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I know a rich capitalist

  • Whitman Archive Title: I know a rich capitalist
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00129
  • Repository: Catalog of the Literary Manuscripts in The Oscar Lion Collection of Walt Whitman, The New York Public Library
  • Date: Between about 1854 and 1860
  • Genre: prose, poetry
  • Physical Description: 14 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
  • Content: Emory Holloway has pointed out that Whitman's reference to the sinking of the San Francisco indicates that this notebook, "or at least part of it, is later than 1853." He writes that "it was probably begun in 1854" because the "marble church" in the first passage presumably refers to the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, "which was not completed until then." See Holloway, "A Whitman Manuscript," American Mercury 3 (December 1924), 475–480. See also Andrew C. Higgins, "Art and Argument: The Rise of Walt Whitman's Rhetorical Poetics, 1838-1855," PhD diss., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1999; and Edward F. Grier, Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts (New York: New York University Press, 1984), 1:128–135. Of the notebook passages that can be identified with published works, most represent early versions of images and phrases from the 1855 poem eventually titled "Song of Myself." One passage clearly contributed to the 1856 poem later titled "Song of the Open Road." Others are possibly connected to the poems eventually titled "A Song for Occupations" and "Great Are the Myths," both first published in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, and to the preface for that volume. One passage seems to have contributed to the 1860–1861 poem that Whitman later titled "Our Old Feuillage." One passage is similar to a line in a long manuscript poem unpublished in Whitman's lifetime, titled "Pictures". The first several lines of that poem (not including the line in question) were revised and published as "My Picture-Gallery" in The American in October 1880 and then in Leaves of Grass as part of the "Autumn Rivulets" cluster (1881–1882, p. 310). No image of the outside back cover of the notebook is available because it has been stitched into a larger volume.

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