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

Source: 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.

Location: 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.

Whitman Archive ID: med.00808

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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