Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Sloane Kennedy, 30 June 1890

Date: June 30, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: med.00890

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. Edwin Haviland Miller derives his transcription from a facsimile of The Month at Goodspeed's, 12 (November, 1940), 56. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 5:58. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Ashlyn Stewart, Ian Faith, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, and Stephanie Blalock

Camden New Jersey
June 30 1890

Thanks for the fine photo: wh' has come safely—I am as well as usual—had blackberries & bread & tea for my breakfast—a hot spell of weather here—have just had a bath—Sh'd like to send a copy of L of G. or something (or two books) to Trans[cript] editor or publisher—who?1

Walt Whitman

William Sloane Kennedy (1850–1929) was on the staff of the Philadelphia American and the Boston Transcript; he also published biographies of Longfellow, Holmes, and Whittier (Dictionary of American Biography [New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1933], 336–337). Apparently Kennedy called on the poet for the first time on November 21, 1880 (William Sloane Kennedy, Reminiscences of Walt Whitman [London: Alexander Gardener, 1896], 1). Though Kennedy was to become a fierce defender of Whitman, in his first published article he admitted reservations about the "coarse indecencies of language" and protested that Whitman's ideal of democracy was "too coarse and crude"; see The Californian, 3 (February 1881), 149–158. For more about Kennedy, see Katherine Reagan, "Kennedy, William Sloane (1850–1929)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. Kennedy replied on July 9 that the books were to be sent to "Chas. E. Hurd, literary editor" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection). [back]


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