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Walt Whitman to William James Linton, 24 February 1875

 loc.02803.001_large.jpg see notes Aug 27 1888 My dear Linton;

I want you to have printed very nicely for me 1000 impressions of the cut, my head, to go in book.2 Herewith I send the size of sheet. If convenient I should like to see a proof, fac simile​ , first.

I am still holding out here—don't get well yet—& don't go under yet.

Love to you—Write immediately on receiving this.

This sized sheet—print dark in color as you think they will stand, (I dont​ like them too weak in color).

 loc.02803.002_large.jpg to W. J. Linton Feb 24 '75

William J. Linton (1812–1897), a British-born wood engraver, came to the United States in 1866 and settled near New Haven, Connecticut. He illustrated the works of John Greenleaf Whittier, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Cullen Bryant, and others, wrote the "indispensable" History of Wood-Engraving in America (1882), and edited Poetry of America, 1776–1876 (London, 1878), in which appeared eight of Whitman's poems as well as a frontispiece engraving of the poet. According to his Threescore and Ten Years, 1820 to 1890—Recollections (1894), 216–217, Linton met with Whitman in Washington and later visited him in Camden (which Whitman reported in his November 9, 1873, letter to Peter Doyle): "I liked the man much, a fine-natured, good-hearted, big fellow, . . . a true poet who could not write poetry, much of wilfulness accounting for his neglect of form."


  • 1. This draft letter is endorsed: "to W. J. Linton Feb 24 '75." [back]
  • 2. During America's centennial celebration in 1876, Whitman reissued the fifth edition of Leaves of Grass in the repackaged form of a "Centennial Edition" and "Author's Edition," with most copies personally signed by the poet. For more information, see Frances E. Keuling-Stout, "Leaves of Grass, 1876, Author's Edition," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]
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