CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
Walt Whitman House
328 Mickle Street
|Camden Courier-Post - June 1, 1933|
400 Friends Pay Homage To 'Good Gray Poet'
just a little street
where old friends meet"
Street where Walt Whitman, the "Good Gray Poet," once lived,
and old friends came back here from near and far yesterday to mingle under the portals of the house in which he wrote his famous
works, on the 114th anniversary of his birth.
was Mrs. Augusta K. Dole, 71, of Metuchen, whose husband has been a sports writer on New York newspapers for
call it a dingy street and some are ashamed to return and say they
lived there," Mrs. Dole said. And with a gesture of the hand she
pointed out the homes of some of neighbors, who became famous.
at 319 Mickle
Street when I was a young lady," she said. "I was
one year old when we moved into the house right across the street from
Whitman. I remember when he lived on Stevens
Street before he moved to Mickle
Knew Whitman Well
lived at the Mickle
about 15 or 16 or 20 years; I knew Whitman well. He always stopped and
exchanged greetings with me. I frequently, saw him on the ferryboats
crossing the rivers.
to take, issue right here with those, who have questioned his
chastity. He was more like Christ than anyone else. I saw him admiring me as a young woman one day
on a ferryboat.”
later I read a description of myself in one of his works. I did not begin to read his work until 30 years
ago. He wrote of the true things in life. He wrote of life as it is
and as we see it. I am glad to come here today at the invitation of
Mrs. Dole sat
in the last chair in which the poet rested before his last illness.
She was introduced to Dr. Alexander MacAlister, who was his personal
physician in his last illness and who is a member of the Walt Whitman
posed with an etching by Lewis Daniel, New York artist, at the Walt
Whitman art gallery, 641 Market
Street. It is one of 14 the young artist drew on "The
Song of the Open Road," Two lines taken from' the book are
sketched under the etching as follows:
earth is crude and incomprehensible at first- Nature is rude and
incomprehensible at first."
400 Visit Home
More than 400
guests visited the home of the poet during the day to be welcomed by
members of the foundation, Mrs.
A. Wolverton, wife of Congressman
Wolverton, was chairman of the reception committee.
Many of the
guests visited the tomb of the poet in Harleigh Cemetery where the door is ajar at his request "that his spirit may come
and go as I choose.'" But no flowers were placed there as he
Born on May
31, 1819, near Huntingdon, Long Island, he had a varied career
as a writer, war correspondent and poet. During the Civil War he ministered the wounded of both
the North and South at Washington. He spent the last 19 years of his
life in Camden, where he died in
Under the bed
in his second story front bed room today is a huge metal bathtub,
which he designed for use in his invalid days. His library, horsehair
furniture, his favorite rocking chair and a cane with which he knocked
on the floor to call his housekeeper.
of his writings, manuscripts and
other works are the property of Miss Ann Harned and Madge Barton Feurer. They are now, at the New
Jerseyanna Exhibition at the State House at Trenton.
New Painting Viewed
painting of Walt Whitman has been completed by Byron T. Connor, of
4320 Manor Avenue, Merchantville, and is now on display at the Hotel
Walt Whitman. The painting was completed in three weeks, so as to be ready for the birthday
Later it will
be moved from the hotel and placed either in the Whitman home or hung in the lobby of the Walt Whitman
daughter of the late Thomas B. Harned, one of Whitman's literary executors; Joseph Praissman and Mrs. Martha
Davis curator of the Whitman home, were members of the anniversary
committee headed by Mrs.
exceptions, members of the Walt Whitman Foundation attended yesterday's program, including Dr. Macalister, chairman; Dr.
Cornelius Weygandt, vice chairman; Mrs. Juliet Lit Stern, Joseph M.
Conover, Mrs. Helen Taft Manning, Mrs. Allen Drew Cook, Mrs. Nicholas
Douty, Dr. Herbert Spencer Harned, J. Frederick Harned, Roy Helton,
William T. Innes, Eldridge R. Johnson, William H. Ketler, Dr. Rufus M.
Jones, former Mayor Victor
King, Oscar Wolf, John Frederick Lewis,
Jr., Dr. Bliss Perry, Harrison S. Morris, Agnes, Repplier, former
Mayor Winfield S.
Price, Vernon Whitman Rich, Dr. J. Duncan Spaeth, Dr. Felix E. Schelling, Dr. Robert E.
Spiller, Mrs. David Abeel Storer, Frederick von Nieda and Ralph W.
Among the visitors was former Assemblyman William H. Iszard, who is secretary of the committee, which acquired the home as a national shrine. Iszard sponsored legislation in the Assembly for its upkeep.
Courier-Post - June 1, 1939
Ralph W. Wescott comments on Walt Whitman
Whitman year in America found new honors and oratorical glory for
Camden's Good Gray Poet, whose 130th birthday anniversary was celebrated
here yesterday under auspices of the Walt Whitman Foundation. Left are
seen Thomas B. Donaldson, who knew Whitman; Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Conover,
and Ralph W. Wescott, member of the foundation. All three were speakers
at the exercises held at headquarters of the Camden County Historical
Whitman Acclaimed as 'International Prophet'
Wescott Recalls Friendship with Poet at Ceremonies Here Marking
120th Anniversary of his birth; Donaldson Tells of Buggy Gift.
by Walter B. Batezel
Acknowledged by the world as the poet of democracy, Camden's own Walt Whitman was acclaimed here yesterday on the 120th anniversary of his birth as the "prophet of a new internationalism."
This interpretation of Whitman and his famous "Leaves of Grass," which introduced free verse to the world and the rugged liberty loving character of America so lustily praised in his songs, was offered by Ralph W. Wescott, of Haddonfield.
Wescott was one of three speakers for the Walt Whitman Foundation which is charged with maintenance of the Whitman home at 330 Mickle street as a literary shrine. Also speaking on Whitman were Thomas, B. Donaldson, Philadelphia insurance man,, who as a boy knew Whitman, and Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Conover, also of Philadelphia.
The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Camden County Historical Society, Euclid Avenue and Park Boulevard. Wescott, former comptroller of customs of the Port of Philadelphia and son of the late Judge John W. Wescott, who was an intimate friend of Whitman in Camden and who twice nominated Woodrow Wilson for the presidency, based his lauding of Whitman as an "international prophet" upon excerpts from Whitman's books.
Urged Universal Freedom
"It is the very catholicity of the man which causes us to celebrate his birthday anniversary," said Wescott. "He has been seen as the precursor of socialism and the completely going anti-socialist."
"We almost shrink from news abroad, and we are bound to consider what Whitman's response would have been. In his poem 'Salutation', I think we find in Whitman the prophecy of a new internationalism, a poem in which he asked for universal freedom against slavery, and called for an international brotherhood."
"It is unique and significant that on this 120th anniversary of Whitman the New York World's Fair acclaims him by statue and adulation, and in 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia Whitman indited a poem addressed to foreign readers in which he directed their attention to 'the peculiar glory of the United States' as something 'vaster, saner, more splendid in comradeship, knitting closer all nations and humanity.'"
"Whitman himself wrote poets were necessary to fulfillment of a world brotherhood because their work was needed to vitalize the message of statesmen.
Preached Good Will
"In the British-written preface to Whitman's 'Specimen Days in America,' which he wrote in Camden and Laurel Springs, there occurred the sentence 'Whitman preached goodwill between common people of all nations. In all the things written of him, Whitman said he liked that description best. "
"So, in Whitman's own words we find the real message, and as expressed in one of his poems, and so which was an obsession with him in his declining days—we instinctively seek a 'universal, comprehensive solidarity of man.' There was no braver or more humanistic American writer than Whitman, nor more humanistic statement for the world than his 'Leaves of Grass.' "
Walt Whitman House
328 Mickle Street
Postcard was published within 15 years of his passing, and is most contemporary picture I've seen to date of the house as it would have looked during the poet's lifetime
|Walt Whitman's home on Mickle Street||Walt
328 Mickle Boulevard
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