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Title: 73 Specimen Days

Creators: Walt Whitman, Unknown author

Date: October 1884 or later

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Transcribed from digital images of the original item. Whitman claims in this note dated October 31, 1884, that the article referenced appeared, possibly in The Philadelphia Press, on the day before (October 30, 1884).

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00642

Notes written on manuscript: On surface 1, in an unknown hand: "73"

Contributors to digital file: Lauren Grewe, Nicole Gray, Ty Alyea, and Matt Cohen


Key


Paste-on | Whitman's Notes on Paste-on | Whitman's Highlighting on Paste-on | Erasure | Overwrite



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Specimen Days
                                                                                       Oct 31 '84
[for new Ed?]
                                                                                       ["Election day November 1884"] 
 


Presidential Election

Oct. 31 '84—The political parties are trying to—but mostly in vain—to get up some ex fervor of excitement on the pending Presidential election. It comes off next Tuesday. There is no question at issue of any importance. I cannot 'enthuse' at all. I think of the elections of 30 and 20 years ago. ^Then there was something to arouse a fellow. But I like well the fact of this all these National Elections—have written a little poem about it (to order —published in a Philadelphia daily * of 26th instant. One of the reporters papers has interview'd me early in the week, and his printed the following yesterday:


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A POET ON POLITICS.


                  ———
Walt Whitman May Vote for Blaine, but has a Good Word for the Other Side.

"Yes," said old democratic Walt Whitman to a gentleman connected with THE PRESS, seated in the parlor of his little brown wooden house in Camden the other day, "I may vote for Blaine—undoubtedly shall—and yet I am an out and out opponent of the high tariff system, and respect and admire Governor Cleveland personally. They say Blaine is a mighty good fellow. Did you ever meet him much personally? He is a large man, isn't he?"

"Rather large; he is above the medium height, broad shouldered, in excellent health, and is a jolly good fellow, physically and mentally."

"So my friends tell me, but I never met him."

"Don't you think, Mr. Whitman, there was something commendable in Mr. Blaine's South American policy?"

"I do, decidedly. The United States, as the biggest and eldest brother, may well come forward and say to the South American states, 'Let us all form a bond of union, not only to increase our prosperity in a commercial point of view, but to resent and resist anything like foreign aggression.' I think no American can object to it. I believe Blaine is going to be elected. He will then come out well, I have no doubt. When a man is made President he soon gets a profound sense of his responsibilities, and an earnest desire to render his country good service. In looking back over the list, I cannot think of a single President who did not do the best he


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knew how from his point of view, although mistakes, and some pretty bad ones, have occurred. Even Fillmore, Buchanan and Andrew Johnson must be given the credit of patriotic intentions, whatever errors they made."

Mr. Whitman, in cheeriness and good heart at any rate, is a man who does not seem to age rapidly. A series of paralytic strokes, received in Washington soon after the close of the Secession War, while he was a clerk in the Attorney-General's office under Grant's administration—the result of over two years' exhaustive personal labor in the army hospitals and on the field—destroyed his activity to some extent, but he has recuperated, and now manages, with the aid of a cane, to take an occasional short walk. He still wields the pen in moderation.

In appearance and conversation he is much the same as the Walt Whitman of fourteen years ago. He is one of the cluster of writers engaged to furnish the living history of the Secession War, now just begun by General Beauregard in "The Century." Whitman is to write the Army Hospital article. He said to the writer, half in jest, he should write the Indian Summer of his poetry yet, if life and health are spared.


———
*"If I should need to Name, O Western World," Press. Oct 26.

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Dion Thomas

Nassau st. bet Beekman & Spru[cut away]

Washington Oct. 13

Dear Sir:

I write to you to ask your assist kind offices in the following described matter:

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I se re sent an order to Dol to Doolady over six weeks ago an order

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Mr. James Gray, Bookbinder 16 Spruce st. 4th floor, is the custodian of the sheets of my Leaves of Grass, & has been [a?] the binder of them for me. There is in— They ^The sheets are now at his place.

I hear that he has become involved—in fact has failed. If so, I regret it much.

I have been waiting f now some over six weeks for the ful filment of orders I have sent on there him for bound books—& now, under that state of things, I suppose I cannot get the work done by him. it will be impossible not be possible for him to do the work.

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