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Walt Whitman in Washington
Friday, June 15, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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Walt Whitman, 1870 (Library of Congress)
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The decade from 1863 to 1873 was a tumultuous period for Washington, D.C., as it evolved from the capital of a divided country to a booming post-war town filled with contentious politicians trying to rebuild a devastated nation. It was also a pivotal time for Walt Whitman, who came to Washington as a “hospital missionary,” but left as one of the nation’s best-loved poets.
Follow the writer’s footsteps through the city’s downtown on a tour led by local historian Garrett Peck, author of Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C.: The Civil War and America’s Great Poet. Examine the urban backdrop against which Whitman carved out a role as a hospital volunteer for the war’s many sick and wounded soldiers; met the love of his life, Peter Doyle; worked as a federal clerk; and built a community through his literary circle.
Among the stops are Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office, Ford’s Theatre, the Old Patent Office, the Treasury Department, and more locations tied to Whitman. Afterward, raise a glass to his legacy in Washington during an optional happy hour at the rooftop bar of the W Hotel, former site of the Corcoran Office Building where Whitman once worked.
Tour meets outside the F St entrance to the
Smithsonian American Art Museum building
Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown