Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: James R. Osgood & Company to Walt Whitman, 10 April 1882

Date: April 10, 1882

Whitman Archive ID: loc.05603

Source: The Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1842–1937, 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: Stefan Schöberlein, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Eder Jaramillo, and Nicole Gray

page image
image 1
page image
image 2
page image
image 3
page image
image 4


JAMES R. OSGOOD & CO., Publishers.
211 Tremont Street.
April 10 1882

Walt Whitman Esq
Dear Sir:

We have laid before the District Attorney the alterations proposed by you. They are not satisfactory.

The argument is as follows; if there is a case against the book in its existing form it is not removed or weakened by the changes you propose. If there is no case there is no need of making these changes.

We do not attempt to express an opinion on the point of whether there is a case against the original book. But we certainly do think that if there is such a case it would lie with almost equal force against the book after the modifications proposed by you have been made.

As we said at the outset we do not wish to go into court in connection with this case. Therefore as your views seem to be irreconcilable with those of the official authorities there seems no alternative for us but to decline to further circulate the book. We should be open to any reasonable arrangement for turning the plates over to you.

Awaiting your reply we are
Yours truly
James R. Osgood & Co.


1. Whitman renumbered these pages in blue pencil. [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.