Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Edmund Clarence Stedman to Walt Whitman, 25 October 1888

Date: October 25, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04341

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: Jeannette Schollaert, Alex Ashland, Ian Faith, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

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44 East 26th st.
New York,
Oct. 25th. 1888

Dear Walt,

Your seasons outlast mine. Your book,1 a gift always to be handed down & treasured by my clan, reached me on my 55th birthday, and made me wonder that your November Boughs still hang so rich with color, while my October Leaves are already pale and wilted.—I am very grateful for your rememberance, & touched by it withal. In many respects this collection (so strikingly & fittingly put up) is one of the most significant—as it is the most various—of your enduring works. Rest tranquil, as you ever are, in the ripeness of your harvest & fame,—well assured that, whether your pilgrimage is still to be long or brief, you "shall not wholly die".—I am always more and more your reader, and

Your attached friend,
Edmund C. Stedman

Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908) was a man of diverse talents. He edited for a year the Mountain County Herald at Winsted, Connecticut, wrote "Honest Abe of the West," presumably Lincoln's first campaign song, and served as correspondent of the New York World from 1860 to 1862. In 1862 and 1863 he was a private secretary in the Attorney General's office until he entered the firm of Samuel Hallett and Company in September, 1863. The next year he opened his own brokerage office. He published many volumes of poems and was an indefatigable compiler of anthologies, among which were Poets of America, 2 vols. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1885) and A Library of American Literature from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, 11 vols. (New York: C. L. Webster, 1889–90). For more, see Donald Yannella, "Stedman, Edmund Clarence (1833–1908)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. Whitman's November Boughs was published in October 1888 by Philadelphia publisher David McKay. For more information on the book, see James E. Barcus Jr., "November Boughs [1888]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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