Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to James R. Osgood, 20 May 1881

Date: May 20, 1881

Whitman Archive ID: tex.00423

Source: The Walt Whitman Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:225–226. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

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

Camden New Jersey
May 20 '81

My dear Mr Osgood

Yours rec'd,1 & accordingly I am fixing up the copy, which I will send on to you in a few days—perhaps it will be a week—

Walt Whitman2

Yes—a new one Vol: edition would supersede all others not only legally (I am sole owner of the copyright, which I have kept thoroughly fortified from the beginning) but by superiority, additions, modernness, &c—The Thayer & Eldridge plates of 1860 are in existence in the hands of R Worthington3 N Y (a bad egg) who has sold languid surreptitious copies—can be stopt instantly by me & will be—(The matter is not of any moment however)—The plates were offered to me two years ago & I refused them as worthless—


1. On May 12 Osgood asked for "the copy" in order to make "careful estimates as to its size, style etc. and give you our views." He also inquired about the plates of the Thayer & Eldridge edition (The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman [New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1902], 8:277). [back]

2. This part of the letter was not printed in The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman. The final sentence of the second paragraph was also omitted. [back]

3. See the letter from Whitman to Richard Watson Gilder of November 26, 1880[back]


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