Selected Criticism

New York Times
Graffin, Walter
Print source:
J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, eds., Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), reproduced by permission.

First published by Henry J. Raymond and George Jones on 18 September 1851 as the New York Daily Times, it had no connection to the earlier Sunday Times, which Whitman edited between the summers of 1842 and 1843. While Myerson's Whitman bibliography lists over twenty-seven hundred items that Whitman published in newspapers and magazines before his death, fewer than twenty appeared in the New York Times. His first publication in the paper was a poem, "The Errand Bearers," 27 June 1860, honoring a Japanese delegation to America; a revised version, "A Broadway Pageant," appeared in Drum-Taps (1865) and in the 1881 edition of Leaves of Grass. Between 1863 and 1865, Whitman's work appeared in the paper eight times, mostly on his war-related activities and life in Washington. Most of these articles were reprinted in Memoranda During the War (1875–1876), Specimen Days (1882), and The Wound Dresser (1898), but often with slightly different titles, such as "Hospital Visits," the title used in The Wound Dresser for a piece that originally appeared in the paper on 11 December 1864 as "Our Wounded and Sick Soldiers—Visits Among Army Hospitals, at Washington, on the Field, and Here in New York." Whitman's association with John Swinton, managing editor of the paper, is cited as a factor that aided him in getting the government to arrange a prisoner exchange that reunited him with his brother George. His last entries in the New York Times were anonymous ones written in his old age: "The Good Gray Poet Still Cheerful" (7 October 1888) and "Walt Whitman Ill" (6 April 1890).


Allen, Gay Wilson. The Solitary Singer: A Critical Biography of Walt Whitman. 1955. Rev. ed. 1967. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1985.

Myerson, Joel. Walt Whitman: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P, 1993.

Reynolds, David S. Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography. New York: Knopf, 1995.


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