Walt Whitman’s Home in Camden

Camden Evening Courier – May 16, 1922

Editorial in The New York Herald, Monday May 15 [1922]

The City Council of Camden, New Jersey, has voted that the home in which Walt Whitman passed the later years of his life and in which on March 26, 1892, he died shall not be destroyed but shall be preserved intact on the site where it stands. There had been a suggestion that it be removed to one of the city’s parks. This did not meet the Council’s approval. The house will stand where it is and where it stood when Walt Whitman lived and died in it.

Camden is a thriving and exceedingly busy city of upward of 116,000 inhabitants. With the completion of the great bridge linking it with Philadelphia across the Delaware its rapid growth is among the certainties. Business and not sentiment is its specialty. But evidently Camden is not so completely absorbed in business that sentiment is totally excluded. It does not forget that in the Whitman home it possesses what to many thousands of persons here and abroad is something in the nature of a literary shrine, and that such a possession entails responsibility on the city.

This responsibility the City Council is preparing to meet in a manner worthy of commendation. The Whitman home will be purchased by the city, the old house will be properly restored, and in it will be assembled all Whitman relics available, there to be preserved for all time. It is fortunate that the good taste of those in authority in Camden forbids the removal of the poet’s home from its original environment and its graceless injection into the scenery of a public park.

It will be 103 years May 31 next since Walt Whitman was born at West Hills, Suffolk county Long Island, and Camden could not more fittingly commemorate that birthday anniversary than by thus preserving the house in which the poet long lived and finally died.

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