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Walt Whitman to Talcott Williams, 29 June [1882]


Your note rec'd2—I send you at a venture the earliest data & facts, so you can keep posted, & make whatever mention, if any, accurately—but would rather not myself only my name appear as furnishing anything, or giving authority for the statement—only whatever I send you I vouch for

There is a little nest of most malignant enemies to me personally & to  loc_vm.01335.jpg  loc_vm.01336.jpg L of G. in Boston (and in New York also) who are determined to press this matter to an extreme. The P M in Boston has lately been captured by them. I hear that a formal demand has been made on the P M General at Wash'n​ to exclude L of G from the mails under the Comstock "obscene" law, & that it is now before that officer—perhaps has been already decided.

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In connection let me state that I am putting a new book in type, my Prose Works, called Specimen Days, & Collect, about 380 pages—gives a lot of random typical days, diary fashion, during my life—& then swoops pell mell my past literary papers, essays &c. in the Collect, (like fish in a net)—is to be a companion Vol to my Poems—Is to be pub.​ by Rees Welsh & Co: 23 South 9th st.Phila​ , who are also to be the  loc_vm.01339.jpg  loc_vm.01340.jpg publishers henceforth of L of G, which they will put freely in the market in ten or twelve days—exactly as squelched in Boston,—(a $2 vol. same as the late Osgood ed'n​ .)—My friends in this conjuncture—(I consider you one of them, you blew the first blast, as clear & loud as ever trumpet pealed)—are, among others, Wm D O'Connor, Life-Saving Service Bureau, Washington Dr R M Bucke, London, Ontario, Canada, The Springfield Republican—Cambridge Chronicle—Sylvester Baxter on the Boston Herald—&c—

Walt Whitman  loc_vm.01341.jpg  loc_vm.01342.jpg  loc_vm.01343.jpg


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Talcott Williams | Daily Press office | Cor: 7th & Chestnut Sts: | Philadelphia. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | Pa. June 29 | 1882 | 1 PM. [back]
  • 2. 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; see Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1964), 3:296–97n. Rees Welsh became Whitman's publisher after Osgood & Company could not stand up to the scurrilous and sanctimonious blasts of Anthony Comstock and his associates. [back]
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