15. Through Eight Years
IN 1848, ’49, I was occupied as editor of the “daily Eagle” newspaper, in Brooklyn. The latter year went off on a leisurely journey and working expedition (my brother Jeff with me) through all the middle States, and down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Lived awhile in New Orleans, and work’d there on the editorial staff of “daily Crescent” newspaper. After a time plodded back northward, up the Mississippi, and around to, and by way of the great lakes, Michigan, Huron, and Erie, to Niagara falls and lower Canada, finally returning through central New York and down the Hudson; traveling altogether probably 5000 miles this trip, to and fro. ’51, ’53, occupied in house-building in Brooklyn. (For a little of the first part of that time in printing a daily and weekly paper, “the Freeman.”) ’55, lost my dear father this year by death. Commenced putting “Leaves of Grass” to press for good, at the job printing office of my friends, the brothers Rome, in Brooklyn, after many MS. doings and undoings—(I had great trouble in leaving out the stock “poetical” touches, but succeeded at last.) I am now (1856–’7) passing through my 37th year.