In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Progenitors

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: 1850s

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00207

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. 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: Based on the paper and the handwriting, which he compares to that of Whitman's early notebooks, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to the 1850s (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:13).

Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Janel Cayer, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, Kenneth M. Price, and Brett Barney

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Progenitors in the little house on the hill, Cold Spring

Capt. John Williams & Mary Woolley Cold Spring, LI parents of Amy Williams mother's mother


They (Capt. John & Mary) had 8 daughters and two sons—the men ^father & sons all followed the water—were expert sailors—Capt. John was a wonderful man for ^his friends [amiableness?] hospitality good living &c.—[Mary?]Amy, (mother's mother) when he came in from a voyage, would take one child in her arms and another by the hand, and go over the hills afoot to see her father.—He died aboard his vessel in N.Y. Mary ^(mother's grandmother) was washing—the ^when a vessel came up the Harbor with the flag at half-mast.—It brought the corpse;—a neighbor heard the news, came up to the little house on the hill—took the tub and set it away and told the death—Mary had been looking at the vessel with the spy glass.

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