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Walt Whitman to Francis B. Felt, 17 April 1873

 loc.01714.001_large.jpg Dear Sir,

Your letter of Feb. 8, '73, remitting my acc't​ , and sales up to 1st of June, '72, (with check of $12:60) was duly acknowledged at time. If convenient, could you advise me, or get Messrs. Lee, Shephard, & Dillingham2 to advise me, of sales by them since that time, and to remit me the amount? Also how many books are now on hand.

Also please return me, if convenient, the printed slip I forwarded you of my last acc't.​ with you, marked in blue pencil "return this."

I would also like to inquire of Messrs. Lee, Shephard & Dillingham whether they would not take my books, (the new editions) & job them. Redfield sent me word that Mr. Dillingham declined, thinking there was no inducement, but I am in hopes he will still take them.


I am in a bad way at present from paralysis—and am sick, & unable to get to New York, or any where—but expect soon to be better.3

There is beginning to be a steady, though moderate demand for my books, & if there were a good & permanent place of publication, I should advertise sufficiently.

Francis B. Felt & Co., booksellers, were located at 91 Mercer Street, New York.


  • 1. This draft letter is endorsed: "letter to F. B. Felt | April 17, 1873." [back]
  • 2. Lee, Shepard, & Dillingham, publishers and booksellers, had offices at 47–49 Green Street, New York. In 1867 John T. Trowbridge attempted to interest this firm in the fourth edition of Leaves of Grass; see Trowbridge's letter to William D. O'Connor of March 24, 1867, reprinted in American Literature, 23 (1951), 326. [back]
  • 3. Whitman bracketed this entire paragraph and included the proofreader's mark "tr." to indicate its transposition with the paragraph immediately following it. [back]
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