Throughout his life, Whitman loved printing and actively participated in the design and closely watched over the printing of most all of his editions. He would sit in the print shop and correct the type galleys as they came off the presses.

Not everyone knows that Walt Whitman dropped out of school at age 12 to become a 'printer's devil' in a print shop, which was considered a type of education at that time. He grew up setting type for a living. Later he owned a couple small newspapers, and worked as a reporter.

Whitman set the type for his self-published “Leaves of Grass” in a print shop, located near the church where he would go to listen to abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher’s anti-slavery sermons.

For more information on Whitman as a printer, take a look at this excellent paper: Whitman Making Book / Book Making Whitman by Ed Folsom of the University of Iowa at this link:


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