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Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

Original records created by The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York; revised and expanded by the Walt Whitman Archive and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Encoded Archival Description completed with the assistance of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the University of Nebraska Research Council, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Title: Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

Collection Number: N/A


Creator:  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892


Repository:  The Pierpont Morgan Library

Abstract:
This catalog was created from the original finding aid and digital images of the original manuscripts obtained by The Walt Whitman Archive. The original papers and finding aid are held at The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.

Scope and Content: 
The Pierpont Morgan Library holds several Whitman items, including letters, poetry manuscripts, prose manuscripts, and pages from one of Whitman's diaries written during the Civil War. The library also holds letters and manuscripts by other authors (including John Burroughs, John Updike, and D. H. Lawrence) concerning Whitman and his work. This catalog describes at the item level only documents by Whitman deemed poetry or prose manuscripts.

Biographical Information:
For additional biographical information, see "Walt Whitman," by Ed Folsom and Kenneth M. Price, and the chronology of Whitman's Life.

Subjects:
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892;  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892--Manuscripts; Poets, American--19th century



Whitman Archive Title: 2d Preface to As a Strong Bird
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00003
Repository Title: Second preface to 'As a strong bird': autograph manuscript
Repository ID: MA 4500
Date: about 1876
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: A brief prose note headed "2d Preface to As a Strong Bird." On June 26, 1872, Whitman presented the poem "As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free" for the Dartmouth College commencement, and it appeared in print that same date in both the New York Herald and the Washington Evening Post. Whitman published it later that year as the title poem in a small book, As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free: and Other Poems (1872). The title was later revised to "Thou Mother with Thy Equal Brood" when it was included in Leaves of Grass in 1881–1882. Though this prose draft may have been intended as a second preface to the poem before its title revision in 1881, portions of this manuscript were first used in an essay titled, "Preface," which appeared at the beginning of Two Rivulets, the second volume of the "Centennial Edition" of Leaves of Grass (1876). The title was later changed to "Preface, 1876, to the two-volume Centennial Edition of L. of G. and 'Two Rivulets.'" In the top left corner Whitman has written "Waves in the Vessel's Wake," a title that was used in manuscript for the poem published first as "In the Wake Following" in 1874 and as "After the Sea-Ship" in 1876.



Whitman Archive Title: After certain disastrous campaigns
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00006
Repository Title: After certain disastrous campaigns: autograph poem
Repository ID: MA 518.3
Date: about 1862
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A poem unpublished in Whitman's lifetime, "After Certain Disastrous Campaigns" was published first in The Uncollected Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman (ed. Emory Holloway. Garden City, N.Y., Toronto: Doubleday, Page and Company, 1921). The manuscript shows that Whitman originally considered the title "Answer me, year of repulses," which is also the first line of the poem.



Whitman Archive Title: Ah, not that granite dead and cold!
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00010
Repository Title: Washington's Monument, February, 1885: autograph manuscript drafts of the poem
Repository ID: MA 931 (C)
Date: about 1885
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: A late draft of the poem originally published as "Ah, Not This Granite Dead and Cold" in the Philadelphia Press on February 22, 1885. It would later be reprinted as "Washington's Monument, February, 1885" in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). This draft is the latest of the four drafts of this poem held at the Pierpont Morgan Library (the others are pml.00009, pml.00005, and pml.00001). An image of the verso is currently unavailable.



Whitman Archive Title: Ah, not this granite dead and cold
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00001
Repository ID: MA 627
Date: about 1885
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Draft of the poem originally published as "Ah, Not This Granite Dead and Cold" in the Philadelphia Press on February 22, 1885. It would later be reprinted as "Washington's Monument, February, 1885" in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). This is a later draft than pml.00005 and pml.00009. An image of the verso is currently unavailable.



Whitman Archive Title: American Poets
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00057
Repository Title: American poets: autograph manuscript
Repository ID: MA 518.2
Date: 1850–1891
Genre: prose
Physical Description: , handwritten
View images: 1
Content: A partial draft of "Old Poets," first published in North American Review (November 1890). It was reprinted under the title, "Old Poets and the New Poetry" in Pall Mall Gazette (17 November 1890), before it appeared in Good-Bye My Fancy (1891) and again in Complete Prose Works (1892).



Whitman Archive Title: Beyond this granite dead and cold
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00005
Repository ID: MA 931.1
Date: 1885
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Draft of the poem originally published as "Ah, Not This Granite Dead and Cold" in the Philadelphia Press on February 22, 1885. It would later be reprinted as "Washington's Monument, February, 1885" in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). This draft (a later draft than pml.00009 but earlier than pml.00001) is written on a piece of paper with an envelope pasted at the bottom, postmarked February 18, 1885.



Whitman Archive Title: Death of Longfellow
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00060
Repository Title: Death of Longfellow: Camden, N.J.: autograph manuscript
Repository ID: MA 1337
Date: 1882
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 5 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Content: "Death of Longfellow" first appeared in the 8 April 1882 issue of The Critic, a literary magazine founded in 1881 by Jeanette L. Gilder and Joseph B. Gilder. This piece was reprinted in Essays from "The Critic" (1882), alongside pieces by figures such as John Burroughs and Edmund C. Stedman. Whitman included "Death of Longfellow" in Specimen Days (1882–1883) as well as Complete Prose Works (1892).



Whitman Archive Title: Ethiopia saluting the colors
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00004
Repository ID: MA 518.1
Date: between 1867 and 1871
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 2 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Content: A two-page draft of "Ethiopia Saluting the Colors," which was first published in the 1871 edition of Leaves of Grass. Whitman had written the poem several years earlier and submitted it for publication in the Galaxy in 1867, under the title "Ethiopia Commenting." The poem was accepted by the Galaxy but never published. The poem was slightly revised after its 1871 printing before being included in the "Drum-Taps" cluster of the 1881 edition of Leaves. The placement of commas and dashes, as well as the inclusion of numbered sections, suggest that this particular draft was written sometime between 1867 and 1871 (the numbered sections were not included in the 1881 version). The second page of the draft shows two versions of stanza four, one written on the page and another on a separate slip of paper that Whitman pasted over the first as a revision.



Whitman Archive Title: O Captain! My Captain!
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00002
Repository ID: MA 1212
Date: 27 April 1890
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: "O Captain! My Captain!" was written in response to the death of Abraham Lincoln and first published on November 4, 1865 in the New-York Saturday Press. It would later be reprinted in Sequel to Drum-Taps (1865) and then again, with slight revisions, in Passage to India (1871) and Leaves of Grass (1881-82). This particular manuscript was written out by Whitman for Dr. S. Weir Mitchell (a prominent author and doctor) at the request of Horace Howard Furness, for the amount of one-hundred dollars. A note on the back of the manuscript in Mitchell's hand says, "To give Walt a little money I offered for a gentleman 100$ for an autograph copy of My Captain—I pin it to Furness note April 1890." This manuscript differs slightly from the first printing, but agrees with that in Leaves of Grass, 1881-82, with one exception: In the penultimate line, Whitman has probably mistakenly written "dead" instead of "deck."



Whitman Archive Title: Starry Union
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00007
Repository ID: MA 518.4
Date: about 1876
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A draft of a poem unpublished in Whitman's lifetime but existing in various draft states, including one with the same title in the T. E. Hanley Collection at the University of Texas and another, titled "Hands Ro[und]," in the Trent Collection at Duke University. The precise date of composition is unknown, but Whitman very possibly wrote this piece for the Centennial Celebration of 1876, as the date of the letter on the reverse ("Feb 11/76") suggests.



Whitman Archive Title: Thou vast Rondure, swimming in space
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00084
Repository Title: Thou vast rondure, swimming in space: autograph manuscript poem signed
Repository ID: MA 8645
Date: about 1868
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 2 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A fair copy of a poem titled, "Thou vast Rondure, swimming in space," that Whitman attempted to publish in several venues, to no avail. In December 1868 Whitman sent a copy of this poem to John Morley, then editor of the Fortnightly Review. Morley replied that he could not print the poem until April. For the solicitation to the Fortnightly Review, see Whitman's December 17, 1868 letter to Morley. On 20 January 1869, Whitman sent the poem to James T. Fields at the Atlantic Monthly. Unaccountably, the poem did not appear in print. Parts of the poem were reworked and first published as section five of "Passage to India" (1871). A facsimile of this manuscript appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 26 October 1911. For more on the publication history of "Thou vast Rondure, swimming in space," see Joann P. Krieg, "Holograph Manuscript of 'Thou Vast Rondure' Comes to Light On Long Island," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 5 (Summer 1987), 32-36.



Whitman Archive Title: [In general civilization]
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00008
Repository ID: MA 517
Date: about 1890
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Eighteen lines of prose in Whitman's hand, beginning "In general civilization" and concerning the formation of a "National Literature," written in pencil with corrections in purple crayon. This is a draft of the essay Whitman later published as "American National Literature" in Good-Bye My Fancy (1891). It is laid in one of Whitman's diaries of the war. The draft is composed on the inside of an envelope addressed to "Walt Whitman, Esq., Camden, N.J., Oct. 9(?), 1890" from the North American Review.



Whitman Archive Title: [New York State furnished]
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00087
Repository Title: Fragments from his Civil War diary: autograph manuscript
Repository ID: MA 517
Date: 1863–1868
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 25 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25
Content: A manuscript draft of "Army Hospitals and Cases: Memoranda at the Time, 1863–1866," Century Illustrated Magazine (October 1888), a publication which incorporates material from the "'Tis but Ten Years Since" series (specifically the fourth through the sixth papers, which appeared in the New York Weekly Graphic on 21, 28 February, and 7 March 1874, respectively) and Memoranda During the War (1875–1876). However, this manuscript does not seem to have contributed directly to this earlier series of articles or to Memoranda. This manuscript seems to be composed of selections from a Civil War journal that Whitman compiled in preparation for the Century piece, and which he also used in letters sent to his mother during the war. "Army Hospitals and Cases" was revised as "Last of the War Cases" in November Boughs (1888) before it appeared in Complete Prose Works (1892).



Whitman Archive Title: [Thou, Washington, art the worlds]
Whitman Archive ID: pml.00009
Repository ID: MA 931 (B)
Date: about 1885
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: An early draft of the poem originally published as "Ah, Not This Granite Dead and Cold" in the Philadelphia Press on February 22, 1885. It would later be reprinted as "Washington's Monument, February, 1885" in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). This draft, written on both sides of a thin leaf of paper, is the earliest of the four drafts of this poem held at the Pierpont Morgan Library (the others are pml.00005, pml.00001, and pml.00010).




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Repository Contact Information:

The Pierpont Morgan Library
29 East 36th Street
New York, NY 10016-3490


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