Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to R.F. Wormwood, 19 November 1889

Date: November 19, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04505

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: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Ryan Furlong, Brandon James O'Neil, and Stephanie Blalock

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328 Mickle Street
Camden New Jersey
PM Nov. 19 '891

Yours with $5 recd. with order—thanks—I send you the Complete Works, big Vol,2 (with the little poemet you requested) by Express—If not delivered to you, please send or inquire at the Express office in y'r place. Please kindly send me word without fail (a P O card will do) soon as you get the book right. The price is $6 (not 4.40)

Walt Whitman

There are several portraits in the book I send—If you want further pict: I will send—

R. F. Wormwood was a writer and newspaper editor. During his career, he served as the editor for several newspapers in Maine, including the Oxford County Record and the Biddeford Daily Journal.


1. This letter is addressed: R F Wormwood | Fryeburg | Maine. It is postmarked: Camden, N.J. | Nov 19 | 8PM | 89; Philadelphia, PA | Nov | 19 | 9 PM | 1889 | Transit. Whitman's address is printed on the envelope: Walt Whitman, | Camden, | New Jersey. [back]

2. Whitman's Complete Poems & Prose (1888), a volume Whitman often referred to as the "big book," was published by the poet himself—in an arrangement with publisher David McKay, who allowed Whitman to use the plates for both Leaves of Grass and Specimen Days—in December 1888. With the help of Horace Traubel, Whitman made the presswork and binding decisions for the volume. Frederick Oldach bound the book, which included a profile photo of the poet on the title page. For more information on the book, see Ed Folsom, Whitman Making Books/Books Making Whitman: A Catalog and Commentary (University of Iowa: Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, 2005). [back]


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