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Walt Whitman to William Michael Rossetti, 1 September 1876

My dear friend,

At last I am beginning to receive from the bindery the second batch of my late Two Volume edition (I print 600 copies each Vol.) & send you a set in the new binding, by this mail. I am now at last also supplying my English subscribers & friends their Vols.—have sent their books, postpaid, by same mail with this to several of them (see list appended)1—& the rest will follow, until every one will be sent—probably within the next ten days. I sent you the Vol. for Mrs. Matthews,2 as the address was too indefinite—How about G. W. Foote3 and J. T. Nettleship mention'd by you & giving extracts, under date of May 23d?4 Their names do not appear in the lists you have given me to send books to. The Athenaeum folks have sent me good pay for the little poem,5 but I have had nothing, & heard nothing from the Examiner.

I expected to have heard of Mrs. Gilchrist's arrival in The U.S.6 & to have had perhaps ere this the great happiness of meeting her—but have heard nothing up to date.

My letter of June 26, speaking of the situation, the delay in printing this second batch, &c.—And my letter of July 3d acknowledging yours of June 20, enclosing one £45-9-6, & list—you have.

I enclose herewith a later circular—will send you a dozen or so soon.

My dear little baby-nephew, & namesake, is dead, & buried by the side of my mother, a bitter cup to me—Otherwise things are about the same with me as before—& I am jogging along about the same.


  • 1. The list is not with this draft letter, but see Whitman's September 10, 1876 letter to William Michael Rossetti. [back]
  • 2. Whitman sent the book with his August 22, 1876 letter to Rossetti. [back]
  • 3. George William Foote (1850–1915), a freethinker, was the author of many pamphlets attacking Christianity. Foote did not forward £3 to Walt Whitman. Rossetti mentioned on August 17, 1877, that he had called the failure to pay to Foote's attention. Whitman received a letter from Foote in February or March 1878, who promised to send the sum, which he alleged had been stolen by an employee. After the entry the poet later wrote "fraud." [back]
  • 4. For Nettleship, see Whitman's January 18, 1872 letter to Edward Dowden. Rossetti's letter of May 23 is not known. [back]
  • 5. £3.3 (see Whitman's June 26, 1876 letter to Rossetti). [back]
  • 6. Gilchrist and her children arrived in Philadelphia on September 10, 1876 (Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). Though Gilchrist had come to America to accomplish in person what she had not been able to accomplish in her letters—to become Mrs. Whitman—she was practical enough to arm herself with letters of introduction to various Americans. Rossetti, her shrewd and somewhat snobbish advisor, wrote on August 23 and 24, 1876, to various painters and to Charles Eliot Norton (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
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