Skip to main content

Walt Whitman to Talcott Williams, 16 June 1886

 loc_vm.01354_large.jpg My dear friend

Enclosed I send my piece in Thorndike Rice's just issued Lincoln Reminiscences1—I don't know whether you will want it—but I do know you like to have earliest copies of any thing. Should you print it, I leave the head-lines & introductory to you—& dont forget to give Rice's book the due credit. Should you print, I wish you would send me here 25 copies paper.

—I am ab't as usual—just going to drive down 12 miles to visit a poor young fellow, Walter Borton,2 very low with consumption.

Love to Mrs. W. and the sister.

Walt Whitman

If you cant use it, return the enclosed proof to me.


Talcott Williams (1849–1928) was associated with the New York Sun and World as well as the Springfield Republican before he became the editor of the Philadelphia Press in 1879. His newspaper vigorously defended Whitman in news articles and editorials after the Boston censorship of 1882. For more information about Williams, see Philip W. Leon, "Williams, Talcott (1849–1928)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. See the letters from Whitman to James Redpath of December 15, 1885, and to John Burroughs of March 18, 1886. A lengthy review of Rice's volume with an extract from Whitman appeared in the Philadelphia Press on June 28. [back]
  • 2. In his Commonplace Book (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.), Whitman noted that he visited Walter Borton at Clementon, N.J., on May 23, June 4, and June 16. [back]
Back to top