Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to James Redpath, 15 December 1885

Date: December 15, 1885

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03291

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 notes: The annotation, "# 3 447-1928," is in an unknown hand. The annotation, "Get Mr. Travers [?] to mail | a copy & send | it in closed envelope | the other was lost in the mail | JR," is in the hand of James Redpath.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray

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328 Mickle Street
Camden New Jersey
Dec: 15 '85—noon

My dear J R

I have rec'd the pay ($33) for the "Lincoln" article from Mr Rice, & sent a receipt for it1

—Your letter (12th) says you have sent the proof of "Lincoln" article same mail—I have rec'd no proof.—It has evidently miscarried, or something. So please send me another—None was enclosed in the letter—

—I am ab't as usual—Come & see me whenever you can.

Walt Whitman

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. Probably the receipt was sent on the day Whitman received the money, December 4 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). This article, written at Charles Allen Thorndike Rice's request (see the letter from Whitman to James Redpath of August 12, 1885), was sent to Redpath on November 15 (Whitman's Commonplace Book), and was included in Rice's Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln (1886), 469–475. Whitman was not proud of his "screed"; see his letter of March 18, 1886. [back]


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