photos by Roger W. Smith
On Ryerson Street in Brooklyn. On December 24, 2019, the day before Christmas.
I walked and walked, thought I would never find Ryerson Street. No one seemed to know where the street was located. The house is in a Brooklyn neighborhood known as Clinton Hill. It is close to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Whitman and his family lived there briefly, in 1855, and were possibly still there in early 1856. But by the time two Concord intellectuals and writers, Bronson Alcott and Henry David Thoreau, visited Whitman in October 1856, the Whitman family had moved to another house in the area. (The visitors had to take the ferry from Manhattan to get to Brooklyn, which was then a suburb.)
I have posted the following articles here:
“Should Walt Whitman’s House Be Landmarked” The New York Times, December 24, 2019
selections from the diary of Bronson Alcott and the correspondence of Henry David Thoreau
Lawrence Buell, “Whitman and Thoreau. Calamus no. 8 (August 1973), pp. 18-28.
— posted by Roger W. Smith