigelow, William Conant Church & "The Army and Navy Journal" (New York: Columbia University Press, 1952); J. R. Pearson, Jr., "Story of a Magazine: New York's Galaxy, 1866–1878," Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 61 (1957), 217–237, 281–302. [back]

2. This poem, sent by Walt Whitman with his September 7, 1867 letter to the Churches, was never published in the Galaxy. It later became "Ethiopia Saluting the Colors"; see Edward F. Grier, "Walt Whitman, the Galaxy, and Democratic Vistas," American Literature, 23 (1951–1952), 337. Walt Whitman withdrew the poem in his November 2, 1868 letter to Francis P. Church. [back]


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