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Walt Whitman to Joseph M. Stoddart, 12 June 1891

Traubel's1 notes, acc't & MS article2 will be in your hands, (f'm him personally) by or before Monday noon next—I suppose all ready to set. If convenient let me have a revise proof of that MS page of mine,3 wh' I will immediately return—(if not convenient, no matter—as I trust largely to y'r good proof reader)—Am anchor'd in my big ratan chair in my den as I write—pretty good trim considering—

Meanwhile God's blessing be on you— Walt Whitman

Joseph Marshall Stoddart (1845–1921) published Stoddart's Encyclopaedia America, established Stoddart's Review in 1880, which was merged with The American in 1882, and became the editor of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1886. On January 11, 1882, Whitman received an invitation from Stoddart through J. E. Wainer, one of his associates, to dine with Oscar Wilde on January 14 (Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades [Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1931], 235n).


  • 1. Horace L. Traubel (1858–1919) was an American essayist, poet, and magazine publisher. He is best remembered as the literary executor, biographer, and self-fashioned "spirit child" of Walt Whitman. During the late 1880s and until Whitman's death in 1892, Traubel visited the poet virtually every day and took thorough notes of their conversations, which he later transcribed and published in three large volumes entitled With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906, 1908, & 1914). After his death, Traubel left behind enough manuscripts for six more volumes of the series, the final two of which were published in 1996. For more on Traubel, see Ed Folsom, "Traubel, Horace L. [1858–1919]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]
  • 2. Whitman is referring to a proof of Horace Traubel's "Walt Whitman's Birthday, May 31, 1891," an article that was published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in August 1891. It was a detailed account of Whitman's seventy-second (and last) birthday, which was celebrated with friends at the poet's home on Mickle street. [back]
  • 3. Whitman is referring to "Walt Whitman's Last" (a one-page piece on his last miscellany Good-Bye My Fancy [1891]), which was also published in the August 1891 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. [back]
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