Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Jahu DeWitt Miller to Walt Whitman, 22 October 1890

Date: October 22, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03145

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: Kirby Little, Ian Faith, Breanna Himschoot, and Stephanie Blalock

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Eighth and Chestnut Sts.
22 Oct. 1890

Dear Mr. Whitman:

How the thousands of us—enjoyed last night.1 I have a copy of the first edition of your poems upon a fly leaf of which I want you to write in certification of the fact that it is a first edition.

I cannot expect you to do me this service gratuitously—and I will be glad to pay you $10 for your kindness in the matter or more indeed if you do not consider that sum adequate compensation.—

I beg th. you will respond affirmatively and am

With great respect:
Jahu DeWitt Miller

Walt Whitman

I could come over almost any day.—

Jahu Dewitt Miller (1857–1911) was a Methodist minister, educator, lecturer, and collector of rare books. In 1901, a special facility to house his large collection was built at National Park Seminary, a girl's school in Forest Glen, Maryland. The Miller Library was later auctioned off when the school closed, and the United States Army converted the campus into a medical facility. Syracuse University currently houses the Dewitt Miller Correspondence, a collection of thirty letters written between 1881 and 1907. For more information, see Leon H. Vincent, Dewitt Miller, A Biographical Sketch (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Riverside Press, 1912).


1. On October 21, 1890, at Horticultural Hall in Philadelphia, Robert Ingersoll delivered a lecture in honor of Walt Whitman titled Liberty in Literature. Testimonial to Walt Whitman. Whitman recorded in his Commonplace Book that the lecture was "a noble, (very eulogistic to WW & L of G) eloquent speech, well responded to by the audience," and the speech itself was published in New York by the Truth Seeker Company in 1890 (Whitman's Commonplace Book [Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.]). [back]


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