Catalogs of Manuscripts at Individual Repositories

Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the George S. Hellman Collection, The Library of Congress

Original finding aid completed by the Library of Congress; 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, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Title: Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the George S. Hellman Collection, The Library of Congress

MS Number: N/A

Creator:  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892

Repository:  Manuscripts Division, The Library of Congress

This catalog was created, in part, from digital images of the original manuscripts obtained by The Walt Whitman Archive. The original papers and finding aid are held at the Library of Congress.

Scope and Content: 
The George S. Hellman Collection holds several Whitman items including rough drafts for poems, essays and a memorial address about Abraham Lincoln, as well as newspaper clippings and hospital notes. For this catalog, only those objects deemed literary manuscripts have been described at the item-level.

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: A terrible day & night
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00097
Date: 1869–1876
Genre: prose, poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten, printed
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Comprised of a clipping featuring text reprinted from the chapter "Triumph of the Wing. The Frigate Bird" in Jules Michelet's The Bird and a printed copy of Whitman's "To the Man-of-War-Bird," both of which have been pasted to the back of a letter fragment that Whitman received from T. W. H. Rolleston. This manuscript includes prose notes in Whitman's hand. These notes describe the basic narrative structure of "The Man-of-War-Bird," a poem published in the London Anthenæum (1 April 1876). Reprinted as "Thou Who Hast Slept All Night Upon the Storm" in the Philadelphia Progress (16 November 1878) and as "To the Man-of-War-Bird" in Leaves of Grass (1881–1882 and 1891–1892). As Whitman acknowledged when it appeared in the Progress, the poem owes much to Michelet's work, particularly to the English translation of The Bird, first published in 1868.

Whitman Archive Title: My Own Poems
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00096
Date: undated
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, 25.5 x 12.5 cm, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Rough draft of a poem entitled "My Own Poems." This draft was published posthumously as "My Own Poems."

Whitman Archive Title: To the Soul
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00113
Date: about 1874
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, 19.5 x 12.5 cm, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: These lines appear to be very early ideas connected with the poem first published as "Come, said my Soul" in the Christmas number of the New York Daily Graphic, December 1874, then in the New York Tribune, February 19, 1876. This poem, signed by Whitman, became the title-page epigraph of Leaves of Grass, 1876 and 1891-92. The verso is blank.

Whitman Archive Title: Union Union!
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00095
Date: undated
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, 23.5 x 13 cm, Handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Experimental lines and phrases for a poem, beginning "Union Union!" and bearing an unknown relationship to Whitman's published work. On the verso is a title reading "Old Time Gleanings" with the subtitle "Reminiscences, Gossip, Traditions, &c. of the Delaware river, Camden, and New Jersey generally."

Whitman Archive Title: Ward K Armory Sq. Hosp
Whitman Archive ID: loc.05508
Date: about 1864
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 2 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Content: This diary entry is reflected in the section of November Boughs (1888) called "Last of the War Cases." The entry for May 6, 1864, mentions a Cunningham from Ohio, most certainly the Oscar Cunningham from this diary page. "Last of the War Cases" was first published as "Army Hospitals and Cases. Memoranda At the Time, 1863–66" in Century Magazine (October 1881), and was later included in Complete Prose Works (1892).

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:

The Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division
Room LM101, James Madison Building
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4680


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