Guide to the Walt Whitman Memorabilia Collection, RG 42

Listed by: Dieter C. Ullrich
Date: June 2003

Date Span:

0.25 cubic feet; 10 items.

Number of Boxes:
1/2 Legal Document Box; 1 oversized folder

Historical or Biographical Sketch:
Walter Whitman was born in West Hills near Huntingdon on Long Island, New York, May 31 1819 and spent some of his youth in Brooklyn. Due to his limited formal education he began his working life as an office boy and was subsequently a printer, journalist, and itinerant schoolteacher around Long Island. He also entered the political fray as a Democrat before moving to New Orleans, back to New York, to St Louis and Chicago writing for various newspapers and journals after 1848. It was in the year 1855 that he emerged onto the American literary scene with a volume of poetry called Leaves of Grass. For many years Whitman continued to add to write poetry. During the American Civil War Whitman served as a clerk in Washington and a nurse (1862-1865) in a volunteer hospital. Whitman suffered a stroke in 1873 and was ordered by his physician to go to the Atlantic and convaless. He made it as far as Camden, New Jersey where he would spend the rest of his life. Whitman died in Camden New Jersey on March 26, 1892.

Scope and Content:
Consists of ten items donated by the family of Charles E. Feinberg, a major collector of Walt Whitman memorabilia, following his death in 1988. Collection contains an advertisement (1888) for Whitman's "Complete Poems and Prose"; an unused envelope with Whitman's return address; a copy of "At the Graveside of Walt Whitman," funeral eulogies printed as a supplement (1892) to "The Conservator"; two framed engravings of Whitman; a guidebook (1956) to a Whitman exhibition in Bucharest, Rumania and four photographic stills of Whitman.

Item list:
Box 1

Return to Special Collections & Archives Homepage