Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to the Editor, New York Herald, 7 May [1876]

Date: May 7, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00373

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), 3:46. 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.
Camden N Jersey
May 71

Editor Herald:
Dear Sir:

I merely write a line to call attention (lest it may be overslaughed in the rush of a great office) to the poem I sent you some days since, Song of the Exposition2—(will make a column & a half close minion)—proposed to be printed, if at all, in the paper for May 10, if acceptable at the price named.

I believe I mentioned in my note at the time that it had also been sent to the London Times and Chicago Tribune—& may, (or may not,) appear May 10, in them.3

Walt Whitman


1. Draft letter. [back]

2. "Song of the Exposition" (formerly called "After All, Not to Create Only") was published in 1871; see Whitman's August 5, 1871, letter to the American Institute's Committee on Invitations and his September 17, 1871, letter to the Roberts Brothers. Walt Whitman sent "Song of the Exposition" to the Chicago Tribune on May 5, 1876 (Whitman's Commonplace Book). On May 10, 1876, the newspaper returned the manuscript because it arrived too late for publication (Charles E. Feinberg Collection). [back]

3. In order to capitalize upon the formal opening of the Philadelphia Exposition on May 10, 1876, Walt Whitman sent the poem to various newspapers, among them the Herald and the Tribune. According to a notation on May 5, 1876, the price was $50 (Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). "Song of the Exposition" (formerly called "After All, Not to Create Only") was published in 1871; see Whitman's August 5, 1871 letter to the American Institutes's Committee on Invitations and his September 17, 1871 letter to the Roberts Brothers. [back]


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