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William E. Barton Collection of Walt Whitman Materials

Identifier: MA.01012
Digital Collection: William E. Barton Collection of Walt Whitman Materials (Selections)
Digital Collection: William E. Barton Collection of Walt Whitman Materials (Selections)

Scope and Contents

This collection of material created by or about Walt Whitman was compiled by William E. Barton, author of several works on Walt Whitman and on Abraham Lincoln. The collection contains a small assortment of Whitman manuscripts, portraits, and various printed material. The collection also contains few items created by William E. Barton, including research notes, transcriptions, photostatic copies, and correspondence.


  • Creation: 1850-1899


Conditions Governing Use

There is no restriction on access to the William E. Barton Collection of Walt Whitman Materials for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the Collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

William Eleazar Barton (1861-1930) was an American Congregational minister, lecturer, teacher, and author. He was born in Sublette, Illinois in 1861 to Jacob and Helen (Methven) Barton. After becoming ordained in 1885, Barton married Esther Treat Bushnell and became a missionary in Robbins, Tennessee. Barton served as minister in Robbins, Tennessee, then Oak Park, Illinois until his retirement in 1924. Barton died in Brooklyn, New York in 1930. In addition to his role as a Congregational minister, Barton wrote and published numerous books. While most known for his extensive research on Abraham Lincoln, Barton appears to have collected these Walt Whitman manuscripts and related materials, perhaps while conducting research for his 1928 published volume Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman.


0.25 Linear feet (1/2 archives box)

Language of Materials



The collection contains assorted Whitman manuscripts, portraits, and various printed material, collected by William E. Barton. The collection also contains Barton's research notes, transcriptions, and correspondence.


This collection is organized into four series:

  1. Series 1: Walt Whitman Manuscripts
  2. Series 2: Walt Whitman Printed Materials
  3. Series 3: Walt Whitman Portraits
  4. Series 4: William E. Barton Transcriptions, Notes, and Correspondence

Custodial History

This collection of material was compiled by William E. Barton and gifted to the Amherst College Archives by his grandson Randall Barton (AC 1937) in 1968. The material in this collection was filed in the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection before being removed to form this discrete collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a gift of Randall Barton (AC 1937), grandson of William E. Barton, in 1968.

Separated Materials

John Burroughs autograph manuscript of essay "Flight of the Eagle" with emandations by Walt Whitman. Final version published as the last essay in Birds and poets (New York : Hurd and Houghton, 1877). This manuscript was also donated to the College by Randall Barton (AC 1937). This item has been separated from the collection and cataloged. Call number: AC Archives & Special Collections PS1224. B6.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299