Interviews and Reminiscences

About this Item

Title: A Poet's Supper to his Printers and Proof-Readers

Creator: Anonymous

Date: October 17, 1881

Whitman Archive ID: med.00610

Source: Boston Daily Advertiser 17 October 1881: 8. Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of an original issue, as corrected against a digital image of a clipping in the Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the interviews, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Brett Barney, Nic Swiercek, and Shea Montgomerey

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A Poet's Supper to his Printers and Proof-

Mrs. Moffitt's Hotel, 8 Bulfinch place, was the scene of a very pleasant and animated gathering on Saturday night. Walt Whitman invited around him his printers, proof-readers, pressmen (from Rand & Avery's establishment, where the new "Leaves of Grass" has just been setup and electrotyped), and, with other friends added, gave them an informal reception, with a fraternal hand-shake and hearty word of welcome for each. Several ladies called, and a number of "outsiders," and all were received with due empressment. There were over three hundred visitors in the course of the evening, some from England. At ten o'clock Mrs. Moffitt furnished the old poet and his special printer friends (over eighty of them) with a fine champagne supper. All was bountiful, but unconventional. Mr. Whitman gave some times of his printer life, as a young man (1838 to 1850), and his working in different cities from New York to New Orleans, inclusive, followed, in answer to queries, by brief opinions on the political situation. He held that there is really no first-class problem in our government now demanding solution; that we are nationally doing well enough; that the process of fraternizing, the main thing, is being surely and silently fulfilled in all the States, that great toleration and forbearance should be observed toward President Arthur, who has in some respects, the most perplexing part to play of any President since Washington. In the course of the evening various little speeches were made, and Mr. Whitman recited "John Anderson, my Jo, John."

The poet departs to-morrow, after a sojourn in Boston of which, to use his own words, he "could not wish for a more beautiful and comforting two months."


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