Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Henry M. Alden to Walt Whitman, 1 November 1873

Date: November 1, 1873

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00359

Source: Papers of Walt Whitman (MSS 3829), Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia . 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.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Kevin McMullen, Ashley Lawson, John Schwaninger, Caterina Bernardini, Cristin Noonan, Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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Franklin Square,
New York,
November 1 1873.

Mr Walt Whitman,
Dear Sir,

I send enclosed Messrs Harper & Brothers'1 check for One Hundred Dollars ($100–), in payment for your poem, "Song of the Redwood Tree."2

The Messrs Harpers do not object to the subsequent publication of the poem in book–form, provided such publication is not made until six months after the appearance of the poem in their Magazine.

With thanks for your poem (of which I will send you proof in a few days), & the best wishes for your welfare, I am

Sincerely yours
H.M. Alden,
Ed. Harper's Mag.

PS. The poem will appear in an early number.


Henry Mills Alden (1836–1919) was managing editor of Harper's Weekly from 1863 to 1869 and editor of Harper's New Monthly Magazine from 1869 until his death.


1. Harper's Monthly Magazine (sometimes Harper's New Monthly Magazine or simply Harper's) was established in 1850 by Henry J. Raymond and Fletcher Harper. The magazine published several of Whitman's poems, including "Song of the Redwood-Tree" and "Prayer of Columbus." In 1857, Fletcher Harper founded Harper's Weekly (subtitled "A Journal of Civilization"), which gained its fame for its coverage of the Civil War and its publication of cartoonist Thomas Nast's (1840–1902) work. For Whitman's relationship with these two publications, see Susan Belasco's "Harper's Monthly Magazine" and "Harper's Weekly Magazine." [back]

2. "Song of the Redwood Tree" was first published in Harper's Monthly Magazine (February 1874): 366–367. [back]


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