Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Horace Traubel, 10 June 1891

Date: June 10, 1891

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04298

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.

Editorial note: The annotation, "see notes June 12, 91," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Ryan Furlong, Amanda J. Axley, Breanna Himschoot, and Stephanie Blalock

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June 10 evn'g '91

Stoddart2 has been over, & is a great strain for the MS: the copy3—If possible if you get this, send it on to him at once, & I will see when you return in type


Horace L. Traubel (1858–1919) was an American essayist, poet, and magazine publisher. He is best remembered as the literary executor, biographer, and self-fashioned "spirit child" of Walt Whitman. During the late 1880s and until Whitman's death in 1892, Traubel visited the poet virtually every day and took thorough notes of their conversations, which he later transcribed and published in three large volumes entitled With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906, 1908, & 1914). After his death, Traubel left behind enough manuscripts for six more volumes of the series, the final two of which were published in 1996. For more on Traubel, see Ed Folsom, "Traubel, Horace L. [1858–1919]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. This postal card is addressed: H L Traubel | Care Dr Bucke asylum | London | Ontario | Canada. It is postmarked: Camden, N.J. | JUN10 | 8 PM | 91, Lon[don] | PM | JU 12 | 91 | Canada. Horace Traubel married Anne Montgomerie on May 28, 1891. After Whitman's birthday celebration on May 31, 1891, the couple traveled with Bucke back to London, Ontario, where they stayed until returning to Camden, New Jersey, on June 14. [back]

2. Joseph Marshall Stoddart (1845–1921) published Stoddart's Encyclopaedia America, established Stoddart's Review in 1880, which was merged with The American in 1882, and became the editor of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1886. On January 11, 1882, Whitman received an invitation from Stoddart through J. E. Wainer, one of his associates, to dine with Oscar Wilde on January 14 (Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades [Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1931], 235n). [back]

3. Whitman is referring to a manuscript of Horace Traubel's "Walt Whitman's Birthday, May 31, 1891," an article that would be published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in August 1891. It was a detailed account of Whitman's seventy-second (and last) birthday, which was celebrated with friends at the poet's home on Mickle street. [back]


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