Walt "Wit"man - dog fantasy portrait

Walt "Wit"man - dog fantasy portrait

Copyright © Linda Apple
"Walter (Wit)man"
oil on gallery wrapped canvas
An Appletree Hollow update:

Walter (Wit)Man
May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892

The third of nine children, he was nicknamed "Walt" to distinguish him from his father, Walter Man Sr. At age four, he moved with his family from Brooklyn, living in a series of homes, in part due to his father’s bad investments. Walt looked back on his childhood as restless and unhappy, given his family's difficult economic status.
At age eleven Walt concluded formal schooling. He then sought employment for further income for his family; he was an apprentice and printer's devil for the weekly newspaper. There, he learned about the printing press and typesetting. He wrote "sentimental bits" of filler material for occasional issues.
He attempted to find further work but had difficulty due to a general collapse in the economy leading up to the Panic of 1837. He taught intermittently at various schools until the spring of 1838, though he was not satisfied as a teacher.
He moved to Appletree Hollow in 1939 and founded his own newspaper, the Hollow Gazette. He served as publisher, editor, pressman, and distributor and even provided home delivery. During this time, he published a series of editorials called "Sun-Down on the Hollow ". Based on his poetry, he was given the nickname of “Wit”. His poetry depicts love and sexuality in a more earthy, individualistic way common in American culture before the late 19th century, although it was often labeled pornographic or obscene. A biographer wrote, "the discussion of Walt's sexual orientation will probably continue in spite of whatever evidence emerges."
He sold the Hollow Gazette and continued his writing until his peaceful passing in 1892. Appletree residents built a monument to honor his contribution to the community.

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