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[William Brough?] to Walt Whitman, 29 October 1880

 loc_tb.00281.jpg rec'd books sent Walt Whitman Camden N.J. Dear Friend,

I thank Mr. Stedman1 for pointing the way to the Centennial Edition2 of "Leaves of Grass." I have twice tried and failed to get a copy from New York.

[cut-off] and go[cut-off]


William Brough may have written this letter to Whitman. In a November 1, 1880 entry in his Commonplace Book, Whitman writes that he has sent books to "William Brough Franklin Penna" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). This location matches the city in the return address of this letter.


  • 1. Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908) was a man of diverse talents. He edited for a year the Mountain County Herald at Winsted, Connecticut, wrote "Honest Abe of the West," presumably Lincoln's first campaign song, and served as correspondent of the New York World from 1860 to 1862. In 1862 and 1863 he was a private secretary in the Attorney General's office until he entered the firm of Samuel Hallett and Company in September, 1863. The next year he opened his own brokerage office. He published many volumes of poems and was an indefatigable compiler of anthologies, among which were Poets of America, 2 vols. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1885) and A Library of American Literature from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, 11 vols. (New York: C. L. Webster, 1889–90). For more, see Donald Yannella, "Stedman, Edmund Clarence (1833–1908)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]
  • 2. Whitman here is referring to his volume, Two Rivulets. Two Rivulets was published as a "companion volume" to the 1876 Author's edition of Leaves of Grass. Notable for its experimentations in form, typography, and printing convention, Whitman's two-volume set marks an important departure from previous publications of Leaves. The book, as one critic of the The New York Daily Tribune wrote, consisted of an "intertwining of the author's characteristic verse, alternated throughout with prose." For more information on Two Rivulets, see Frances E. Keuling-Stout, "Two Rivulets, Author's Edition [1876]" and " Preface to Two Rivulets [1876]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]
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