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In Washington he lived on a clerk’s salary and modest royalties, and spent any excess money, including gifts from friends, to buy supplies for the patients he nursed.He had also been sending money to his widowed mother and an invalid brother.
In 1855, he finished his seminal work ‘Leaves of Grass’, which consisted of twelve sections.– Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman He published the volume himself and sent a copy to Ralph Waldo Emerson in July of 1855.
Emerson was one of America’s leading writers and free thinkers.
Largely self-taught, he read voraciously, including works by the great classic writers – Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and the Bible.
After a devastating fire in the printing district of New York, Whitman was left without a job, But, in 1836, at the age of 17, he began his career as a teacher in the one-room school houses of Long Island.
In "Chats with Walt Whitman," Gilchrist's daughter, Grace, confirms that Whitman's burial house is a "design he himself chose from Blake's fine engraving of Death's Door" (212).
Alexander Gilchrist's wife, Anne, is a particularly interesting point of contact between Blake and Whitman: she finished , May 1870); corresponded with Whitman for six years before moving to Philadelphia (with three of her children) in 1876; and, from 1876 to 1878, became one of Whitman's dearest friends.
In this broad earth of ours, Amid the measureless grossness and the slag, Enclosed and safe within its central heart, Nestles the seed perfection.”– Song of the Universal, Walt Whitman In the early 1870s, Whitman settled in Camden, where he had come to visit his dying mother at his brother’s house.
However, after suffering a stroke, Whitman found it impossible to return to Washington.
He stayed with his brother until the 1882 publication of gave Whitman enough money to buy a home in Camden.
In the simple two-story clapboard house, Whitman spent his declining years working on additions and revisions to a new edition of the book and preparing his final volume of poems and prose, Famous Americans – Great Americans from the Founding Fathers to modern civil rights activists.