Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Dionysius Thomas, 13 October [1867]

Date: October 13, 1867

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:344. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: The Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00649

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

Oct. 13 1

Dear Sir:

I write to ask your kind offices in the following described matter:

I sent to Doolady2 six weeks ago an order

Mr. James Gray, Bookbinder 16 Spruce st. 14th floor, is the custodian of the sheets of my Leaves of Grass, & has been the binder for me. The sheets are now at his place.

I hear that he has become involved—in fact has failed. If so, I regret it much.3

I have been waiting now over six weeks for the fulfilment of orders I have sent him for bound books—& now, under that state of things, I suppose it will not be possible for him to do the work.


1. This draft letter is endorsed (by Whitman), "Dion Thomas | Nassau st. bet Beekman & Spru[ce]." Whitman crossed out the draft, and on the back wrote a series of notes labeled "Specimen Days."

In the Clifton Waller Barrett Collection at the University of Virginia, there is an envelope, postmarked October 16, addressed to: "Dion Thomas, | Bookseller, &c | Nassau street, bet. Beekman & Spruce, | New York City." [back]

2. Michael Doolady, a bookseller and publisher at 448 Broome Street in New York, was the publisher of Ada Clare's Only a Woman's Heart (1866). For Walt Whitman's correspondence with Doolady, see Whitman's letter of November 13, 1867[back]

3. In 1888 Whitman spoke of "a history and a grief" in connection with the 1867 edition: "It was got up by a friend of mine, a young fellow, printed from type, in New York. One day I received the intelligence . . . that the place had been seized for debt. I received a portion of the books remaining—the most of them were lost" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [1906–1996], 2:257).  [back]


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