Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Harry Stafford, 17 February [1881]

Date: February 17, 1881

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00426

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), 3:212. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Stefan Schoeberlein

Feb: 17th Evening1

Dear Hank

If you carefully write out the extracts I send you, & punctuate them correctly, & read them slowly & carefully, it will be a success I am sure—

George D Prentice2 was a great Kentucky editor & writer—Coleridge was an Englishman—both dead—I hope you will read the piece yourself—that is part of the trade that has got to be begun & gone through with—read very slow, & mind the pauses—I want the extracts return'd to me as they were wrote out for me by a lady friend I think a great deal of—Pluck up courage & go ahead—

your W W


1. This letter is endorsed (by R.M. Bucke): "1881." Harry called on Whitman on February 15 and returned on the following day (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.). [back]

2. Prentice (1802–1870) was editor of the Louisville (Ky.) Daily Journal from 1830 to 1868. His poetry was issued posthumously in 1876. During the Civil War he was a supporter of Abraham Lincoln, and, according to the Dictionary of American Biography, was largely responsible for keeping Kentucky in the Union. [back]


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