Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to John Swinton, 12 April [1876]

Date: April 12, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: med.00455

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), 6:13. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

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

431 Stevens St., Camden, N Jersey
April 12 1

Dear John—

I have adopted your suggestion & written (same mail with this) to Wm. Swinton, Ward, Dr. Seeger, Stedman, [J.] Miller, Mr. Jardine—I am entirely satisfied with your letter, (as with Buchanan's and Rossetti's action in London.)2 I am pleased well with what you write me in, & are doing by, your letter . . . Things go on with me much the same as usual of late . . . When you see any thing notable or pungent about me or my affairs, send it to me, as I neither see or hear much here.

Walt Whitman


1. Transcript. [back]

2. In April 1876, Whitman, with the assistance of friends in America and abroad, began a promotional campaign for the sale of Leaves of Grass (sixth edition) and Two Rivulets. John Swinton suggested that a circular be sent to his brother William, John Quincy Adams Ward, Dr. Ferdinand Seeger, Edmund Clarence Stedman, Joaquin Miller, and D. Jardine, most of whom ordered copies of the books. See also the notes to Whitman's April 12, 1876 letter to various friends.

Swinton reported Whitman's "penury" in an article in the New York Herald on April 1, 1876. Robert Buchanan and William Michael Rossetti made appeals to English admirers to relieve the poet's poverty.  [back]


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