Thursday, February 11, 2016

Letter about Melville to Evert Duyckinck is from James Lorimer Graham, Jr. (NOT "Sr.")

The Northwestern-Newberry edition of Herman Melville's Correspondence identifies Graham only as "an autograph collector" and miscalls him JLG "Sr." Looking at the signature on his 1861 passport application, you can see how easy it would be to misread "S" for Graham's "J."

Fold3: Military Records

As reported in the same editorial note in NN Correspondence, somewhere in the Duyckinck family papers at NYPL is a letter dated simply "Wednesday" from James Lorimer Graham, Jr. (not his uncle JLG) to Evert A. Duyckinck, asking for Melville's address:
"You will greatly oblige me by giving the bearer the address of Mr. Herman Melville, for me."  --quoted in NN Correspondence, p766.
Now that we know about one gathering of artists and literati that Melville attended at Graham's place in March 1866, we can confidently place the date before Wednesday, March 21, 1866 (the last Wednesday before the party on Monday evening, March 26, 1866). I'm guessing this must be the "undated" one of two letters in the literary correspondence of Evert A. Duyckinck at NYPL, now filed under "GRAHAM, JAMES G." The other, dated letter from Graham to EAD is from 1861:
b. 7 f. 4 Graham, James G
2 items
1861, undated
Later: Nope, those two items are in fact from James G. Graham. Still looking for the undated letter from JLG Jr. to Evert A. Duyckinck.

Graham's huge collection of autograph material included letters from Melville to publishers Dix and Edwards. For provenance, the Northwestern-Newberry edition of Melville's Correspondence cites
"Clara Louise Dentler, A Privately Owned Collection of Letters, Autographs, and Manuscripts with Many Association Items [Graham Family Collection] (Florence: Spinelli, 1947)." 
Link to WorldCat entry:
Where to go for it? Nearest library to me here on the prairie is literally "1000 miles" away:
Princeton University Library Princeton, NJ 08544 United States
Related melvilliana posts:

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