Friday, September 6, 2013

change of authorship attribution: review of "A Child's Reminiscence," Cincinnati Daily Commercial (28 Dec. 1859)

Based on conversations with Virginia Jackson and on my own research, I have changed the attribution from "[Anonymous]" to "[Henry Clapp and Walt Whitman]." Whitman knew Murat Halstead, a long-time editor at the Cincinnati Daily Commercial, and even as late as 1876 Whitman wrote a letter to Halstead marked "Private" designed to place extracts from Memoranda During the War in the Commercial prior to the publication of the book. Several reasons, then, contribute to the attribution of the review to Clapp and Whitman: 1) this personal connection between Halstead and Whitman, 2) the speed with which the review appeared in Cincinnati (December 28, 1859) following initial publication in The New-York Saturday Press only a few days earlier (December 24, 1859), and 3) the known history of elaborate publicity campaigns orchestrated by Clapp and Whitman.