Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Edmund Clarence Stedman to Walt Whitman, 8 June 1875

Date: June 8, 1875

Whitman Archive ID: brn.00006

Source: John Hay Library, Brown University. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial notes: The annotations, "Stedman Ans. June 17, '75," and "Chattanooga," are in the hand of Walt Whitman. The annotation, "admirable," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Ashley Lawson, John Schwaninger, Nicole Gray, and Elizabeth Lorang

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New York City
June 8th, 1875

My dear Whitman:

During my wanderings in the tropics, with my nervous system feeling like a mixed-up mess of broken fiddle-strings, I've often thought of you—& wondered if all poets have got & pay such tribute to mortality. I am not given to autograph-collecting, but Linton has sent me a proof-copy of his admirable engraving of your head-and-shoulders, & I would very much like to have some of your Ms. to place beside it. Haven't you got some scrap of paper, which you can spare, containing a few lines of your own work? And, if so, won't you give it me? I am one of those American writers who have always looked upon you as a noble, original, & characteristic poet; & perhaps, in your retirement, it may not seem ungracious or officious, for me to tell you so. When I was a boy I read extracts from your first book, in a "Putnam's Mag." review—the "little Captain" & the "crushed fireman". They greatly influenced me, & I have read all you have written since.

Swinburne, in his letters to me, always speaks carefully & understandingly of you.

I hope that you truly will be soon as healthy as your disposition always was & is, & wish that every part of myself was as healthy as either.

Believe me,
Truly Yrs.
Edmund C. Stedman

Care Scribner, Armstrong & Co.
723 Broadway.


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