1882 "Song of Myself," Section 35
This line first appeared
in the 1867 edition. (See earlier editions for variants) Whitman's
sources were both the tales told to him by
his maternal grandmother Naomi Van Velsor, whose father, Capt. John
Williams, had served under John Paul Jones, and the account by Jones
himself in a report to Benjamin Franklin and the Continental Congress about the
Sept. 23, 1779 between his BonHomme Richard and the British Serapis
off Flamborough Head. This Letter, printed in Old
Leaflets, is followed by Whitman with close parallelism.
Read John Paul Jones's report
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