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Laura Curtis Bullard to Walt Whitman, 3 May 1876

 loc.01082.001_large.jpg sent May 6 '76 see notes Jan 7 1889 Mr Whitman, Dear Sir,

My friend & yours Mr Joaquin Miller1 tells me that the best way to gratify a long-cherished wish of mine, ie, to have a complete edition of your poems, is to write to you directly for a copy of them—I therefore follow his advice—

If you will write your own name on the fly leaf of the volumes, it will be a great favor to me & most-highly  loc.01082.003_large.jpg appreciated—

I was one of the earliest readers of your Leaves of Grass, that unique book, which so startled the many & so delighted the few—Permit me to congratulate you & to feel a little pride myself as an American that you have received such abundant recognition from the greatest men of our age both abroad & at home; & when I remember your work during our dreadful war, my heart as well as my pride is touched, & I cannot though a stranger to you, forbear presenting to the true man a nobler title even than that  loc.01082.002_large.jpg of the true poet, my profoundest respect & admiration—

With sincere regard, yours Laura Curtis Bullard  loc.01082.004_large.jpg Bullard

Laura Curtis Bullard (1831–1912) was an American author and women's activist.


  • 1. Joaquin Miller was the pen name of Cincinnatus Heine Miller (1837–1913), an American poet nicknamed "Byron of the Rockies" and "Poet of the Sierras." In 1871, the Westminster Review described Miller as "leaving out the coarseness which marked Walt Whitman's poetry" (297). In an entry in his journal dated August 1, 1871, the naturalist John Burroughs recorded Whitman's fondness for Miller's poetry; see Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1931), 60. Whitman met Miller for the first time in 1872; he wrote of a visit with Miller in a July 19, 1872, letter to his former publisher and fellow clerk Charles W. Eldridge. [back]
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