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About this Item

Title: The Wallabout Martyrs

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: March 16, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: per.00115

Source: New York Herald 16 March 1888: 4. Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of an original issue. 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, April Lambert, and Susan Belasco

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The Wallabout Martyrs.1

[In Brooklyn, in an old vault, marked by no special recognition, lie huddled at this moment the undoubtedly authentic remains of the stanchest and earliest revolutionary patriots from the British prison ships and prisons of the times 1776-83, in and around New York and from all over Long Island; originally buried—many thousands of them—in trenches in the Wallabout sands.]

Greater than memory of Achilles or Ulysses,
More, more by far to thee than the tomb of
Those car loads of old charnel ashes, scales
and splints of mouldy bones,
Once living men—once resolute courage, aspi-
ration, strength,
The stepping stones to thee to-day and here


1. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). [back]


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