Shaping the American Character

Turner’s key “frontier thesis” argues that frontier life shaped the ...


Walt Whitman

Born on Long Island in 1819, Walt Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, and a government clerk. The work of his lifetime was a collection of his poems called Leaves of Grass, first published in 1855 with his own money and revised often over the following decades. In it he sought to reach the common reader with an American epic. He spent the last years of his life crippled and poor, living in near squalor in Camden, New Jersey. He died in 1892, not yet regarded as a poet of world stature, as he is today.