Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Thayer & Eldridge, August 1860

Date: August 1860

Whitman Archive ID: tex.00147

Source: T. E. Hanley Collection, University of Texas. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:55. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Alyssa Olson

[Walt Whitman referred to Henry Clapp, editor of the Saturday Press, who "wrote more than once to me while I was in Boston, to become the solicitor and medium of pecuniary aid from you to him, to support his paper. Such solicitations I declined to act upon. He then wrote directly to you—and you advanced him $200. I think the money has been well enough invested—The paper has many original . . ."]1


1. Incomplete letter draft.

This fragment is written on the verso of a poem manuscript, "The ball-room was swept and the floor white." The date is apparently August, since on August 17, 1860, Thayer & Eldridge thanked Whitman for his advice about the New-York Saturday Press and informed him that the firm had made an offer to Clapp to assume financial control on September 1. Thayer & Eldridge believed that it could make the journal "pay": "Beside[s] we are deeply interested in sustaining any journal that dares in these days of literary flunkeyism to be independent, and make the literature of a country what it should be." Clapp had suggested to Whitman on March 27, 1860, that he might get Thayer & Eldridge to "advance me say one hundred dollars on advertising account." On May 14, 1860, Clapp was "in a state of despair . . . all for the want of a paltry two or three hundred dollars" which he needed to bring out the next issue. [back]


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