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Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, 28 June [1882]

Publishers secured—(not in the front rank at all, but young, experienced, & I guess square & the proposition to take the book comes vehemently from them)—Rees Welsh & Co: 23 south 9th st: Phila: (dealers in 2d hand books & pub: of law books & some others)—Satisfactory to me, as I see at present, & in prospect. They are to publish L of G. same style as O[sgood]'s ed'n, same price, from my plates, & pay me 35 cts a copy royalty—They are also to publish immediately my prose writings, Specimen Days, & Collect—a companion vol. to L of G. same price & ab't same size, for which they pay me 22 cts royalty. They consider favorably the idea of publishing Dr. Bucke's book also—& I think will do so—though they have not pledged themselves—

By what I hear since I wrote last I think the enemy (in Boston) have formally appealed to the Post Master General to order L of G. excluded from the mails under the Comstock2 statutes—I think the P M G has it before him—perhaps has already decided—I keep well—


The Boston Herald has articles strongly in my favor—Cambridge Chronicle also—Boston Globe also3—Yours rec'd yesterday—


  • 1. This letter is endorsed: "Answ'd | June 29/82." It is addressed: Wm D O'Connor | Life Saving Service Bureau | Washington | D C. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | Jun | 28 | 3 PM | Pa.; Washington, D.C. | Jun | 29 | 5 AM | 1882 | Rec'd. [back]
  • 2. Anthony Comstock (1844–1915), the secretary of the Society for the Suppression of Vice in New York from 1873 to 1915, was the author of Frauds Exposed (1880) and Morals Versus Art (1887). On June 29 O'Connor informed Whitman that Ingersoll and he were drawing up a memorandum for the Postmaster General (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1914], 3:50). On July 13 O'Connor reported that in Ingersoll's opinion Comstock "is not an honest bigot, but an arrant black-hearted scoundrel." [back]
  • 3. The Cambridge Chronicle, edited by Linn B. Porter, printed a vigorous defense of Whitman on May 27. For the Boston Herald, see the letter from Whitman to O'Connor of May 25, 1882. [back]
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