Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Joaquin Miller to Walt Whitman, [6 November 1874]

Date: [November 6, 1874]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03144

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: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Ashley Lawson, Eder Jaramillo, John Schwaninger, Caterina Bernardini, Marie Ernster, Noelle Bates, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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My dear Walt Whitman.

In London last week I met many mutual friends who were asking after you and wondering when you would come over to the Great Smoky Capital—friends who know you only by your books. Last winters stay of Rome, the author of "Cleopatra" you remember, asked me for your photo, and I gave it him to contemplate and he has it yet: Are you coming, and when? Most like I shall return to the States this winter and then visit Washington for I have never yet seen our national Capitol.

The news of the great democratic virtues has first reached us and all Paris—that is all American Paris—is teribly excited: Of course this suits me, born democrat as I am, but I trust it will not at all disturb the future of the my dear friend the "good gray poet." My address is the Langhorne Hotel, London. Drop me a line.

Yours fittfuly,
Joaquin Miller

Joaquin Miller was the pen name of Cincinnatus Heine Miller (1837–1913), an American poet nicknamed "Byron of the Rockies" and "Poet of the Sierras." In 1871, the Westminster Review described Miller as "leaving out the coarseness which marked Walt Whitman's poetry" (297). In an entry in his journal dated August 1, 1871, the naturalist John Burroughs recorded Whitman's fondness for Miller's poetry; see Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1931), 60. Whitman met Miller for the first time in 1872; he wrote of a visit with Miller in a July 19, 1872, letter to his former publisher and fellow clerk Charles W. Eldridge.


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