Catalogs of Manuscripts at Individual Repositories

Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the Iowa Historical Museum (Des Moines)

Original records created by the Iowa Historical Museum; revised and expanded by the Walt Whitman Archive and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Encoded Archival Description completed with the assistance of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Title: Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the Iowa Historical Museum (Des Moines)

Collection Number: 

Creator:  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892

Repository:  State of Iowa Historical Museum (Des Moines)

This electronic catalog was created from catalogue records created by the Iowa Historical Museum, and obtained by the Walt Whitman Archive. The original papers and catalogue records are held at the Iowa Historical Museum.

Scope and Content: 
The Iowa Historical Museum holds two Walt Whitman literary manuscripts, described below, as well as a number of letters and several signed photographs.

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

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

Whitman Archive Title: But the time speeds
Whitman Archive ID: ihm.00001
Date: 1875–1886
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten, printed
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Scraps of paper attached to a larger sheet to create one leaf. Together the scraps form a draft fragment of "Abraham Lincoln," a short essay that first appeared as "Dear to Democracy" in Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln (1886), a compilation of essays edited by Allen Thorndike Rice. Though Whitman was not fond of this essay, he reprinted it in November Boughs (1888) before including the final version in Complete Prose Works (1892). For more information on this manuscript, including a complete transcription, see Ed Folsom, "Holograph Page of Whitman's 'Abraham Lincoln,'" Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 5.3 (Winter 1988), 47–48.

Whitman Archive Title: O Captain! My Captain!
Whitman Archive ID: ihm.00002
Date: 1889-1890
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A manuscript copy of "O Captain! My Captain!," with a brief handwritten note at the bottom. On June 12, 1890 Whitman sent this copy, along with a letter, to Charles Aldrich, a former Iowa State Representative and the founder of the Iowa State Historical Department. "O Captain! My Captain!" was originally published in the Saturday Press on November 4, 1865 before ultimately being moved to the "Memories of President Lincoln" cluster of Leaves of Grass (1881-82). For a detailed description of Whitman's connection to Aldrich, see Ed Folsom, "Walt Whitman at Iowa," Books at Iowa 39 (November 1983), 17-37.

Restrictions on Original Materials: Please consult with repository.

Preferred Citation:  To identify this catalog as a source, see the Archive's "Conditions of Use" page.

Repository Contact Information:

State of Iowa Historical Museum
600 East Locust
Des Moines, Iowa 50319


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Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.