Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Henry M. Alden to Walt Whitman, 20 September 1886

Date: September 20, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: loc.06000

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, Inc., 1961), 2:226. 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, Ian Faith, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray

Harper & Brothers' Editorial Rooms.
New York,
Sept. 20, 1886.

Dear Mr. Whitman,

I am unable to avail myself of your War Memoranda, which I herewith return. The Century Magazine has so strongly occupied this field that we do not wish to enter upon it.1

With thanks, sincerely yours,
H. M. Alden
Editor Harpers' Magazine.

Henry Mills Alden (1836–1919) was managing editor of Harper's Weekly from 1863 to 1869 and editor of Harper's Monthly Magazine from 1869 until his death.


1. To Horace Traubel, Whitman would say about this rejection: "There's a kick: don't you call that a kick? . . . I suppose I'm thin-skinned too, sometimes: I never get it quite clear in my old head that I am not popular and if editors have any use for me at all it can only be among the minor figures of interest. I do not rank high in market valuations—at the best I am only received on sufferance: I have not yet really got beyond the trial stage" (With Walt Whitman in Camden, Thursday, August 30, 1888). [back]


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