Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Whitelaw Reid, 14 April [1879]

Date: April 14, 1879

Whitman Archive ID: yal.00435

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, "1879.," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Grace Thomas, Eder Jaramillo, Kevin McMullen, Kirsten Clawson, and Nicole Gray

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Monday afternoon April 14
1309 Fifth av: near 86th st

My dear Reid—

As you might possibly have room in the paper—& a full report might hit—I send you a complete copy of my lecture, to take the chances for to-morrow's paper—(As I calculate, it would make about three quarters of a column in your small type)1

—My plan is to break the tedium of my half invalidism from time to time (& also collect a few shekels) by getting engagements as a lecturer & reader,—& this is an attempt to break the ice.

Walt Whitman


1. The two-column report of Whitman's address—"A Poet on the Platform"—in the New York Tribune on April 15, began: "The poet Walt Whitman made his beginning as a lecturer last night at Steck Hall, in Fourteenth-st. His subject was the death of President Lincoln. He reads from notes, sitting in a chair, as he is still much disabled from paralysis. He desires engagements as a reader of his own poems and as a lecturer." [back]


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