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Walt Whitman to Rand & Avery, 19 May 1882

Dear Sirs1

I suppose Benj: Ticknor has informed you that the Osgood & Co: plates of Leaves of Grass now in your charge have been transferred to me, & are henceforth subject to my order.2

Will you please prepare for me for casting a new title page, the copy for which is herewith enclosed—As it is a small job, could you make up (I should say in the same long primer as book, but I leave it to Mr Clark's3 taste), & send the proof of it to me by next Monday night's mail—as I am waiting for new titles for 225 copies I have in sheets, & have an order for4—Will return proof immediately with word how many I want printed.

Walt Whitman

If convenient please place this matter in the hands of H H Clark to whom I hereby send best remembrances & respects—



  • 1. Whitman noted in his Commonplace Book this letter to Rand & Avery, the firm which had printed the 1860 and Osgood editions (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). On June 8 Whitman sent "corrections" to the firm and "ordered 1000 copies printed," but the order was later "countermanded" (Whitman's Commonplace Book). Evidently Rand & Avery refused to run off the edition because of fears of legal action. On July 24 Whitman paid Rand & Avery $13.75, presumably for the corrections (Whitman's Commonplace Book). [back]
  • 2. Ticknor, for Osgood & Co., on May 19 instructed Rand & Avery to hold the plates for Whitman (Whitman's copy of the letter is in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
  • 3. The superintendent of the Rand & Avery plant. [back]
  • 4. On the same day Whitman "sent order to Sanborn, Boston, to send the 225 sets sheets to James Arnold" (Whitman's Commonplace Book). Arnold, who had his plant at 531 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, had bound the 1876 edition. [back]
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