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Walt Whitman to William Michael Rossetti, 7 April 1876

 pri.00020.001_large.jpg Dear friend,

This is to acknowledge yours of the 25th March—those of the 16th and of the 20th,1 duly rec'd​ , were previously acknowledged.

My letters (that of March 17, in which I outline the situation & my wishes—that of 23d, postal c'd.—that of 29th, on sending the Two Volumes, publication copy L. of G.​ and Two R​ —that of April 1 conveying fuller & more detailed statement of views & wishes—& a short letter afterward, same date) have conveyed I think substantially all I desire to say on the whole affair.2

If the cable telegram in the evening papers of Tuesday last here correctly synopsizes M​ D Conway's letter about my case in some London paper or papers of that date, I do not approve his letter.3 It seems singularly malapropos—& in the face of my friends—their efforts there.

I believe I ought to look over your two last letters again, & say something further about the transcripts of my kind & generous friends—but cannot to-day—will soon.


Send me, at your convenience, the papers that print my things—also any notable criticism or letter, (of course don't mind the small fry.)

I know I am troubling your time & activity a good deal, but I won't make any apology about it further than to say that I am sure I deeply appreciate it.

Good bye for this time & God bless you my dearest friend. Walt Whitman

Your parcel of books by express has been delayed—not yet gone—will go in two or three days—You must have rec'd​ the 3 copies by mail?—

I am still, still up & around, not much different in condition


  • 1. Rossetti's three letters are apparently not extant. [back]
  • 2. The letters referred to were written on March 30 and March 31. The draft of the former, which Whitman retained in his possession, is dated March 31, with the additional notation: "went in steamer Baltic April 1." [back]
  • 3. Conway was reported in the London Daily News as saying: "On the strength of a letter just received from Mr. Whitman, that the idea that he is in distress or dependent upon his relatives is unfounded" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906–1996), 9 vols., 1:345, and see 1:346). On April 24 Conway informed Whitman that he was attempting to protect the poet and his relatives from the "insults" of his British admirers (Traubel, 1:347). On April 17 the New York Tribune paraphrased Conway's remarks in the Daily News, and quoted him on April 26: "Having recently visited the poet in his comfortable quarters in Camden, I am compelled to deny Buchanan's gross exaggerations." In the margin Whitman wrote: "sent this to C[onway]—2 of 4 [newspaper accounts]." [back]
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