In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Free cider

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1860

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00156

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. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This manuscript consists of prose notes about Long Island, potentially related to a piece of journalism that Whitman was considering writing, although the notes contain no known connections to any of his published work. Written at the bottom of the notes are two lines of poetry. The manuscript is written in pencil on both sides of a narrow strip of lined paper, cut from a larger sheet. Based on the handwriting, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to the 1850s (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:320).

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

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Free Cider.—It was customary on Long Island in the country fifty years ago for any one going along with his team, to stop where he knew the place, and without asking any permission to go in and down the cellar, and help himself to cider—Cider was the perpetual drin


Long Island Character.—Draw the Long Island character—different from the New England—the Middle states—or any of the old Southern states.—


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Draw a Portrait of an ordinary "great man" and the ambitions of his life—He is classically education—he is a "perfect gentleman," and associates with "gentlemen."—He goes into "business"—he travels to Europe—is introduced to the courts—he writes a book—perhaps two or three—he is elected to the legislature or Congress—he makes a fortune—he is a well known and highly respected "public character."


You fired the shot—now I bring them back to you

Here are the blows you gave me.—


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