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Walt Whitman to William C. Church and Francis P. Church, 7 September 1867

W.C. & F.P. Church.1  

The check for $60. arrived safely this morning. Please consider this a receipt for said sum.2

I received, some ten days since, the six proof-impressions of the Carol—& am much obliged. (No copies of magazine.)

I forward herewith another poem for the Galaxy. If acceptable, please, after correcting, let me have a good proof in time.

The right of publishing Ethiopia Commenting,3 in future book, is reserved to me.

The price of the piece is $25.

I have, in composition, an article, (prose,) of some length—the subject opportune—I shall probably name it Democracy. It is partly provoked by, & in some respects a rejoinder to, Carlyle's Shooting Niagara.4 I think it might be specially appropriate to your purposes & scope. I would propose it to you for a leading article for January '68 Galaxy. Please write me how the idea suits you. Or, as I am coming to Brooklyn in a few days, perhaps I may as well call personally, & get your notions about it.

Walt Whitman.


  • 1. William Conant Church (1836–1917), journalist and publisher, was a correspondent for several New York newspapers until he founded the Army and Navy Journal in 1863. With his brother Francis Pharcellus (1839–1906), he established the Galaxy in 1866. Financial control of the Galaxy passed to Sheldon and Company in 1868, and it was absorbed by the Atlantic Monthly in 1878. William published a biography of his life-long friend Ulysses S. Grant in 1897, and Francis wrote for the New York Sun the unsigned piece "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." See Edward F. Grier, "Walt Whitman, the Galaxy, and Democratic Vistas," American Literature, 23 (1951–1952), 332–350; Donald N. Bigelow, William Conant Church & "The Army and Navy Journal" (New York: Columbia University Press, 1952); J. R. Pearson, Jr., "Story of a Magazine: New York's Galaxy, 1866–1878," Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 61 (1957), 217–237, 281–302. [back]
  • 2.

    This payment was compensation for "A Carol of Harvest, for 1867," a poem Walt Whitman submitted to the Galaxy in his August 7, 1867 letter to William Church.

    For images and a transcription of the poem as it appeared in the September 1867 edition of the Galaxy, see "A Carol of Harvest, for 1867".

  • 3. This poem was never published in the Galaxy. It later became "Ethiopia Saluting the Colors"; see Edward F. Grier, "Walt Whitman, the Galaxy, and Democratic Vistas," American Literature, 23 (1951–1952), 337. Whitman withdrew the poem in his November 2, 1868 letter to Francis Church. [back]
  • 4. "Shooting Niagara: and After?" (Macmillan's Magazine, 16 1867: 319–336). Whitman's piece was published in the December issue. See Grier, "Walt Whitman, the Galaxy, and Democratic Vistas," American Literature, 23 (1951–1952), 337–338; and Gay Wilson Allen, The Solitary Singer (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1955), 389–391. [back]
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