One person far above all others deserves my thanks for help in bringing this text about. Ed Folsom introduced me to Walt Whitman in a summer course some years ago, and he has nurtured my interest and scholarship in Whitman ever since. His enthusiasm for Whitman has stirred my enthusiasm, and his encouragement and generous assistance over the years have been invaluable. It is simply true that this text would not have been brought to fruition without his help. Thanks, Ed.
I would also like to thank Jerry Loving, Kathleen Diffley, Wynn Thomas, and Jimmie Killingsworth for their thoughtful criticism and advice. I thank Philip Winsor and Cherene Holland of Penn State Press for editorial support, as well as Linda McCurdy, Head of Public Services in the Special Collections Library at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and Alice Birney, American Literature Specialist at the Library of Congress, who each were quite helpful in providing me with copies of Whitman manuscripts.
Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Joy Conrad, who did nothing special except put up with me throughout the production of this text, which is probably enough.