WHITMAN, Walt. Autograph manuscript of an article, "Walt Whitman in Denver," submitted to the Denver Tribune, a draft, with many corrections and revisions in text and marked for the printer (by Whitman). N.p. [Ontario, Canada], n.d. [17 June 1880]. 4 pages, 4to, in pencil on rectos only of four sheets of foolscap paper. Fine. -- WHITMAN, Walt. Autograph letter signed ("Walt Whitman") to "Editor Denver Tribune," Ontario, Canada, 17 June 1880. 1 page, small 4to.
WHITMAN INTERVIEWS "THE GOOD GRAY POET" ON HIS IMPRESSIONS OF THE AMERICAN WEST
A remarkable pair of manuscripts. Whitman's cover letter explains: "Herewith find a letter from me for the paper. The price is $10--If used it must be printed in the paper of Tuesday, June 22 (or afterwards)--The letter is sent in the same manner to several other papers (one each in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cinncinati, Chicago) on the same imperative condition--this condition being a point of honor--If used, please send me the pay by mail here, as this place will be my head-quarters for the ensuing two months."
Whitman had always been unabashed in submitting reviews of his own books to periodicals and newspapers, and here he offers a fictitious "interview" with himself: "Hearing of the arrival of 'the good Gray poet' in the city...we dispatched one of our staff to see & welcome him, and get his impressions of the West generally, and Colorado in particular...We...found a large, tall, strong-built man with tanned & scarlet face, plenteous white beard...This was Walt Whitman...perfectly at home in the midst of the varied and shifting crowd, not a face of whom seemed to escaps his rapoid but silent and quiet glance. He received us most pleasantly as was to be expected from the avowed Poet of Comrade." What had most impressed him, in his trip from Philadelphia, Whitman asserts, "was the Prairie character of these mighty central States, forming, as he said not the heart only but the torso of the geography of the Republic." Whitman quotes himself: "'I wonder if the people of the Prairies know how much of first-class art, original and all their own, they have in those rolling and grassy plains--what profound cast and bearing on their coming populations and races...No wonder the Prairies have given the Nation its two leading modern typical men, Lincoln and Grant...'"
"'But I must say something of Denver...I have lived in or visited all the great cities on the Atlantic third of the Republic...but...here in this very Denver...I should like to cast my lot, above all other spots, all other cities...I can hardly tell why--but as I entered the city in the slight haze of a late September afternoon,...and have roamed or rode leisurely through Laramer [sic]...and absorbed the human as well as climatic magnetism of this curiously attractive city, there has steadily grown upon me a feeling of affection for the spot...I count on coming again to Denver.'" Letter published in Correspondence, ed. Miller v III 182-83 (no.959).
Provenance: The Estelle Doheny Collection (sale, Christie's New York, 21 & 22 February 1989, lot 2215). (2)