Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Francis P. Church and William C. Church, 15 November 1869

Date: November 15, 1869

Whitman Archive ID: prc.00024

Source: Private collection of Mrs. Donald E. Kidd. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:90–91. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

Attorney General's Office,
Nov. 15, 1869.

Messrs Church,
Dear Sirs:1

I write a line with reference to my piece "Brother of All with generous hand," (commemorative of George Peabody,)2 handed to W. C. Church here three or four days since. I suppose it ought to appear, if at all, in the January Number.

Please send me proof forthwith. Direct to me this office.

Walt Whitman


1. William Conant Church (1836–1917), journalist and publisher, was a correspondent for several New York newspapers until he founded the Army and Navy Journal in 1863. With his brother Francis Pharcellus (1839–1906), he established the Galaxy in 1866. Financial control of the Galaxy passed to Sheldon and Company in 1868, and it was absorbed by the Atlantic Monthly in 1878. William published a biography of his life-long friend Ulysses S. Grant in 1897, and Francis wrote for the New York Sun the unsigned piece "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." See Edward F. Grier, "Walt Whitman, the Galaxy, and Democratic Vistas," American Literature, 23 (1951–1952), 332–350; Donald N. Bigelow, William Conant Church & "The Army and Navy Journal" (New York: Columbia University Press, 1952); J. R. Pearson, Jr., "Story of a Magazine: New York's Galaxy, 1866–1878," Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 61 (1957), 217–237, 281–302. [back]

2. George Peabody (1795–1869), merchant and philanthropist, died in London on November 4, 1869, and his body was returned to Danvers, Massachusetts in January, 1870. He founded and endowed the Peabody museums at Yale and Harvard. The poem, entitled "Outlines for a Tomb (G. P., Buried 1870)" in the 1881 edition of Leaves of Grass, appeared in the Galaxy, 9 (January 1870), 75–76.

For the poem as it appeared in the Galaxy, see "Brother of All, With Generous Hand"[back]


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