Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William H. Rideing to Walt Whitman, 3 October 1890

Date: October 3, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02915

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 Oct 5 1890," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Ian Faith, Breanna Himschoot, and Stephanie Blalock

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October 3rd 1890.
The North American Review,
3 East Fourteenth Street, New York.

Dear Sir:—

Can you write a brief article for the North American Review1 on Recent Aspects of American Literature as you have observed them? It need not be more than 4000 words in length—about ten pages of the Review—and in return for it we should be glad to place at your disposal the sum of Two hundred dollars. Or possibly there is some other subject on which you would be more willing to write. In that case we trust you will allow us an opportunity to consider it.2

I am, dear Sir,
Faithfully Yours,
William H. Rideing,
assistant editor of the Review.

To Walt Whitman. Esq.

William Henry Rideing (1853–1918) was an American newspaper editor and author who began his career at the New York Tribune, and worked at various times for the New York Times, Newark News, Springfield Republican, and Boston Journal. From 1881 to his death, Rideing was the Associate Editor of The Youth's Companion and, in 1889, became an assistant editor at the North American Review. He is also author of several books, including A Little Upstart: A Novel (Boston: Cupples, Upham, and Co. 1885), The Captured Cunarder: An Episode of the Atlantic (Boston: Copeland and Day, 1896), and George Washington (New York: Macmillan, 1916). For more information, see his obituary, "William H. Rideing, Boston Editor, Dead" in The Boston Globe (August 23, 1918), 6.


1. The North American Review was the first literary magazine in the United States. The journalist Charles Allen Thorndike Rice (1851–1889) edited and published the magazine in New York from 1876 until his death. After Rice's death, Lloyd Bryce became owner and editor, and he held these positions at the time of Rideing's letter. [back]

2. Whitman sent "Old Poets" to the North American Review on October 9. He returned proof on October 18 and was paid $75 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). The article appeared in the November 1890 issue. [back]


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