Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Peter Eckler to Walt Whitman, 22 April 1865

Date: April 22, 1865

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00853

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 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.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Eric Conrad, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Heidi Bean

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New York
April 22, 18651

W. Whitman

[illegible] sir

On page 31 verse 2 line 3 of Drum Taps the word "recalls" is spelled "recals." According to Webster & Worcester it is wrong but before taking the responsibility of altering it, I wait for your decision. Please let me know as soon as possible. The other corrections and alterations [illegible] I enclose a proof of 'O Pioneers!'" [&?] I think is improved

I enclose a bill showing the balance [illegible]ount. If I receive [illegible] printing done by Saturday, [illegible] you can transmit me the cost and I will deliver the [texts?] to your binder.

Your Respectfully,
P. Eckler

[To cover stereotyping &?] [illegible] $114.60
Two taking extra paperwork2.00
Cover & stereotyping & pages3.00
Alteration of plates1.00
One box for plates1.00
3 Reams paper63.00
[7 " ?] 8.25
Cr[edit] by cash138.00
Sent $20 April 26 
$20 May 2 
leaving (May 2 '65.) $14.85 due 


1. On April 1, 1865, Whitman signed a contract with Peter Eckler to stereotype 500 copies of Drum-Taps for $254.00: "The workmanship is to be first class in every respect & to be completed, & the printed sheets delivered within one month from this date." The contract called for "one hundred & twenty pages," but since the book contained only 72 pages, Eckler submitted the enclosed bill for $192.85, of which $138.00 had been paid. According to Whitman's notations on the statement, he paid $20.00 on April 26 and again on May 2. Whitman sent another letter on May 3 in answer to Eckler's request of May 1 that the balance be paid. On May 4, Eckler issued a receipt for $34.85, and included a receipt from Coridon A. Alvord, printer, for the stereotype plates, which he had placed in his vault. On April 26, Eckler had informed Whitman that the book was "now to press" and would "be ready for the Binders next Monday morning." For details on the printing history and organization of Drum-Taps see Ted Genoways, "The Disorder of Drum-Taps," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 24 (Fall 2006/Winter 2007), 98–116. [back]


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