St. Louis: Nixon-Jones Printing Co. 1885. Hardcover. 96p., frontis-portrait of Whitman, preface, second (revised) edition, some light pencil figures on last two endpapers, lightly rubbed blue cloth boards and gilt, all edges gilt. African American poet.
The Kentucky-born, freed-slave poet wrote this epic in the romantic mode, glorifying the idyllic primitivism of the Seminoles and rebelling slaves over the money-driven white oppressor civilization. Despite his obvious flaws as a poet, critics such as Benjamin Brawley recognized his importance; Sterling Brown notes in DAB that Whitman 'was the most considerable poet of his race before Paul Lawrence Dunbar ... in bulk and in familiarity with poetic models, but his distinction is one of ambition rather than achievement' (vol. xx, p. 139). *DAB, Logan and Winston.