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Walt Whitman to Edmund Clarence Stedman, 22 May 1890

Thanks, my dear friend, for y'r good letter2 (enclosing $25) wh' has safely reach'd me—I am pretty well at present—got out yesterday for a three hours drive to the bay shore, & linger'd there in the fine weather & sun for an hour—Have kind attention & all I need—I enclose you some little slips of my stuff already published—Believe me, Stedman, (tho' strange perversions & falsifications sometimes get in newspapers) y'r steady, square & true approbater & friend3

Walt Whitman

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).


  • 1. This letter is addressed: E. C. Stedman | 137 West 78th Street | New York City. It is postmarked: Camden (?) | May 2(?) | 8 PM | 90. [back]
  • 2. See Stedman's letter to Whitman of May 21, 1890. [back]
  • 3. A reference to the author Carl Sadakichi (C.S.) Hartmann's remarks in the New York Herald on April 14, 1889. See Whitman's April 25, 1889 letter to the Canadian physician Richard Maurice Bucke. [back]
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