When Walt Whitman wrote his poem, Manhattan, in the 19th century, New York City was as vibrant and alluring as it is today. A city of grit, survival and seduction, it throbs with your pulse as you walk the streets where once Whitman roamed. Writer-philosopher, Bronson Alcott once reported that Whitman “rode sometimes a-top an omnibus up and down Broadway from morning till night beside the driver and dined afterwards with whipsters [bohemians], frequented the opera during the season, and ‘lived to make poems, and for nothing else in particular.'”
Walt Whitman’s ancestors were Dutch and English, immigrants brought by the Atlantic Ocean to Ellis Island, New York, which had speedily become a nesting place for immigrants the world over: Holland, France, Italy, England, Ireland and of course, Africa, from where a slew of slaves were brought to toil the land with sweat and blood.