Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Harper's Magazine, [15 December 1873]

Date: December 15, 1873

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00792

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Ted Genoways (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2004), 7:38. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: The annotation, "December 15, 1873. | Walt Whitman," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Jonathan Y. Cheng, Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Nicole Gray

To foreman in Composing Room1
Harper's Magazine

After correcting "Prayer of Columbus," please—the editor consenting—take two impressions, (proofs) similar to this & send me in this envelope for my private use for future preservation


Harper's Monthly Magazine (sometimes Harper's New Monthly Magazine or simply Harper's) was established in 1850 by Henry J. Raymond and Fletcher Harper. The magazine became successful by reprinting British novels before eventually publishing American authors. Six of Whitman's poems were published there between 1874 and 1892. For more information on Whitman's relationship with Harper's, see Susan Belasco's Harper's Monthly Magazine.


1. The date written on this letter in an unknown hand appears to be correct. Henry M. Alden, editor of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, accepted "Prayer of Columbus" on December 1, and on December 29, Whitman wrote to Charles Eldridge that "Song of the Redwood Tree" and "Prayer of Columbus" were "in type, and I have read proofs. So they are off my mind." The poems appeared in the March 1874 issue (524–25). [back]


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