Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Dr. John Johnston, 15 September 1891

Date: September 15, 1891

Whitman Archive ID: loc.80868

Source: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 5:243. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Andrew David King, Cristin Noonan, and Stephanie Blalock




Camden NJ—US America1
Sept: 15 '91

Perfect weather cont'd—fairly well with me—y'r letter & "New Review" rec'd2—Thanks—no d[oub]t J W W[allace]3 is having good time in Canada—I have advised him to just lay quiet with little or no excitement or unrest—fallow—(he has excitement enough in himself)—I am arranging a really complete ed'n of L of G. 438 pp:4 wh' I will send you when ready—nothing new—affectionate compliments to all—


Walt Whitman


Correspondent:
Dr. John Johnston (d. 1918) was a physician from Bolton, England, who, with James W. Wallace, founded the "Bolton College" of English admirers of the poet. Johnston and Wallace corresponded with Whitman and with Horace Traubel and other members of the Whitman circle in the United States, and they separately visited the poet and published memoirs of their trips in John Johnston and James William Wallace, Visits to Walt Whitman in 1890–1891 by Two Lancashire Friends (London: Allen and Unwin, 1917). For more information on Johnston, see Larry D. Griffin, "Johnston, Dr. John (d.1918)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. This letter is addressed: Dr Johnston | 54 Manchester R'd | Bolton Lancashire | England. It is postmarked: Camden, N.J. | Sep 15 | 8 PM | 91. [back]

2. According to Dr. Johnston's postal card on September 5 the New Review for September contained an article on "'Literature in the United States' in wh your name occurs." [back]

3. James William Wallace (1853–1926), of Bolton, England, was an architect and great admirer of Whitman. Along with John Johnston (d. 1918), a physician from Bolton, he founded the "Bolton College" of English admirers of the poet. Johnston and Wallace corresponded with Whitman and with Horace Traubel and other members of the Whitman circle in the United States, and they separately visited the poet and published memoirs of their trips in John Johnston and James William Wallace, Visits to Walt Whitman in 1890–1891 by Two Lancashire Friends (London: Allen and Unwin, 1917). For more information on Wallace, see Larry D. Griffin, "Wallace, James William (1853–1926)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

4. Whitman is referring to the 1891–1892 "deathbed" edition of Leaves of Grass. See R.W. French, "Leaves of Grass, 1891–1892, Deathbed Edition," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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