Walt Whitman’s Birth-day

Walt Whitman was born on this day, May 31st, 1819, at West Hills, Huntington, Long Island.

[Walt Whitman’s birthplace – Photograph courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C]

Later on in his life:

“After more than forty years’ absence, the author of Leaves of Grass, and founder of this paper [sic] has been visiting our town the past week in company with Dr. R. M. Bucke, of London, Canada, who is engaged in writing a life of “the good gray Poet.” They put up at the Huntington House, and spent several days in calls and explorations at West Hills, on and around the old Whitman homestead and farm (now owned and occupied by Philo R. Place), and also down to the house where, in 1819, Walt was born (the farm now of Henry Jarvis), and the adjacent parts of the country for several miles. They were especially interested in the old Whitman burial hill and cemetery, containing the poet’s ancestors for many generations, dating more than two hundred years back, with its rows of ancient moss covered graves. The poet and Dr. Bucke also went over to the Van Velsor homestead, adjacent to Cold Spring, the birthplace of Mr. Whitman’s mother, Louisa, daughter of Major Cornelius Van Velsor. The house, barn, and other buildings were all gone and the ground ploughed over. But about a hundred rods off was the old Van Velsor burial ground, on a hill in the woods, and one of the most significant and picturesque spots of the kind it is possible to conceive.”

[Walt Whitman’s mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman]

Happy Birthday Walt Whitman!

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