Though many details about his early life are in dispute, scholars agree that Arnold was born in New York City and that his father may have been the Reverend George B. Arnold.
Whitman claims to have been very friendly with her and describes her as "brilliant, bright, and handsome. She went on the stage, I think, and then melted out of sight" (208).
Donaldson's source is Whitman - Specimen 188
Donaldson describes Stedman as a friend, supporter, and admirer of Whitman and claims his name is "a synonym for elegance, purity of mind, and thorough cultivation, and the possession of the grace of harmonious and euphonious poetic diction" (213).
Donaldson also includes a letter from Stedman to Whitman (213-4).
Donaldson cites Swinton's April 1, 1876, letter about Whitman's nursing and the days of his "splendid prime" from the New York Herald.
Whitman is described as "staid"; the influence of the bohemians is said to have accorded him "a distinct personality -- one not to be seen again." Donaldson speculates that Whitman most likely seemed dull at Pfaff's but notes that Whitman was a figure there and was asked for and upon by other visitors. Donaldson also speculates that Whitman's appearance and manner made him attract others and discusses Whitman's interest in the stage drivers.
Donaldson includes references to "Specimen Days and Collect" and identifies some of the persons mentioned. Also included is a long Whitman-written description of his last visit to Pfaff's (Aug. 16, 1881), at what he calls the "New Pfaff's."
The Vault at Pfaff's
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015