Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Sylvester Baxter, 5 January 1889

Date: January 5, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: med.00844

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. Miller derives his transcription from facsimiles published in L'Ane d'Or (1926): 57, and in Jean Catel's book Walt Whitman-La naissance du poète (Paris, 1929), 304. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:262. 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, Caterina Bernardini, Stefan Schöberlein, and Stephanie Blalock

Camden New Jersey
Jan: 5 '89

I want to send at once my brief thanks & appreciation of y'r notice in the Herald of Thursday.1 Such things coming to an old fellow after a hard journey make up for lots of knocks & botherations—God bless you, & indeed many thanks from me—

Walt Whitman

Sylvester Baxter (1850–1927) was on the staff of the Boston Herald. Apparently he met Whitman for the first time when the poet delivered his Lincoln address in Boston in April, 1881; see Rufus A. Coleman, "Whitman and Trowbridge," PMLA 63 (1948), 268. Baxter wrote many newspaper columns in praise of Whitman's writings, and in 1886 attempted to obtain a pension for the poet. For more, see Christopher O. Griffin, "Baxter, Sylvester [1850–1927]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. Baxter's review of Whitman's Complete Poems and Prose was titled "Whitman's Complete Works" and was published in the Boston Herald on January 3, 1889. The review was unsigned. See also Whitman's letter to Richard Maurice Bucke of January 5–6, 1889 and Whitman's letter to William Sloane Kennedy of January 5–6, 1889[back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.