Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 11 July [1882]

Date: July 11, 1882

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00460

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), 3:297. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

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

noon—July 11—

Yours just rec'd—the acc't & formal letter shift the relative positions—but taking in Judge R[ay]'s remarks which are a part of it, the result seems to me absolutely & unequivocally what I took it to be, & what I suppose the papers (with some marked errors of detail) are stating2—Though I havn't seen the said papers (except the Phila "Press")—the weather here is so hot I dont go out or over to Phila:—



1. This letter is endorsed: "Answ'd July 13/82." It is addressed: Wm D O'Connor | Life Saving Service Bureau | Washington | D C. It is postmarked: Camden | Jul | 11 | 4 PM | (?); Washington, D. C. | Jul | 12 | 5 AM | 1882 | Recd. [back]

2. William O'Connor carefully explained on July 10 that he had given a slightly misleading impression of the Post Office's decision since the ruling applied only to George Chainey's pamphlet, not to Leaves of Grass as a book. However, the interpretation offered by Judge Charles A. Ray, the law officer of the Post Office Department, meant in effect that Leaves of Grass was "mailable" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.). [back]


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