In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Walter Whitman, of Suffolk co.

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: September 3, 1841

Whitman Archive ID: med.00724

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Florence Bernstein Freedman, Walt Whitman Looks at the Schools (New York: King's Crown Press, 1950), photostat facing page 32. The location of the original visitors' book is unknown. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This note was written by Whitman in a visitors' book for Manhattan Public School #13. Whitman's entry, dated September 3, 1841, is one of several on the page. Whitman evidently visited the school again the following year (see med.00723). Although he lists himself as "of Suffolk co. LI." in this note, and he had worked in Long Island as a school teacher from 1839 to early 1841, Whitman had moved to Manhattan in May 1841 and was writing and working in journalism (Gay Wilson Allen, The Solitary Singer, rev. ed. [Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985], 34–42). In August 1841, he had published a short story about a cruel schoolmaster, "Death in the School-Room," in The Democratic Review.

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

Walter Whitman, of Suffolk co. LI. spent two hours at School No 13 examined the classes in Grammar and Arithmetic and was highly gratified by the promptness and the understanding spirit which [mark'd?] the pupils.—Visitted several schools and upon the whole considers [this?] to be the best managed of any he has seen as yet. Sept 3d—1841


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