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Maurice Minton to Walt Whitman, 2 April 1890

 loc.02343.001.jpg Walt Whitman, Esq. Dear Sir:—

We have asked a number of the most prominent bachelors in the country to answer the question "why am I a Bachelor?" with the purpose of publishing a symposium on the subject in an early number of "The Illustrated American."2

We should highly esteem a contribution from your pen, and the favor will be doubled if you can send it at your early convenience.

Yours very truly, Maurice M. Minton General Manager A. L.  loc.02343.002.jpg  loc.02343.003.jpg  loc.02343.004.jpg

Maurice Meyer Minton (1859–1926) was a writer, politician, and editor, working as sports and drama editor of the New York Telegram and managing editor of the New York Herald. He founded The Illustrated American in 1890 and was editor and owner until 1894; Whitman appeared on the cover of the magazine in the April 19, 1890, issue. The publication was a weekly photographic news magazine, published at the Bible House, the headquarters of the American Bible Society, devoted to printing and distributing millions of bibles. The Bible House was located in a large and iconic cast iron building at Astor Place and East Ninth Street in New York City, which housed several publishing businesses and was a center of intellectual and literary activity.


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman, Esq. | Camden | N.J. The return address is: The Illustrated American, | Bible House, Astor Place, N.Y. | 142 Dearborn St., Chicago. It is postmarked: New York | Apr 2 | 630PM | D | 90; Camden, N.J. | Apr | [illegible] | 6[illegible] | 9[illegible] | [illegible]. [back]
  • 2. For more on Whitman's response, as well as commentary on the poet's "bachelorhood," see Matt Cohen, "Walt Whitman, the Bachelor, and Sexual Politics," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, 1999, pp. 145–152. [back]
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