Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Jeannette L. and Joseph B. Gilder, [9 January 1884]

Date: January 9, 1884

Whitman Archive ID: med.00770

Source: The location of the original manuscript is unknown. The envelope is in the collection of Dr. Kendall Reed. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Ted Genoways (Iowa City: Iowa University Press, 2004), 7:73. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, and Nicole Gray

[Whitman wrote1 to ask that copies of "A Backward Glance on My Own Road" be sent to Edward Dowden, John A. Symonds, T. W. H. Rolleston, William D. O'Connor.]2

Jeannette Leonard Gilder (1849–1916) helped her brother, Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909), edit Scribner's Monthly and then, with another brother, Joseph Benson Gilder (1858–1936), co-edited the Critic (which she co-founded in 1881). For more, see Susan L. Roberson, "Gilder, Jeannette L. (1849–1916)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. The location of the manuscript letter is presently unknown. The address on the envelope is J L & J B Gilder | Critic Office | 20 Lafayette PLace | New York City | Philadelphia PA. | Jan 9 84 | 1 PM; P.O. | 1-9-84 | 6 P | N.Y. | D 1-9-84 | 9 P | N.Y. [back]

2. See Daybooks and Notebooks, ed. William White (New York: New York University Press, 1978), 2:327. On January 10, 1884, Whitman received slips of the article from The Critic; however, there was no word whether the copies had been sent to these friends. That day he wrote the Gilders to say "If not already mailed, you need not do it—I will attend to it—." Whitman must have concluded that the copies were not sent by the Gilders because, on January 11, he entered a list in his Daybooks and Notebooks of people to whom he had sent the article, including those listed above (2:326–27). [back]


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