Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Sloane Kennedy, 31 July 1889

Date: July 31, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03031

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.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Alex Ashland, Breanna Himschoot, Ashlyn Stewart, and Stephanie Blalock



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Camden
PM July 31 '891

Nothing of importance—Rainy rainy weather here night & day. To-morrow the beginning of the last month of hot summer—I have stood it pretty well here, & am fairly condition'd as I write this afternoon—I not only know but feel that even a fair nibble is better than no loaf of bread at all (wh' comes to the question sometimes)—Ah there comes the sunshine as I conclude


W W


Correspondent:
William Sloane Kennedy (1850–1929) was on the staff of the Philadelphia American and later published biographies of Longfellow and Whittier (Dictionary of American Biography). Apparently Kennedy had called on the poet for the first time on November 21, 1880 (William Sloane Kennedy, Reminiscences of Walt Whitman [1896], 1). Though Kennedy was to become a fierce defender of Whitman, in his first published article he admitted reservations about the "coarse indecencies of language" and protested that Whitman's ideal of democracy was "too coarse and crude"; see The Californian, 3 (February 1881), 149–158. For more about Kennedy, see Katherine Reagan, "Kennedy, William Sloane (1850–1929)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. This postal card is addressed: Sloane Kennedy | Belmont Mass:. It is postmarked: Camden, N.J. | Aug 2 | 8 PM | 89. [back]


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