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Walt Whitman to the Editor of the Atlantic Monthly, 2 March 1860

Your "Atlantic" has, either in type or MS. an article of mine, sent on by E. H. House1, and accepted by Mr. Lowell2—price $40. In lieu of that sum when the piece is printed, could you enclose me $30 immediately on receiving this, and send by mail—considering this a receipt in full?

Walt Whitman

You will first inquire of Mr. L. about the article, lest I am entertaining some misunderstanding about it.3


  • 1. Edward Howard House (1836–1901) was music and drama critic of the Boston Courier from 1854 to 1858, and was appointed to the same post on the New York Tribune in 1858. Whitman evidently knew House as early as 1857, for, in his "Autograph Notebook—1857" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection), he pasted a calling card signed by House. During the Civil War, House was a war correspondent for the Tribune. See also Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, May 5, 1867 (Edwin Haviland Miller, ed., The Correspondence [New York: New York University Press, 1961–77], 1:327–329). [back]
  • 2. Lowell was editor of the Atlantic Monthly from 1857 to 1861. No admirer of Whitman, he evidently printed Whitman's poem at Emerson's suggestion; see Gay Wilson Allen, The Solitary Singer: A Critical Biography of Walt Whitman (New York: Macmillan, 1955; rev. ed., New York University Press, 1967), 238. For other correspondence with the Atlantic Monthly, see Whitman's letter from October 1, 1861 . Portia Baker analyzes Whitman's relations with this magazine in American Literature 6 (November 1934), 283–301. [back]
  • 3. See Whitman's letter from January 20, 1860 . Ticknor and Fields, publishers of the Atlantic Monthly, sent Whitman a check for $30 on March 6, 1860 . [back]
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