In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: The only way in which

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1845 and 1860

Whitman Archive ID: rut.00023

Source: Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Transcribed from digital images of the original. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: Edward Grier suggests that this manuscript was probably written prior to 1860, noting some similarities in language and sentiment between it and the initial line of No. 4 of the "Thoughts" cluster published first in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:118). The manuscript is held at Rutgers University Library along with several similar manuscripts that are numbered sequentially and probably date from around or before 1855: see "American literature must become distinct," "dithyrambic trochee," "The money value of real," and "ground where you may."

Notes written on manuscript: On leaf 1 recto, in unknown hand: "6"

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

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The only way in which any thing can really be owned, is by the infusion or inspiration of it in the soul.—The ignorant ^Can I dully suppose that they may I may attain to certain possessions,—as houses or stocks or lands or goods; and that such property will be theirs, when they I have paid ^the money and got taken the receipts and warranty deeds,—then such property will be theirs ^mine to enter upon and enjoy.—Yes, may-be as those people stone blind from their birth, enter enjoy the exhibitions of pictures and sculpture.—

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