WHITMAN, Walt. Autograph letter signed ("Walt Whitman") to John Burroughs, 431 Stevens Street (Camden, N.J.), 11 March . 3 pages, large 8vo, one page (perhaps an afterthought) on pale blue paper), with postmarked envelope addressed by Whitman, fine.
PUBLICIZING HIS LECTURE ON LINCOLN. Whitman collaborates with his life-long friend and supporter on the composition of a letter regarding his proposed lecture on Abraham Lincoln (first delivered on 14 April 1878 at Madison Square Garden): "...I will scratch off some suggestions...let it be brief, & don't mention the subject--or if you do, just say indefinitely that it is about Abraham Lincoln--(which you may do, if you think proper)--I would like [Richard Watson] Gilder's name in the letter--The suggestion [Gilder's] about 8 or 10 names only--good ones only--should be carried out--about the Hall." He leaves the selection to Burroughs, though "(not the very biggest ones, however would seem to me best)," and he would like Whitelaw Reid's [successor to Horace Greeley as managing ed. of New York Tribune] name to start the list, as well as those of Schuyler, lawyer Elliot F. Shephard to appear. He advises "Take Johnston into your councils...I consider him a true friend of mine. I am particular about the names--let Benton have my letters, take as much as possible my point of view, & he might write to me here." In an apparent postscript, marked "Private," he adds: "I care little--or rather nothing at all--about Bayard Taylor's or G W Curtis's name on the letter. Don't want them--If they get on, let them be of course--but don't you make any point about getting them...the letters I write you are for perusal by all my friends...but if I write private it is for you alone." Together 2 items.
Published in Correspondence, ed. Miller, No.852.