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Melville Philips to Walt Whitman, 19 May 1891

 loc.03504.001_large.jpg Dear Mr. Whitman:

You have never let me know about that $10, so I suppose you received it from M.1 I am reminded of the matter now by a note from my friend Nugent Robinson2 of Once a Week.3 He asks me to get him some verse. Have you a $10 bit on hand, or will you jot down anything in mind for that amount?

Kindly let me know at once & oblige, yrs very truly,

Melville Philips

I'll engage to send you the card instantly the poem arrives. Have you utterly  loc.03504.002_large.jpg abandoned all idea of paying me that visit? You know I can make the journey very easy for you, &, I venture to say, the visit tranquilly pleasant. There are vistas out there, at Wayne, and the odor of flowers, & the song of birds.


Melville Phillips was an editor at Munyon's Illustrated World and visited Whitman in Camden to request that Whitman contribute work to the journal. He also reviewed November Boughs in the Philadelphia Press, where he served as literary editor, in 1888.


  • 1. As yet we have no information about this person. [back]
  • 2. Nugent Robinson (1838–1904) was a journalist and editor from Dublin, Ireland. After graduating from Trinity College, he served an apprenticeship in London and worked as a correspondent for the Daily Chronicle during the Franco-German War. He moved to the United States in 1876, and he edited Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Once a Week, and, later, Collier's Weekly. Robinson was apparently highly regarded among writers like Julian Hawthorne and James Whitcomb Riley, and he authored a number of books himself, including a farce and works on history. For more information, see "Nugent Robinson," Collier's 32.14 (January 9, 1904), 20. [back]
  • 3. Peter Fenelon Collier (1849–1909) was an Irish-American publisher and the founder of the P. F. Collier publishing company; he began Once a Week magazine in 1888, which became Collier's Weekly in 1895. Whitman published two poems—"On, On the Same, Ye Jocund Twain" and "Unseen Buds"—in the July 1891 issue. For more information see Susan Belasco's "Once a Week. [back]
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