Dinner with Walt

all things Walt Whitman

Dinner with Walt - all things Walt Whitman

March 26, 2013

Today marks the 121st anniversary since Whitman’s death. I have an interesting relic I acquired recently that is fitting for today. It’s Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly from April 14, 1892. The paper contains a small article and a  full page of images: Robert Ingersoll delivering his eulogy; Whitman’s casket in the parlor of his home on Mickle St. and three images of the huge gatherings of people at his funeral service, tomb and outside his home. See this post for more information on Whitman’s death.

 

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March 26, 2012

Today marks the 120th anniversary of Whitman’s death.

 

Horace Traubel’s volume’s of With Walt Whitman in Camden, show in great detail how Whitman was truly in very poor health the last remaining years of his life. He suffered much, but mostly never complained about his situation. In preparing for his own death, Whitman himself drew the plans for his final resting place and commissioned the work to be done on his mausoleum for the very hefty (1892) price of $4,000. (For which he suffered much ridicule).

 

 

 From Wikipedia on Whitman’s death:  “An autopsy revealed his lungs had diminished to one-eighth their normal breathing capacity, a result of bronchial pneumonia, and that an egg-sized abscess on his chest had eroded one of his ribs. The cause of death was officially listed as “pleurisy of the left side, consumption of the right lung, general military tuberculosis and parenchymatous nephritis.” A public viewing of his body was held at his Camden home; over one thousand people visited in three hours and Whitman’s oak coffin was barely visible because of all the flowers and wreaths left for him. Four days after his death, he was buried in his tomb at Harleigh Cemetery in Camden. Another public ceremony was held at the cemetery, with friends giving speeches, live music, and refreshments. Whitman’s friend, the orator Robert Ingersoll, delivered the eulogy. Later, the remains of Whitman’s parents and two of his brothers and their families were moved to the mausoleum.”

 

An 1892 photo of the funeral gathering at Whitman’s tomb:

 

 

I have in my collection a copy of Robert Ingersoll’s eulogy, delivered on March 30, 1892.

 

 

Credits:

Mausoleum Image:  http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/images/ww0062s.jpg

 

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