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Title: The Wallabout Martyrs

Date: March 16, 1888

Publication information: New York Herald 16 March 1888: 4.

Source: Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of an original issue.

Whitman Archive ID: per.00115




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The Wallabout Martyrs.1

[In Brooklyn, in an old vault, marked by no special recognition, lie huddled at this moment the undoubtedly authentic remains of the stanchest and earliest revolutionary patriots from the British prison ships and prisons of the times 1776-83, in and around New York and from all over Long Island; originally buried—many thousands of them—in trenches in the Wallabout sands.]

Greater than memory of Achilles or Ulysses,
More, more by far to thee than the tomb of
Alexander,
Those car loads of old charnel ashes, scales
and splints of mouldy bones,
Once living men—once resolute courage, aspi-
ration, strength,
The stepping stones to thee to-day and here
America.
WALT WHITMAN.

Notes:

1. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). [back]


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