In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: for lect on Literature

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: 1850s or 1860s

Whitman Archive ID: loc.05629

Source: The Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1842–1937, 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Editorial note: Based on the handwriting, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to the 1850s (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 4:1591). This date can be supported by Whitman's interest in oratory and goal of becoming a lecturer in the 1850s, though he also maintained these interests in the 1860s. He explained in a letter to his mother of June 9, 1863: "I think something of commencing a series of lectures & readings &c. through different cities of the north, to supply myself with funds for my Hospital & Soldiers visits." Whitman's meditation on literature and its relation to "Democracy" in this manuscript may have contributed to his essay "Democracy," which appeared in the Galaxy in 1867 and was later incorporated into Democratic Vistas (1871).

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

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for lect. on Literature: or (Democracy)

What are these, called our literary men, poets &c


scintillations at at best of other lands' literary men the literary men & literary needs of other lands—exiles here, &

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