Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Sloane Kennedy, John Burroughs, and Richard Maurice Bucke, 30 August 1887

Date: August 30, 1887

Whitman Archive ID: med.00808

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. Miller derives his transcription from a transcript by Kennedy held in the The Trent Collection of Whitmaniana at the Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:118. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Ashland, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

Aug 30 '87

I remain anchor'd here in my big chair—Have you read the Bacon-Shakspere résumé in the last Sunday's N. Y. World?1 I am tackling it—take less & less stock in it.

This letter is addressed to three close acquaintances of Whitman: William Sloane Kennedy (1850–1929), the naturalist John Burroughs (1837–1921), and the Canadian physician Richard Maurice Bucke (1837–1902). For more on these figures, see these entries from Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998): Katherine Reagan, "Kennedy, William Sloane (1850–1929)," Carmine Sarracino, "Burroughs, John (1837–1921) and Ursula (1836–1917)," and Howard Nelson, "Bucke, Richard Maurice (1837–1902).


1. In the more "literary" days of nineteenth-century America the New York World on August 28 devoted its first two pages to Thomas Davidson's review of Ignatius Donnelly's The Great Cryptogram: Francis Bacon's Cipher in Shakespeare's Plays, which argued that Shakespeare's plays had been written by Francis Bacon. [back]


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