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Walt Whitman in Huntington


After more than forty years' absence, the author of Leaves of Grass, and fonuder of this paper, has been visiting our town the past week in company with Dr. R. M. Bucke, of London, Canada, who is engaged in writing a life of "the good gray Poet." They put up at the Huntington House, and spent several days in calls and explorations at West Hills, on and around the old Whitman homestead and farm (now owned and occupied by Philo R. Place), and also down to the house where, in 1819, Walt was born (the farm now of Henry Jarvis), and the adjacent parts of the country for several miles. They were especially interested in the old Whitman burial hill and cemetery, containing the poet's ancestors for many generations, dating more than two hundred years back, with its rows of ancient moss covered graves. The poet and Dr. Bucke also went over to the Van Velsor homestead, adjacent to Cold Spring, the birthplace of Mr. Whitman's mother, Louisa, daughter of Major Cornelius Van Velsor. The house, barn, and other buildings were all gone and the ground ploughed over. But about a hundred rods off was the old Van Velsor burial ground, on a hill in the woods, and one of the most significant and picturesque spots of the kind it is possble to conceive.

Mr. Whitman was called upon during his brief stay in Huntington by many old and some new friends, among others, the following: Charles Velsor, of Cold Spring; Benjamin Doty, of same place; in West Hills, Lemuel Carll, John Chichester, Miss Jane Rome, William May, and Samuel Scudder; in Huntington, Henry Lloyd, Lawyer Street, Albert Hopper, Smith Sammis, Thomas Rogers, John Fleet, Ezra Prime, Henry Sammis, Thomas Aitkins, Charles E. Shepard, Messrs. Wood and Rusco, and Fred Galow.

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