Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Julius Chambers, [7 March 1888]

Date: [March 7, 1888]

Whitman Archive ID: yal.00241

Source: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. 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.

Notes for this letter were created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Editorial note: The annotation, "sent to Mr Chambers. Herald—March 7 '88," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

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Mr. Browning1 has just been here & says you wish something more specific & defined in my relations and pay2—If you want the little pieces3 continued, I would like to continue them for $40 a month, & will furnish you with say ten pieces a month—of the character and length as hitherto—this bargain to commence with the current month—

Walt Whitman

Proposal accepted & letter from H March 8

Julius Chambers (1850–1920) was an American author, investigative journalist, and travel writer. After working as a reporter for the New York Tribune, he became the editor of the New York Herald and, later, the New York World.


1. C. H. Browning worked in the Philadelphia office of the New York Herald, and he later worked in the same capacity for the New York World. Whitman described Browning as "a fine, dark-browed, vital, affectionate sort of a man—a newspaper man made of the real stuff" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Sunday, August 12, 1888). Browning convinced Whitman to write "A Voice from the Death," a poem on the Johnstown flood that was printed in the World on June 7, 1889. [back]

2. On March 2 Walt Whitman had sent a bill to the New York Herald for $100 for the pieces printed in January and February (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). And see the 15 March 1888 letter to Richard Maurice Bucke. [back]

3. In late 1887, James Gordon Bennett, Jr., editor of the New York Herald, invited Whitman to contribute a series of poems and prose pieces for the paper. From December 1887 through August 1888, 33 of Whitman's poems appeared. [back]


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