Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to L. Logan Smith, [22 December 1887]

Date: [December 22, 1887]

Whitman Archive ID: prc.00116

Source: Private Collection of John S. Mayfield. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:137. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Ryan Furlong, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, Stephanie Blalock, Marie Ernster, Paige Wilkinson, and Amanda J. Axley

328 Mickle Street
Camden New Jersey1

For the present send Ernest Rhys's2 letters addressed here to my care3

Walt Whitman

In all likelihood, "L. Logan Smith" is Logan Pearsall Smith (1865–1946), an essayist and literary critic. He was the son of Robert Pearsall Smith, a minister and writer who befriended Whitman, and he was the brother of Mary Whitall Smith Costelloe, one of Whitman's most avid followers. For more information on Logan, see Christina Davey, "Smith, Logan Pearsall (1865–1946)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. This letter is addressed: (not in Whitman's hand): L Logan Smith | 507 S. Broad St. | Phila. Pa. It is postmarked: Camden, N.J. | Dec 22 | 6 AM | 87. [back]

2. Ernest Percival Rhys (1859–1946) was a British author and editor; he founded the Everyman's Library series of inexpensive reprintings of popular works. He included a volume of Whitman's poems in the Canterbury Poets series and two volumes of Whitman's prose in the Camelot series for Walter Scott publishers. For more information about Rhys, see Joel Myerson, "Rhys, Ernest Percival (1859–1946)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

3. In his Commonplace Book (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.), Whitman noted on December 22 the arrival of Rhys, who had Christmas dinner with the poet, with the lawyer and Whitman's literary executor Thomas Harned (and his family), and with Whitman's biographer and literary executor Horace Traubel (and his family). [back]


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