Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to the Editor of the New York Herald, 26–29 (?) December 1864

Date: December 26–29, 1864

Whitman Archive ID: hpl.00003

Source: Huntington Public Library, Huntington, New York. 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.

Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented, updated, or created by Whitman Archive staff as appropriate.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Nicole Gray

Private note to Editor.1

Sir I respectfully ask you to print this communication written to start a public demand for the general exchange of prisoners of war.2 As the question now stands, the fault is altogether with our government. I hope you will feel to say a word editorialy about it, perhaps call attention in that way to the communication.

I solicit that you will find room for it to-morrow morn'g as I have sent this afternoon similar communications to one or two other papers, (though this one is different in form & made specialy for the Herald.


1. Draft letter.

Between December 26 and 29, 1864, Whitman sent copies of his article "The Prisoners" to several newspaper editors, including the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and the New York Times. See Whitman's letters from December 26 (?), 1864, and December 29, 1864, for similar letters of solicitation to editors. [back]

2. Whitman's fervor for a general exchange of prisoners was born from his inability to effect a special exchange for his brother George, who, Whitman had told Ellen M. O'Connor in a letter dated December 4, 1864, "still remains a prisoner—as near as we can judge he is at Columbia, S C—we have had no word from him—." [back]


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