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James Grant Wilson to Walt Whitman, 8 April, 1887

 loc_vm.01516_large.jpg see notes Aug 10, '88 My dear Mr Whitman:

Am glad to see by a morning journal that you are well enough to undertake a visit to New York, and the delivery of your address on Lincoln.1 If you have no better place to go, I shall be happy to give you shelter under my roof no 15, East Seventy-fourth St, where I think you spent an hour some years ago. In any event, I hope to hear your address, and to see you at my office. I am anxious to have one or more contributions from you for my Cyclopedia for which we pay ten dollars, per printed page. Will you suggest some that you would like to write? Prospectus enclosed.

Very faithfully yours, Jas. Grant Wilson

Walt Whitman Esq

 loc_vm.01517_large.jpg  loc_vm.01518_large.jpg  loc_vm.01519_large.jpg

PS I can offer you a large chamber on the second floor, with a bathroom connected with it, for your exclusive use. W.

General James Grant Wilson (see the letter from Whitman to Wilson of May 21, 1879) was an editor, author, and bookseller. He was a Brevet Brigadier General in the Civil War; later, he served as President of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and as an editor for Appleton's. He was a frequent contributor to periodicals, and he wrote or edited numerous works, including Bryant and His Friends (1886), a four-volume Memorial History of New York (1892–1893), and a biography titled Life of Fitz-Green Halleck (1869). For more information on Wilson and a more complete list of his principal works, see "General James Grant Wilson," Makers of New York: An Historical Work Giving Portraits and Sketches of the Most Eminent Citizens of New York, edited by Charles Morris (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1894), 103.


  • 1. Whitman gave his Lincoln lecture at Madison Square Theatre in New York on April 14, 1887. James B. Pond recounts it as follows: "It was indeed a picturesque spectacle at Walt's last appearance in the Madison Square Theatre, on Lincoln's birthday. Just as he was about to recite 'My Captain,' a little girl, the granddaughter of Edmund Clarence Stedman, walked out upon the stage and presented him with a beautiful bouquet of roses" (Eccentricities of Genius [New York: G. W. Dillingham Co.], 497). [back]
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