Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Anderson & Archer, 19 February 1868

Date: February 19, 1868

Whitman Archive ID: med.00401

Source: The location of the original manuscript is unknown. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:18. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

Attorney General's Office,
February 19, 1868 1

Your letter of 13th2 was rec'd—

Please find herewith a check for $31:50, which I suppose is the am't of your bill for binding 90 copies, Leaves of Grass, at 35 cts.3

Please put up 40 copies in good substantial wrapping envelope, & send me by express. Direct Walt Whitman, Attorney Gen's Office, Treasury Building, Washington, D. C.—Please keep the remaining 50 copies till I send some order about them.

You have overlooked one thing. When I called upon you 2d January,4 we found a discrepancy in the two lists of sheets on hand—yours had it that Sheet B, 2d consisted of only 225 sheets—while my list had it that Sheet B 2d consisted of 325 sheets—I wish you to carefully count sheet B 2d & inform me how many there are—as it will decide how many of the deficient signatures of "Drum-Taps" etc.,5 I will require to finish up the edition. Please acknowledge the reception of this, with check.

(check for $31:50 enclosed)


1. This draft letter is endorsed, "Sent Anderson & Archer | Feb. 19, 1868." When Emory Holloway made his transcription in 1920, the manuscript draft was in the Henry Goldsmith Collection. [back]

2. This letter is not known. [back]

3. In his November 13, 1867 letter to Michael Doolady, Whitman had initially presumed that Anderson and Archer had prepared 100 copies. [back]

4. This reference to visiting Anderson and Archer, who had offices in New York, on January 2, 1868, is somewhat puzzling; there is no other evidence that Whitman was in New York at this time. He was in Washington on December 30, 1867, and on January 17, 1868; see his letters of December 30, 1867 and January 17, 1868[back]

5. The 1867 edition appeared in many forms: Leaves of Grass by itself, with Drum-Taps, and with Songs Before Parting[back]


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