Published Works


About this Item

Title: Smiling

Creator: Walt Whitman [unsigned in original]

Date: April 5, 1842

Whitman Archive ID: per.00579

Source: New York Aurora 4 April 1842: [2]. Our transcription is based on a digital image of an original issue. Original issue held at the Paterson Free Public Library, Paterson, NJ. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the journalism, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Jason Stacy, Joey Miles, Jamie Lanman, and Kevin McMullen

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The weather, the flowers, the visiters, and mine host and hostess of Striker's Bay, on Saturday afternoon.1

The same may be said about yesterday afternoon. We were represented there each day. Mack, of Cliff street, fitted us out with an elegant team, with which we rode out to this delightful place, where we saw the great Bamboozle and other distinguished citizens;2 drank a cool lemonade, and then drove home, where we arrived in abundant season to see that the friends of the Aurora were provided with a good paper this morning. This is truly a grand spot, and Corbyn has bestowed all necessary attention, and much good taste in fitting it up.3 We predict that he will do a great and a profitable business this summer.


1. Striker's Bay was a large mansion-house along the Hudson River on what is now Manhattan's Upper West Side. In 1842, however, the area was largely countryside, near the Croton Water Works. An article in the New World described the grounds around the house as abounding in "luxuriant shrubbery, flower trees, plants, etc. and in June, when the roses are in bloom, they rival in beauty the gardens of a Persian Prince," and noted that "[o]f all the beautiful sequestered retreats on the Island of Manhattan, this is the most charming and agreeable for an afternoon ramble" ("Striker's Bay," New World, May 7, 1842: 304). [back]

2. Whitman is likely referring to Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton (1803–1873), the author of a novel titled Zanoni (1842). Whitman accused Lytton of plagiarizing a novel titled Zicci, stating it was the exact same as novel Zanoni. Both novels, however, were written by Lytton. Whitman described the controversy in a number of Aurora editorials. See "The Great Bamboozle!—A Plot Discovered!" March 28, 1842, and "More Humbug," April 4, 1842. [back]

3. Corbyn (first name unknown) was the proprietor and manager of Striker's Bay, as well as the treasurer of New York's Olympic Theater (see "Spring Drives," New York Herald, April 3, 1842: [2], and "Striker's Bay," New World, May 7, 1842: 304). [back]


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