Walt Whitman

Born: 31 May 1819, West Hills, NY
Died: 26 Mar 1892. Camden, NJ

American Poet

Common Ancestor:
Matthew Marvin
10th Gr Grandfather
of Merle G Ladd
5th Gr Grandfather
of Walt Whitman
Abigail Marvin Matthew Marvin
John Bouton Hannah Marvin
John Bouton Epenetus Platt
Eunice Bouton Hannah Platt
John Fancher Hannah P Brush
Squire Fancher Walter Whitman
Ira Fancher Walt Whitman
Lucilla Fancher  
Douglas C Ladd  
Irving L Ladd  
Allen D Ladd  
Merle G Ladd  
Relationship to Merle G Ladd:
6th Cousin, 5 Times Removed
1819–92, American poet, born in West Hills, N.Y. Considered by many to be the greatest of all American poets, Walt Whitman celebrated the freedom and dignity of the individual and sang the praises of democracy and the brotherhood of man. His Leaves of Grass, unconventional in both content and technique, is probably the most influential volume of poems in the history of American literature.

Whitman spent most of his young life in Brooklyn, where he worked as a printer and newspaper journalist through the 1850s. The first edition of Leaves of Grass was privately printed in 1855 and consisted of 12 untitled poems, one of which was to later become famous as "Song of Myself." His literary style was experimental, a free-verse avalanche in celebration of nature and self that has since been described as the first expression of a distinctly American voice. Although Leaves of Grass did not sell well at first, it became popular in literary circles in Europe and, later, the United States, and Whitman published a total of eight editions during his lifetime. During the Civil War Whitman moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as a civil servant and volunteer nurse. There he published the poetry collections Drum Taps and Sequel to Drum Taps (1865-66), the latter containing his famous elegies for Abraham Lincoln, "Where Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" and "O Captain! My Captain!" In 1873 he was paralyzed after a stroke and moved to Camden, New Jersey. By the time of his death he was an international literary celebrity, and he is considered one of the most influential poets in American literature.