Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Joseph M. Stoddart to Walt Whitman, 7 February 189[1]

Date: February 7, 189[1]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04681

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 notes: The annotation, "see | notes | 2/9/91," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Related item: Whitman has written a letter to Horace Traubel at the bottom of this letter from Joseph M. Stoddart. Whitman seems to have intended this letter as an enclosure for Traubel. See loc.07883.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Ian Faith, Alex Ashland, and Stephanie Blalock

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Lippincott's Monthly Magazine
Feb. 7th, 1891
Walt Whitman, Esq.

Dear Mr. Whitman:—

During my absence your note of the 4th, inst2 was left here by Mr. Traubel.3 I have a suggestion to make which will be much more satisfactory, in reference to what you suggest, than what you propose, and will either see you or give you the information before the publication of the number containing it, which will be the 20th of this month.

Very likely next week I will be over to see you, or if Mr. Traubel will take the trouble to call in I will explain it to him.

Yours truly,
J.M. Stoddart

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).


1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman Esq. | Camden | N.J. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | Feb 7 | 7 PM | 91; Camden [illegible] | Feb | 8 | 4 PM | 1891 | Rec'd. [back]

2. See the letter from Whitman to Stoddart of February 4, 1891[back]

3. 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). [back]


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