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[199] Dutch ancestry, in 1819. Lowell, W. W. Story, and Charles A. Dana were born in that year, as was also George Eliot. Whitman's father was a carpenter, who “leaned to the Quakers.” There were many children. When little “Walt” --as he was called, to distinguish him from his father, Walter — was four, the family moved to Brooklyn. The boy had scanty schooling, and by the time he was twenty had tried type-setting, teaching, and editing a country newspaper on Long Island. He was a big, dark-haired fellow, sensitive, emotional, extraordinarily impressible.

The next sixteen years were full of happy vagrancy. At twenty-two he was editing a paper in New York, and furnishing short stories to the Democratic review, a literary journal which numbered Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier, Poe, Hawthorne, and Thoreau among its contributors. He wrote a novel on temperance, “mostly in the reading-room of Tammany Hall,” and tried here and there an experiment in free verse. He was in love with the pavements of New York and the Brooklyn ferry-boats, in love with Italian opera and with long tramps over Long Island. He left his position on The Brooklyn Eagle and wandered south to New Orleans. By and by he drifted back 199

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