Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to John Burroughs, [14] February [1874]

Date: February 14, 1874

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00367

Source: Papers of Walt Whitman (MSS 3829), Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia . The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:278. 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, Ashley Lawson, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

431 Stevens st.
cor West.
Camden, N.J.

Dear John Burroughs,

I enclose you an article from the Nation of Jan. 29. How will the MS. article I have scratched off, do, in the main, as an answer to it? (to help keep the pot a-boiling.) Do you feel like making up an article out of said MS—adding or excising what you see fit—signing your name to it—& sending to Mr. Nation man?2


1. This letter's envelope bears the address, "John Burroughs, | Wallkill Bank | Middletown | New York." It is postmarked, "Camden | Feb | 14 | N.J." [back]

2. In a review of Joaquin Miller's Songs of the Sunlands in the Nation on January 29, 1874, an anonymous writer sharply criticized Walt Whitman's catalogs, mystic raptures, and lack of restraint. On February 14, 1874, Whitman sent a manuscript entitled "Is Walt Whitman's Poetry Poetical?" to John Burroughs, who was to send it to the editor of the magazine. If Burroughs submitted the essay, it was not published. It is reprinted in Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1931), 107–110. [back]


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