Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Josiah Child to Walt Whitman, 10 July 1880

Date: July 10, 1880

Whitman Archive ID: man.00050

Source: Charles Sixsmith Collection at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester. 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 created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Contributors to digital file: Courtney Rebecca Lawton, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Eder Jaramillo, Nicole Gray, and Stefan Schöberlein

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57, & 59, Ludgate Hill,
London E.C.

July 10th 1880

My dear Walt Whitman.

Enclosed I send you statement of a/c up to date from Trübner & Co, and draft on New York for eighty dollars fifty cents, the amount of sales up to date.1 When you get home will you kindly send T & Co as before per JB. Lippincott & Co. Philadelphia

10 "Leaves of Grass"
5 "Two Rivulets"

T & Co as you will see have sold right out of "Leaves of Grass."

Please tell Dr. Bucke2 I have received his letter an papers for which I am obliged I shall take the earliest opportunity of answering his letter, as soon as I can snatch a few leisure moments.

I hope you are in good health and enjoying your visit to the "Dominion".3 Is it, think you, likely to become a great country in spite of its severe climate?

I have from time to time sent you various papers to Camden, those that may have reached after you left, you will probably get when you return.

I remain My dear
Walt Whitman
Yours Faithfully
Josiah Child


1. Whitman's dealings with Trübner & Co. were handled through Josiah Child. See the letter from Whitman to Child of August 9, 1878. On May 31, 1877, Trübner sent Whitman $7.57 in payment for copies of Democratic Vistas, and noted that 61 copies of that work were still on hand (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). On November 8 Whitman recorded that Trübner owed him $70 for ten sets and "also something due me for Dem: Vistas." On December 6 he received $47.55 from Trübner in payment for six sets and for fifteen (twelve according to the letter from Whitman to Anne Gilchrist of December 12, 1878) copies of Democratic Vistas; the balance due was $28 for four sets and $17.02 for forty-six copies of Democratic Vistas.

Whitman received a payment from Trübner through Josiah Child on June 9, 1879, and an order for books. See the letter from Whitman to Child of June 9, 1879. Probably the payment amounted to $24.50, since in making a tally of the books in Trübner's possession as of June 27, he noted thirty-seven volumes (including thirty-six sent on June 25 or 27) and forty-six copies of Democratic Vistas. On March 4, 1880, he received in payment $37.22; on July 22, 1880, $80.50, at which time he sent thirty-four volumes; on March 4, 1881, $105.37, at which time he sent an additional twenty volumes; and on December 8, 1881, he received $80.50. At that time the balance due was $14.43 for thirty-nine copies of Democratic Vistas. At a later date Whitman added to this entry, "all paid in full" (Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

2. Richard Maurice Bucke (1837–1902) was a Canadian physician and psychiatrist who grew close to Whitman after reading Leaves of Grass in 1867 (and later memorizing it) and meeting the poet in Camden a decade later. Even before meeting Whitman, Bucke claimed in 1872 that a reading of Leaves of Grass led him to experience "cosmic consciousness" and an overwhelming sense of epiphany. Bucke became the poet's first biographer with Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1883), and he later served as one of his medical advisors and literary executors. For more on the relationship of Bucke and Whitman, see Howard Nelson, "Bucke, Richard Maurice," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

3. "Dominion" was a designation used to describe the provinces of Canada. It was formalized in the Canadian Constitution Act, 1867. [back]


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