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Catalogs of Manuscripts at Individual Repositories

Catalog of Unlocated Walt Whitman Manuscripts

Original records created by the Walt Whitman Archive and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Encoded Archival Description completed with the assistance of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Title: Unlocated Walt Whitman Manuscripts

Creator:  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892


Repository:  N/A

Abstract:
This catalog was created by the Walt Whitman Archive from transcriptions and descriptions of manuscripts whose physical location is unknown.

Scope and Content: 
The individual items described in this catalog are poetry or prose manuscripts whose physical location is unknown, but for which a record of their content exists in full-text transcriptions and descriptions, found in various sources. The source of each transcription is given in the content description for each item.

Biographical Information:
For additional biographical information, see "Walt Whitman," by Ed Folsom and Kenneth M. Price, and the chronology of Whitman's Life.

Subjects:
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892;  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892--Manuscripts; Poets, American--19th century



Whitman Archive Title: In Future Leaves of Grass
Whitman Archive ID: med.00784
Date: 1855–1871
Genre: prose
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: Notes on a future edition of Leaves of Grass in which Whitman insists that the "divine style" is one without ornament. In the preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, Whitman writes about literary ornaments, concluding that "most works are most beautiful without ornament." Whitman reworked some of these ideas on ornament and they appear in the poem, "Suggestions," which initially appeared in Leaves of Grass (1860) as "Says." This poem was retained in Leaves of Grass until 1872 and thereafter was excluded. This manuscript is known only from a transcription published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 69.



Whitman Archive Title: Poem of the Sunlight
Whitman Archive ID: med.00779
Date: unknown
Genre: prose, poetry
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: Brief note of just eight words, outlining the possibility of a "Poem of the Sunlight." A transcription of this manuscript, the current location of which is unknown, was published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 174. Edward F. Grier, editor of Whitman's Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts (New York: New York University Press, 1984), 4:1383, suggests that this manuscript might be related to the poem "Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun," which was first published in the 1865 volume Drum-Taps.



Whitman Archive Title: Poem of the Universalities
Whitman Archive ID: med.00735
Date: about 1860
Genre: prose, poetry
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: Notes, apparently written as two paragraphs, which record ideas for a poem or poems. A transcription of this manuscript, the current location of which is unknown, was published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 142. The second paragraph, which begins, "Poem of the Longings of Friendship," suggests a connection to the "Calamus" cluster of poems, which Whitman first included in the third edition of Leaves of Grass (1860).



Whitman Archive Title: Rel ? outset
Whitman Archive ID: med.00776
Date: between 1855 and 1868
Genre: poetry, prose
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: A transcription of this manuscript appeared in Clifton Joseph Furness's Walt Whitman's Workshop: A Collection of Unpublished Manuscripts (Harvard University Press, 1928), 40. Its current location is unknown. The manuscript begins, "First I wish you to realize well that our boasted knowledege, precious and manifold as it is, sinks into niches and corners, before the infinite knowledge of the unknown," a statement reminiscent of the following line from "Poem of the Road" (1856): "All religion, all solid things, arts, governments—all that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and corners before the processions of souls along the grand roads of the universe." This poem was eventually retitled "Song of the Open Road." The last part of the manuscript describes, as a metaphor for human attempts to articulate "the spiritual world," a worm "on a twig reaching out in the immense vacancy time and again, trying point after point." This image is one Whitman developed in the poem "A Noiseless Patient Spider," first published in the October 1868 issue of The Broadway, A London Magazine as the third of four numbered poems grouped under the title "Whispers of Heavenly Death."



Whitman Archive Title: The East
Whitman Archive ID: med.00786
Date: about 1882
Genre: prose, poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: An original manuscript leaf that was tipped into a copy of the Author's Manuscript Edition of The Complete Writings of Whitman, published by Putnam in 1902. The manuscript is a draft leaf which comprises a portion of "How I Still Get Around at Sixty and Take Notes. No. 6," Critic (15 July 1882). Whitman later retitled this piece and reprinted it as "Hours for the Soul" in Specimen Days & Collect (1882–1883) before including it in Complete Prose Works (1892). The manuscript incorporates three lines from "A Broadway Pageant," a poem which first appeared as "The Errand-Bearers," Brooklyn Daily Times (27 June 1860). Whitman revised the poem as "A Broadway Pageant (Reception Japanese Embassy, June 16, 1860)" in Drum-Taps (1865); reprinted it in Leaves of Grass (1867) and New York Citizen (5 September 1868). The poem first appeared under its final title in the 1871–1872 edition of Leaves of Grass.



Whitman Archive Title: [1848 New Orleans]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00725
Date: 1848–1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: Notes on Whitman's experience in New Orleans in 1848. Whitman used some of these notes in "New Orleans in 1848," first published as "New Orleans in 1848: Walt Whitman Gossips of His Sojourn Here Years Ago as a Newspaper Writer: Notes of His Trip Up the Mississippi and to New York" in New Orleans Picayune, 25 January 1887. This essay was included in November Boughs (1888), and collected in Complete Prose Works (1892). This manuscript is known only from a transcription published by Emory Holloway in The Uncollected Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman (Doubleday, Page & Company, 1921), 77–78.



Whitman Archive Title: [Breast Sorrel]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00775
Date: before 1859
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: A brief list, which Grier suggests could be trial titles for "Calamus.". However, this manuscript is specifically suggestive of "Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone," in which Whitman writes about "Breast-sorrel and pinks of love"—both phrases which can be linked to this manuscript. First published as "Calamus. 13" in Leaves of Grass (1860), this poem appeared in later editions of Leaves of Grass as "Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone", and with slight changes in the text. This manuscript is known only from a transcription published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 164.



Whitman Archive Title: [His theory is]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00780
Date: about 1883
Genre: prose
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: Manuscript known only from a transcription published in Wake 7 (Autumn 1948), 10. At that time, the manuscript was in the private collection of Milton Einstein; its current whereabouts are unknown. The contents of the manuscript set forth the "theory . . . that there are two natures in Walt Whitman," one full of "benevolence tenderness and sympathy" and another "far sterner," encompassing "things evil." Whitman wrote this passage for Maurice Bucke's 1883 biography Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay), where the words are put in the mouth of an unnamed acquaintance, a "distant relative" of the poet (56).



Whitman Archive Title: [I want no more of]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00782
Date: about 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: Brief manuscript which contributed to the third paragraph of the "Preface" to the first edition of Leaves of Grass (1855). In this manuscript, known only from a transcription published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 55, Whitman denounces "deferences to authority" such as "taking off of hats and saying Sir" and instead seeks to "encourage in the young men the spirit that does not know what it is to feel that it stands in the presence of superiors."



Whitman Archive Title: [In These States]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00781
Date: about 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: Known only from a transcription published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 54, this manuscript mostly comprises a series of questions about an unspecified "he," and in one case, an unspecified "it." At least two of its phrases ("the true American character" and "ignominious distinctions") occur in the "Preface" to the first edition of Leaves of Grass (1855), though not in close proximity to one another, suggesting that Whitman wrote this manuscript at an early stage of the process that resulted in the "Preface."



Whitman Archive Title: [June 26 '59]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00774
Date: about 1859
Genre: prose, poetry
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: Edward F. Grier includes a transcription of this missing manuscript in Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts (New York University, 1984), 405–410. Grier's transcription is pieced together from "photostats of six surviving pages" (held in the Harned collection at the Library of Congress) and from two partial transcriptions, made by Emory Holloway and currently held at the University of Kansas, as well as Clifton Joseph Furness's Walt Whitman's Workshop: A Collection of Unpublished Manuscripts (Harvard University Press, 1928) and Emory Holloway's The Uncollected Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman (Doubleday, Page & Company, 1921). This manuscript includes an early draft of "In Paths Untrodden," first published as the first section of "Calamus" in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass. Also included in this manuscript is a draft of "That Shadow My Likeness," first published in New-York Saturday Press 4 February 1860 as "Poemet." This poem later appeared as "Calamus No. 40," Leaves of Grass (1860); as "That Shadow My Likeness," Leaves of Grass (1867); and, with slight changes in the text, in Leaves of Grass (1881–1882). Other portions of this manuscript are suggestive of "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking", first published in New-York Saturday Press (24 December 1859) as "A Child's Reminiscence." This poem later appeared as "A Word Out of the Sea," Leaves of Grass (1860); as "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," in "Sea-Shore Memories," Passage to India (1871); and finally in "Sea-Drift," Leaves of Grass (1881–1882).



Whitman Archive Title: [Let others say what they]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00783
Date: about 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: This one-sentence manuscript, expressing the opinion that "all the military and naval personnel of the States must conform to the sternest principles of Dem[ocracy]," is known only from a transcription published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 55. The sentiment and phrasing of the manuscript are similar to statements Whitman made in "Democracy," an essay first published in the December 1867 issue of The Galaxy. When in 1871, Whitman combined this and two other essays to form the pamphlet-length essay Democratic Vistas, elaborated the point with a note declaring "the whole present system of officering [. . .] a monstrous exotic." It is also possible that the present manuscript represents a draft fragment that contributed the "Preface" to the first edition of Leaves of Grass (1855), which contains a passing reference to the belief that no "detail of the army or navy [. . .] can long elude the [. . .] instinct of American standards."



Whitman Archive Title: [Not to Dazzle]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00729
Date: about 1855
Genre: prose, poetry
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown,
Images: currently unavailable
Content: A missing prose manuscript, known only from a transcription published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 71, in which Whitman was working through ideas he eventually used in "Preface, 1855, to first issue of "Leaves of Grass."" Leaves of Grass (1855). Whitman included this preface in Complete Prose Works (1892). One line of this manuscript—"The soul has that measureless pride which consists in never acknowledging any lessons but its own"—was also used nearly verbatim in "Song of Prudence," Leaves of Grass (1881–1882).



Whitman Archive Title: [One obligation of great fresh]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00737
Date: about 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: Manuscript known only from a transcription published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 124. Two paragraphs proclaiming the "obligation" of the true poet to eschew "the clink of words" and "audible rhyme," as "the poetic quality blooms simple and earnest." The manuscript is written as aphoristic fragments connected by elipses, in the manner of the "Preface" to the first edition of Leaves of Grass (1855).



Whitman Archive Title: [Poem of the Drum]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00732
Date: about 1861
Genre: prose
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: A brief note of twenty-seven words, sketching the idea for a poem "that shall be alive with the stirring and beating of a drum." The current location of this manuscript is unknown, and its contents are attested only by a transcription published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 179. Whitman's poetry contains many references to the beating of drums, so one cannot be certain which, if any, of the poems is related to this manuscript. The most likely candidate, however, is "Beat! Beat! Drums"! Whitman's only poem that not only mentions drums but treats them as its central subject. First published simultaneously in the 28 September 1861 issues of Harper's Weekly and the New York Leader, it later appeared in Drum-Taps (1865) and in subsequent editions of Leaves of Grass.



Whitman Archive Title: [The new theologies bring forward]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00746
Date: About 1855
Genre: prose, poetry
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: This manuscript, known only from a transcription published by Clifton Joseph Furness in Walt Whitman's Workshop: A Collection of Unpublished Manuscripts (Harvard University Press, 1928), 43, contributed to the prose preface to the 1855 first edition of Leaves of Grass. Whitman later reworked much of the material from the preface, including the material related to the present manuscript, to form the poem published as "Poem of Many in One" (1856). After several other changes, this poem appeared under its final title, "By Blue Ontario's Shore," in the 1881–82 edition.



Whitman Archive Title: [Why need genius]
Whitman Archive ID: med.00741
Date: about 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: number of leaves unknown, handwritten
Images: currently unavailable
Content: The two sentences of this manuscript appeared in slightly different forms in the prose preface to the 1855 first edition of Leaves of Grass. The manuscript is known only from a transcription published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (privately printed, 1899), 103.




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