Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Jeannette L. Gilder, 6 August [1881]

Date: August 6, 1881

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:236. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: Papers of Walt Whitman (MSS 3829), Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00435

Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Stefan Schöberlein, and Nicole Gray




Aug 6 p m1

After correcting please take five slip impressions (proofs) & send me—direct to me, care of J H Johnston Jeweler, 150 Bowery—that will be my address for 10 days to come—as I have left 65th street.2 I am stopping for the present out at Mott haven—

No objection to mentioning the Osgood Volume, the new & complete Leaves of Grass—If mentioned say while including all the old pieces, it will comprise many fresh poems—will for the first time fulfil what has been W W's main object for twenty years, completeness and relative proportion—and will be essentially a new Volume3


Walt Whitman


Notes:

1. The year is confirmed by the notes below. Whitman was at the office of The Critic on August 3 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). He undoubtedly was returning the corrected proof of "Spirit That Form'd This Scene," which appeared in The Critic on September 10. After the poem was rejected by The North American Review, Whitman sent it on May 28 to Jeannette Gilder, who paid him $5 (Whitman's Commonplace Book). [back]

2. Whitman left the home of Edgar Smith on August 6, and stayed with his old friend until August 19, when he went to Boston (Whitman's Commonplace Book). Johnston's summer home was at Mott Avenue and 149th Street. Whitman described Mott Haven in the New York Tribune on August 15 in "City Notes in August." [back]

3. The announcement of Whitman's new edition appeared in The Critic on August 13: "Walt Whitman's poems will soon have the recognition of a well-known publishing house. James R. Osgood & Co. will publish 'Leaves of Grass' without any expurgations, the author having made that a condition of his contract. The book will contain many new poems, and will for the first time fulfil what Mr. Whitman says has been for years his main object in relation to the publication of his works—namely, 'completeness and relative proportion.'" [back]


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