Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Sylvester Baxter, 8 August 1881

Date: August 8, 1881

Whitman Archive ID: ucb.00057

Source: Walt Whitman Collection, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1964), 3:236–237. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

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

Mott avenue & 149th Street
Station L
New York City
Aug: 8 '81

My dear Baxter1

Yours rec'd, & glad to hear from you. Wonder if you—or you & Guernsey2—couldn't help me a little. I am coming on to Boston in ten or twelve days to remain about two months—& I want a plain boardinghouse or good furnished room secured, so I can go right there—Let me give you fuller particulars. Osgood & Co: are going to publish a complete & new volume of my poems, & I am coming on to see to & oversee it, every page—will take six or eight weeks. I want quarters near, or eligible to get at, their printing office, so I can be there two or three hours every day, handy—What I want of you is to ascertain (if you dont know already—is it Cambridge?) where their printing is done, & then secure me either board in full, not more than 6, 7 or $8 a week—or a nice furnished room handy as I said. I trust you or Guernsey to know what would suit me & do for me—Try to write me here, so I can get it by first of next week, say 15th or 16th—as I shall want to be coming on within two or three days after that—If you go to Osgood's show them this letter. I am well as usual of late—have been jaunting about the Long Island & Jersey shores &c. last two weeks.

Walt Whitman


1. Sylvester Baxter (1850–1927) was on the staff of the Boston Herald. Apparently he met Whitman for the first time when he delivered his Lincoln address in Boston in April, 1881; see Rufus A. Coleman, "Whitman and Trowbridge," PMLA 63 (1948), 268. Baxter wrote many newspaper columns in praise of Whitman's writings, and in 1886 attempted to obtain a pension for the poet. [back]

2. Like Baxter, Frederic R. Guernsey was associated with the Boston Herald[back]


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