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Walt Whitman to Harry Buxton Forman, 16 June 1890

Yours of June 42 rec'd & welcomed—There is no other ed'n of Specimen Days3 (that I know) but the one I believe you have—the "Celebrities" pamphlet rec'd safely with thanks—

I am keeping on fairly—have been out in wheel chair4 to the river side (Delaware) to-day—pleasant weather here—

Walt Whitman

Henry "Harry" Buxton Forman (1842–1917) was a British man-of-letters, an editor of and authority on the works of Keats and Shelley, and, starting in 1887, a conspirator in literary forgeries that were exposed after his death. The correspondence at this time between Bucke and Forman makes it clear that Bucke was also building up Forman's collection of Whitman materials (D. B. Weldon Library, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario).


  • 1. This letter is addressed: H Buxton Forman | 46 Marlborough Hill | St John's Wood | London England. It is postmarked: Camden | Ju 17 | 6 PM | 90. [back]
  • 2. See Forman's June 4, 1890, letter to Whitman, where Forman asks about the edition of Specimen Days mentioned in this letter and with which he encloses the "Celebrities of the Century" pamphlet. [back]
  • 3. The first issue of Whitman's Specimen Days and Collect was published by the Philadelphia firm of Rees Welsh and Company in 1882. The second issue was published by David McKay. Many of the autobiographical notes, sketches, and essays that focus on the poet's life during and beyond the Civil War had been previously published in periodicals or in Memoranda During the War (1875–1876). For more information on Specimen Days, see George Hutchinson and David Drews "Specimen Days [1882]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]
  • 4. Horace Traubel and Ed Wilkins, Whitman's nurse, went to Philadelphia to purchase a wheeled chair for the poet that would allow him to be "pull'd or push'd" outdoors. See Whitman's letter to William Sloane Kennedy of May 8, 1889. [back]
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