Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 15 March [1883]

Date: March 15, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00482

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), 3:332. 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, Kirsten Clawson, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Nicole Gray

March 15

If you have, or can think of, or select any thing—(it may be a line or two—or a quarter or half a page)—for a motto like, to back the appendix title page that precedes your letter & G[ood] G[ray] P[oet]2—send it to me—will do, if sent within a week—

W. W.


1. This letter is endorsed: "Answ'd March 19/83." It is addressed: Wm D O'Connor | Care Dr W F Channing | 98 Congdon Street | Providence | Rhode Island | p o box | 393. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | Mar | 15 | 1883 | 5 PM | Pa. [back]

2. On March 19 O'Connor offered two suggestions: the lines referring to Longinus in Pope's Essay on Criticism and three lines from Hamlet (Charles E. Feinberg Collection, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.). Either Bucke or Whitman decided not to follow his proposals, and inserted a quotation from "a letter to R. M. B., by W. F., Mobile, Ala., March, 1883" (Richard Maurice Bucke, Walt Whitman [Philadelphia: David McKay, 1883], 72). Bucke wrote to O'Connor about the motto on March 30 (The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.). [back]


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