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Topics in Chronicling America - Walt Whitman

Unconventional in his poetry, and in his life, Walt Whitman inspired both love and disgust from the broader public. “The Old Gray Poet” lived out his later life in solitude, but the intrigue surrounding him remained prominent until after his death. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • May 31, 1819. Walt Whitman born, Long Island, NY.
  • March 14 - April 18, 1852. Foreshadowing his magnum opus "Leaves of Grass," Whitman publishers a six part novel, "Life and Adventures of Jack Engle," under a pseudonym in the New York Sunday Dispatch.
  • 1855. Whitman publishes "Leaves of Grass."
  • 1882. District Attorney of Boston places interdict on "Leaves of Grass" on the grounds that it contains obscenities.
  • April 14, 1887. Whitman reads at a lecture remembering Lincoln at Madison Square Theatre.
  • October 21, 1890. Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll gives a lecture at Horticultural Hall in Philadelphia on “Liberty and Literature” for the benefit of Whitman.
  • January 1892. Whitman publishes the final edition of "Leaves of Grass."
  • March 26, 1892. Whitman dies, buried in Camden, NJ.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Walt Whitman, Jack Engle, Good Gray Poet, Leaves of Grass, Camden
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 4, 2017
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