Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Richard Watson Gilder to Walt Whitman, 9 August 1884

Date: August 9, 1884

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02223

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, "see notes 26 & 28 Aug '88," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, Nicole Gray, and Ed Folsom

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Aug 9. 84.

Marion, Mass

My dear Mr. Whitman,

I am glad you can do the nursing article.1 Thanks for the Father Taylor2—should you not include Emerson in the list of his praisers which you give?

R.W. Gilder

We will try to find a photograph from life.

Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909) was the assistant editor of Scribner's Monthly from 1870 to 1881 and editor of its successor, The Century, from 1881 until his death. Whitman had met Gilder for the first time in 1877 at John H. Johnston's (Gay Wilson Allen, The Solitary Singer [New York: New York University Press, 1955], 482). Whitman attended a reception and tea given by Gilder after William Cullen Bryant's funeral on June 14; see "A Poet's Recreation" in the New York Tribune, July 4, 1878. Whitman considered Gilder one of the "always sane men in the general madness" of "that New York art delirium" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Sunday, August 5, 1888). For more about Gilder, see Susan L. Roberson, "Gilder, Richard Watson (1844–1909)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. Whitman's "Army Hospitals and Cases: Memoranda at the Time, 1863–1866" had first appeared in a series for the New York Weekly Graphic and was later reprinted in The Century[back]

2. Whitman's "Father Taylor and Oratory" was published in The Century in February 1887. Edward Thompson Taylor (1793–1871) was an American Methodist clergyman who was well regarded for his oratory skills. Whitman in "Father Taylor" described him as "the only essentially perfect orator" he had ever heard. [back]


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