- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 216] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Monday, October 20, 1890

     This telegram, from Baker, went to care of Morris Saturday, so I did not get it till today: "Book received a thousand thanks push things I will try to come over Monday afternoon will wire you."

     Johnston wrote Saturday as follows:

Oct 18, 1890

Dear Traubel:

Yours just rec'd. I expect to bring with me 4 gentlemen friends as stage guests and the aftermath whatever it is. You will like them all. Some of them may not be able to come, but better count on them.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 217] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
No one else from my family but wife and Mrs. Ober—who are now in Phil. at Ingram's.

I want you to come over and spend next Sunday with us—

Yrs sincerely


     Letter just coming this morning. I grieve to hear that Bush cannot come. He is a fine, large nature. The note he writes is sweet. Williamson I have never met—so his coming will be happy, no doubt, for us all. He, too, is heard from definitely.

     After my first mail I received postal from Johnston dated yesterday:

Sunday night, Oct. 19

Just left Ingersoll's—We come by 12:20 train. But—say, he says he will not attend any dinner after the lecture, that he will be tired out. So you can act and govern yourself accordingly—Hastily Yrs


     And in same second mail with Johnston was this from Baker:

New York, Oct. 19. 1890.

My dear Traubel:

I expect to be over tomorrow, and to be at Green's by 4:30 P.M. Please see me there—will wait till you come.

I do not doubt but you & Morris have done all in your power to whoop her up! I hope Monday's showing at Campbell's will enhearten us. At any rate, we will put on all the steam we can for the one day left. If you printed the dodgers, we can let them fly thick on Tuesday.

I wired you about the book. I shall prize it more than most books. It is a library in itself—full of meat, honey and flowers—and all delicious odors of the sweet brown soil of a large land. I am complimented and grateful. Let W. W. know that a little sparrow greets the eagle.

Yours always,


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 218] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

     How sweet that final touch! Certainly the Colonel has touched him with some of his own fire!

     Very busy sending out and delivering tickets. Talcott Williams and wife still away in Adirondacks. Lincoln Eyre refused stage ticket, said it would "injure" his "influence with the public." That "the public would say—see how he takes up with every rot: now with the atheist Ingersoll." Eyre appealed to me, "What do think I'd better do?" I replied, "That is for you to decide. I cannot advise you." And when he said he did not wish to be thought timid or cowardly—as if appealing to know if I thought him either, I said, "That is not the question. I am not suffered to know all the conditions—and what I think anyway should not affect your attitude." Finally he handed me the ticket back—saying he would be in the audience—that the papers were so hounding him politically, he dared not add this fuel to the fire, etc. Afterward we gave his ticket to Thomas Earle White. Law was very happy when I took him in tickets for self and wife. Had gone eagerly and bought floor tickets the first day they were on sale. Would give them away, utilizing those I transferred. Seemingly a frank, noble, quiet fellow. Saw McKay also, and others. Got statement of accounts from all parties not yet paid. Advertising makes a big streak. Garrison returned ticket. Met him on street. He did "not want to face an audience." As he is always facing audiences, his not wanting to do so in this case is significant of a why. We narrow down to the few— "to pluck and muscle." How many fear and fear! I left tickets at Lippincott's for Stoddart. Met Harry Walsh on the street after and gave him one. Saw Harned in early morning. He will have a stenographer present.

     Down to W.'s. Rained hard. W. not out today. I stopped in this morning at 9:10, and had a few words with him. He counselled me not to forget to leave ticket for Stoddart. Said he had sent the autographed "Specimen Days" to McKay. Called my attention to the photos sent by Johnston from England: of Burroughs, Gilchrist, character-work, etc. Referred

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 219] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
to picture on Wallace's wall, as indicated in Johnston's photo. "I do not like it: have written Wallace that I do not. It is the picture they used in the London News."

     McClure had a good notice in Times editorial page. The Times has all along done us fairest in this affair.

     Now W. talks to me of several things. "I expect to hear and endorse every word the Colonel says. I should not be surprised but he'll not touch upon religion at all—at least, upon theology. My own say will be a short one." Would he speak first? "No, I wrote him that he should manage so that a pause somewhere in his speech would give me the chance to rise—to show myself—to say my word: then he to go on. I feel that to be the best way to manage it. I have written the Colonel several times the last few days, as the spirit has moved me." When I told him of Eyre and Garrison, "Well, then, they'd better stay off, but never mind: by and by it will have been distinction to have been there—ten years from now the people who took the places will come upon their own." And then, though heretofore feeling averse to the stage for himself, "Well, we'll go there if no one else does." Said, "I want Warren near me." Asked how things looked. Thought Baker, whose letter I read him, had "especially in that last paragraph" "a divine spark."

     Told me of Ingersoll's lecture on Shakespeare before the Ethical Society New York—when Adler "spoke beautifully about ten minutes introducing the Colonel." Gave me outline of Ingersoll's address—his welcome to Whitman, etc. Explained how they had worked over it.

     W. had postal from Kennedy with message for me. I picked up from floor some manuscript introduction to the Sarrazin piece. He "regretted" it had got there. Also found badly crushed first sheet big book. "You should not let these lie about the floor." "No, it must have fallen there."

     Bucke had been in this forenoon, "then probably gone to New York."

     He had said on my morning call: "I feel bad—had a bad

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 220] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
night—did not sleep at all."
But now, "I feel rather recovered: it is a more prosperous outlook."

     Gave me letter to mail to Post. "Is it something I am to look for tomorrow?" "No, only a change in the ad—that tickets are tonight at box office!" He had thought of that?

     W. asked me for copy of Times. We also reworked Post note.

     Went over to Philadelphia again after tea. Met Baker at Green's. Talked over the situation. He seemed satisfied with things. Arrived at five—had time to look in at Campbell's. About 800 seats sold. Liked McClure's notice, which he cut out to mail in a note to Ingersoll. Said Ingersoll had finished address. Had 100 copies printed for the papers, etc. They would be over to Baker in the morning. B. said, "It is a grand tribute to Whitman: it ought rather to be called 'Walt Whitman' than 'Liberty and Literature.'" B. thought Ingersoll spoke very little about religion per se. Would take 90 minutes in delivery. We arranged to finish campaign tomorrow. B. liked the dodger. Sent one to Ingersoll. If the day is clear, would advise printing more. Compared notes on costs, etc. B. thought all within bounds. Childs inserted all our advertisements again today. "It is handsome," said B. Thought the Colonel would not object to seeing particular people tomorrow. Did not seem to interfere with address, etc. Had known him to go straight to the stage from a collection of callers: not at all disturbed.


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.