Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Editor of The Critic to Walt Whitman, 27 December 1888

Date: December 27, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04934

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.

Related item: A line has been drawn through this partial letter in black ink. On the back of this letter, Whitman has written instructions to a printer.

Contributors to digital file: Marie Ernster, Cristin Noonan, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

page image
image 1
page image
image 2

The Critic
743 Broadway
New York
Dec. 27, 1888

Dear Mr Whitman:

The poem is addressed "To the Year 1889,"1 but from "internal evidence" I should say the previous year, now just passing, was intended. In view of this uncertainty, I am holding it over till Jan. 5. Kindly enlighten me, & [believe?] me with very best wishes for all that is left of 1888, as well as for all of the New Year,2 [illegible]

The editor of the Critic from 1881 to 1906 was Jeannette Leonard Gilder (1849–1916), who wrote that "one of the things of which I am most proud is that the Critic was the first publication of its class to invite Walt Whitman to contribute to its pages" (Charles N. Elliot, Walt Whitman as Man, Poet, and Friend [Boston: Richard G. Badger, The Gorham Press, 1915], 97). She was assisted in her editorial work by her brother Joseph Benson Gilder (1858–1936). For more information, see Susan L. Roberson, "Gilder, Jeannette L. (1849–1916)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. Whitman's poem, "To the Year 1889" (1889), was published in The Critic on January 5, 1889. [back]

2. The remainder of this letter has been torn away and has not yet been located. [back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.