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Walt Whitman to Whitelaw Reid, 5 December [1874]

My dear Reid,2

Hasn't this got vim enough—from your point of view, even as editor of the paper—to make you print it in the Tribune?3

I am still tediously invalided here—but have not at all given up the hope of getting out of the woods, & doing some work yet.

When you come to Philadelphia, try to come over & see me.4

Walt Whitman


  • 1. The letter is dated "1874," evidently by Reid. [back]
  • 2. Whitelaw Reid (1837–1912) was the editor of the New York Tribune from 1872 to 1905. He met Whitman in the hospitals during the Civil War. Of his relations with the poet Reid later observed: "No one could fail then [during the War] to admire his zeal and devotion, and I am afraid that at first my regard was for his character rather than his poetry. It was not till long after 'The Leaves of Grass' period that his great verses on the death of Lincoln conquered me completely"; see Charles N. Elliot, Walt Whitman as Man, Poet and Friend (Boston: R. G. Badger, Gorham Press, 1915), 213, and Studies in Bibliography, 8 (1956), 242–249. [back]
  • 3. Reid apparently did not publish this unidentified article. [back]
  • 4. Seemingly in a lost letter to Reid, Whitman had protested what he considered a slurring reference to his health in a news item in the Tribune. In apologizing on December 22, 1874, Reid promised to "have a paragraph within a day or two, which will I think relieve you of the idea that we had any such intention." A complimentary notice appeared in the issue of December 26, 1874; In his January 7, 1875 letter to Ellen O'Connor, Whitman referred to this notice as "the most flourishing puff yet given me—& from them!" [back]
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