Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Frederick Oldach, [27 November 1888]

Date: [November 27, 1888]

Whitman Archive ID: med.00845

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. The transcription presented here is derived from The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:239–240. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

1215 Market St. Phila:

To Mr. Oldach

Yes—the fixing up of the sheets—placing of the plates, &c &c—all right and the paper-bound specimen satisfactory—But I think you can do it better for me—try

I want fifty (50) copies bound in good strong paper covers—w'd it do in some handsome marble paper? W'd that be better? (I leave mainly to y'r taste & judgment)—if you have anything better as strong backs (stitching &c) as can consistently be made—uncut & untrimm'd like this sample (I like this sample even as it is pretty well)—

I will send you the label to put on the backsI am now having them printed—(will also have the 550 copies in handsome costlier stiff bindings afterwards.)

Walt Whitman

328 Mickle St Camden

Frederick Oldach was a German bookbinder whose Philadelphia firm bound Whitman's Complete Poems & Prose (1888), a volume that included a profile photo of the poet on the title page. The nearly 900-page book was published in December 1888. For more information on the book, see Ed Folsom, Whitman Making Books/Books Making Whitman: A Catalog and Commentary (University of Iowa: Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, 2005).


1. Traubel transcribed this letter on the day it was written. See Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Tuesday, November 27, 1888[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.