In 1864, several poems were altered and published in Drum Beat, to raise funds for medical care for Union soldiers in the war. Another appeared in April 1864 in the Brooklyn Daily Union.
In the 1870s, Higginson showed Dickinson's poems to Helen Hunt Jackson, who had coincidentally been at the Academy with Dickinson when they were girls. Jackson was deeply involved in the publishing world, and managed to convince Dickinson to publish her poem "Success is counted sweetest" anonymously in a volume called A Masque of Poets. The poem, however, was altered to agree with contemporary taste. It was the last poem published during Dickinson's lifetime.
After Dickinson's death, Vinnie Dickinson kept her promise and burned most of the poet's correspondence. Significantly though, Dickinson had left no instructions about the forty notebooks and loose sheets gathered in a locked chest. Vinnie recognized the poems' worth and became obsessed with seeing them published. She turned first to her brother's wife and then to Mabel Loomis Todd, her brother's mistress, for assistance. A feud ensued, with the manuscripts divided between the Todd and Dickinson houses, preventing complete publication of Dickinson's poetry for more than half a century.