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About this Item

Title: Youth's Companion

Creator: Susan Belasco

Whitman Archive ID: per.00172

Source: Written for the Walt Whitman Archive. First published on the Archive in 2008. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the periodical poems, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Susan Belasco, and Kevin McMullen

Despite his illness in the last year of his life, Whitman continued to send poems to magazines, even seeking new venues for his poems. He sent "Ship Ahoy!" to Youth's Companion, the highly regarded weekly magazine for families and children, and recorded in his notebook that he received $15.00 in payment. Established in 1827 by Nathaniel Willis, the journalist and brother of his famous sister, Fanny Fern, the Youth's Companion was an offshoot of a Boston Congregationalist paper, the Recorder. Although there was a strongly religious overtone in the magazine, the Companion was not the organ of any particular church. The Youth's Companion did not cease publication until 1929, and throughout its long history, the magazine attracted a number of first-rate American writers, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lydia Sigourney, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, and William Dean Howells. By the last two decades of the nineteenth century, politicians and educators also wrote for the magazine, including Theodore Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland, and Booker T. Washington. Among the special features for children, such as articles encouraging young writers as well as stories with a pointed moral purpose, the editors always included poetry. Whitman joined Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, and the British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in publishing in the Companion.


Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, 1885–1905. Vol. 4. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1957.

Sedgwick, Ellery. "The Atlantic Monthly." In American Literary Magazines: The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, edited by Edward E. Chielens. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986.

Whitman, Walt. The Correspondence. Edited by Edwin Haviland Miller. Vol. 5. New York: New York University Press, 1977.

Whitman, Walt. Daybooks and Notebooks. Edited by William White. Vol. 2. New York: New York University Press, 1978.

Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition. Edited by Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley. New York: New York University Press, 1965.


"Ship Ahoy!." Youth's Companion, 12 March 1891, 152


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