London: Walter Scott, 1887. First Edition. Hardcover. Original dark blue cloth with a printed paper spine label. Part of the Camelot Series. BAL 21428: Binding A. Most of the material within first appeared 5 years earlier in SPECIMEN DAYS & COLLECT published by Rees Welsh and Company in Philadelphia. This edition is "Newly Revised by the Author, with Fresh Preface and Additional Note." INSCRIBED by the poet on the front endpaper to his niece: "Jesse L. Whitman/Oct: 1888--/to my Dear Jess:/from Uncle Walt." SPECIMEN DAYS IN AMERICA contains largely personal reminiscences, including hospital scenes and incidents during the Civil War. An exceptionally scarce family Association Copy of what is considered the largest and most important work of Whitman's old age, a new form of autobiography linking personal and national history. Toning to paper. Neat professional repair to hinges. Very Good. Item #019353
Jessie Louisa Whitman was the daughter of Walt Whitman's brother, Jeff. She and her older sister Manahatta ("Hattie") were born in the house on Portland Avenue in Brooklyn that their parents shared with Walt, his mother, and brothers George and Edward. Her family's move to St. Louis in 1868, when Jessie was 4, did nothing to detract from her strong feelings for her Uncle Walt. After her mother died in 1873, she spent much of each summer at the home of George Whitman in Camden, where Walt was also living at that time. She was close to her uncle all her life and was with him a few weeks before his death in 1892. She lived until 1957, just shy of her 94th birthday. Whitman mentioned her in his touching reflection on her father, "An Engineer's Obituary," published in GOOD-BYE MY FANCY (1891). Jeff Whitman died in November 1890, about 2 years after Walt presented this book to Jeff's daughter.