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Peter Eckler to Walt Whitman, 1 May 1865

 loc.00854.001.jpg Mr. Walt Whitman

I have just been to Mr Alvord's and find your Drum taps printed very nicely indeed. Please send me balance of bill ($94.25) as per agreement and I will deliver them to your binder. The copy of "Leaves of Grass" is at my office subject to your order. The plates of "Drum Taps" are in Mr. Alvord's vault.

Respectfully, P. Eckler


  • 1. On April 1, 1865, Whitman signed a contract with Peter Eckler to stereotype 500 copies of Drum-Taps 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." The contract called for "one hundred & twenty pages," but since the book contained only 72 pages, Eckler submitted on April 12 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 another letter on May 3 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]
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