In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: The Oregonese

Creators: Walt Whitman, Unknown

Date: Around 1870

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03400

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from digital images of the original item.Whitman notes that this article is printed from a letter from Oregon, October 1870. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the marginalia and annotations, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Lauren Grewe, Ty Alyea, Matt Cohen, and Nicole Gray


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The Oregoniese are called "webfoots"

from a letter Salem, Oregon Oct. 1870

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"And first and foremost, the people. Webfoots they are called, from a tradition that exists in California and other envious localities, that it rains here sometimes; indeed, that it rains so much that the inhabitants, on the 'natural longing theory,' receive web feet, that they may paddle around comfortably. I believe this to be a slander. But the people, the masses, are out in force. With a population of less than one tenth of that of Wisconsin, with but one little piece of railroad of fifty miles, there are here to day not less than twenty thousand people. From ten, from twenty, from a hundred, from a hundred and fifty miles away, men, women and children are here, in covered wagons, with tents and provisions— they have come up here, some of them having been eight days in making the journey.

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