1882 "Song of Myself," Section 35

This line first appeared in the 1867 edition. (See earlier editions for variants) Whitman's sources were both the tales told to him by his maternal grandmother Naomi Van Velsor, whose father, Capt. John Williams, had served under John Paul Jones, and the account by Jones himself in a report to Benjamin Franklin and the Continental Congress about the battle on Sept. 23, 1779 between his BonHomme Richard and the British Serapis off Flamborough Head. This Letter, printed in Old South Leaflets, is followed by Whitman with close parallelism.
Read John Paul Jones's report
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