Skip to main content

Bill Guess

  • Whitman Archive Title: Bill Guess
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00887
  • Repository ID: MS q 5
  • Repository: Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • Date: March 20, 1854
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This manuscript contains notes about the characters and physical traits of three men: Bill Guess, Peter [no last name given], and George Fitch. Whitman has dated the manuscript March 20th, 1854. Edward Grier notes that the name "Bill Guess" does not appear in New York directories from this time period. Two entries for "George Fitch" are listed in the New York City directory for 1855–56. One Fitch is listed as an expressman, and the other is listed as a clerk. Grier postulates that "the three young men mentioned here were probably itinerant omnibus drivers" ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:199). On the reverse (duk.00051) is a manuscript draft related to what eventually became section 41 in the final version of "Song of Myself."

View All Works
Back to top