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Published Writings


Whitman held an array of roles on various newspapers and magazines from the early 1830s, when he was a printer's apprentice on the Long Island Patriot, until his death in 1892. Over those sixty years, Whitman set type, owned, edited, and wrote for local newspapers, and published both prose and verse in magazines and newspapers. During Whitman's lifetime, more readers encountered his work in periodicals than in any of his books. The recent discovery of lengthier periodical writings—such as the 1852 serialized novel Jack Engle and the 1858 "Manly Health and Training" series—has forced scholars to reassess previous assumptions about when and to what extent Whitman devoted his time to periodical writing, while at the same time reasserting the importance of periodicals to Whitman's career.

The Archive presents page images and transcriptions of Whitman's poems and fiction that appeared for the first time in periodicals. We also offer page images and full-text transcriptions of Whitman's journalism from the Civil War, as well as some of his early journalistic series. In addition, we have recently added transcriptions and page images of editorials likely authored by Whitman during his tenure as editor of the New York Aurora, as well as Whitman's 1858 series "Manly Health and Training." The Civil War journalism, journalistic series, and Aurora editorials appear in the "Editorials and journalistic articles" section below. In addition to writing editorials, Whitman, as editor of various newspapers in the 1830s, '40s, and '50s, was responsible for managerial and editorial decisions related to the papers' content and production. To foreground this distinction between Whitman as writer and Whitman as editor, we have created a separate section of the Archive devoted to Whitman's "Newspaper editing."

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