In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Brutish human beings

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: 1857

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00085

Source: Papers of Walt Whitman (MSS 3829), Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. Transcribed from digital images of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the marginalia and annotations, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note(s): At one point, this manuscript likely formed part of Whitman's cultural geography scrapbook.

Contributors to digital file: Kevin McMullen


Paste-on | Whitman's Notes on Paste-on | Whitman's Highlighting on Paste-on | Erasure | Overwrite

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Brutish human beings—Wild men—the "koboo."—

Elias Pierson ^(June '57) describes to me a very low kind of human beings he saw in one of the Ladrone islands—they were quite hairy, had a few rags for clothing, and lived in earthen shelters, something like ovens, into which they crawled.—


Capt. Gibson affirms that all his statements in his book are true, and made in good faith. Then the "Koboo," must be so


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THE WILD MEN OF BORNEO.—"At Kenansvill, 24th March, was exhibited the Wild Men of Borneo. They were two in number. About three feet high; weighed between 47 and 50 pounds. Could lift 400 pounds from the floor with ease. Age unknown; supposed to be between 30 and 40. They could not talk. Do you know any thing about them? They are said to have been caught on the island of Borneo, etc. Some contradict it, and say they were raised in this country." We have no data from which to judge, except the statements of the parties interested. We incline to the opinion that they are real Borneoans. *


*What difference does it make whether they were Borneoans or not?—Their brutish nature was certain, and that is enough?

After all, are not the Rocky Mountain and California aborigines quite as bestial a type of humanity as any?—

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