Published Works


About this Item

Title: Harper's Monthly Magazine

Creator: Susan Belasco

Whitman Archive ID: per.00041

Source: Written for the Walt Whitman Archive. First published on the Archive in 2008. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the periodical poems, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Leslie Ianno, Susan Belasco, and Kevin McMullen

Established in 1850, Harper's Monthly Magazine was initially a vehicle for promotion of the Harper Brothers' reprinted editions of British novels. Taking advantage of the lack of international copyright laws, the Harper Brothers built their successful publishing company on publishing cheap reprints of mostly British novels rather than untried American writers. Edited by Henry J. Raymond and managed by Fletcher Harper (who would later establish Harper's Weekly), the new monthly magazine was designed to offer serializations of books, as well as printing short fiction (by British writers such as Charles Dickens) and articles about authors and topics of general interest. In the late nineteenth century the magazine began to draw more from the work of American writers such as Whitman, who would publish six poems in the periodical from 1874 to 1892. Over the years, Whitman's relationship with Harper's editors was strained; Whitman believed that there was a standing order with the periodical concerning the rejection of all of his submissions. However, there were only four letters of rejection given by Whitman to Horace Traubel. A concise, callous statement on his 1881 Leaves of Grass in the "Editor's Literary Record" by Henry Mills Alden also gave Whitman the impression of disapproval but overall the magazine gave his work favorable reviews.


Baker, Portia. "Walt Whitman's Relations With Some New York Magazines." American Literature 7 (1935): 274-301.

Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, 1865-1885. Vol. 3. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1938.

Myerson, Joel. Walt Whitman: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993.

Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition. Edited by Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley. New York: New York University Press, 1965.


"Song of the Redwood-Tree." Harper's Monthly Magazine, February 1874, 366-367

"Prayer of Columbus." Harper's Monthly Magazine, March 1874, 524-525

"Patrolling Barnegat." Harper's Monthly Magazine, April 1881, 701

"With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!." Harper's Monthly Magazine, March 1884, 607

"Of That Blithe Throat of Thine." Harper's Monthly Magazine, January 1885, 264

"Death's Valley." Harper's Monthly Magazine, April 1892, 707-709


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