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Walt Whitman to George Routledge & Sons, 19 February 1868

Messrs. Routledge: Publishers Broadway Dear Sirs:1

By your note of 18th, from New York, just received, I find that Mr. Edmund Routledge, editor, would (I quote) like to keep & use an original poem—three-page poem—sent him from me, but demurs to my first-asked price—that he directs you to offer me 10 pounds—which you can send me, $50: in gold—and that, (the terms being settled, &c.) he will advertise it very largely.2

I accept the terms offered—$50 in gold—and you can forward me the am't as soon as convenient. I repeat, that I distinctly reserve the right of printing the piece in a future edition of my poems.3

Sending best wishes & respects to editor & publishers, I remain.


  • 1. This draft letter is endorsed, "Sent to N. Y. | Feb. 19, 1868." [back]
  • 2. Walt Whitman had initially requested $120 in his January 17, 1868 letter to Routledge and Sons. [back]
  • 3. Walt Whitman excised the next paragraph: "Allow [me] to say to Mr. E. Routledge—I profoundly approve your idea & enterprise of a Magazine interlinking the two English-speaking nations, and, persevered in, I have no doubt it will be a triumphant success." See also Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906–1996), 4:191. [back]
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