Whitman, Longfellow, Poe, and Others Figure in Exhibition

Because of the enthusiastic reception which it has received, the exhibition of books and manuscripts of American writers in the Widener Memorial Room is being displayed for a second week.

Several manuscripts of Whittier, and an interesting letter of Whitman's are suitable for first consideration. With what seems to be a curious naivety, Whitman concludes his letter from the Attorney-General's office to Mr. Freiligrath with the following words, "I shall be well pleased indeed to hear from you. My address is Walt Whitman, Washington, D. C., U. S. America."

A 358-page Thoreau manuscript next attracts one's attention. The manuscript consists entirely of rough notes and constitutes one of the "fact books" which the great naturalist was known to keep.

One of the choice items in the exhibition is an inscribed first edition of Poe's "Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque." Poe's poverty was such that it prevented his giving away many of his books, and these two volumes are among the few known copies presented by him to other people. Bound specially for the purpose, they are inscribed "For Miss Anna and Miss Bessie Pedder, from their most sincere friend, the Author."

An Italian grammar by Longfellow, printed in 1832, is the first published work of that poet. The exhibition includes other of his early productions, among them "Outre-Mer" printed in 1835, "Hyperion" in 1839, "Evangeline" in 1847, and "Kavanagh" in 1849.


Several inscribed copies of works by William Cullen Bryant, a first edition published in 1850 of Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter," a presentation copy of his very rare "Liberty Tree" printed in 1841, and books by James Russell Lowell. Emerson, and Oliver Wendell Holmes are other things of interest in the current display.