Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Joseph M. Stoddart, 9 June 1891

Date: June 9, 1891

Whitman Archive ID: med.00920

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. Miller derives his transcription from a transcription that was supplied by William R. Langfield of Philadelphia to Professor Rollo G. Silver in 1936. At the time, Langfield was in possession of the manuscript letter. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 5:211. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Cristin Noonan, Amanda J. Axley, Breanna Himschoot, and Stephanie Blalock

June 9, 18911

If you use that page of MS:2 (wh' you are at liberty to do as suits) dont fail to first send me proof wh' I will return immediately.3

Walt Whitman

Joseph Marshall Stoddart (1845–1921) published Stoddart's Encyclopaedia America, established Stoddart's Review in 1880, which was merged with The American in 1882, and became the editor of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1886. On January 11, 1882, Whitman received an invitation from Stoddart through J. E. Wainer, one of his associates, to dine with Oscar Wilde on January 14 (Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades [Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1931], 235n).


1. This letter is addressed: J M Stoddart Editor Lippincotts Publishers Market Street Philadelphia. [back]

2. Whitman is referring to the manuscript for "Walt Whitman's Last" (a one-page piece on his last miscellany Good-Bye My Fancy [1891]), which was published in the August 1891 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine along with "Walt Whitman's Birthday, May 31, 1891" by Horace Traubel. Traubel's article offered a detailed account of Whitman's seventy-second (and last) birthday, which was celebrated with friends at the poet's home on Mickle street. [back]

3. Although Stoddart said in the magazine that "it was only after considerable persuasion on the editor's part that Mr. Whitman consented to write the above," this note scarcely bears him out. However, for more details on the plans for publishing "Walt Whitman's Last," see Whitman's letter to the Canadian physician Richard Maurice Bucke of June 11, 1891[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.