Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Andrew J. Davis to Walt Whitman, 27 April 1876

Date: April 27, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01606

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, "books sent May 4 & rec'd," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Ashley Lawson, John Schwaninger, Caterina Bernardini, Marie Ernster, Erel Michaelis, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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A. J. DAVIS & CO.,
Standard Books on Harmonial Philosophy, Free Religion and General Reform.
New York
27 Apl 1876

Brother Walt Whitman

Please send us by Express (address as above) 2 sets your books,1 $10. each, for which find $20. enclosed.

The books are for my wife "Mary F. Davis"2 & for her brother Tracy Robinson3—both great admirers and lovers of you & your works.

Mrs Davis bids me give you her most cordial regards, and love.

Accept the same with a 1,000 greetings

from Your friend
A. J. Davis

Andrew Jackson Davis (1826–1910) was an American Spiritualist. He described himself as "the Poughkeepsie Seer" and published approximately 30 books in his lifetime.


1. During the centennial celebration of the U.S. in 1876, Whitman reissued the fifth edition of Leaves of Grass in the repackaged form of a "Centennial Edition" and "Author's Edition," with most copies personally signed by the poet. Two Rivulets was published as a companion volume to the book. Notable for its experimentations in form, typography, and printing convention, Whitman's two-volume set marks an important departure from previous publications of Leaves of Grass. For more information, see Frances E. Keuling-Stout, " Leaves of Grass, 1876, Author's Edition," "Two Rivulets, Author's Edition [1876]," and "Preface to Two Rivulets [1876]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

2. Tracy Robinson (1833–1915) was an official with the Panama Railroad Company and a longtime resident of Panama. He was the author of Panama: A Personal Record of Forty-six Years, 1861–1907 (New York: Star and Herald Company, 1907) and Song of the Palm and Other Poems, Mostly Tropical (New York: Brentanos, 1888). [back]

3. Mary Fenn Robinson (1824–1886) was an American Spiritualist and the second wife of Andrew Jackson Davis. The couple founded the Herald of Progress, a Spiritualist newspaper, in 1860. Robinson also wrote and lectured on such subjects as Harmonial Philosophy, temperance, and women's rights.  [back]


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