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Walt Whitman to James Redpath, 15 December 1885

 loc.03291.001_large.jpg Get Mr. Travers [?] to mail | a copy & send | it in closed envelope | the other was lost in the mail | JR # 3 447-1928 My dear J R

I have rec'd the pay ($33) for the "Lincoln" article from Mr Rice, & sent a receipt for it1

—Your letter (12th) says you have sent the proof of "Lincoln" article same mail—I have rec'd no proof.—It has evidently miscarried, or something. So please send me another—None was enclosed in the letter—

—I am ab't as usual—Come & see me whenever you can.

Walt Whitman  loc.03291.002_large.jpg

James Redpath (1833–1891), an antislavery activist, journalist, and longtime friend of Whitman, was the author of The Public Life of Capt. John Brown (Boston: Thayer and Eldridge, 1860), a correspondent for the New York Tribune during the war, and the originator of the "Lyceum" lectures. He met Whitman in Boston in 1860, and he remained an enthusiastic admirer; see Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Friday, January 4, 1889. He concluded his first letter to Whitman on June 25, 1860: "I love you, Walt! A conquering Brigade will ere long march to the music of your barbaric jawp." Redpath became managing editor of The North American Review in 1886. See also Charles F. Horner, The Life of James Redpath and the Development of the Modern Lyceum, (New York: Barse & Hopkins, 1926); John R. McKivigan, Forgotten Firebrand: James Redpath and the Making of Nineteenth-Century America, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008); and J.R. LeMaster, "Redpath, James [1833–1891]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. Probably the receipt was sent on the day Whitman received the money, December 4 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). This article, written at Charles Allen Thorndike Rice's request (see the letter from Whitman to James Redpath of August 12, 1885), was sent to Redpath on November 15 (Whitman's Commonplace Book), and was included in Rice's Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln (1886), 469–475. Whitman was not proud of his "screed"; see his letter of March 18, 1886. [back]
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