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.
"Song of the Redwood-Tree." Harper's Monthly Magazine 48 (February 1874): 366-367. Reprinted in the "Centennial Songs" section of Two Rivulets (1876).
"Prayer of Columbus." Harper's Monthly Magazine 48 (March 1874): 524-525. Reprinted in the "Two Rivulets" section of Two Rivulets (1876).
"Patrolling Barnegat." Harper's Monthly Magazine 62 (April 1881): 701. Reprinted in the American (May 1881) and Leaves of Grass (1881–82).
"With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!" Harper's Monthly Magazine 68 (March 1884): 607. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888).
"Of That Blithe Throat of Thine." Harper's Monthly Magazine 70 (January 1885): 264. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888).
"Death's Valley." Harper's Monthly Magazine 84 (April 1892): 707-709. Reprinted in Leaves of Grass (1897).
Baker, Portia. "Walt Whitman's Relations With Some New York Magazines." American Literature 7 (1935): 274-301.
Blodgett, Harold W., and Sculley Bradley, eds. Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition. New York: New York University Press, 1965.
Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, 1865-1885. Volume 3. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1938.
Myerson, Joel. Walt Whitman: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993.
Whitman Archive ID