Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Talcott Williams, 11 October 1884

Date: October 11, 1884

Whitman Archive ID: med.00713

Source: Estelle Doheny Collection of the Edward Laurence Doheny Memorial Library, St. John's Seminary. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:379. 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 and Kyle Barton

328 Mickle Street
Oct 11 '84

My dear friend

Thank you for your kind & warm invitation to write a Blaine poem—but I shall not be able to accept it1

Thank you heartily too for the pay (more than I asked & more than it is worth) for the little Red Jacket bit2—but it has not yet come to hand—most likely will come soon—I am about as usual—only very lame.

Walt Whitman

I enclose my last screed in the Critic3

Talcott Williams (1849–1928) was associated with the New York Sun and World as well as the Springfield Republican before he became the editor of the Philadelphia Press in 1879. His newspaper vigorously defended Whitman in news articles and editorials after the Boston censorship of 1882. For more information about Williams, see Philip W. Leon, "Williams, Talcott (1849–1928)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. But see Whitman's letter to Talcott Williams of October 12, 1884[back]

2. Whitman did not record the amount he received from Williams in his Commonplace Book. Since he was paid $10 for his next contribution to the Philadelphia Press, probably he received the same amount for "Red Jacket (from Aloft)." [back]

3. "What Lurks Behind Shakspeare's Historical Plays?" [back]


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