Franklin Evans; or The Inebriate. A Tale of the Times. New York: The New World, 1842.
Bound as part of Park Benjamin’s The New World, Extra Series, No. 34. Vol. II...No. 10 (bound between Charles Dickens’s, “American Notes for General Circulation” [Vol. II...Nos 8, 9], and Mary Howitt’s “The Neighbors. A Story of Every Day Life” [Vol. II...Nos 11,12],
Recent period style three-quarter calf over marbled sides with gilt titling on the spine. The other bound-in titles from The New World include: “The Western Captive; Or, The Times of Tecumseh.” By Mrs. Seba Smith [Vol. II...Nos. 3,4] and “Letters of Mary, Queen of Scots,” with an Introduction by Agnes Strickland [Vol. II...Nos. 13,14]. There are ads announcing Franklin Evans [New Works in Press: “It will be issued...on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 12 1/2 cents single; ten copies for $1, or $2[sic] per hundred. Let orders be early.” And it is included in an ad for Works Already Published: “It was written expressly for The New World...Price 12 1/2 cts. Ten copies $1; $8 per hundred.”
Franklin Evans, when found at all, is invariably disbound. This is Whitman’s first novel and his first separate publication. He said of Franklin Evans, “I doubt if there is a copy in existence. I have none and have not had one for years.” R. M. Bucke, Whitman’s biographer and executor, wrote that he had, “...hunted and advertised for ‘Franklin Evans’ for over twenty years, and at last got a copy of it.”
“The Olden Time,” in The New-York Mirror, Vol. XII, No. 22 (Nov. 29, 1834), pp. 169-176.
The Journalism volumes in the Collected Writings of Walt Whitman recognize a short three-paragraph article, “The Olden Time,” in the November 29, 1834, issue of the New-York Mirror as Whitman’s first published work. Signed “W.,” it appears in the “Original Communications” section of the paper and was published when Whitman was only fifteen years old.
Shown are two copies of this very rare seven page newspaper. One copy is apparently a former subscription issue that was previously folded by the publisher and mailed/delivered to a subscriber who later had his loose issues bound. This issue of the Mirror contains the first published work of Walt Whitman.
In Specimen Days (1882), Whitman reminisced about his early journalism career and the delight he experienced upon seeing his first published articles in print:
[W]hen I was but a boy of eleven or twelve . . . I had a piece or two in George P. Morris’s then celebrated and fashionable ‘Mirror’ of New York city. I remember with what half-suppress’d excitement I used to watch for the big, fat, red-faced, slow-moving, very old English carrier who distributed the ‘Mirror’ in Brooklyn; and when I got one, opening and cutting the leaves with trembling fingers. How it made my heart double-beat to see my piece on the pretty white paper, in nice type.
“Death in the School-Room (A Fact)”. The Salem Gazette, August 6, 1841.
This is the only newspaper reprint of a story by Whitman which appeared originally in The Democratic Review (also shown) in August 1841.
“Ambition” (poem), printed in the January 29, 1842 edition of the magazine Brother Jonathan.
William Douglas O’Connor, The Good Gray Poet, New York: Bunce and Huntington, 1866.
First edition as this free-standing pamphlet. It later was reprinted as part of Richard Maurice Bucke’s biography of Whitman, Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1883). This rare copy is missing the front paper cover. This defense of Whitman was written in response to the poet being fired from the Department of the Interior by Secretary James Harland for having written Leaves of Grass. Also shown is a signed photograph of O’Connor by Rockwood Studio, NY, NY.
The Poet’s Tributes to Garfield, A Collection of Many Memorial Poems, Cambridge. Moses King, Harvard Square, 1882.
Includes “The Sobbing of the Bells” by Walt Whitman. Whitman thought highly of Garfield, whom he met as a congressman.