Skip to main content

Walt Whitman to Peter Eckler, 3 May 1865

P. Eckler:1

As I remitted $20 May 1st, which I suppose you duly received, I herewith enclose $14.85, as payment in full.

Deliver the sheets to A. Simpson, 8 Spruce street, & send me his receipt. Leave the copy of "Leaves of Grass," with Mrs. Louisa Whitman, Portland av. 4th door north of Myrtle, Brooklyn. If you have the plates of the two cancelled pages, I wish you would take three impressions of each page & enclose to me.

Walt Whitman Washington  
 D. C.

I will trouble you also to send me Mr. Alvord's receipt for my plates, in his vault.


  • 1. On April 1, 1865, Whitman signed a contract with Eckler to stereotype 500 copies for $254.00: "The workmanship is to be first class in every respect & to be completed, & the printed sheets delivered within one month from this date" (F. DeWolfe Miller, ed., Drum-Taps [Gainesville, FL: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1959], xxxv). The contract called for "one hundred & twenty pages," but since the book contained only 72 pages, Eckler submitted on April 22 a bill for $192.85, of which $138.00 had been paid. According to Whitman's notations on the statement, he paid $20.00 on April 26 and again on May 2. Whitman sent this letter in answer to Eckler's request of May 1 that the balance be paid. On May 4, Eckler issued a receipt for $34.85, and included a receipt from Coridon A. Alvord, printer, for the stereotype plates, which he had placed in his vault. On April 26, Eckler had informed Whitman that the book was "now to press" and would "be ready for the Binders next Monday morning." For details on the printing history and organization of Drum-Taps see Ted Genoways, "The Disorder of Drum-Taps," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 24 (Fall 2006/Winter 2007), 98–116. [back]
Back to top