• Literary Agent Samuel Ward Attempts To Publish Longfellow's The Hanging Of The Crane

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    SAMUEL WARD (January 27, 1814 – May 19, 1884) was an American poet, politician and author.  He also acted as a literary agent for HENRY W. LONGFELLOW, was a renowned poet and educator.  Some of Ward’s papers are housed at the New York Public Library.


    5 X 8, 3 pp, ALS, January 3rd, 1873, in which Ward is writing to Robert Bonner, the eccentric publisher of the New York Ledger, to negotiate the sale of Longfellow’s infamous work, “The Hanging of the Crane” to Bonner for the unheard sum of $4,000.  Longfellow had noted Ward’s work in his journal. Ward himself also noted his work in the book “Sam Ward: King of the Lobby,” by author Lately Thomas.


    In part, “I have a kind note from Mr. Longfellow which I left Washington last night for the sole purpose of getting this morning.


    “He does not feel quite up to the whip & spur of preparing a series of articles on Travel just now. But I think, as weather...he may feel tempted.


    “I think an offer of $1000 would bring the ‘Hanging of the Crane’ which would be, at the rate of a guinea a line which Tom Moore used to get from John Murray half a century ago.


    “Mr....paid Tennyson L100 for his Tithonus in 1860 which is almost 70 lines of bland verse. 


    “Mr. Longfellow’s new poem is 200 lines.


    “If you were to increase your liberality to $1500, I feel sure that he would gratefully accept and that it might lead to other transactions.


    “His address is Craige Hall, Cambridge, Mass, and I would recommend your writing him directly as I am [anticipated] to return to Washington at 3 PM today, having, as before said...I am yours very truly, Saml Ward


    “P.S. I beg you to tender you the compliments of the season.”


    War provides his address on the verso as Lock Box 50, P.O. Washington, D.C.”


    Folds, light toning. In excellent condition. Excellent literary Americana.


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