Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Michael Rossetti, 26 June 1876

Date: June 26, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: pri.00022

Source: Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library, Princeton, N.J. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Notes for this letter were created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, Eric Conrad, and Nicole Gray

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431 Stevens st.
Camden N Jersey
U S America
June 26 '76

Dear friend,

Yours of June 14 just rec'd—also the corrected circulars. (Yours of the 16th, of the 25th, of the 26th, & of the 29th May, previously acknowledged)1 All gives me entire satisfaction & comfort—arousing my deepest gratitude. All here goes as well as could be expected—even better—except that the new edition is rather slow in getting ready to be sent to subscribers, but will very soon be ready, & all the good friends & subscribers will have their copies carefully sent to their addresses by mail prepaid, (as I find this is the best way)—There were really only 100 of the first edition printed and they have become exhausted—that is the reason of some present delay—but, as said in former letter, every order & purchase will be faithfully supplied (only let the address of the friend be full & plain, in every instance, the same as they have been hitherto)—& all lagging copies—yours & Mrs. G's among the rest—will also be carefully sent in due time—

—The Two Vols. of the new edition, will be identically the same in every literary respect, text, pictures, autograph & photo. but a different binding,—(substantial, but less showy,—good strong, half-calf, marble paper, leather tips, no gilt)—I am printing of this new ed. 600 L. of G. and 6502 Two R—They will soon be ready—I have notified you that Vols. have been forwarded to & rec'd, acknowledged by J. L. Warren, Reynell, (thank him for his kind generous note) W B. Scott,3 (him also) and to A. G. Dew Smith—also to Therese Simpson,4 of Edinburgh—also Geo. Wallis,5 Kensington Art Museum—(& I believe one or two others)—I sent 2 copies Memoranda of War (one bound, one in sheets) to N. MacColl,6 Athenaeum, June 12. (Your special copy Mem. of course was for you to keep, as your name was written in it by me.)

I have not yet rec'd my pay for the little Man-of-War-Bird in Athenaeum7 nor the prose piece on the War in the Examiner.8 If convenient the editors can send to me by p.o. money order, as I find that very straight & sure.

—Joaquin Miller comes occasionally to see me—his visits are pleasant to me—Did you get the Pre-Raphaelite article in the Galaxy I sent?9 Also J. M's letter to me about it?10—Longfellow has also been to see me—(a sort of one-horse visit)11

Tennyson sent £5 at once to Buchanan (on the latter's letter) who sent it to me—I havn't written lately to T.,12 as I supposed him abroad on the continent—but I intend to write soon—& send him a set of my books—I am not at all sure that A. T. sees my poems—but I do his, & strongly, (& there perhaps I have the advantage of him)—but I think he sees me—& nothing could have evidenced more courtesy, & manliness, & hospitality, than his letters to me have shown, for five years.

Buchanan has sent me six or seven names, (& a cheque)—will all soon be supplied, with the rest—Let me know if you find Ch. Kent13—Has the Secularist14 my address?—Middling well—very hot weather here—

Walt Whitman


1. Rossetti's letters and Whitman's reply, probably sent early in June, are apparently lost. [back]

2. Whitman probably intended to write 600; see his letter to Rossetti of September 1, 1876[back]

3. See Whitman's letter to Rossetti of March 30, 1876[back]

4. See Whitman's letter to Rossetti of May 5, 1876[back]

5. See Whitman's letter to Rossetti of April 23, 1876[back]

6. Wallis (1811–1891) was an artist and Keeper of the Art Collection at the South Kensington Museum from 1860 until his death. Whitman sent the two volumes to him on June 7 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

7. Norman MacColl (1843–1904), the editor of the London Athenaeum from 1871 to 1900. Whitman noted sending the two books on June 12 (The Commonplace Book). [back]

8. An undated entry in Whitman's Commonplace Book recorded the receipt of £3.3 from The Athenaeum; see also the letter from Whitman to Rossetti of February 11, 1876[back]

9. Miller visited Whitman on May 11 (The Commonplace Book). [back]

10. Justin McCarthy's "The Pre-Raphaelites in England," The Galaxy, 21 (June 1876), 725–732. [back]

11. Marvin met Rossetti in 1875; see Whitman's letter to Anne Gilchrist of October 19, 1875[back]

12. If Whitman's recollection was correct, Longfellow came to Camden with George W. Childs, the owner of the Philadelphia Public Ledger, and, not finding him at home, finally encountered him at the wharf. Whitman was unimpressed with Longfellow (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906–1996), 1:129–130). The New York Tribune noted the visit on June 3: "The two poets are said to bear a striking resemblance to each other." [back]

13. Whitman's last letter to Tennyson was written on July 24, 1875. Whitman replied to a letter from Tennyson on September 14, 1876; both letters, unfortunately, are lost. [back]

14. Kent was the editor of the London Sun; see also the letter from Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman of April 28–May 4, 1868[back]


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