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Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, The New York Public Library

Original records created by New York Public Library; machine-readable catalog created by Terry Catapano; revised and expanded by the Walt Whitman Archive and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Encoded Archival Description completed with the assistance of the Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation, the University of Nebraska Research Council, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.




Individual items at this repository

  • Whitman Archive Title: A talent for conversation
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00026
  • Date: Between 1840 and 1870
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: A brief manuscript scrap with no known connection to Whitman's published work. This manuscript is difficult to date conclusively, but Edward Grier suggests that "this sort of moralizing . . . belongs to [Whitman's] journalizing of the 1840s through the 1860s" ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:295).

  • Whitman Archive Title: The good hostess
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00042
  • Date: 1840s or 1850s
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: A brief scrap of prose describing a "good hostess" who makes "fine apple dumplings." The manuscript has no known connection to any of Whitman's published works. Based on the handwriting, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to the 1840s or 1850s ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:297).

  • Whitman Archive Title: Will you have the walls
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00085
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This manuscript was probably written between 1850 and 1855, when Whitman was preparing material for the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . The ideas and language in the last section of the manuscript may relate to the first poem of that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." The first part of this manuscript resembles a line in the fifth poem of that edition, eventually titled "I Sing the Body Electric." The leaf looks like it may have been extracted from a notebook. On the reverse (nyp.00549) is prose writing that contains several phrases similar to some found in the poem eventually titled "Song of Myself," as well as later poems.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Of this broad and majestic
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00549
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Two phrases and images from this manuscript appear, slightly altered, in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , in the poem that would later be titled "Song of Myself." The manuscript was therefore probably written before or early in 1855. In the manuscript Whitman has added the phrase "the timothy and the clover" to a description of plants growing in a field. On page 18 of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass Whitman describes jumping from the crossbeams of a barn into the hay and says he will "seize the clover and timothy." Later in the manuscript he writes of "the buckwheat and its white tops and the bees that hum there all day," and on page 36 of the 1855 Leaves he writes of the "white and brown buckwheat, a hummer and a buzzer there with the rest." A similar line concerning buckwheat and bees appeared in the poem "Come Up From the Fields Father," and a reference to "clover and timothy" appeared in "Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun." Both poems were first published in Drum-Taps in 1865. "Clover and timothy" also appears in the poem "The Return of the Heroes," which was first published in the 1881 edition of Leaves of Grass . On the reverse of this manuscript (nyp.00085) are poetic lines, one of which appeared in the poem ultimately titled "I Sing the Body Electric."

  • Whitman Archive Title: content to the ground
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00040
  • Date: between 1845 and 1860
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: The phrase "content to the ground," which is visually distinct from the other words on this leaf, appears in the poem eventually titled "Spontaneous Me." Some of the terms in the list at the bottom of the scrap were added to the poem eventually titled "A Song for Occupations" in 1856. In 1867, "blacksmithing" was also added, but two of the terms that are struck through on this manuscrpit ("saltmaking" and "arsenal") were dropped.

  • Whitman Archive Title: is wider than the west
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00510
  • Date: Before or early in 1855
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This draft fragment includes phrases and poetic lines that were revised and used in different editions of Leaves of Grass . "The orbed opening of whose mouth," struck through on this manuscript, is suggestive of a line that appeared in 1855 in the poem ultimately called "Song of Myself": "The orbic flex of his mouth is pouring and filling me full." The line "Nature is rude at first—but once begun never tires" was used slightly altered in "Song of the Open Road," first published in the 1856 edition of Leaves of Grass under the title "Poem of the Road." Edward Grier, drawing from Richard Maurice Bucke's Notes and Fragments (1899), adds a bracketed conclusion to the last line: "Most works of art [tire. Only the Great Chef d'OEuvres never tire and never dazzle at first.]" ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:168). The line does not currently appear on the manuscript. On the reverse of this manuscript is a prose fragment on the subject of knowledge and learning (nyp.00024).

  • Whitman Archive Title: Mocking all the textbooks and
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00024
  • Repository Title: [wider than the west]
  • Date: Before or early in 1855
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: The general sentiment expressed in this manuscript fragment and the reference to "proofs and diagrams" are reminiscent of the poem "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer." That poem was not published until its inclusion in Drum-Taps in 1865. Edward Grier dates this manuscript to "before or early in 1855," however, probably because of the draft lines on the reverse of the leaf, which contributed to lines in the 1855 and 1856 editions of Leaves of Grass . Grier, drawing from Richard Maurice Bucke's Notes and Fragments (1899), also adds a bracketed conclusion to this prose note: "[We are so proud of our learning! As if it were anything to analyze fluids and call certain parts oxygen or hydrogen, or to map out stars and call . . .]" ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:164). These lines do not currently appear on the manuscript.

  • Whitman Archive Title: The most perfect wonders of
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00057
  • Repository Title: The most perfect wonders...
  • Date: Before or early in 1855
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Edward Grier writes of this manuscript that "[t]he sentiments and the handwriting are those of 1855 or earlier" ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:186). Some of the language is similar to wording in the poems that would be titled "Song of Myself" and "A Song for Occupations." At some point, this manuscript formed part of Whitman's cultural geography scrapbook (owu.00090).

  • Whitman Archive Title: Nehemiah Whitman
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00556
  • Repository Title: A Family Record. Composed and written by Walt Whitman.
  • Date: Between 1845 and 1861
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This manuscript consists of notes about Whitman's family history. The various dates referenced suggest that the earliest portions of it were written sometime after 1845, and most of the notes seem to have been written at various stages between 1845 and 1855. Edward Grier dates the recto to 1850, and speculates that the earliest date for the writing on the verso is likely March 1853, when the two Cumberland Street houses were sold ( Notebooks and Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:8). For footnotes relating the names listed here to Whitman, see Grier. Whitman made additions to the manuscript several times, adding to it for the last time sometime around 1861. One of the names referenced on the verso, "Covert," appears in Whitman's short story " Revenge and Requital " (1845) and his novel Life and Adventures of Jack Engle (1852). The name is also mentioned in an early notebook draft of the plot of Jack Engle (see " a schoolmaster ").

  • Whitman Archive Title: Like Earth O River
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00106
  • Repository Title: Like Earth O River, you offer us burial
  • Date: 1848
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: These lines were probably drafted as part of the poem published as "The Mississippi at Midnight" on March 6, 1848, in the New Orleans Daily Crescent , though they were not included in the published version of the poem. A revised version of the poem, titled "Sailing the Mississippi at Midnight," was later included in Specimen Days & Collect (1882–1883). Whitman left for New Orleans in February, 1848, so this manuscript was written after that date. Draft lines on the back of this manuscript leaf (nyp.00736) also relate to the poem eventually titled "Sailing the Mississippi at Midnight."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Sailing Down the Mississippi at Midnight
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00736
  • Repository Title: Leaf mounted at left, via a hinge along the top edge of the manuscript, with one holograph manuscript written on a scrap of paper: Sailing down the Mississippi at Midnight
  • Date: February 1848
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This is a partial draft of the poem published as "The Mississippi at Midnight" on March 6, 1848, in the New Orleans Daily Crescent . A revised version of the poem, titled "Sailing the Mississippi at Midnight," was later included in Specimen Days & Collect (1882–1883). Whitman left for New Orleans in February, 1848, so this manuscript was almost certainly written in that month. Draft lines on the back of this manuscript leaf (nyp.001066) also probably relate to the poem eventually titled "Sailing the Mississippi at Midnight."

  • Whitman Archive Title: I last winter observed the
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00022
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . Sculley Bradley and Harold W. Blodgett suggest that the mention of a "wild-drake" may connect this scrap to the line about a "wood-drake" in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself" ( Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition , ed. Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley [New York: New York University Press, 1965]). However, nothing else about the words in this manuscript suggest a connection to that line. The appearance of the paper, ink, and the letter forms do correspond with those in other pre-1855 manuscripts.

  • Whitman Archive Title: To pass existence is so
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00052
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . The draft line is similar in subject to lines used in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." The numbering, paper, and ink are also similar to other manuscripts that feature lines that appeared in that poem. On the reverse are lines that were possibly also written as part of the process for the creation of that poem (see nyp.00732).

  • Whitman Archive Title: What would it bring you
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00732
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . Although these lines do not appear in the versions of the poems included in that edition, the numbering, paper, and ink are similar to other manuscripts with lines used in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself."" A draft line of poetry written on the back of this manuscript (nyp.00052) also may relate to that poem.

  • Whitman Archive Title: there are leading moral truths
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00019
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript around 1855. Based on the handwriting and the size of the scrap, Edward Grier dates it to the 1850s, though he also notes that an archival notation on the mounting page next to the manuscript dates it to 1870 ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 6:2140). Wording and ideas in the manuscript bear some resemblance to sentences in "Walt Whitman and His Poems," a review Whitman wrote of the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . The review was published in The United States Review in September, 1855. It was also part of a series of reviews printed separately and included in some copies of the 1855 edition.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem of the Ancient
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00039
  • Date: probably before 1867
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Notes toward a poem on the "earth," "heavens," and "the Ancient." On the verso are some numbers and calculations. No image of the verso is available.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Tar, turpentine, shingles
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00037
  • Date: about 1860
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Notes, probably toward a poem, mentioning building materials from North Carolina, slaves driving carts, a lumber boat, and a pack of dogs ready for a slave hunt.

  • Whitman Archive Title: As the turbulence of the
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00025
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1860
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: The echo of the phrase "vegetables and minerals" in the third poem of the first edition of Leaves of Grass (1855) suggests the possibility that Whitman drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s, as he was composing the poems that were published there. It is also possible, however, that the manuscript is unrelated to the first edition and was written during a slightly later period.

  • Whitman Archive Title: [222—No.—(? Have you supplied]
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00028
  • Date: 1850-1860
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Two scraps of paper, pasted together to form one leaf. The relation of this manuscript to Whitman's published work is unclear.

  • Whitman Archive Title: The fester of defeat sharper
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00023
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . The last few lines of the manuscript are drafts of lines used in the first poem of that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Speaking of literary style
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00532
  • Date: Around 1855
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: A prose fragment with notes about poetry, in which Whitman quotes Voltaire. The prose has no known connection to Whitman's published work. On the reverse are poetic lines, some of which appeared slightly revised in the poem eventually titled "Song of Myself."

  • Whitman Archive Title: In the present state of
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00061
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: A phrase from this manuscript appears, slightly revised, in a review written by Whitman of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass . that Whitman wrote for the Brooklyn Daily Times . The review appeared unsigned in the August 29, 1855, issue of the Brooklyn Daily Times . The date of the manuscript is therefore probably before or early in 1855.

  • Whitman Archive Title: The power by which the
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00029
  • Date: Before or early in 1855
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: The imagery of this manuscript is echoed in several other manuscripts, as well as in a line of the opening poem of the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass —the poem eventually titled "Song of Myself" (see "you know how" [loc.00142], "I know a rich capitalist" [nyp.00129], and "the crowds naked in the" [nyp.00733]). These relationships suggest that this manuscript dates to early in 1855 or before. Edward Grier has observed that "the writing suggests a date in the 1850s" (see Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:136).

  • Whitman Archive Title: Superb and infinitely manifold as
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00063
  • Repository Title: Holograph notes for lectures and poems; 12 notes written on 14 pieces of paper, unsigned, undated.
  • Date: Before or early in 1855
  • Genre: prose, poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . The discussion of the vastness of time and space is similar to a passage from the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." The manuscript includes the phrase "countless octillions of the cubic leagues of space," while a phrase from the version of the poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass reads "a few octillions of cubic leagues, do not hazard the span" (51). Whether or not this manuscript contributed directly to the poem, the similarity suggests that the manuscript was written before or early in 1855. Edward Grier includes two additional sentences in his transcription of this manuscript that are taken from Richard Maurice Bucke's Notes and Fragments (see Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:161). However, the source of Bucke's transcription have not been found and there is no evidence that the sentences were ever associated with the present manuscript.

  • Whitman Archive Title: I heat the hot cores
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00088
  • Repository Title: I heat the hot cores within
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript between 1850 and 1855, as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . Words and imagery from the manuscript are similar to lines in the first poem of that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." The manuscript has been pasted down, so an image of the back of the leaf is unavailable.

  • Whitman Archive Title: I shall venerate hours and
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00089
  • Repository Title: I shall venerate hours and days
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Whitman likely drafted this manuscript between 1850 and 1855, as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . Some of the language in the manuscript is similar to language in the first poem of that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." On the back of this manuscript is another poetry draft (nyp.00742) .

  • Whitman Archive Title: Why should I subscribe money
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00742
  • Repository Title: Why should I subscribe money, to build some hero’s statue?
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1860
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Whitman may have drafted this manuscript between 1850 and 1855, as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . Language in the manuscript bears some similarity to language in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled Song of Myself. A poetry draft on the back of this manuscript (nyp.00089) may also relate to Song of Myself.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Enter into the thoughts of
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00112
  • Repository Title: Enter into the thoughts of the different theological faiths
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: prose, poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: This manuscript was likely written between 1850 and 1855, when Whitman was preparing materials for the first edition of Leaves of Grass . The idea of "[e]nter[ing] into the thoughts of the different theological faiths" described in this manuscript probably connects to the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." Whitman also used the term "koboo" in that poem. Gary Schmidgall glosses the term "koboo" as referring to "a native of Sumatra," and Andrew Lawson has noted that Whitman apparently picked up the reference from a book by Walter M. Gibson, an American adventurer ( Walt Whitman, Selected Poems, 1855–1892 , ed. Gary Schmidgall [New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1999], 488; Walt Whitman and the Class Struggle [Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2006], 91). The manuscript is pasted down, so an image of the reverse is not available.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Describing the death of nine
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00113
  • Repository Title: Describing the death
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This manuscript bears some similarity to lines from the poem eventually titled "Song of Myself." The handwriting and ink of this manuscript are very similar to the handwriting and ink on the back (nyp.00511), which features draft lines of the same poem. The date of both is therefore likely before or early in 1855.

  • Whitman Archive Title: I can tell of the
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00511
  • Repository Title: I can tell of the long besieged city
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This manuscript was probably written between 1850 and 1855, when Whitman was preparing materials for the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . The lines in this manuscript are similar to lines used in the first poem of that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." On the back is a prose draft (nyp.00113), also possibly related to "Song of Myself."

  • Whitman Archive Title: undulating
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00116
  • Repository Title: undulating swiftly merging from womb to birth
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . Language in the manuscript is similar to lines that appeared in the fifth poem in that edition, later titled "I Sing the Body Electric." The discussion of the speed of the stars in this manuscript bears some resemblance to lines in the poem ultimately titled "Song of Myself." For further discussion of the relationship between this manuscript and the 1855 Leaves of Grass , see Kenneth M. Price, "The Lost Negress of 'Song of Myself' and the Jolly Young Wenches of Civil War Washington," in Leaves of Grass: The Sesquicentennial Essays , ed. Susan Belasco, Ed Folsom, and Kenneth M. Price (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2007), 229–30. The manuscript has been pasted down, so an image of the reverse is not currently available.

  • Whitman Archive Title: (Poem) Shadows
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00119
  • Repository Title: (Poem) ? Reflections Shadows
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1865
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: This manuscript may have been written between 1850 and 1855, when Whitman was preparing materials for the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . The description of the plate-glass windows on Broadway bears some resemblance to a description in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." This manuscript also bears a distant resemblance to a discussion of "shadows" in the poem later titled "There Was a Child Went Forth." It is also possible that the manuscript was written later, however: the description of Broadway in these lines also closely resembles a description Whitman wrote in his unfinished poem known as "The Two Vaults," a poem that is recorded in a New York notebook (loc.00348) that probably dates to the early 1860s. Whitman also wrote about Broadway elsewhere in later poems, so the manuscript may have been written still later. The manuscript has been pasted down, so an image of the back of the leaf is currently unavailable.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Loveblows
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00122
  • Repository Title: Loveblows Loveblossoms
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Several words from this manuscript ("loveroot," "silkthread," "crotch," and "vine") were used in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , in the poem that was later titled "Song of Myself." Other lines and words became part of the opening lines of "Broad-Axe Poem" and "Bunch Poem" in the 1856 edition (later titled "Song of the Broad-Axe" and "Spontaneous Me"). The date of the manuscript is therefore probably before or early in 1855. This manuscript is pasted down, so an image of the back of the leaf is currently unavailable.

  • Whitman Archive Title: I admire a beautiful woman
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00125
  • Repository Title: I admire a beautiful woman
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Based on the paper and ink, which are similar to those used in other early manuscripts, Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . On the back of this manuscript (nyp.00735) is a partial draft of "Memorial in Behalf of a Freer Municipal Government, and Against Sunday Restrictions," printed in the Brooklyn Star on October 20, 1854.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Have you known that your
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.nyp.00095
  • Repository Title: Have you known that your limbs must not dangle
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1860
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: This manuscript bears some similarity in subject to the poem that became "Who Learns My Lesson Complete," though there does not appear to be any specific contribution of lines or phrases. In his transcription of this manuscript, Richard Maurice Bucke combined it with three other manuscripts: see nyp.00097, uva.00283, and uva.00134 ( Notes and Fragments [London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899], 28–29). Though the subject matter is similar, the manuscripts do not appear to be continuous. The manuscript has been pasted down, so an image of the back of the leaf is unavailable.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Remember how many pass their
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.nyp.00097
  • Repository Title: Remember how many pass their whole lives
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1860
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: This manuscript bears some similarity in subject to the poem that became "Who Learns My Lesson Complete," though there does not appear to be any specific contribution of lines or phrases. In his transcription of this manuscript, Richard Maurice Bucke combined it with three other manuscripts: see nyp.00095, uva.00283, and uva.00134 ( Notes and Fragments [London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899], 28–29). Though the subject matter is similar, the manuscripts do not appear to be continuous. The manuscript has been pasted down, so an image of the back of the leaf is unavailable.

  • Whitman Archive Title: born at all is equally
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00100
  • Repository Title: born at all is equally wonderful
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Whitman revised this poetic fragment and used it in "Who Learns My Lesson Complete?" a poem that was untitled when it first appeared as the eleventh poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass . On the reverse (nyp.00734) is a list of words that Whitman might have used in composing two of the other poems for that edition.

  • Whitman Archive Title: airscud
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00734
  • Repository Title: Loveaxles
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript between 1850 and 1855, as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . This list of words may have been brainstorming for lines that appeared in the first and fifth poems of that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself" and "I Sing the Body Electric." On the reverse (nyp.00100) is a fragment related to the poem eventually titled "Who Learns My Lesson Complete?"

  • Whitman Archive Title: I say that if once
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00101
  • Repository Title: I say that if once
  • Date: 1850s
  • Genre: prose, poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: The paper and ink, as well as the appearance of a transcription of this manuscript along with transcriptions of other early manuscripts in the "Notes on the Meaning and Intention of 'Leaves of Grass'" section of Notes and Fragments (1899), edited by Richard Maurice Bucke, suggest Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the 1850s. Bucke's transcription concludes with the following words, which do not currently appear on the manuscript: "where they fail of themselves" (55). In The Regenerate Lyric (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), Elisa New attributes the manuscript to "the period when the first drafts of Leaves of Grass were taking shape" (112). An image of the back of the leaf is not currently available.

  • Whitman Archive Title: I ask nobody's faith
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00102
  • Repository Title: I ask nobody's faith
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . The paper and ink are similar to that used for other early poetry manuscripts, and the lines bear a distant resemblance to ideas used in the poem eventually titled "Song of Myself." In his transcription of this manuscript, Richard Maurice Bucke combines it with "Do I not prove myself" (uva.00251.html), but the manuscripts do not appear to be continuous ( Notes and Fragments [London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899], 25).

  • Whitman Archive Title: something that presents the sentiment
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00110
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1856
  • Genre: prose, poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: A line in this manuscript appears in a long manuscript poem unpublished in Whitman's lifetime, titled "Pictures." The first several lines of that poem were revised and published as "My Picture-Gallery" in The American in October 1880. The notes written in ink on this manuscript probably relate to the poem that was eventually titled "Salut au Monde!" first published as "Poem of Salutation" in the 1856 edition of Leaves of Grass . The earlier lines written in pencil may relate to the sixth poem in the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass , eventually titled "Faces." These connections suggest the manuscript was probably written in the early to mid-1850s. The manuscript is pasted down, so an image of the reverse is not currently available.

  • Whitman Archive Title: just as much here directly
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00735
  • Repository Title: just as much here directly at our doors
  • Date: 1854
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This manuscript is a partial draft of "Memorial in Behalf of a Freer Municipal Government, and Against Sunday Restrictions," a public letter printed in the Brooklyn Star on October 20, 1854. Whitman probably drafted the manuscript shortly before the piece was published. Three draft lines of poetry are written on the back of the manuscript (nyp.00125).

  • Whitman Archive Title: What would it bring you
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00017
  • Date: about 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Two lines of poetry with no known connection to Whitman's published work. On the reverse of the scrap is a single unidentified line of poetry, heavily revised.

  • Whitman Archive Title: [Iron works]
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00021
  • Date: 1855–1856
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Prose notes and poetic lines that relate to "A Song for Occupations," which first appeared in the 1856 edition of Leaves of Grass , under the title "Poem of the Daily Work of the Workmen and Workwomen of These States." The title of this poem shifted throughout the editions of Leaves of Grass , and included the following variants: "Chants Democratic," "The Workingmen," and "Carol of Occupations." Whitman finally settled on the title, "A Song for Occupations," in the 1881–1882 edition. The line, "The forge-fires in the mountains...the men around, feeling the melt with huge crowbars" appeared slightly revised in both early and late versions of this poem. Other ideas detailed in the prose portion of this manuscript can be found in this poem; however, the connection of this manuscript to Whitman's published prose work is unclear.

  • Whitman Archive Title: A Child's Reminiscence
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00005
  • Box: Cased.
  • Date: about 1859
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 19 leaves, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37
  • Content: Printer's copy of the poem "A Child's Reminiscence," which appeared in the New-York Saturday Press on 24 December 1859. This poem later appeared as "A Word Out of the Sea" in Leaves of Grass (1860); as "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" in "Sea-Shore Memories," Passage to India (1871); and finally in "Sea Drift," Leaves of Grass (1881–82).

  • Whitman Archive Title: [growing]
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00014
  • Date: about 1859
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Five lines of the poem "I Saw in Louisiana a Live Oak Growing." This poem is part of the "Calamus" cluster, which Whitman began assembling in the summer of 1859. The reverse features a note by the poet to himself, describing the poems as "A Cluster of Poems, Sonnets expressing the thoughts, pictures, aspirations &c Fit to be perused during the days of the approach of Death."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Walt Whitman's Poem
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00528
  • Date: 1859
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: A draft of a notice for "A Child's Reminiscence," a poem which first appeared in the 24 December 1859 issue of the New-York Saturday Press . This manuscript is catalogued with other "advance notices" of "A Child's Reminiscence" that do not seem to have appeared in print, though Whitman indicated with which periodical each of them would be placed. "Walt Whitman's Poem" appeared—as Whitman himself notes on the manuscript—"under editorial head Saturday Press Dec 24."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Sea Winrows
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00033
  • Date: between 1860 and 1881
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: A list of words probably related to the poem "As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life," originally published as "Bardic Symbols" in the Atlantic Monthly 5 (April 1860). The final version of the poem was published in Leaves of Grass (1881-82). The verso features the words "Sands and Drifts."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Broadway, 1861.
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00004
  • Box: Oversized (+).
  • Date: around 1861
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Lightly revised handwritten copy of a poem titled "Broadway, 1861," which is unrelated to the poem "Broadway" that Whitman published in the New York Herald in 1888. Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley note the similarity of "Broadway, 1861" to the opening poem of Drum-Taps, "First O Songs for a Prelude, " particularly "in its theme of the arousing of the energies of the great city—and of the nation—to the war." They also note this similarity in the two poems composed on the reverse of this leaf, "I Too Am Drawn . . ." and "I Have Lived . . ."

  • Whitman Archive Title: My own visits and distributions
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00060
  • Date: 1863–1864
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 4 leaves, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
  • Content: A draft of Civil War prose that Whitman later cannibalized and used in various published pieces about the war. Though this manuscript was not printed as a complete prose piece, it appears to be an early draft of "Our Wounded and Sick Soldiers," first published in the 11 December 1864 issue of The New-York Times . Whitman reprinted parts of "Our Wounded and Sick Soldiers" in "'Tis But Ten Years Since," New York Weekly Graphic (14 February 1874, 28 February 1874, and 7 March 1874); in various places in Memoranda During the War (1876); and in various places in Specimen Days (1882). The verso of the final leaf contains a cancelled letter in Whitman's hand, recommending him for employment as a government clerk.

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