Manuscript "Preface" American Poetry, William Bicker Walter.

Unpublished Manuscript by an Early 19th Century American Poet

Manuscript "Preface"

N.p. [?Baltimore]: 1822.

15, [1] pp. pen and ink on partially lined notebook. Unpublished Manuscript by an Early 19th Century American Poet. Original blue wrappers. Vertical crease, first and last leaf loose Item #300547

Unpublished manuscript "Preface" by the American poet Walter Bicker Walter (1796-1823). Walter published one long poem, Sukey (Boston, 1821, with a second edition that same year) and a volume of Poems (Boston, 1821). His portrait was painted by the noted American artist Sarah Miriam Peale (neice of Charles Willson Peale). Walter was born in Boston, attended Bowdoin and later lived in Baltimore and Charleston, SC, where he died at only 27 years old.
Walter wrote this Preface to a proposed commonplace book: "In compiling the present volume, I design to throw together such pieces as may be the result of observation and explerience — extracting from books such remarks as may appear worthy of study." It seems the book was never published, perhaps due to the author's early death.
Included are transcripts of Walter's last will and testament (4 Dec 1822) and of a note by his lawyer and friend John Neal, dated 15 May 1823, on hearing of Walter's death. Walter named Neal his literary executor, asking that his friend see his literary remains into print. We find no evidence that he discharged this duty, and certainly the present work, being the Preface to a non-existant work, has never been published.

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