Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Michael Rossetti, 28 July 1871

Date: July 28, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: yal.00397

Source: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:131–132. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

N. Y.
July 28

W. M. Rossetti:
Dear Sir & friend;

Please accept these copies of my latest edition. Please have conveyed to the lady1 the set enclosed for her. John Burroughs sends second edition of his "Notes"2—Your letter of 8th July3 has reached me—I hope to write you more fully & answer it from Washington city—My address is still there—(& always, always glad to hear from you, my friend.)

I am still blest with the greatest health, & have been enjoying this fine summer here exceedingly. My "Leaves of Grass" I consider substantially finished, as in the copies I send you. To "Democratic Vistas" it is my plan to add much, if I live. I have read carefully the article in the Westminster4 If you learn for certain who wrote it, I should be glad to know—It is a profound & eloquent essay—& I am proud to be the subject of it—I have received much comfort from your country—here little but refusal or coldness.

I conclude by sending best respects & love. Indeed, my friend, I wish to hear from you oftener.5

Walt Whitman


1. Anne Gilchrist. William Michael Rossetti noted receipt of the books on October 8, 1871[back]

2. The second edition, with new supplementary notes, was printed by Redfield. [back]

3. Actually July 9, 1871[back]

4. On July 9, 1871, Rossetti had sent Walt Whitman a copy of the Westminster Review. He conjectured that the author was Edward Dowden, and had called attention to the "highly respectful references" to Walt Whitman in H. Buxton Forman's Our Living Poets (1871), 2, which also included two prefatory quotations from Walt Whitman. [back]

5. Rossetti informed Walt Whitman on October 8, 1871 that he was preparing "a vol. of Selections from American Poets," which appeared in 1872 as American Poems with a dedication to Walt Whitman, "the greatest of American poets." [back]


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