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Sailing Down the Mississippi at Midnight

  • Whitman Archive Title: Sailing Down the Mississippi at Midnight
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00736
  • Repository: 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
  • 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."

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