Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to James T. Fields, 8 December 1868

Date: December 8, 1868

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01682

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:73. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

Dec 8, '681

J. T. Fields,
Dear Sir:2

Your letter has come to hand, with the check for $100, as payment in full for the piece "Proud Music of the Sea-Storm"—leaving me, however, the right to print it in future book. Please when ready send me proof, which I will return forthwith. Please send me,3 by express, 30 copies of the number, when ready, to my address here.

With thanks & best respects,


1. This draft letter is endorsed, "To | J. T. Fields | Dec. 8, '68." [back]

2. James T. Fields (1817–1881) succeeded James Russell Lowell as editor of the Atlantic Monthly. After Emerson, who had received "Proud Music of the Sea-Storm" in Whitman's November 30, 1868 letter, delivered the poem to Fields, Fields sent $100 to Whitman on December 5, 1868. He informed Whitman on December 14, 1868 that if he was to get the poem into the February issue it would be impossible to send proof to Washington. "Proud Music of the Sea-Storm" did, however, appear in the February 1869 issue of the Atlantic Monthly and was the second of Whitman's poems to appear in the magazine; "Bardic Symbols" was published in 1860. (For more on "Bardic Symbols," see Whitman's January 20, 1860 letter to James Russell Lowell and Whitman's March 2, 1860 letter to the editor of the Atlantic Monthly.) [back]

3. Unaccountably, Walt Whitman lined through the rest of the draft. [back]


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