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William H. Blauvelt to Walt Whitman, 31 October 1888

I am illustrating E. C. Stedman's1 Poets of America, and in it I find mention made of a portrait of Walt Whitman; the one which was in his Leaves of Grass, first edition, and also, I think, in the two volume Centennial edition. I am anxious to get a copy of this portrait, and Mr. Stedman suggests that I may do so through you. Will you kindly inform me whether or no a copy is obtainable, and, if obtainable, the price?

Yours respectfully, William H. Blauvelt

Very little is known about the illustrator William H. Blauvelt.


  • 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]
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