Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Josiah Child, 9 August 1878

Date: August 9, 1878

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01264

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.

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

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Grace Thomas, Anthony Dreesen, Kevin McMullen, and Nicole Gray

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Aug 9 '78
431 Stevens Street
Camden New Jersey
U S America1

My dear Mr Child

I rec'd your kind letter of June 25th—you say:

"I hope you rec'd the a/c of your doings & saying at Alfred Tennyson's son's wedding, which I sent you some time ago."

No, I did not receive any such acc't, & I cannot tell what you mean, or what occurr'd—If convenient tell me—

Ab't the London Times' comments on Mr Bryant's death (American poetry, with something about me, as I understand) I wish you had sent it me—as I have not seen or heard of it2—I live very quietly here—am at present pretty well, considering, go about daily. Keep cheery, but remain a partial paralytic—I have now an edition of my works in Two Volumes (see Circular herewith) which I have got out here & job & sell myself—(as the publishers positively wont publish me & my agents here in New York during 1873 '4 & '5 regularly embezzled the proceeds)3—I only print small editions, & the price is very high, $5 a Vol::—but they sell moderately well—it all gives me something to do—& then the income supports me.

If Trübner & Co: should wish any, the price would be $3.50 a Vol:4—I send you a copy of Two Rivulets, as a little present, with my best regards—Any thing you meet alluding to me, or criticizing, or that you think will interest me, send me, my friend, when convenient (any real thing—of course don't bother about the flippant & pointless)—Address as at the top of this letter—I find the P O here entirely reliable—

Walt Whitman


1. The envelope for this letter bears the address: Josiah Child | care of | Trübner & Co: | publishers &c | 57 & 59 Ludgate Hill | London | England. It is postmarked: Camden | Aug | 9 | N.J.; London E.C. | Paid | (?) | 20 Au 78. [back]

2. Whitman quoted from this editorial in the London Times in "Poetry To-day In America" (The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman [New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1902], 5:214–215), which appeared as "The Poetry of the Future" in The North American Review, 132 (February 1881), 195–210. [back]

3. For Whitman's account of his relations with book dealers, see his letter to Jeannette L. Gilder of December 30, 1875. [back]

4. For Whitman's transactions with Trübner, see his letter to Trübner & Co. of October 1, 1878[back]


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