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

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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