Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: James Redpath to Walt Whitman, 26 May 1862

Date: May 26, 1862

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00859

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.

Editorial note: The annotation, "(8–3)," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Eric Conrad, Vanessa Steinroetter, Heidi Bean, and Nicole Gray

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May 26, [186]2
Whitman, poet, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Dear Walt—

I1 find that the plates of The Leaves of Grass are now the property of a person named—Wentworth,2 whose residence is Warren Place, Roxbury.

I do not care to know him.

Suppose you write to him. I have no doubt you could arrange to have a new edition published by or through him.

This is the first chance I have had to find out about it since I saw you—for I have only been home a week.

Yours Truly
James Redpath

Whenever you feel like writing, I shall be glad to have a line or any number of lines from you.


1. James Redpath (1833–1891) was the author of The Public Life of Capt. John Brown (Boston: Thayer and Eldridge, 1860), a correspondent for the New York Tribune during the war, the originator of the "Lyceum" lectures, and editor of the North American Review in 1886. He met Whitman in Boston in 1860 (Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman, The Library of Congress, Notebook #90) and remained an enthusiastic admirer; see Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, ed. Sculley Bradley (New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1914), 3:459–461. He concluded his first letter to Whitman on June 25, 1860: "I love you, Walt! A conquering Brigade will ere long march to the music of your barbaric jawp." See also Charles F. Horner, The Life of James Redpath and the Development of the Modern Lyceum (New York: Barse & Hopkins, 1926). [back]

2. Horace Wentworth was Thayer and Eldridge's former boss who later acted as the firm's creditor. Wentworth received the plates of Leaves of Grass as compensation for his financial loss when Thayer and Eldridge went bankrupt in 1861. [back]


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