MELVILLE, Herman (1819-1891). Autograph letter signed ("H. Melville") to W[illiam] H. Barry, Pittsfield, 12 February 1859.

Two pages, bifolium 203 x 125mm (toned along top margin, partial separations along fold). Blue cloth chemise and slipcase.

Melville arranges a lecture in Lynn, Massachusetts. Melville writes that he “should be happy to lecture at Lynn, if we can agree on the time &c." Though he warns that at the "latter part of next week I leave for the West, to be gone two weeks, more or less. Upon my return I shall be able to name an exact day…” He advises Barry that he has to lectures to offer, “The South Seas,” and “Statues in Rome,” and adds if “you intimate you should like me to deliver both, well and good.” As to his fee, he was of the mind “that, in the present case, thirty dollars for each lecture would not be too much,” and adds that if Barry desires both, then they should be scheduled “on successive nights, or at least upon nights near together as possible.” According to Sealts, Melville delivered his lecture, "The South Seas," on 15 May 1859 at Sagamore Hall in Lynn (Melville as Lecturer, pp. 91-92). William H. Barry appeared in the 1860 Lynn Directory as a shoemaker as well as a member of the Lynn Young Men’s Debating Society, 1852-54 (citing David N. Johnson, Sketches of Lynn, 1880). Published in Horth, pp. 334-335. Provenance: Charles E. Feinberg (his sale, Parke Bernet, 2-3 April 1968).

‌Exhibited: "A Herman Melville Collection ... on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death, from the collection of William S. Reese," Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, 1991, no. 30.

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