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). Apparently Kennedy had 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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