Looking Back at Walt’s Brooklyn


For the Brooklyn history buffs out there, there’s a new site dedicated to the life and times of Walt Whitman when he lived in Brooklyn called, fittingly, Whitman’s Brooklyn. “The 1850sthe decade that saw the first publication of Leaves of Grasswas arguably the pinnacle of Brooklyn’s rise as a great American city, with a uniquely modern mix of cultural diversity, industrial might, and progressive thought”, writes the site’s founder, Russell Granger. “Henry Ward Beecher had recently established his immensely influential pulpit at Plymouth Church. Multiple ethnicities were living side-by-side with greater ease than anywhere else in the country. And the rate of sheer physical progress outpaced any other city in the nation.” One of the early posts we’re digging is about the former St. Ann’s Church that used to stand in now-Dumbo on Washington and Sands Streets. Turns out old Walt attended Sunday school here. This church was torn down in 1880; its current incarnation is now on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights.

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