Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Josiah Gilbert Holland, 12 December [1875]

Date: December 12, 1875

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00270

Source: The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, New York Public Library. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:66. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

431 Stevens st.
cor West.
N. Jersey,
Dec. 12.

Dr. Holland,1
Dear Sir,

Would these pieces—or either of them—be available for the Magazine? The price is $50—(40 for the first—10 for the other.) I have had them put in type for correctness & my private use.


1. Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819–1881), mentioned pseudonymously as Timothy Titcomb in Whitman's September 27, 1867 letter to William D. O'Connor, was an editor of the Springfield Republican from 1850 to 1862, and author of Titcomb's Letters to Young People, Simple and Married (New York: C. Scribner, 1858). While he was editor of Scribner's Monthly (1870–1881), Whitman submitted poems to him. At this time Holland was also editor of the Century Magazine. On two occasions Whitman recalled that he had sent poems to Holland at the suggestion of John Swinton (Horace Traubel, ed., With Walt Whitman in Camden [1906–1996], 1:184; 4:326–327). This letter was probably written in 1875, since one of the poems was "Eidólons," which appeared in the New York Tribune on February 19, 1876. The following year, Holland issued a hostile criticism in the May 1876 issue of Scribner's Monthly, 12 (1876), 123–125. Holland's lengthy (lost) reply "was offensive, low, bitter, inexcusable" (Horace Traubel, ed., With Walt Whitman in Camden [1906–1996], 3:327). In an interview in 1879, Whitman complained that many American magazines were "in the hands of old fogies like Holland or fops like Howells" (American Literature, 14 [1942–43], 145–146). [back]


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