In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman's Caution

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1856 and 1860

Whitman Archive ID: amh.00009

Source: Amherst College Archives and Special Collections. Transcribed from digital images of the original. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: "Walt Whitman's Caution" was first published as one of the "Messenger Leaves" in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass. The poem was later retitled "To the States." This manuscript was likely composed in the years immediately preceding the poem's first publication in 1860.

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray, Andrew Jewell, Kenneth Price, Brett Barney, Kirsten Clawson, Nick Krauter, Lisa Renfro, and Zach Bajaber

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Walt Whitman's Caution.

To tThe States, or any one of
them, or any city of The
States, Resist much, Obey

Once unquestioning obedience,
once fully enslaved,

Once fully enslaved, no nation,
race, city, of this earth,
ever afterward resumes
its liberty.—

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