Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to the Editor of the Critic, 17 June 1886

Date: June 17, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: loc.05961

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.

Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented, updated, or created by Whitman Archive staff as appropriate.

Editorial note: The annotation, "See Critic Lounger July 3," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray

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Camden N J
June 17 '86

Dear Sir

I send you this note just rec'd—as you might possibly care to make an item from it—Please return it to me1

Walt Whitman

New York,
June 14th 1886

Walt Whitman Esq
Dear Sir

Trusting that the intelligence conveyed will plead for my presumption, I venture to enclose you a few lines. At a sale of Autographs & Books a few days ago the following prices were obtained.

"Autograph letter, Whitman, Walt, Poet," $80.00
Leaves of Grass 1st Edition 10.00

Which prices were the highest paid for any similar lots. Thinking you might not get the above information, I venture to enclose it.

with best wishes
Yours Truly
W. I. Whiting

The editor of the Critic in 1886 was Jeannette 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" (see Charles N. Elliot, Walt Whitman as Man, Poet, and Friend [1915], 97); she was assisted in her editorial tasks by her brother Joseph. 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. This note to The Critic was written on the verso of a letter from W. I. Whiting to Whitman on June 14. The magazine printed a notice of the sale on July 3. [back]


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