Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 3 December [1883]

Date: December 3, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00503

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), 3:357. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

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

Dec. 3 Evn'g

Yours rec'd & welcomed—will write at length soon—(meantime this card)—Dr B[ucke]'s book has some sale all the time—nothing vehement, but the orders drop in lingeringly2—yesterday ten copies from Trübner London, &c. &c. My opinion that the book is a success (in the most important requisites) is to-day more decided than ever—largely thanks to you. Dr B has been in N. Y. for a month—has been twice here to see me.3 Did you see my article in Critic of Nov. 24?4 I have lately sent a little 20 line poem to Harpers—accepted immediately & paid for ($50!)5—I am well as usual—write often—


I sent your letter to Dr. B—he always wants to hear from you—


1. This letter is endorsed: "Answ'd January 13/84." It is addressed: Wm D O'Connor | Life Saving Service—Treasury | Washington D C. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | (?) | Dec 3 83 | 10 30 PM; Washington, D.C. | Dec 4 | 7 AM | 1883 | Recd. [back]

2. On December 16 Bucke informed O'Connor that the book had sold "250 or 300" copies (The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.). [back]

3. Bucke came to Camden on November 5 and again on November 27 and 28, when he and Whitman visited Robert Pearsall Smith (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

4. Whitman was in error: "Our Eminent Visitors (Past, Present, and Future)" appeared in The Critic on November 17. [back]

5. "With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea" was published in Harper's Monthly in March, 1884. Henry M. Alden, the editor, accepted the poem on November 30. Whitman began to write the piece while he was at Ocean Grove (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Sunday, July 1, 1888; Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades [Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1931],scxv 245). [back]


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