In "Whitman Pursued," Emory Holloway describes Frank Sweeney as someone with whom Walt Whitman discussed his relationship with the mysterious Ellen Eyre. Whitman mentions Sweeney in one of his many notebook listings of the men of the city he knew: "Frank Sweeney (July 8th ’62), 5th Ave. Brown face, large features, black moustache (is the one I told the whole story to about Ellen Eyre)--talks very little" (Holloway, “Whitman” 7). Holloway explains that "[w]ho Sweeney was can only be conjectured. His name does not appear in either New York or Brooklyn directories for this period, nor does any other Sweeney with a Fifth Avenue Address. The indefinite ’5th Ave.’ may therefore have referred to the Fifth Avenue line of busses, which Whitman says he frequented, fraternizing with the drivers" (7).
Sweeney is described in Whitman's notebooks as "5th Ave. Brown face, large features, black moustache, (is the one I told the whole story about Ellen Eyre)-talks very little" (279). Allen feels that Whitman made a smart decision in confiding to Sweeney about Ellen Eyre, as he never revealed any details or her identity to anyone (280).[pages:279-280]
Glicksberg gives a description of Sweeney and his conversation with Whitman about "Ellen Eyre."
Glicksberg records his name as "Frank Sweezey."[pages:276]
Frank Sweeney is described as a bus driver (possibly) to whom Whitman told the "whole" Ellen Eyre story.[pages:7]
A driver of the Fifth Ave. stage; he would have been acquainted with Ellen Grey. Whitman notes in one entry in a notebook that Sweeney tended to "talk very little."[pages:68]
Frank is also referred to here as "Sweezey" (490).[pages:490]
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