Walt Whitman






Walt Whitman


















Walt Whitman


Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819 in West Hills, New York. He was a second son in a family of nine. His parents were Walter Whitman, a house builder, and Louisa Van Velsor. His family lived in Brooklyn and Long Island in the years 1820s to 1830s. Whitman started learning the trade of printing by the age of twelve. Due to his reading, he became familiar with the works of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare and the Bible. At the age of 17, he became a teacher at a school in Long Island (Louise, 1906). A fire in the printing district saw the halt of his career as a printer in New York City where he later worked.

He was the founder of the weekly newspaper, Long- Islander. Whitman also worked as an editor for Brooklyn and New York papers. He worked as an editor of New Orleans Crescent in 1848 after exiting from Brooklyn Daily Eagle. In New Orleans, Whitman witnessed slave trade in the city markets. When Whiteman returned to Brooklyn, he founded the Brooklyn Freeman, where he continued with his poetry. He went to copyright the first edition of Leaves of Grass in 1855. After publishing his work in 1856, he sent a copy to Ralph Emerson who had earlier been amazed by the work of this poet. Whitman went on to publish several more editions of the book (Louise, 1906).

Whitman promised to stay away from issues of the Civil War and continued with his journalism. He however visited the wounded in hospitals including his brother who was a soldier in the war. Whitman stayed in New York City to work as a volunteer nurse in the hospitals for eleven years. He was later fired when he worked as a clerk because his boss did not like his book Leaves of Grass. Whitman struggled to survive on his salary and even had to send some money to his mother, a widow, and invalid brother. He bought supplies for the patients from the money he saved from his excess (Louise, 1906).

In 1870, Whitman was forced to settle in Camden, NJ, with his brother after he experienced a stroke. Whitman had come to Camden to visit his mother who was dying. 1882 saw the publication of the book Leaves of Grass, which had good sales. Whitman managed to buy his own house with the money from the sales where he spent his last years. He continued to work on additions and revisions to new editions of books and his final poems, Good-bye and My Fancy in 1891. Whitman died and was buried in a tomb he designed and built in Harleigh cemetery in March 26, 1892. (Louise, 1906).

His Contributions on contemporary Health Care.

Whitman’s main contributions in Health Care are based on the years he worked as volunteer nurse for the wounded during the Civil War. This was through his publications of the issues he experienced during his time at these hospitals. In his publications, the government was able to know the areas that needed improvement to attain proper health care. The government also learnt of the problems faced in these health facilities like the insufficient supplies, qualifications of the health providers and the relationship of the health providers. With this information, the government was able to train its staff, provide enough supplies for the health facilities, maintain hygiene in these health facilities, and train health providers. These actions by the government set the standards for modern Health Care Providers. Therefore, one can say these were contributions made by Whitman because he raised them and they were improved (Robert 1971).




Spiller, R. E., & Canby, H. S. (January 01, 1971). Walt Whitman: American. Mirror of American Life.

Willcox, L. C. (January 01, 1906). Walt Whitman. North American Review.

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