Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: James Redpath to Walt Whitman, 20 October 1885

Date: October 20, 1885

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03289

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.

Notes for this letter were created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Editorial note: The annotation, "see notes Aug 26 & 31, '88," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock

page image
image 1
page image
image 2

The North American Review.
30 Lafayette Place.
Editor and Proprietor.
New York City,
Oct. 20, 1885.1

Dear Mr. Whitman:

Enclosed please find a check for $50 for the article in the November number of the North American Review on "Slang in America." This is the very highest rate that is paid for contributions, and exactly double what is paid for nine-tenths of the articles that appear in it. I trust it is satisfactory. When will you have your article on Lincoln ready? Mr. Rice2 is quite impatient for it.3 If any question of pay stands in the way won't you please state what you will ask for it, and then I shall have the matter off my mind. I wish you would answer this letter to-day, as I am about to start on a two weeks' trip to the West.

Very truly yours,
James Redpath
Walt Whitman, Esq.

Camden, New Jersey.

James Redpath (1833–1891), an antislavery activist, journalist, and longtime friend of Whitman, was the author of The Public Life of Capt. John Brown (Boston: Thayer and Eldridge, 1860), a correspondent for the New York Tribune during the war, and the originator of the "Lyceum" lectures. He met Whitman in Boston in 1860, and he remained an enthusiastic admirer; see Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Friday, January 4, 1889. He concluded his first letter to Whitman on June 25, 1860: "I love you, Walt! A conquering Brigade will ere long march to the music of your barbaric jawp." Redpath became managing editor of The North American Review in 1886. See also Charles F. Horner, The Life of James Redpath and the Development of the Modern Lyceum, (New York: Barse & Hopkins, 1926); John R. McKivigan, Forgotten Firebrand: James Redpath and the Making of Nineteenth-Century America, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008); and J.R. LeMaster, "Redpath, James [1833–1891]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. The letterhead includes a seal explaining that this is a dictated letter. [back]

2. Charles Allen Thorndike Rice (1851–1889) purchased The North American Review in 1876. See also the letter from Whitman to John Burroughs of February 1, 1881[back]

3. See Whitman's letter to Redpath of December 15, 1885[back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.