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Walt Whitman to the Editor of the Critic, 17 June 1886

Dear Sir

I send you this note just rec'd—as you might possibly care to make an item from it—Please return it to me1

Walt Whitman See Critic Lounger July 3
 loc.01415.001_large.jpg SCAMMEL BROTHERS, Walt Whitman Esq Dear Sir

Trusting that the intelligence conveyed will plead for my presumption, I venture to enclose you a few lines. At a sale of Autographs & Books a few days ago the following prices were obtained.

  • "Autograph letter, Whitman, Walt, Poet," $80.00
  • Leaves of Grass 1st Edition 10.00
Which prices were the highest paid for any similar lots. Thinking you might not get the above information, I venture to enclose it. with best wishes Yours Truly W. I. Whiting

The editor of the Critic in 1886 was Jeannette Gilder (1849–1916), who wrote that "one of the things of which I am most proud is that the Critic was the first publication of its class to invite Walt Whitman to contribute to its pages" (see Charles N. Elliot, Walt Whitman as Man, Poet, and Friend [1915], 97); she was assisted in her editorial tasks by her brother Joseph. For more information, see Susan L. Roberson, "Gilder, Jeannette L. (1849–1916)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. This note to The Critic was written on the verso of a letter from W. I. Whiting to Whitman on June 14. The magazine printed a notice of the sale on July 3. [back]
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