Details
MELVILLE, Herman (1819-1891). Autograph letter signed ("H Melville") to "Gentlemen" [Harper Brothers?], Pittsfield, 18 May [1859].

One page, bifolium, 203 x 124mm (mild crease at top margin). Brown cloth chemise and quarter brown morocco slipcase.

Herman Melville submits "short pieces" for publication. Melville informs his correspondents that he did "not know whether the short Pieces" he had sent "will suit your Magazine, or no—however, I send them. I shall probably be in New York in a day or two, & will drop in & see you then." Not published by Horth, but she identifies another letter of similar content (specifying "two Pieces" for a "Magazine') that may have been sent to Harper Brothers (p. 336). That letter is part of the Gansevoort-Lansing collection at NYPL. Whether Melville was addressing a different publisher in this instance or this was an alternate note to the Harpers is not known. However the year of 1859 can be ascribed with some confidence because by 23 May, Melville was in New York based on a letter from Henry Gansevoort dated 23 May 1859 who observed that "Cousin Herman is in town looking well and hearty." (Leyda, Melville Log, p. 606). The "pieces" themselves remain a mystery. No pieces by Melville appeared in Harper's from the date of writing until 1866 when the first of his Civil War poems appeared there (Horth, p. 336).
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