Title: The New York Daily Graphic
Creator: Susan Belasco
Publication information: Written for the Walt Whitman Archive. First published on the Archive in 2008.
Whitman Archive ID: per.00107
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang and Susan Belasco
At the beginning of 1873, Whitman suffered a debilitating stroke and just as he was beginning to recover, his mother, Louisa Whitman, died. In many ways, 1873 was the most difficult year of Whitman's life, as he struggled with his health and grief and also with his persistent feeling that he was failing to become a major American poet. But Whitman rallied and continued writing, publishing his poems and prose articles in periodicals, and trying new venues such as the New York Daily Graphic, which was among the first tabloid-format newspapers. The Daily Graphic began publication on March 4, 1873 and ended in 1889 and, from the beginning, was designed for visual appeal to readers. Within the eight pages of the paper were dozens of line drawings (some of them full page illustrations) and political cartoons designed to accompany news articles often printed as a part of regular columns, "Topics of the Day" and "Voices of the Day," which provided news of local crime activity, government corruption, and international events. The paper also published book reviews and notices in a regular column, "Books of the Day," as well as poems and stories. The editor of the New York Daily Graphic, David Goodman Croly, who had served as the city editor of the New York World, was known as a reformer and admired Whitman's work. Whitman published a variety of works in the Daily Graphic, including eight new poems, poems reprinted from earlier publications, "A Christmas Garland of Prose and Verse," and several articles on the Civil War that were eventually a part of Memoranda During the War (1876) and Specimen Days (1882).
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition, ed. Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley (New York: New York University Press, 1965).
George H. Douglas, The Golden Age of the Newspaper (Westport, CT: Greenwood P, 1999).
Alfred McClung Lee, The Daily Newspaper in America (New York: Macmillan Company, 1937).
Jerome Loving, Walt Whitman: The Song of Himself (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).
Frank Luther Mott, A History of American Magazines, 1865-1885. Vol. Volume 3 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1938).
Joel Myerson, Walt Whitman: A Descriptive Bibliography (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993).
Hy B. Turner, When Giants Ruled (New York: Fordham University Press, 1999).
"A Christmas Garland in Prose and Verse," New York Daily Graphic 25 December 1874