Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Carey, 15 September 1887

Date: September 15, 1887

Whitman Archive ID: njh.00002

Source: New Jersey Historical Society. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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328 Mickle Street
Camden NJ
Sept: 15 '871

Evn'g—The package of photos. came this afternoon. Shall sign & return them to-morrow or next day—all the points proposed by you & Mr C2 are satisfactory3

Walt Whitman

William Carey (1858–1901) worked for the editorial department of The Century Magazine. The September 1887 issue of the monthly advertised signed photographs of Whitman (taken by George C. Cox earlier that summer). See also Whitman's letter to Cox of September 15, 1887.


1. This postal card is addressed: William Carey | Century Office Union Square | New York City. It is postmarked: Camden, N.J. | SEP 15 | 8 PM | 87; II | 9 16 87 | 6 A | (?); P.O. | 9–18 87 | 2 A | N.Y. [back]

2. George Collins "G. C." Cox (1851–1903) was a well-known celebrity photographer who had taken photographs of Whitman when the poet was in New York to give his lecture on Abraham Lincoln (his Lincoln lecture) in April 1887. "The Laughing Philosopher," one of the most famous photographs of Whitman, was taken by Cox in 1887. [back]

3. George Cox proposed selling signed copies of his photographs of Walt Whitman. However, when the September 1887 issue of Century appeared with an advertisement, Whitman still had not seen proofs, much less signed the photographs. He wrote John H. Johnston on September 1, 1887, "He advertises . . . to sell my photo, with autograph. The latter is forged, & the former illegal & unauthorized." The disagreement was quickly resolved, and Whitman signed photographs for Cox and returned them. [back]


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